This post is a THROWBACK! Kyle and I took this trip after only dating for 6 months. Kyle used to be very reserved and liked to think things over for… a long time. He also had only been on a plane like once in his whole life, so I think the talk about taking a trip made him anxious. But one morning we had just gotten breakfast and sat on the beach, I said, “we are going to buy the flights today”. He was like uhhh… And then we bought them before he could protest.
This is a breakdown of our 9-day trip to Maui, Hawaii back in May of 2016. We packed almost everyday with fun activities, great food and endless beach hangs. I made a quick video back in the day with an old GoPro so excuse the quality but it is still fun to watch our adventures!
Like I said in my Vancouver post, I love flying out in the morning so you don’t waste a full day on just traveling. So in true Tasman form, we were on the plane at 6:00 AM bound for Maui! We arrived around noon to a sketchy windy landing, I almost threw up. The Maui Airport feels like a shack compared to Los Angeles International, there are birds flying around and half of the check in process is outside, pretty cool! We took a small bus to the Enterprise lot where we rented a small car for the entirety of the trip. We weren’t doing the resort style trip, we wanted to explore as much of the island as possible so not having a car was not an option.
Next, we drove to the grocery store because we had booked an Airbnb for the entirety of the trip we wanted to save some money by cooking the majority of our meals and having snacks for the beach. We spent about $300 on food and some beers and were on our way to check in to our rental. We decided to stay on the west side of the island because it is less windy and had a lot of the spots we wanted to explore. Our first spot was a small studio apartment on the 3rd floor of a basically beach-front property. The view was epic and it had everything we needed!
After settling in we decided to take a walk around, walked down by the water and sat on the sand. We then went home and cooked dinner. A hilarious thing we always remember, as we got into bed we were like, “I wonder what time it is? Like 10?”. It was 8:00 PM! Travel days are long.
First full day on the island and we decided to just do a simple beach day to recover from our travels. We decided on a beach called Big Beach, which is a long beach, similar to our beaches at home. The parking lot was about 10 spaces deep so if you go, go early! We had packed sandwiches and snacks and were there bright and early. I am not sure what I expected but I thought the water was going to be warmer… It was 70 degrees on average while we were there. Which is warm, but I thought it was going to be like a bath. I think I am scarred from being a swimmer/polo player all my life, cold water is literal torture. So I wore a long sleeve suit the whole time pretty much.
We tried out some shaved ice close to the condo at a place called Ululani’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice, it was real good after a day at the beach. And we finished the day with getting some Hawaiian food for dinner but I cannot remember the name of it to save my life, sorry!
Road to Hana day! This adventure can take you a few hours or a full day, whatever you want out of the experience. You can just drive it, and look at the sights as you drive by. You can take short pit-stops at various stops like waterfalls or outlooks, and this might add more time to the drive. Or you can do a full on day-long experience where you stop at your most intriguing stops and drive the back road all the way around from Kipahulu into Kula. We took the full day to take our time stopping, taking pictures and videos and enjoying the not-so-seen parts. This day was SO much fun but very tiring!
Most notable stops were:
- Pipiwai Trail where you hike up to an epic waterfall. This took about 3 hours round trip (4 miles total) and was one of our favorite things we did on the whole trip! There were bamboo forests, bridges, waterfalls and more. DO IT!!
- Backside of Halekala is the drive past the town of Hana. Not many people do this because some parts can be a bit sketchy (some rental companies void your contract if you drive here) but we found it to be safe and beyond beautiful. I also felt like we were the only people doing this drive, which was an amazing and eerie feeling.
To recover from our crazy Road to Hana day we decided to have another relaxing day by the beach! We landed on a beach close to our condo called, Wailea, which was named America’s Best Beach in 1999. We had a great time snorkeling around, laying in the sun and enjoying each other’s company.
After we were beached out we walked around The Shops at Wailea. It is an outdoor mall that reminded me of our local Fashion Island where the stores are all outdoors and REALLY expensive. Even so it was fun to walk around!
We had reservations at Maui Brewing Company for a tour and a tasting around 4 so we went back to the condo to shower and get over there. It was such a cool spot! We drove up this big hill and it was the only thing for what felt like miles. The property was new feeling and well-maintained. We started in the tasting room where there were tons of games, the bar and some food trucks. We took the tour which lasted about 30 minutes and went into another tasting room to sample some of the beers.
This was a fun experience and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We walked away with some fun Maui Brew Co. glasses and bought some beers for the condo!
Have you heard of polymorphic light eruption? No? Okay, it is basically when your skin can’t handle the rays of the sun. And me being the fair-skinned lady that I am got polymorphic light eruption. My skin had raised red areas and small little red dots everywhere, super cute I know. Kyle was a trooper, after calling my mom we decided I should take some Benadryl and apply cold compresses to the affected areas. I never take medicine and the Benadryl kicked my butt. I remember watching part of Miss Congeniality (VHS-style) and coming in and out of sleep while Kyle brought me new cold packs. It was a special night we will never forget hahah
Since the polymorphic light eruption situation we took it easy on the sun. We actually took an umbrella down with us to the beach and I huddled up under it. And it ended up raining a bit while we were on the beach so it worked out to not be totally sunbathing all day.
We went to the Black Rock Ceremony at the Sheraton. This was a really fun but touristy thing we did… We showed up to the hotel around 5 to make sure we could get a good spot and ended up getting a killer spot at the poolside bar. We ordered Mai Tais and guacamole that cost about $20 but we enjoyed the experience. You can go the free route by bringing your own snacks, drinks and chairs/towels to sit on the beach and watch the torch lighting and cliff jump at sunset.
This was the day we switched Airbnb’s to Lahina, a beach town further north. We checked out of our condo and took our time driving up the coast. Two things I regret on this trip, not surfing and not stopping at this pie place on the side of the road on our way to Lahaina, called Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop. Kyle stopped to go pee here but I just couldn’t bring myself to wait in the massive line and then I regretted it every day.
We made a fun stop at this place called Dragon’s Teeth where the waves crash up on these volcanic rocks that are formed like teeth. It was VERY windy and kind of cold but we had to get out and walk the rocks.
We also stopped at a large swap meet! This was super random but cool. We parked in a huge parking lot, paid .50 cents to enter and got to see local art, old trinkets and fresh food!
We really didn’t eat out too much to save on money but we did decide to treat ourselves at Leilanis On The Beach. This is a restaurant that is owned by the same company as Duke’s, which we have in Huntington Beach but never can afford to go to… So we waited for quite awhile but were seriously lucky to have scored an oceanfront table as the sun was setting, it was magical. Kyle ordered a delicious strawberry pina colada… And I had the best fish tacos of my life. 10/10 would recommend. We browsed around Whaler’s Village, the shopping mall that Leilani’s is attached to. Like the other malls, pretty standard expensive shops.
This was probably my least favorite beach, just gunna start with that. We took the drive up to Honolulu Bay beach where there was supposedly the best snorkling ever… We parked in not a great spot that I don’t think was even a real parking spot, we had to walk a half mile through smelly jungle with rotting fruit to emerge onto a rocky beach with A LOT of people and boats. We didn’t set up anything because we just wanted to get out into the water so we immediately swam out. I just got a weird vibe once I was out in the water. I grew up swimming miles in the ocean and I have never felt so panicky or uncomfortable as I was there. I felt like there was a shark… I never saw one but I just felt like I was being hunted which is not a great feeling when you are on vacation trying to enjoy some snorkeling. And I don’t know if we were just in the wrong spot but I didn’t see anything spectacular in terms of fish or coral… Would not take the time to do this one again unless I was given advice on what to do better.
We made it back to our Airbnb and got ready for a fun night out on their main street called, Front Street. Front Street was very touristy, especially some of the shops that were geared towards souvenirs and whatnot but it was fun to stroll, people watch and get a drink. We ended up going to a place called Fleetwood’s on Front Street which is a bar that was created by the drummer Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. We had DELICIOUS drinks and ended up being able to see a bagpipe guy perform which was super random but cool for Kyle to see for the first time!
For lunch we decided to try out Maui Brewing Company’s restaurant. We had a good time here! I really enjoyed the food and they had a frozen rim on their bar to keep your beers cold, I was flabbergasted at this, SO COOL!
We went to beach and laid low for the rest of the day in anticipation for our long travel day ahead.
Final day on the island was full of packing, checking out of the Airbnb and making our way to the airport. We were pretty tapped out so we got food, walked around an outdoor mall and just read at the airport.
We had a safe journey home and would 10/10 recommend taking a trip to Maui. We hope to explore another island in Hawaii in the future!