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Maui, Hawaii Travel Guide

March 12, 2024

By:

LIY Ambassadors

LIY Ambassador Lisa here sharing my recent experience traveling to Maui, Hawaii! From the moment we broke through the clouds and saw the island upon descending, a sense of peace overcame me.  Watching the sunset as the lush green island became more vibrant upon landing; I knew we were heading to someplace magical.

We packed everything in carry-on luggage, knowing that we would have washer and dryer available if we needed to wash clothes (or even better, come home with a suitcase full of clean laundry!). So, for 5 days, we were ready to go!

The Maui airport is the cutest, open air hub that you will ever experience! The sweet salt in the air and the tropical scent you breathe in while walking to the car rental area, it is glorious! (Someone please bottle that up and create a candle; it’s unlike anything you will experience in any other tropical climate!) Maneuvering through the airport is a literal breeze and in no time you are in line to get your car.

NOTE: Ubers are few and far between on the island and sometimes you will wait for a while, but sometimes you may get lucky and have a driver nearby. Highly recommend if you are exploring off property for a few days to rent a car; having a Jeep is super fun!

When we arrived at our resort, Outrigger Honua Kai Resort & Spa [a little before 9pm local time] we were greeted with so much aloha upon checking in. We were able to leave our bags at the front desk and headed to the pool bar and grab a bite to eat and listen to the ocean. Listening to the waves made us so excited to see the property the next day! 

The staff at Duke’s is AMAZING and we looked forward to lunch and cocktails in the days to come hanging at the pool. 

Waking up the next morning to palm trees and the sight of the ocean from our balcony was something that my midwestern husband and I needed as we were still in deep winter at home. Although it was cloudy and cool that day, the palm trees made it bearable. 

We spent the rest of the day walking the property, which is a large resort that has several buildings oceanside that are all connected with several pools and a lazy river that is just about a mile long that you can float around.  You could rent chairs to go to the beach and watch whales and turtles, but there were no lounge type chairs or umbrellas set up on the beach side. The grounds were immaculately kept and it was total paradise!  Later in the day we decided to get in the car and head down to another resort that had a Maui Brewing Restaurant onsite. We had the most wonderful afternoon watching whales from the shore and enjoying a slow pace; truly being on island time.

One of the highlights of our trip was taking the Road to Hana. We knew that this was going to be an adventure and a day with lots of driving. To even start the journey, we had to drive over an hour from the other side of the island to get there. Please know that Maui had been experiencing a lot of rain and on the day that we had set aside to do this, it was cloudy, rainy, and cool. We stopped at the first mile marker that was clearly visible from the road and were excited to see the waterfalls. Unfortunately, due to the rain, there were trails and areas that we were unable to hike and see the higher waterfalls; as they were closed due to the conditions. However, what we were able to see and experience was breathtakingly beautiful and never once did we take for granted the beauty we were able to experience!  Due to the weather conditions, we only made it halfway, and chose to turn around as the road is very narrow, has lots of sharp curves, and the rain was making it harder to travel.

On our way back to the resort, we attempted to stop and see if by chance we could get into Mama’s Fish House and grab a late lunch, but we were unsuccessful. This restaurant was highly recommended by so many, and we did not think we needed a reservation for lunch, but we were wrong. So I highly encourage you to make that reservation and check this hot spot out. It looked absolutely gorgeous and will just have to go back and try again sometime!

We spent a fun local evening at Nalu’s South Shore Grill.  We pulled up and the line was 20 people deep waiting, and we knew we rolled up on a local hot spot. There was live ukulele music playing from a local musician and the food was beyond delicious! All local items to choose from and fresh island salads, it was by far one of the best meals we had while there.

Another evening we spent in Kihei walking to and from different spots enjoying Happy Hour Specials.  A couple places we enjoyed were Ohana Seafood Bar & Grill (fun live music and delicious Mai Tai’s!) and Three’s Bar and Grill had delicious appetizers to choose from.

Maui is still healing from the tragic fires this past fall, so everywhere we went, we did try to help the local community as much as we could. We were sensitive to conversations and allowed space for continued recovery and kept an open ear and mind to what locals were comfortable in sharing or not sharing. 

This trip was filled with so many wonderful memories. While everyone enjoys vacationing differently, we did not want to pack our days with excursions as we truly were on island time. We needed some R&R time and to soak in the beauty of the island. Just driving around the island is magical. There are so many places to pull off and just sit and watch the whales, watch the tide change from higher elevations, and witness a beauty that is truly indescribable. There is so much of the island that we didn’t even get to explore or see, so we cannot wait to go back and explore all over again. 

Where We Ate:

Where We Stayed

What To Pack

Download or print to check off for your packing list too!

Note: Keep in mind that Maui is pretty casual. Also, we bought sunscreen on the island to ensure it was coral reef safe for the water!

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