Happy Monday, friends! Today’s blog post is super special to me because I am finally sharing my Maui, Hawaii travel guide with you all! Hawaii was always top of my bucket list, and I finally got the opportunity to travel there with Drew this past March, and it exceeded all of my expectations. I’ve been working on this post for a while, and I can’t wait to share with you all the fun things I recommend, including where to eat and where to stay. In addition, you’ll find a roundup of all the outfits worn during the trip. Simply click on the widget below every image for shop details.
It took us a while to finally take this trip because it is such a longggg flight from Charlotte, NC. We knew we needed at least 8-10 days tucked away in our schedule so that we could truly enjoy the trip, and I’m so glad we did. To be honest, I could have stayed a lot longer and I was not ready to leave. If you have the ability to spend two weeks, I highly recommend you do because it will make the long travel worth it. There is so much to do, you will never grow tired of this beautiful place.
Where to Stay
First of all, I think it’s important to note that we spent our entire 9 nights on the island of Maui. We sought advice from a lot of friends and travel guides and everyone recommended this island over the others for your first trip to Maui. Next time we visit, I would love to check out other islands such Kauai or Oahu, but we decided to fully explore the island of Maui rather than breaking up our trip and only seeing parts of multiple islands.
In addition, we spent all 9 of our nights at the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea. I’ve heard many people break up their trip across multiple resorts, spending some time on the north side of the island, but we didn’t find that necessary. The Four Seasons was fabulous and we couldn’t imagine staying anywhere else.
The Four Seasons is veryyyyy expensive, and for many I understand that it is out of budget. I did not have a blog collaboration with the hotel, and we paid for our trip out of pocket. Thankfully, when we booked, The Four Seasons was running an incredible deal and was actually one of the cheaper options so we didn’t hesitate and booked all of our stay there.
If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, I recommend you save a good amount prior to traveling because everythingggg on the island is expensive. Because everything is imported you can expect to spend a lot more money than you average tropical destination, especially when it comes to alcohol. Be prepared for this.
All of the amenities at The Four Seasons are fabulous. From the gym, to the spa, to the pools, golf course (cough, cough, Drew) and restaurants on site, I seriously cannot recommend it enough. It’s the ultimate relaxation destination and you will not be disappointed with the investment.
One of myself and Drew’s favorite things to do was breakfast every morning at the hotel buffet restaurant. I think I probably consumed 30+ banana pancakes before our trip was over. The spread is unreal and they have the most amazing omelette and sweets station, serving a different french toast or pancake special every morning. For a little extra splurge, try the french press Kona coffee!
We spent most of our pool time at the Serenity Pool. It is the adults-only area of the hotel and very relaxing/quiet. They have a great bar with amazing cocktails (I recommend the frozen pineapple mai tai – served in an actual pineapple), and yummy bites for lunch (mahi tacos were so tasty)!
Last thing I want to mention about the hotel – the concierge was insanely helpful in planning our stay/excursions. We were told this in advance so we really didn’t make a lot of advance reservations for things to do away from the hotel. We wanted to talk to the concierge to get their recommendations. More on what we did later, but just wanted to mention that they are a bigggg help. If you are going during a busy time, like Christmas or Spring Break – you may want to make some reservations in advance, but otherwise, you should be fine.
Where to Eat
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I loveee to eat and generally plan my trips around the best restaurants and places to eat. Below is a list of all the restaurants we tried as well as my thoughts on each. If you’ve been to Maui and have any food recommendations, I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comment section on this post. 🙂
Duo – this is the restaurant where we had breakfast every morning at the Four Seasons. This is a must do in my opinion, and because the breakfast is so large, we only did lite bites or shared something for lunch so the price truly is worth it. Definitely order the banana pancakes and try the Kona French Press coffee at least once. It is local coffee from the island of Hawaii.
Ferraro’s – we had lunch here a couple of times while relaxing at the beach or by the pool. It is the Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons. We heard really good things about this place for dinner, too, though we never tried it.
Monkeypod – this was probably my favorite restaurant because I was obsessed with the mai tai. This restaurant is located about 5 minutes from the Four Seasons (they will drive you there via their car service), and they have been voted best Mai Tai on the island for 7 years straight. An absolute must do! The fish dish always sells out by end of the day as well as their famous strawberry pie, so I recommend you get there earlier in the night (6pm or so) to beat the crazy dinner crowd and have your choice of the menu.
Flatbread Company – This was one of my other favorite restaurants during our trip. It’s located in Paia Town (more on this later), and they have the most amazing Hawaiian (pork and pineapple) pizza. I also loved their selection of local draft beers if you’re a beer person! 🙂
Morimoto – This is an Japanese Fushion/sushi restaurant located at the Andaz Hotel, a short ride from the hotel. You can also walk to it about a mile away via the path behind the hotel that runs along the ocean. A lot of people raved about this restaurant and I thought it was good, but wasn’t necessarily blown away. I think I had high expectations on the sushi with the fish being so fresh, but it wasn’t any better than my favorite sushi restaurants at home. Still a good option to try, though.
Ka’Ana Kitchen – I really loved this restaurant as well. A great menu, and a nice change up from all the seafood we had been eating throughout the trip. It is contemporary Hawaiian cuisine. It is farm-to-table family style so be prepared to share and try lots of different dishes. This restaurant is located at the Andaz Hotel as well.
Mama’s Fish House – this is the number one restaurant on the island and an absolute must-do in my opinion. The seafood dishes are simple but outstanding and they change everyday depending on that day’s catch. You will not be disappointed even though it is a bit of a drive from The Four Seasons.
Fleetwoods – we wanted to check out the town of Lahaina and had heard good things about this restaurant because they generally have live music every night. We were in for a special treat when we visited because we ran into Mic Fleetwood at the bar – so crazy!! It’s pub fair and a more like chain food, so I would not go for the food but for some live entertainment.
Ululani’s Shaved Ice – Hawaii is known for their shaved ice, and this was deemed best on the island. It’s located in Lahaina and it was SO good! Lots of flavors. I loved it because I’m a huge shaved ice fan, but Drew settled for the gelato across the street. 🙂
Ulupalakua Ranch – Drew and I stumbled across this restaurant when we visited the vineyard on the island, Maui Wine. It’s a bit of a hole in the wall ranch that cooks burgers and pork. Honestly, it made me a little uneasy because it seemed a little too local, haha, but Drew loved it. It’s also a stop on the Road to Hana if you choose to do the drive.
Sarento’s on the Beach – Another Italian restaurant we tried on the island that came highly recommended. Honestly, the food did not blow me away (if you want Italian I’d probably stick to Ferraro’s), but the view was absolutely amazing. I recommend getting a spot on the patio and going early so you can watch the sunset.
The Pint Cork – this was a casual pub spot we tried out in the shops of Wailea. We wanted something laid back the night we arrived at the hotel. Good drinks, and the food was typical pub menu.
What to Do
There are sooo many things to do in Hawaii, and depending on the type of activities you like (relaxation, adventure, history, etc.), the recommend itinerary could vary significantly. When I go on vacation, I like to plan my travels around food/restaurants, relaxation, and fitness or one of a kind activities specific to the area. I’m generally not a history or tour buff, so these are the items I recommend during your trip to Hawaii as well as some of things we didn’t do but wish I had.
1. Take a surfing lesson– probably my favorite thing we did during the trip outside of the hotel. Thankfully Drew and I picked it up pretty quickly or I could have had a different opinion on the experience. We had a great instructor and booked the excursion through the hotel. Highly recommend if this is of interest to you.
2. Visit Ho’okipa Beach Park to watch the surfers – This experience can be hit or miss to be honest. I recommend going when you know there is a swell (big waves), and make sure you bring food/snacks and drinks to watch the surfers. Drew and I loved doing this since we had just learned to surf so we had a great time. It does require renting a car from the hotel but we looped a bunch of activities in so it made sense for the cost of the car.
3. Walk through Paia Town and check out the shops – It’s a very cool artsy district not far from the Beach Park, so we made a day of visiting the Beach Park, Paia Town, Flatbreads Pizza Company and Mama’s Fish House all in experience. It was such a fun day.
4. Visit Maui Wine for a wine tasting – Drew and I love checking out the local wine everywhere we go whether it’s a wine tour or just visiting a local vineyard. This was a lot of fun and it’s on the Road to Hana so a great stop if you choose to make the drive.
5. Check out the Breweries – Breweries are becoming a new hot thing on the island so Drew and I decided to check out the two on the island during our trip – Kohola located in Lahaina and Maui Brewing Co. Kohola is more hole in the wall, small and local and Maui Brewing is the larger more commercialized one. Both are great in their own way.
6. Check out a Luau – We did the Te Au Moana luau and it was a fun experience to do one time, though it was a little on the cheesy side. I think it’s something everyone has to do once. They provide dinner, drinks and a fun show that’s great for kids.
7. Visit Lahaina Town – This town is a little more touristy, but still fun to check out. Lots of good shops and also the location of Fleetwoods, Kohola Brewery and the shaved ice Ululani spot I recommended.
8. Relax – either by the Serenity Pool or book a massage in one of the beach huts with views of the ocean at the Four Seasons – perfect for a honeymoon activity! You will not be disappointed.
A couple of things we did not do that I think we will do when we go back and have more time is the Road to Hana (had heard mixed reviews so we decided to pass this trip), Haleakala Sunrise experience and whale watching. I was unsure about the Road to Hana because some people had said it was a waste of time and since we didn’t have a lot of time on the island we did not want to dedicate a whole day to this. Mid way through the trip we met a couple who recommended we do the Road to Hana using the special app that tells you where to stop and all the sites worth seeing like the Black Sands Beach. When we go back we will definitely do this. The app is called The Gypsy App if your’e interested.
Hopefully this guide gives you a great start as to where to stay, eat and what to do during your trip to Maui in Hawaii. It was definitely a once in a lifetime trip and thought the entire island was so beautiful and the people on the island were so kind. Drew and I will definitely be back.
If you have any questions regarding anything mentioned, you can always send me an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a question in the comment section below!
As always, thanks for stopping by and for your support! Xoxo.