{travelogue} Maui Update: More Favorite Eats and Activities Around the Island

I love Maui – it’s one of my favorite places in the whole world. I have written previously about some of my favorite places to eat and visit in Maui, but that post mostly covered the Western part of the island. Since then, I have made enough repeat visits to explore most other parts of the island as well. Here is a second round of suggestions for great things to eat and do on Maui!

Hana and East Maui

If you decide to do the drive to Hana I would highly recommend getting up super early to do it so the road isn’t crowded. My top pick for the road to Hana is an extended stop at Waianapanapa State Park for a short hike to the breathtaking black sand beach (there are signs for it once you enter the park.) At the far side of the beach there is an easy trail to explore some more secluded black sand beaches further on. The cave loop was easy and also pretty cool.

For eating on the road, there is a gorgeous hotel in Hana called Traavasa, and you can have a good breakfast/lunch on the patio. It’s expensive but lovely.

If you continue on the loop road from Hana on up through Ulupalakua (which I definitely recommend vs. going back through Hana – although your car rental company might not agree because large stretches of the road are unpaved), hit up the Ulupuluaka Ranch Store for a bowl of some of the finest chili you’ll ever eat – they feed the cows pineapples, so the beef has an outstanding flavor. Across the street you’ll find Maui Winery, which might be your only opportunity to savor fine wine made from pineapples.

Paia and Upcountry

The Paia Fish Market is a casual little shack that has pretty stellar fish options – and since it’s only about 5 minutes from the airport, I like to make a pit stop right after getting off the airplane. Why wait more than a few minutes to start eating that super-fresh Maui seafood?

In the Paia area and heading into upcountry, try Haile’imaile General Store – it’s probably the number one place that foodie-types recommend. They have great food and cocktails, it’s good for lunch or dinner, and rustically lovely but not too fancy for kids.

Another nice spot is the local farmers market in Kula, where folks sell their locally grown produce and homemade jams, hot sauces, marmalades, and more.

If you go up to Haleakala crater, (which I highly recommend- I love the Sliding Sands hike!) there is a funky place called Kula Lodge on the way. We really liked the onion soup and the wood fired pizza. The inside decor is a little 1970s, but the outer grounds are pretty and the view is spectacular.

Also on the way up the mountain, there’s a goat cheese dairy called Surfing Goat that was pretty cool and off the beaten track. The kids got to feed the goats while we sampled different varieties of cheeses.

Kihei and Wailea

My favorite snorkel beach in the Wailea area is Ulua/Mokapu Beach. If you decide to do a boat trip to snorkel, I highly recommend doing the 6:30 AM Kai Kanani boat to Molokini from Makena, because it’s the right amount of time and you’ll be the only boat there, vs. a later trip where there will be 1500-2000 other people in the water. It’s so much nicer and you can see lots more  with only 40 or 50 people around!

If you do find yourself in the Kihei area in the morning for a snorkeling session, there is a fabulous little bakery called Cinnamon Roll Fair – with warm, gooey, homemade cinnamon rolls, perfect if you’re wet and chilly from an early swim.

The best shave ice on the island is found at Ululani’s – with three locations on Maui, including one in Kihei, you’ll never find yourself too far from a sweet, rainbow-striped pile of ice as big as your head.

For what it’s worth, I think the poke counter in the Kihei Foodland is just as good as the one at Lahaina Farms.

Finally, Capische? is a terrible name for a lovely restaurant. There is a gorgeous outdoor seating area with views the lovely boutique Hotel Wailea, and excellent Italian food. I still dream about the chocolate salted caramel tart I had for dessert. Kind of a romantic spot.

West Maui

One of my favorite sunset activities is to go to Kaanapali Beach at sunset, because every evening on the Sheraton end of the beach, there are guys diving off the cliffs. It’s a long stretch of beach that’s great for sandcastles or just hanging out and playing in the water.

Hula Cookies in Lahaina offers ice cream and cookie sandwiches made to order. Of the many combinations we sampled, the favorite was the pineapple/ginger/macadamia cookie with the Haupia (baby coconut) ice cream. A real taste of Hawaii!

And my number one favorite thing to eat in all of Maui is STILL the ahi poke from The Fish Market. I can practically taste it as I type. Don’t miss it.

 What are your favorite places in Maui? What am I missing? 

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