RECAP OF OUR WEEKEND IN MAUI + RECOMMENDATIONS:
After a beautiful few days spent in sunny Maui – exploring, networking at an event + enjoying some R+ R – I thought I would share my new found love for the island! We were only there for a few short days but explored as much as we could + left loving the island and counting down the days until we return!
If you have any recommendations that I missed, be sure to comment them below!
Island Hopping In Style
This trip we flew with Hawaiian Airlines + are so happy we did! When we lived on the mainland (in Utah), our very favorite airline to fly to the island was Hawaiian Airlines. You could feel the vacation buzz in the air + we obviously always loved the mai tai welcome! From island to island, we still find flying with them enjoyable, comfortable and convenient – with great views out of the window! Also, Hawaiian Airlines has a fun page all about Maui + their recommendations which is super helpful.
While we stayed in Wailea this time, we absolutely loved exploring the west side of Maui!
There were so many darling towns and things to do.
Things To Do In West Maui
Here are some of the places I recommend:
• Frida’s Beach House
• Beaches in Kapalua
• Kaanapali Resort Beaches
• Ono Gelato
• Maui Sailing Adventures (I’ve heard awesome things about this place + this place)
• Longhi’s Lahaina
• Meandering in the Seaside Town of Lahaina
• Whale Watching + Snorkel Tours
• Sunset at Shark’s Pit Beach
If you’re planning some time on that side of the island (which we definitely recommend!) Hawaiian Airlines just opened up a flight into the Kapalua Airport (JHM) which is so convenient! The airport is conveniently located right by Kaanapali resorts and beaches as well as the darling town of Lahaina. This is perfect if you want to spend less time in transit and more time exploring that beautiful side of the island!
We stopped at a darling fruit stand on the side of the road! Awesome smoothies + couldn’t help but snag a photo!
Next stop, Frida’s! Their food was AMAZING, loved the atmosphere of this beachside eatery and the drinks were delish!
We HIGHLY recommend this place!
Up next, THE BEACH! We may live by the ocean but we never get enough of the sand, surf + sun (with body safe, reef safe sunscreen of course!) We headed to the Kaanapali area + stopped at this gorgeous beach. It was moderately busy but we were able to park and walk a short little paved path to a sandy spot we had to ourselves.
After some splash time + some reading, we both wanted a sweet treat! We headed into Lahaina (aka the cutest town ever) to find something delicious. I had heard awesome things about this little gelato spot so we walked until we found Ono Gelato!
Spoiler alert: the coconut sorbetto is HEAVENLY! Delicious enough for Aaron to keep asking, “Could I have another bite? Oh, just one more. . .” I told him, he should have gone with the coconut for his second scoop! It was awesome that their non-dairy options were as creamy and scrumptious as their original gelato. Again, highly recommend!
We spent the rest of the afternoon + evening walking around the town of Lahaina. There are tons of cute shops and honestly, Aaron and I felt very at home here. It reminded us of a seaside, town on the east coast (with a tropical breeze and in the pacific, obviously) like Camden, Maine or Martha’s Vineyard! We loved the vibe, the restaurants and the waterfront. After strolling for a while, and wanting to avoid traffic back down the island, we opted to have a cocktail and watch sunset from the south end of Lahaina.
We grabbed a beer and once we were done, we walked to the end of Shark’s Pit Beach. It was gorgeous for sunset. Very calming to just walk down the coastline with the gentle water splashing on our feet. We talked to each other, to locals walking and pet all the cute pups on the beach. What a great first day in Maui! We were smitten.
The next morning, we left our hotel really early and headed to a beach near by. I had no clue it would be so beautiful! Located in beautiful Makena, Big Beach is an amazing, big white sand beach. It’s a state beach that opens early which we loved. Aaron and I went there a few mornings over the weekend to jump in, spend some time in the sun (before the crowds) and get some drone shots! We loved it.
Now, let me bring you to our favorite part of the trip – Hotel Wailea! Oh my WORD this place was magic.
First off, there are only 72 luxury one bedroom suites, meaning that you are a welcomed guest on their property! You are a face and a name, not just a room number. Our villa was very welcoming and comforting, making us feel at home away from home. Hotel Wailea is a romantic sanctuary meant for couples seeking relaxation away from beachfront crowds. They have so many experiences available to their guests, aerial yoga being one of my favorites!
The property is absolutely beautiful, with the pool being my favorite part (surprise!). It’s an adult only property so the pool was the perfect area to relax with wonderful atmosphere. The food + drink menu was a huge hit with us (everything we tried was outstanding) and we became best of friends with the bartending crew by the time we left. They were AWESOME!
The drinks we loved most?
On Saturday, Aaron even joined in on a cocktail class poolside! He learned from an award winning bartender how to make the ultimate mai tai (I tested it, don’t worry)! We loved that the environment at Hotel Wailea was sophisticated, modern and relaxing – yet full of vibrant, interesting guests who were so fun to get to know!
On Sunday night, we made a reservation at The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea. Delighting us at every turn, the chef insured each course was phenomenal! We had multiple ‘snacks’ (small appetizers), a salad and split the lamb entree (highly recommend). Then, ended our meal with two desserts (no, we couldn’t decide! yes, it was 100% worth it!) The Orchard Sweets + Hawaiian Molten Lava cake were the epitome of gourmet desserts. Each bite was a dream!
As we watched the sunset from the lanai of the restaurant, glass of wine in my hand, tears of joy welled up in my eyes. We spend so much time go, go, going that it hit me all at once how incredible it was to simple be this weekend. I have such a grateful heart, for all of the opportunities and blessings in my life, for the humans that make it rich and for the memories we are creating. At this moment, I was so overjoyed! It was so relaxing, rejuvenating and fun to just unplug with my other half over these few days – I shared a little about that here on my Instagram.
Restaurants + Coffee Shop Recommendations
• The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea – If you couldn’t tell from my photos and stories above, we LOVED Hotel Wailea and their restaurant was no exception. The food was exquisite! Incredible quality, presentation and selection. Each ‘snack’ (small appetizer) that we tried we found competed against the last for the best of the night. We were so thrilled with our meal + left with very happy bellies!
• Belle Surf Cafe – Sadly, we missed stopping in here because they close at 1pm! Check their hours before going.
• Monkeypod Kitchen – AWESOME food! I had their raw bar mixed plate as an appetizer (different kinds of poké) and it was phenomenal. Aaron went simple with one of their pizzas + it certainly didn’t disappoint.
• Fork and Salad – If you’re looking for a quick place to grab lunch or dinner, we loved this ‘fast food’ type of place. Super healthy, delicious, locally sourced menu items but it had the ‘grab and go’ feel. We had a sandwich, soup + salad to split and practically licked the plates!
• Kihei Caffe – Really busy but the food looked AMAZING!
• Three’s Bar & Grill – Since Kihei Caffe was so busy, we went just around the corner to this place + it was delicious! I guess it was featured on Diners, Drive Ins & Dive’s (but I didn’t know that until just now!)
• Akamai Coffee – They had bulletproof coffee (which is my JAM) so thank the heavens for this darling place (seen below)!
Sadly, our long weekend had to come to an end! We boarded our Hawaiian Airlines flight late afternoon which made for some gorgeous farewell views of Maui! We cozied up on the short flight, chatted with some awesome fellow fliers from O’ahu about drone photography, edited photos from the trip and planned what we want to do on our next island hop to Maui! When we landed, the pilot even came down the aisle + even snapped our photo, which we laughed together as it was blurry, agreeing for to him sticking to flying + us to stick to photography! Such an awesome crew of people.
We truly loved spending the weekend in Maui and can’t wait to come back to the island to explore it fully. We want to experience the road to Hana, the town of Paia, to try more restaurants and see more beaches. We would love to hear your recommendations and insider secrets! Feel free to comment below or leave them in a comment on my Instagram!