Maui is the all encompassing definition of island life – pristine beaches, tropical palm trees and glorious sunsets. Although K & I planned a good handful of fun activities like surfing and snorkeling, we were determined to slip right into the chill lifestyle of Mauians for the duration of our one week excape. Maui is known for a few must-eat food items: Macadamia nuts, tropical fruits, and Kona coffee. On our first day, we had a delicious hearty breakfast made with local ingredients at Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop. I had their Banana Pancakes which was like eating the best banana bread in breakfast form. K had their house Frittata and a side of Coconut French Toast drizzled in condensed milk. Two thumbs up for this place!
After breakfast we set off to explore the island by driving along the highway that hugs that parameter of Maui. Almost every strip of the drive was filled with views of the dazzling ocean and mighty mountains in the background. There are plenty of spots for scenic views.
Along the way around the border of the western part of island is Iao State Valley – home to one of Maui’s most recognizable landmarks, the 1,200-foot Iao Needle. This iconic green-mantled rock outcropping overlooks Iao stream and is an easy and quick hike.
Past the Iao Valley there is another very interesting landmark known as the Nakalele Blowhole. A fair hike up and down some rocks takes you to a most fascinating force of water that crashes in from the waves and funneling into a blowhole formed in between the rocks resulting in a huge gush of water that shoot up many feet in the air. Do be careful not to go too close to the blowhole as it can literally suck you in!
Be sure to take advantage of the many local fruit stands scattered around the island for some fresh tropical fruit. In the winter months, Papaya was the best and coconuts are a great way to hydrate up.
Seafood is plentiful – we definitely ate our fill of fish! This one was a little place called Maui Fish’n Chips tucked away in a plaza in Kihei serving a variety of grilled and fried fish at a very reasonable price.
For a solid restaurant experience, I would highly recommend Kimo’s if you are in Lahaina. Albeit a bit pricy (Maui is not a cheap vacation destination and Lahaina is more touristy than the other parts of the island) but the food and service here is on point. I was craving a Pina Colada and K had a Mai Tai – both drinks were deliciously refreshing.
The best thing about restaurants in this strip is the amazing view. An open concept patio that offers an unobstructed view of the ocean – come during sunset to dine and watch the sun cast gold and red across the sky.
I ordered their Tuna and Avocado Poke served with crunchy tortilla chips which was so deliciously flavorful and went so well with the chips (they really did not skimp on the tuna!). K had a Pesto Baked Mahi Mahi with fluffy pilaf and a medley of vegetables. The fish was insanely tender and juicy – I can confidently say it was probably the best baked fish I have ever tasted!
Hard to believe some people actually get to see this view every single day. Each sunset was so different and beautiful and we would make a trip to the beach in the evening to watch the wonderful colors dancing in the sky.Stay tuned for more Maui adventures!