I’ll be honest, Cassidy and I spent the better part of our Maui vacation relaxing, reading in the sun, and enjoying good food, all of which I highly recommend. We had plans to do more and see more, but it just felt so good to unwind in tropical paradise, and reset for our next season. We did make time for a few activities, so I’m making suggestions based on that, but also listing a few things we could have done, had we either planned accordingly or willed ourselves to move from the beach/pool situation more.
What to do in Lahaina:
Seriously, do NOT miss this recreational activity. And don’t just snorkel. Splurge for the SNUBA, no questions asked. This was hands down, one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. As our diver said, snorkeling is 2D. SNUBA takes it to three dimensional. Our diver was Todd, and if you can, for sure make a reservation to go with him.
We did the Discover Kaanapali tour with Trilogy, and the entire crew was incredible. They served both breakfast and lunch, as well as some snacks, which also makes it feel even more worthwhile. Make sure you eat and drink lots of water, because it really does exert a lot of energy! We let them know ahead of time I am gluten free, so they had a little açaí bowl prepared for me (which you know is practically my love language if you follow me on Stories), making me a happy camper!
I was a little cautious and unsure, but one of the girls on our excursion was a SCUBA diver, and she told me beforehand that she initially hyperventilates every time she goes. Had I not been aware of this, I wouldn’t have recognized the signs of what was happening, but this is exactly what happened to me. It’s against your normal human-survival-nature to be able to breathe underwater. I was completely panicking but Todd motioned to slow down my breathing and relax, and then I was able to figure out what I was doing wrong. Once I slowed down, and learned to trust the equipment, I was able to navigate the art form that is balancing out your ears, and then I settled in and enjoyed the swim.
We swam through the coral reef, saw a puffer fish, and swam next to several sea turtles just feet from us! One even almost ran right into Cassidy’s goggle face!
Be sure to read all of the information they give beforehand. My biggest recommendation is to wear and take reef safe sunscreen (I obviously personally love the Beautycounter line) the entire time you’re in Hawaii. If you go in or after 2021, that will be all that is sold in the islands anyway, thanks to groundbreaking legislation, but it’s really just so much better for the reef, as the cheap stuff permanently damages it. You can read more about our environmental takeaways from Hawaii here.
The whole experience was absolutely amazing! Definitely a must!
Explore downtown Lahaina
This is pretty straightforward, but if you’re like us, and on Eastern time, it’s easy to get up early, watch the sun rise over the mountains (depending where you are on the island), and go to downtown Lahaina before the night owls are even conscious. We went ahead and went to breakfast as soon as Down the Hatch (read my Where to Eat in Maui post) was open. Parking can be a challenge in this area, so getting in early helps, and then it was nice to take our coffee to go and just walk around while it was quiet and not as hot. These were honestly some of my favorite mornings. It felt like we really got to enjoy the slow pace of the island lifestyle before it was dominated with tourists.
Wake up for the sunrises
As I said above, the time change really helps to be able to enjoy this part of God’s creation. Since we were in Lahaina, and we had a dual ocean and mountain view from our balcony, we got to see the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever experienced in my life. Our trip came at a pivotal moment for me personally, so it was so special to hear God’s voice and assurance in those quiet moments before the rest of the world was stirring. It felt like He had painted the sky just for me. I will forever remember those precious mornings.
What to do in Maui
This is something we didn’t get to experience, but not for lack of effort on our part. If you know you are going to Maui, spots are open up for this sunrise tour up to 60 days in advance. Once this window closes, you have to wait until two days in advance and at the 7:00am HST mark, you can possibly score a spot. We almost got in, but the spots filled before we could click the final button. It’s cut throat, and unfortunately we had booked our trip after the 60 day mark. Sunset is supposed to be great too, but we had sunset reservations elsewhere.
Drive the Road to Hana
If I was planning this trip again, I would have done this very first, but the thought of sitting in a car after the longest travel day ever was unappealing. Looking back though, this would have been the time to venture through it both to enjoy the scenery right away, but also because the airport isn’t too far from the first stop. Lahaina isn’t the closest driving time-wise, so it would have taken us almost an hour drive just to get started. If you do the entire thing and take time at all the stops, it would take you a couple days. You have to figure out what matters most to you, but the stops we did (along with some extra driving) are below.
Go to Paia
I talked about the best açaí bowl I ever had in this post, which was in Paia. It’s a cute little surf town, so we walked around a little, but also definitely head from here to the Ho’okipa Lookout, which is also a stop on The Road to Hana. Amazing views. A photo from this spot is on our AT&T screensaver if that tells you anything. If the waves are good, it’s also super fun to watch the surfers and wind surfers. We got to see a ton of sea turtles on the beach too, which was really cool.
If I can offer any advice, honestly, just slow down, unwind, and enjoy the laid-back island life. It takes some time to get around the island, traffic can surprisingly get backed up based on time of day, but just sit back and enjoy the ride. Everywhere you look there are breathtaking views. Bask in the warm sun and experience God’s creation. It is such a special and unique place!