Discover delicious food and divine scenery in Maui
Some kama'aina, or first time visitors, never make it to Maui; an upscale version of her sister island’s. Some of the finest food, lodging, and scenery can be found on this charming island.
Sample your way around the island. Top celebrity chefs prepare outstanding dishes with locally sourced produce. Some amazing Zagat listed restaurants include Mama’s Fish House, Gerard’s and Hali’imaile General Store. Food aficionados flock to the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival held annually to sample the local wines and enjoy wine paired dinners, tastings and seminars at this four-day event.
At the Taste of Lahaina sample cuisine from 25 local chefs. Past winning dishes include pineapple crème brulee by Big Wave Café, and Dungeness Crab Ramen from Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi bar, yum. Benefiting local youth groups, this annual event is held each September.
Part of the Maui film festival, Wailea now hosts the Taste of Wailea. Sample cuisine from local chefs, dessert from Duo Steak & Seafood, ono farm banana toffee pudding with salted caramel fudge and coconut ice cream, or Star anise and cinnamon soy duck with rice from Amasia.
Slow down and enjoy the road to Hana. You can expect spectacular overlooks and stunning falls along the road to way. Its 52 miles of State Roads 36 and 360 which snake their way along the steep mountainside. From Kahului to Hana are 54 one-lane bridges and 600 hairpin turns. Expect actual drive time to be almost three hours. Stop at pullouts at the most picturesque spots. Arrive in Hana, and take the time to splash in The Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe’o Gulch. Didn’t pack a picnic for the journey; pick up supplies at “old timey” Hasegawa’s general Store or a meal from one of several roadside stands. The best times for this drive are sunrise and sunset, when traffic is at a minimum. For the brave, a dirt road continues to circle the island but is often excluded in rental car contracts.
Plan to experience sunrise on Mt Haleakala; Mark Twain called it “the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed. ” Tours depart at 3am; so plan this excursion before you adjust to the time zone change. After your park tour you hop aboard a bike and zip 23 miles down the mountain with very little pedaling required. Along the way, multiple stops allow you to enjoy upcountry farms, galleries, botanical gardens, shops and restaurants. Sunrise tour with bike ride runs from $112. Just the bike tour is $68. For those wanting to skip the bike, a van tour is $89.
Visit local landmark, the Iao Needle, which rises 1200 foot from the valley floor. An easy hike along a babbling stream, Iao Valley State Park is open 7am-7pm and admission is $5 for cars. Historically significant as the site of King Kamehameha I’s 1790 battle to unite the islands, this scenic hike makes a perfect afternoon tour.
With over 30 miles of beaches, in colors ranging from standard beach sand white to volcanic black, red and green, there is something for everyone. Beaches are all public in Hawaii, and several have been named “Americas Best Beach” over the years, including Kaanapali in 2003, D.T. Fleming Park in 2006, Kapalua in 1991, and Wailea in 1999.
This is an amazing once–in-a-lifetime experience. Plan enough time to enjoy the amazing food, beautiful scenery and all the swimming and hiking your heart desires.