My family and I went to Hawaii a couple years ago over 4th of July. We flew into Kahului Airport and were greeted with leis made of fresh flowers. It was about a 45 minute drive to Ka’anapali where we would be staying. The best thing we did was rent a car so we awere able to explore the island freely.
We stayed at the Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas on the island of Maui. The resort we stayed at overlooked the ocean. There was a really good restaurant located in the resort right on the beach called Castaway Cafe where we ate a couple times during our stay since it was so convenient.
We wanted to explore the island but we also wanted to enjoy a couple days relaxing on the sandy beach and by the pool which is what we did the first day since we wanted to relax from the long flight. We did do some exploring after we relaxed for a bit on our own and drove to a geyser we found off the road.
Ka’anapali is in a great location since it is located not far from a grocery store. Since we stayed in a villa with a kitchen, we were able to do some food shopping to save some money on eating out.
On the 4th of July we decided to do the Road to Hana tour with Valley Isle Excursions. The day started out early in the morning and includes hotel pick up and drop off. The first stop was in Paia on the other side of the island where we were given a small breakfast and watched the surfers on Hookipa Beach. After, we headed towards Hana. The Hana Highway is the longest road traveling through a tropical rainforest. There were a lot of stops along the way where we were able to get out and explore the sights.
Half way up the mountain we stopped at this lady’s house where she handmade beautiful Hawaiian leis and offered them to everyone on the bus. When we reached Hana we stopped to eat at a picnic area before heading back down the mountain.
The road is very narrow and I’m not sure how the driver was able to fit the tour bus around those sharp turns. It gave me anxiety looking over the edge of the cliff but it was such a rush.
We ended the tour at a local winery for a short wine tasting of pineapple wine before getting dropped back off at the hotel.
The sunsets were different every night and the colors were unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
That night we went to Lahaina which has a bunch of places to shop and eat. We ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise which was absolutely delicious. If you’re in this area, you have to stop at Hilo Hattie for some good shopping.
The next day we took a boat and submarine tour with Atlantis Adventures. The tour went out of Lahaina where we took a boat out to sea then boarded a submarine. I’ve never been on a submarine before so it was quite interesting. We saw dolphins and many species of fish. If you’re lucky you might see some sharks as well.
This day we also took a tour of a plantation. The Tropical Tram Tour was very fun and we went on a slow day so we were the only ones on the tour. The guide showed us around the plantation and even picked us a small pineapple to take home. The coolest part was the demonstration of getting coconut meat. The guide showed us how to crack open the coconut and get to the meat, when she did we were able to try the freshest coconut I’ve ever had.
One stop I wouldn’t necessarily recommend is the Maui Ocean Center aquarium. Although it was nice to see, it wasn’t worth the price or time. There weren’t a lot of animals to see like a typical aquarium.
That morning we took another tour out of Lahaina to do some snorkeling. Our first snorkel stop was the Molokini crater. For it being my first time snorkeling it was quite terrifying at first but once I realized how amazing it was to see the fish that close up in the clear blue water all the worries melted away. We even got my mom in the water for a bit. The next snorkel stop was by a coral reef. As soon as I put my face in the water I saw a giant sea turtle swim right under me. The water was a lot more rough and the current was a lot stronger which made it difficult to get back to the boat.
That night we went to a luau at the Hyatt Regency not far from where we were staying. The resort was beautiful. We were greeted with beautiful shell necklaces and a Mai Thai. The dancers were absolutely incredible ! I could watch hula dancers all day long, it amazes me. They had a roasted pig that they dug up from the sand in order for it to be carved and served. The Hawaiian music was so relaxing, and the coolest part was the fire dancer at the end of the show. I would definitely recommend doing this luau.
The last day we took a helicopter tour over Maui and the surrounding islands. The views were absolutely breath taking, the pictures do not do it justice.
I loved Maui so much and I honestly can’t wait to go back and explore the other Hawaiian islands as well.
Comment any suggestions you have for my next trip to Hawaii !