A Taste of Aloha: Top 5 Things to Do in Maui on the Fly
The magical island of Maui is a destination that should be on any traveler’s bucket list. There is just something in the air, maybe it’s the Aloha spirit that runs through the blood of the locals, or maybe it is the intoxicating scent of fresh mint and coconut as the bartender blends up any specialty cocktail. Whatever your reason for visiting this paradise, our recommendation is to plan for at least a week to see as much of the island as possible. There are so many things to do and places to experience, that it is easy to get overwhelmed! A wonderful way to get some insider knowledge on all things Maui is to go directly to the source and start to follow local writers and bloggers. A few of our favorite reads before embarking on our trip were Pride of Maui and Maui Goodness. Both blogs feature fascinating stories about the history of the Hawaiian people, and they do an excellent job at sharing entertaining Top 10 attraction lists and news about what is current and trending in the way of activities, lifestyle and dining options. Since we only had a few days, here are our: Top 5 Things to Do in Maui on the Fly, while still having a true Hawaiian Experience…
I believe this term might have been trademarked by the Mandalay Bay in Vegas, but that aside, there are some super kick ass hotels and resorts to choose from when staying on the island. This time around we stayed at the beautiful Wailea Beach Resort, Marriot Maui (linked to our review post). There are literally hundreds of hotels and resorts that line the beaches, each offering a variety of aquatic adventures, leisure activities, relaxation and local cuisine that will make your mouth water. Honestly, I think we could of spent the entire time walking around our resort eating, drinking and soaking it all in, and we would have been satisfied! Also, if you are not a fan of the larger resorts or on a tight budget, the island does have many condos and rental properties always available on Airbnb. We met a nice couple that rents out a 1 bedroom condo at Kihei Surfside Resort most of the year and most of their guests are repeat customers.
2. Pub Crawl: Kihei’s Barmuda Triangle
Although Honolulu is usually considered to be the “party” island, if you are looking for some wild times sipping strong drinks with locals in a causal atmosphere, then a visit to the “Barmuda Triangle” in Kihei is a must on your next vacation. The area is known as a great spot to grab a drink, no frills grub, people watch, dance to live music the evenings (and during the day if you are in the mood). Easy to locate in the Kihei Kalama Village right along the beach on S Kihei Rd, the triangle is a vibrant and eclectic community of shops, restaurants and bars that has something for everyone.
Our Uber driver first dropped us off at a true local’s hangout: Kahale’s Beach Club. This place has a laid-back vibe, enjoyable conversation and cheap drinks with a daily happy hour that starts at 10:30am! Although Katie and I had a few cocktails here early in the day, we were told that this bar can get pretty rowdy at night. Next, was some locally brewed beer, and amazing spicy tuna rolls at Three’s Bar & Grill. The happy hour is one of the best on the island, and the atmosphere and decor was very welcoming. They also have live music during most hours of the day on the outside patio. Finally, we stumbled upon a funky little joint called South Shore Tiki Lounge. Super friendly staff and bartenders served us a variety of thirst quenching drinks, including our favorite Hawaiian X, a mixture of Stoli Razberi and fresh Maui pineapple! To top it off, we met a brewer, Charlie, from Maui Brewing, and spent the rest of the afternoon talking with him about socially responsible travel and all his adventures abroad. Definitely carve out a few hours of your trip and visit this area, you won’t be disappointed!
3. Snorkeling Molokini
This was one the highlights of the entire trip! Katie planned to enjoy a relaxing massage at our resort, while I packed my bag and headed for the harbor! I did some research at the resort the day before, and found a great company with very reasonable rates called Maui Reef Adventures. When I got to the boat, they had a breakfast of pineapple, danishes, health bars and water waiting for our small group. After a quick introduction and safety briefing from Captain B-rad and Meghan, we were speed boating through the waves waving goodbye to all the larger and much slower boats filled with tourists. The snorkel was unreal, with so many distinct species of fish of all different shapes and colors. I even saw a sea turtle along the reef! They fed all of us a healthy lunch, and the entire time they played soul music on board, and we grooved to classics by Kool & the Gang and Elvis!
4. Traditional Luau Experience
Going to Maui and not attending a Luau, especially if you have never experienced one before, should be outlawed! Since we were pressed for time and only had a couple days, we stayed at our resort and attended the Te Au Moana or “The Ocean Tide” Luau Experience. We are so glad that we did! We feasted on pork cooked in the ground, as stories about the early Polynesians came to life through song and dance. We loved the all you can eat and drink atmosphere, as we kept the tiki drinks flowing, which made for a fun and enriching cultural experience.
5. Craft Beer & Cocktails
Living in San Diego, we are exposed to a fantastic craft beer scene. Katie and I were both eager to see what Maui had in store for us when it came to the variety of craft beer selections available. We were pleasantly surprised after asking around the resort, that Maui and specifically the Wailea area has many wonderful options. If you are in the mood for crafty cocktail or beer, we recommended checking out Monkeypod. Opened in 2011, they are known for their 36 craft brews on tap, and only use high quality and sustainable ingredients in their cocktails and food. Morgan, our bartender, was super helpful in her recommendations and her partner/bartender even bought us a beer for the friendly conversation!