Oh Maui, damn was it beautiful. I had been to Hawaii once before in 2015 – to Oahu, which (of course) was also quite beautiful. I found Maui, and specifically Ka’anapali Beach, to be one of the most stunning places I’ve been and one of the few places I know I’ll return to some day (there are just to many places to explore to repeat vacations in my opinion, but this is one of the places I’d make an exception for). If you’re planning a Hawaii vacay and trying to figure out which island and beach is for you, let me step in and recommend the gorgeous Ka’anapali beach on Maui.
There are several lovely hotel and resort options in Ka’anapali Beach (which is about a 45 minute drive from the airport) and I’m going to highlight two and the first is the Hyatt Regency. As you can see, this hotel was absolutely gorgeous. Just paradise, y’all. I could lounge by the pool with this backdrop all day.
I have recently become addicted to acai bowls and they are serving bomb ones at Swan Court here at the Hyatt. They also offer an extensive buffet which was really popular; I chose to forfeit the buffet option for this acai fruit goodness both mornings I had breakfast here.
Ah, Hawaii, where the seafood is so fresh it just brings joy to my heart (and stomach). I suppose I might be slightly spoiled with fresh seafood living in Seattle; it is always palpable to me when I am visiting a place where fresh seafood is not available. (One of the many reasons I could never go back to living in a landlocked place.) The Hyatt boasts Japengo, a fantastic sushi restaurant I dined at on my first evening on the island. I feasted on edamame, spicy tuna, salmon nigiri and sake. You’ll enjoy all this with an incredible view of the ocean; literally this is my version of heaven.
What’s Hawaii without a little Hawaiian shaved ice? The Hyatt just happens to have an adorable Ululani Hawaii Shave Ice stand on the resort. I am boring and just got raspberry but you can mix and match the assortment of flavors they have. I must say, I felt quite whimsical (and quite happy) eating my shaved ice and walking aimlessly on the beach.
This was my view from the second hotel I’m going to recommend in this area, the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas. Swoon, right? The theme of paradise definitely continued here. I spent hours sitting on my balcony writing and drinking coffee every morning. This was one of the few trips that, while I was working every day, I was able to have some free time to unplug and it was absolutely fantastic.
It just wouldn’t be a tropical vacation without a fruity, boozy frozen cocktail and believe me I indulged in several on my trip. They had what they called “adult desserts” on the menu at Pailol Bar located in the Westin and this was my favorite (I think I tried them all). I give you the Uncle’s Sneaky Root Beer Freeze: Two shots of root beer whiskey over a vanilla smoothie. Like, frozen whiskey cocktails – did they know I was coming and make this specifically for me?
Take the short drive (or walk down the boardwalk) to Joey’s Kitchen at Whaler’s Village when you’re in Ka’anapali. You’ll want to check out the shops at Whaler’s Village and lunch at Joey’s is the perfect break. These Asian Fish Tacos were my favorite thing I ate on the island the entire six days I was there. Bravo Joey and team, y’all nailed it. Their commitment to good, fresh, local food is impressive.
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to venture outside of Ka’anapali when you’re on Maui to do a pineapple farm tour. The Maui Pineapple Tour was a fantastic experience. You’re driven through a pineapple farm (I had never seen a pineapple bush – have you?!) and stop along the way for photos and – of course – to eat pineapples! We ate several, many different types of pineapple and you could seriously taste the difference and varying levels of sweetness in the different ones. I love pineapple and I ate an embarrassing amount of this fruit.
…And now I’m wishing I was back in Maui. Aloha pretty Ka’anapali – until we meet again!