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Maui, 17 days in Paradise

Updated: Mar 1, 2021


MAUI


We took our honeymoon in 2009 to Maui and we said we would return for our 10 year anniversary with our family. We returned in 2019 with our 9 yr old son (yes a Maui baby!) and visited many of the same places we fell in love with on our first trip.


During this time they do require a negative covid test even if you have the vaccine. Please check before you go as these rules can change. At this time you must have it 72 hours before and only from certain companies.


I will talk about all we saw and hope they are open when you visit. Make these reservations as soon as you know you are going: Mamas Fish House, we liked an hour before sunset so you can see it at day time and night. Old Lahaina Luau, Sunrise on the Volcano. I will talk more about these below.

Flight I saved up all my Delta points to fly us all out first class for free for both trips. I use my Delta American Express card for everything and racked up just under 900,000 delta miles in 9 years for the second trip. This allowed us to fly first class with the beds! I highly recommend you do this too as this was one less big expense.


Click on the links below for pictures from each:



Car Rental We booked our rental car through Costco, they carry most of the name brand places. You need a membership but you do not pay when you book. If the price changes you can cancel your reservation and redo it for a cheaper rate. We have used them a couple of times and always found them to be the best value! They also allow two adults to be on a reservation without the extra charge.


Check your car insurance and see if they cover rental cars or if you need to buy the insurance. I always take pictures of your car when you get it, the mileage and inside and when we return it with the pictures showing we are in their lot. The company we used, (not Costco) did send us a letter 6 months later saying there was damage and they charged my husbands card a huge fee but after sending pics we proved we did not, so they came in handy. You can rent car seats through the company. Our son was old enough to not be required to use it but we want him to have one so we ran to Walmart and got a cheap one and donated it when we left. It cost the price of one day rental for the seat. As for GPS rental, our phones worked for most drives (not Road to Hana) so only rent a GPS if you like the big screen. We brought our cell phone holder with us for the rental car.


We first rented a jeep, but then it was a pain to put the top up when it would randomly rain so we traded back for a convertible like we had on our honeymoon.


Costco If you know my husband you know his love for Costco and how every trip we always have to hit Costco first thing!


Speaking of cars and Costco. They usually have the cheapest gas at Costco so we would fill up there anytime we were on that side of the island.


They do sell gift certificates to some places to eat and some events, for cheaper but we did not purchase any as well we didn't think of it and saw them the last day! lol


Suntan lotion

Hawaii now has about reef safe suntan lotion so we just waited to buy ours there. I figure they sell it, it must be approved.


Breakfast To save money, we ate most breakfasts in the condo. Although a loaf of bread is roughly $7-9, so not as cheap as eating at home. We stocked up on foods at Costco for the over 2 week stay.


Where to stay The islands has different areas. When you sight see, try to stay in the same area to save time. Kihei and and Wailea are close to each other. We stayed in Waliea on the honeymoon at the Marriott there and we loved it. This trip we stayed in a condo in Kihei across from the beach to be able to make our own breakfast and now have 3 people stuck in a small room for 17 days and to be able to do laundry. We loved the kihei and Wailea area. Some like closer to Lahaina. We also got a great rate on a 2 bedroom condo for $125 a night. It was not ocean front, but the subdivision was across the street from the beach so very convenient. We decided to spend money and stay longer then to pay for a view for a shorter trip.

There is Upcountry that has the Volcano, Lavender Fields, Pineapple fields, Kula Lodge, Goat Farm, glass blowing and more. The IAO area and area and Bailey House are another area. Paia, Hana, Baldwin Beach, start to the , start to the Road to Hana, Mommas Fish House, and , and Ho’oikpa(where the turtles are) is another area but near the UpCountry area some. The Airport area has Costco, Walmart, Sugar Museum, Target etc. Maalaea is the area of the aquarium, the bumper boats and where you get some snorkeling crusies. Lahaina is another area about an hour from the airport and Kaanapali is past it.

Here are some tips: *You may want to bring shopping bags from home as Maui is plastic free and you have to buy bags here. *It gets dark early here. In June it was dark around 7:30/8 in the winter months earlier. I noticed they do not have many street lights, so it is dark to drive. *Interesting fact: there are no snakes in Maui *They are using mostly paper straws and you need to ask for a straw if you want one. *We are from Atlanta, while we were there, it was a heat wave. Most places are open air and not air conditioned. If you rent a place make sure it has air conditioning if you want it. Most have just window units too. *Do not take nature from the island. Please leave all shells, lava pieces etc there.


*Stay 20 feet away from turtles. It is a law and you can be fined.


*Items I suggest to bring: Water shoes (keens/tevas/Chacos to hike) pool shoes hat if you want to block the sun water camera or Go Pro We used the Black Hero 7 Go Pro with the floating handle stick for the water. Dry pak cell phone holder-this is a must. Great to keep hotel key and cell phone in at the beach and if you drop your phone in the water while swimming or doing water sports it floats. I only trust this brand! Everyone should have one fore each phone! *everything is more expensive here so I always try to bring my necessities from home *cheap raft to float in and leave there *bug spray for Hana, top of the volcano and IAO ( other areas we never noticed any bugs) *rain gear ( we brought umbrella, rain coat and disposable rain coat) *reef safe sun tan lotion *backpack cooler ( we got one at Costco in Maui) or you can get this one off Amazon

*Warm clothes for the top of the volcano. They say general rule is 30 degrees cooler than at the bottom. We brought old stuff for this and left it in the condo for the next renters.

*two piece suit ( I am heavy and never wear them but got one that covered up most of me but was so easy to take off in the porta potties at beaches and road to Hana)




Apps: I suggest the following Maui Happy Hours app. This will tell you what part of Maui has happy hours. Shaka Road to Hana $9.99 or Gypsy Road to Hana $9.99 Great to hear history and know about stops.

*Amazon affiliate


DAY 1 We landed about 6:oo Pm Maui Time. Before you land they will have everyone fill out one declaration per household asking if you are bringing in any fruit or animals. Make sure to have a pen handy and know where you are staying when you fill these out on the plane. You then turn them in on the plane. You deboard and leave like any other flight. I really wish they had people here selling Lei’s! I found this company on line while on the trip.I wish we had know about this as I would have had it done as my son so wanted one there. https://leigreeting.com/ We did grab some at Costco the next day. There is a store I found when we left, if you do not go to baggage claim from Delta area when you deboard. Pass the turn right to baggage claim and walk straight. Walk to the area with stores. Take a left like you are going to the other gates and there is a little store on the left. They are in a fridge on left they were 2 for $20 when we went home.

Maui now has a nice new car rental area that just opened when we went on 2019. You get your luggage and then you will see a sign for the tram to car rental. Cross the street, board the tram. You get off at the second stop. Stop one is for ticketing. You go to your car rental place and check in. There are very nice bathrooms here, if you need them and then go downstairs. They will tell you a spot your car is in like A 25 and you go find it. When you leave they ask for your rental agreement and the license of the person who rented it. Make sure you know how to take a top off a jeep or convertible if you do not know how before you leave. When you pull out get far right to exit the airport area. (Don't forget to take pics of the car!) Just an fyi we had to go back the next day. If you ever need to drop someone off at the rental area, you can go in and drop them off and not have to show the papers to get out and continue on your way.

Now it is time to go enjoy paradise. There are a few places to eat around here, a Costco and a and a Walmart.


I love all the neat items you can find there are they have covered seating to eat under. Walmart (and McDonald's) are near by too. We ran in here too to grab some things too.


FYI roosters walk around every where so don't worry.




DAY 2 We started the day at a favorite place from our honeymoon, Fred’s in Kihei for breakfast. I think technically is it called Mooses for breakfast. It amazing food and cheap if you find the buy one get one free coupon. Fred’s over looks the ocean so its a nice view while you eat. There is a great little store next store with jewelry and gifts.

We then went to Big Beach also know as Makena Beach6600 Makena Alan, Kihei, Hi 96753. This beach is beautiful to look at, but very dangerous to swim in. They have big waves that crash at the beach and read many reviews not for children and dangerous. A man died there the day we left. There are lifeguards here till 4:30. There is not much shade here either. They do have portable bathrooms here and 3 lifeguard stations. I still recommend going here for the beauty, but please be careful if swimming here. Next to it is Little Beach, Maui's nude beach. You can not see it from here. When you drive up its the stop before. We just put in google maps Big Beach to get directions. Read Day 4 adventure as just up the rode is a lava field!



We then went to We then went to Matteos Osterio for dinner, again another place we went to on our honeymoon. It has great Italian food and is located in for dinner, again another place we went to on our honeymoon. It has great Italian food and is located in Wailea. They do have a children's menu and were great about getting my sons food out first for him.


DAY 3 My cousin lives in the Island of Oahu, so she flew in for the day as I had not seen her in a while. We picked her up at the airport. Easy to do if you need to pick up people. Go passed ticketing and the next section is to pick people up. We then went to the We then went to the Mill House/Maui Tropical Plantation for a 11:30 reservation. This whole place is a must but heard during covid it shut down. I really hope it opens back up! I fell in love with it right away and can not believe more people do not recommend this place. We made a 11:30 reservation. We got there about 11 and went to the fruit stand they had there. My son wanted coconut water so we got him one. We found out, get a green one to drink and the brown ones are better for the meet. It was delicious! We then went to the little store to look around as we waited for our reservation. We had bought ahead of time tickets for the tour at 1:00. I highly recommend you do this! I checked in and got a pamphlet with our time on it. I also got 2 bags for $2 each of duck food for my son and cousin to feed the ducks. located behind the restaurant. We then went to the Mill House to eat. Make sure to try to sit outside. It is such an amazing view. The pictures could not capture the beauty! It makes you feel like you are in Jurassic Park minus the dinosaurs! The food was amazing and so was the service. Mention Kihei Dinning Magazine for a free desert. We got the Toasted Pavlova and it was Devine! We then went to find the tram. We loaded and were off for our 45 min tour. They do a great job of showing you what they have on property such as apple bananas, papaya, mango, macadamia nut, coffee, plumeria, coconuts and more. They then stop and you learn how to husk a coconut.

You end up back where you started and they give you a fruit cup sampling of some of the fruits you saw today. This place is amazing and a must in my book. It is very rare my son, husband and I all agree on a place and we all give it a 10!! My cousin also enjoyed it!! It was the perfect place!! They also do a farm to table Chef dinner here too! I hope we get to go back for it! Children under 11 are not permitted so adults can enjoy the experience. They also do zip lining here too! We then went back to We then went back to Big Beach to show my cousin.

For dinner to balance the expensive lunch we went to For dinner to balance the expensive lunch we went to Coconuts. We had heard they had amazing fish tacos so we decided to try it. There are 2 locations. This one was located upstairs near Kam Beach II. You order when you first walk in then seat yourself at cute little surf board tables. The fish tacos come in 2's and they have 17 items on them. They are messy to eat! From this location you could watch the sun set out the windows.

We then went to try to find shave ice. The place we wanted to go was closed, so we then went to try to find shave ice. The place we wanted to go was closed, so we went to Peace, Love and Shave Ice. Its located in a parking lot of a strip mall. We stumbled upon this place. They have different flavors and you get these cool containers they sit in while you eat. You then return them to an area when done. They have maybe 10 bar stools around it to sit at and eat.

DAY 4 We started our day driving to the Kihei Fruit Stand. We loved eating fresh fruit everyday!

When we arrived we saw the place Sugar Beach Bake Shop next door had next door had Malsadas. My neighbor back home had told us how amazing they were so we got in line to order some. They have different flavored ones. We liked the regular sugar ones the best. They make them fresh so you may wait a few minutes and then you get them at the shave ice window. They also had amazing macadamia nut sticky buns!


We then ran to ABC Store to shop next door! I spent way to much money here over our whole trip! I love it here!

We then went to drive to Big Beach and then went on to the and then went on to the Makena Lava Fields. Since our honeymoon they have paved the roads and added a real place to park and stop to look. Just pass Big Beach and keep driving and you will come to them. Make sure you have good hiking shoes here. I did the walk with a broken foot down to the water. We saw many snorkel here too.



Maui Ocean Center

We missed this our first trip to Maui, so now with a son we were excited to go. I had read do it on a rainy day but most of it is outside so, I just know that if you go on a rainy day. They do have an amazing new humpback whale 3d movie inside. There are only a few exhibits here I am.. We are from Atlanta, so we compare a lot to our aquarium and it was just ok but still glad we went as it was different. In our opinion it was not wroth the $100 for the 3 of us in our mind. I do know if you buy tickets online you get a little discount. Again, we had the GA Aquarium so its hard when we compare it to it. They do have a snack place, a place to hold a star fish, and a little playground. In out minds it was to pricey for what little they had. (Sorry just being honest) They have a great gift shop too. When you go in they are to give kids a paper they can go around and do rubbings on. We were never given one and my son saw it at the end and was disappointed. So be sure to ask for one. Outside the aquarium is some shops and places to eat. We then drove to Lahaina. Look around for coupons for $5 off or coupon for a free gift. We got a card with all the fishes on it.


The aquarium was half way to Lahaina from Kihei. So we journeyed on the scenic route to there. There is a place to pull over and look at the ocean.

We had dinner at Fleetwoods. This is another must in our books and make sure to get a reservation at sunset up top!

Fleetwoods is located on Front Street in Lahaina. They open for dinner at 5:00. We made our reservation on Opentable.com. While I think anyplace would be fine to sit, you really want a rooftop table! They luckily could accommodate us! The view of the water is stunning and would be great to actually watch the sun set there. We had left before it did. They have at 5:45 a sunset ceremony up here. A native comes and teaches you a few words in Hawaiian and then he lights the torches.


The service was fab and the food was amazing. Again, rare all three of us love a place and this is one. You must get the pineapple pie for desert and my son loved the raw cookie dough cookies!!



Lahaina Luna Cafe,we did not eat here but looked like good food at reasonable prices. It is right next to Ululani's.


My son wanted a shark necklace and Whalers in Lahaina is the place to go. He had one on and she told him about the one he had one. He had been saving his money for one and got a nice one. Most are not cheap! I mean who knew you could spend $90 on a tooth? No, we did not!



They do have some cheap ones for $5 if you want a cheap one. The lady was wonderful and very knowledgeable here. If you want a shark necklace this is the place to go!


We then wondered the street looking in the shops, stopped to watch the sun set and see the Banyan Tree.

We then had to get the famous We then had to get the famous shave ice from from Ululani’s This is the best shave ice in Maui! This is the Lahaina location and there is one in Sugar Beach too. The ice literally melts in your mouth! You chose a size small, medium or large. Then choose a preset flavor or mix 3 of your choice, You can add ice cream or a cream on top for an extra price. I loved the topping!. Then sit back and enjoy heaven! Be prepared to stand in line. We waited over an hour. But it is worth it!





Day 5

We went on the Maui Pineapple Tour. When we came for our honeymoon 10 yrs ago, we went on this tour. My son was so excited to go on this tour after we told him about it. Purchase tickets here: http://mauipineappletour.com. They were $65 an adult and $55 a child when we went. You can also add on the distillery for $10 more. We did not have time to do this option. I would encourage you to maybe call and see what day they do their picking, When we went 10 yrs ago, they were working in the fields working which we thought was really cool to watch. This time they were not. It would also be cool to see them working in the area where they box the pineapples too. Another note, go on a weekday. We went on a weekend and I had wanted to eat at the restaurant Hali'imaile General Store across the street but they did not open till 5 on weekends. http://www.hgsmaui.com. They do have a food truck here for you to purchase food if needed. Buy your tickets on line ahead of time. Plan to get there 15 min before the time. It was very easy to find. My Verizon cell service went out right before we got there, so remember which way you came and the GPS worked in 1 mile. It was a very easy drive. Check in and then sign the waiver for your family. We then used the restroom and boarded the bus. We had brought waters with us, but they have a cooler on board with waters. I will say, I do not get motion sick easily and because it was hot and the roads are bumpy, I was feeling a little queasy. Maybe take a Bonnie or Dramine if you get car sick easy. Also we came during a heat wave, but I wish I had had my portable fan on the bus as it was still hot with air conditioning on. Our tour guide was JC. She was awesome and had a great personality. She was very "sweet!" Get it, like a pineapple! Did you know Maui Gold's are the sweetest pineapples in the world!?! You start driving by going into the fields. She will stop and tell you how they plant them, then a second stop to see the cute baby pineapples, and the third stop to see them almost full grown and she will cut up a few pineapples for you to sample. When we went years ago, they actually let us in the fields to pick our own. She said they stopped this about 2 years ago as you can now bring your pineapples on the airplane with you and will not count as a carry on. They have to be prepared before you can fly with them, so this is why you can no longer pick your own. Please make sure to declare your fruit! We heard you can take 4 pineapples a piece on the place. We had 7 in one checked bag. Next we left the fields and went into the area where they box up the pineapples and this is where you get one pineapple per person. If there are two people in your party you get one box with two. There are a few steps into the area to go to see the boxing, but could easily be skipped if you can not do steps. I had a boot on a hurt foot and did it fine. She then takes you back to where we boarded the bus and this is the you could do the distillery if you have that ticket. We learned a lot about pineapples and were impressed to learn they only have 56 employees! 7 people do all the planting which is beyond amazing to me! They have a shop in Lahaina and she will give you a 10 percent off coupon for that store at the end of the tour. Make sure to tip your guide!! This is an amazing experience and one that you should not miss on a trip to Maui!


We then went to We then went to Fred's Mexican for dinner. It is great place to get good food on the cheaper side. Check out taco Tuesday when you can get fresh tacos for $4 each. They have some awesome fish ones! It has amazing views of the beach from inside the restaurant.We then went to Kam II Beach and my son swam as we waited for sunset. This is a great place to watch a sunset.





Day 6

Top of the Volcano

Stopped at Costco a few minutes out of the way to get the cheap gas! We saw no gas stations once we started driving to go . Also once you get into the park, there is no place for food. We had originally booked a reservation for sunrise on the volcano, but that was the only day my cousin could come so we skipped it as we thought it would be to long a day. Only for sunrise do you need to make a reservation. Reservations are now available, online only, up to 60 days in advance of your sunrise visit. It costs $1 to reserve and then $25 the day of to get in. It is that price no matter when you go. Click here to make a reservation. https://www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/sunrise-and-sunset.htm You can call the reservation line at 1-877-444-6777 to make a reservation over the phone.

A small number of last-minute tickets are released online two days beforehand at 4:00 PM HST. The website will show tickets as sold out until 4:00 PM

Please note that calling the park directly, or visiting in-person, will not result in a reservation since staff at Haleakalā National Parkare unable to make reservations for you.

No reservations for sunset are required at this time.

If you do sunrise, dress warmly! It is usually 30 degrees cooler up there than when you leave your place. No matter what time of day, dress warmly. Have hats, gloves, coats and blankets for sunrise. You also want to get there early to get parking at the top. If not you have to park about 5 min down and walk up, so bring flashlights. Once through the gate where it is $25 ( cash or charge card) it is about 25 more minutes. The road is windy but nothing like Hana. There is a gift shop with bathrooms and a picnic table up there about 10 mins after you paid.