Stunning beaches, crystal clear water, jungles to explore and an endless amount of banana bread; Maui is my idea of heaven. M (my boyfriend Marcus) and I had the pleasure of visiting this tropical paradise at the end of 2018 and she was just as beautiful as ever. Allow me to be your guide of all the amazing things to do and places to eat in this tropical paradise!
Where my fellow kombucha lovers at? I’ve got some great news for y’all! Alchemy Maui is Valley Isle Kombucha‘s tasting room in Lahaina complete with a dozen different delicious ‘buchs on tap and mouthwatering salads, seafood and sourdough paninis. Pro-tip: they offer fresh baked artisan sourdough bread Tuesday-Friday.
The number one thing on my to-do list for this trip was the Road to Hana and it did not disappoint, y’all. I mean, I think the photo here says it better than I ever could (but I’ll try 😂). This breathtaking drive will take you through jungles where you can pull over to chase waterfalls and cling to rocky, jagged cliffs where you can catch the most epic views of the Pacific crashing into the island. We didn’t have time to do the whole thing so we did about half of it and that was just perfect for us.
We found Kō because it was onsite at our resort (we stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani and it was an absolute dream, y’all. You can read my blog on it here.) I absolutely loved this restaurant; we ate here twice in the five days we were here (and I’m not one to repeat places because I always want to try somewhere new). Pictured is their Ahi on the Rock; a dish that comes with beautiful pieces of raw tuna and a sizzling volcanic rock for you to sear the Ahi yourself; fun and delicious (and one of my very favorite things I ate while in Maui).
You must see the beautiful Banyan trees while in Maui. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a scene of Jurassic Park or some far away land under these exotic beauties. The most popular (and super easy to access) are in Banyan Tree Park in downtown Lahaina, but you’ll find them all over the island. They make for great photo ops but beware, I found these groves to be overrun with bugs and mosquitos; don’t forget your bug spray (I wish I hadn’t).
A big shout out to my homie Jordan for turning me on to Lineage in Maui. This place was absolutely spectacular, y’all – definitely one of my favorite (and most unique meals) of 2018. Lineage is Top Chef alum Sheldon Simeon‘s new spot that celebrates his delicious Filipino heritage. The meal starts with a Filipino dim sum cart, how cool is that? Everything we had was delicious with my favorite dish being his Adobo which are turkey tails and are the national dish of the Philippines.
Sunrise at the Haleakalā Crater is a must when visiting Maui. I’m not going to lie to y’all; it’s a hassle to do it but it’s absolutely worth it. It’s unarguably one of the most beautiful places to watch a sunrise in the world and one of the most breathtaking things I have ever seen. That being said, be prepared to get up at 2:30 in the morning for the journey there. There are lots of tours that will bring you to the crater but we opted to rent a car and do it ourselves (it wasn’t much more expensive to rent a car for five days than it would have been to pay for two of us to do this tour). I’m happy to tell you that despite the government shut down, Haleakalā National Park remains open – however, services are limited and it is more important than ever to be mindful of your impact.
I recommend eating as much banana bread as possible when you’re in Maui. There are roadside banana bread stands all over the island; we got this one at Aunt Sandy’s on the Ke’anae Peninsula, just off the Road to Hana. It was so fresh it was still warm from the oven, and it and was most definitely the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted.
It was unplanned but ended up being my favorite thing we did on the trip – driving Highway Route 340 which will take you around the northwest peninsula of Maui. I never thought we’d be doing a road even more precarious (and just as awesome) as the Road to Hana on this trip, but we did. This was AMAZING y’all. If you’re up for it, you’ll get killer views like the one above but beware – the roads are narrow, winding and often go down to just one lane as you wrap around jagged cliffs. Be prepared for zero cell reception, no gas stations for miles and some of the most stunning views you’ve ever seen.
Roadside coconuts are another must when in Maui. I don’t think there’s anything better than a fresh coconut y’all. You’ll get to select your coconut and then watch them slice it open with a machete and pop in a straw. Voila – the best coconut water you’ll ever have! You’ll find these roadside stands all over Maui.
Last but not least, the Maui Pineapple Tour is such a fun experience! Have you ever seen a pineapple bush? I hadn’t until this and I absolutely had too much fun in these fields. You’ll be driven through the farm and stop for lots of photo ops and pineapple tasting along the way. You’ll taste different types of pineapples at different stages of ripeness that have literally just been cut off the stems!
This was my second trip to Maui and I’d gladly go back a third time (hell a tenth time). There aren’t many places I visit that I long to return (just because there are so many places I want to see), but Maui with its perfect weather, breathtaking beauty and amazing food is definitely one of them.