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24 Reasons To Visit Maui

Fat Mum Slim /

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love Hawaii and have fallen deeply, and madly in love with it. I think it’s the perfect location for anyone to visit, and even as soon as I’ve landed back in Australia I’m eagerly hatching a plan on how and when I can get back to keep exploring. It truly is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Recently I spent a week in Maui, and jam-packed that week with some really amazing experiences for my family. It’s probably no surprise, but I fell in love with Maui from the plane ride in… spotting that beautiful water, and that love affair deepened each day that we stayed on the island. Today I’m sharing 24 reasons to put Maui on your bucket list, but more so to make it happen. I could have kept going with this list, but I realised it was already one of the longest blog posts I’ve written. So grab a cup of tea, or a Mai Tai and start reading. Enjoy, and happy holiday planning.

24 Reasons to Visit Maui

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

1. THE SUNSETS

The sunsets in Maui are just something else. I don’t know if it was because we were so blissed up and happy, or if it was because they were stunning, and being able to see the sun set over the water {which doesn’t happen where I live} was just magic. I loved that each sunset draws an audience, and as I looked around me as everyone watched the sun go down… everyone seemed so happy and content. It really was a magic feeling.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

2. MAMA’S FISH HOUSE INN

On our first night in Maui, this was our cottage, and it was mind-blowingly beautiful, and sweet. Mama’s Fish House is a popular restaurant on the North Shore that most people will tell you that you HAVE to visit {and I might tell you the same}, but right next to the restaurant is a series of little cottages right on the beach. The kids had a blast on that hammock, chasing little gheckos around, and watching the waves roll in. It’s a beautiful spot to stop and stay for a while.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

3. THE SELF-DRIVE

Maui, the island, is around the same size as it’s sister, O’ahu… but it’s a whole lot quieter. The roads are less busy and I think it would be a crime to not rent a car and explore the island. There’s so much to see, and in five days it was impossible to see it all {so we’ll just have to go back}. Maui is a great place to go driving around on, and I loved that we could do that with the girls, and stop whenever they needed something easily… or when I saw something that I wanted to photograph. We spent a little extra to have this Jeep Wrangler, but I recommend it, especially if you plan on exploring Up Country, or going on the Road To Hana.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

4. THE SWIMMING

It kinda goes without saying, but Maui is an awesome place to swim… in the ocean, at the waterfalls, in the pool. Bring your cossies/bathers/swimmers, cos there’ll be swimming. Yay!

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

5. MAMA’S FISH HOUSE

The North Shore is a slower pace than the other side of the island. It feels almost untouched, and it is just beautiful. Mama’s Fish House is located on the coastline, and has the most beautiful food. It has lots of yummy seafood, and has the most stunning surrounds. As we waited for our table, it was interesting to see all of the celebrities that had visited too. There were so many.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

6. SURFING GOAT DAIRY

Surfing goats? Say what now? OK, the goats don’t surf, but it’s enough to get you intrigued, right? I wouldn’t have thought that I’d like to see some goats, but I knew the kids would… and then I loved it so much that it turned out to be one of my favourite things we did on the island. Surfing Goat Dairy is a working farm, and we got to milk the goats, learn about them and then try out the beautiful goat’s cheese {the best part!}. They make the best goat’s cheese I’ve ever tasted, because it’s not so goaty. They even do a sweet yoghurt which is a must-try.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

7. THE HULA-ING

As someone that would never sing or dance in public, this one might come as a bit of a surprise, but I can hula. In fact my whole family can, even Hubby rocks the male hula. We love it. There’s a real art to it, and I definitely recommend trying it. You’ll be stoked that you can move your hips in that way. There are free lessons at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel for guests, and I encourage you to jump in and try them. Hula with me!

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

8. THE WATER SPORTS

Bring your snorkeling gear, cos you can snorkel straight off the beach in Maui. Over at Ka’napali Beach there’s great snorkeling, especially around Black Rock. There’s a very good chance you’ll spot a turtle in your travels. We were just swimming near the coastline, and a turtle swam right up to us. It’s the most magic experience. It’s also perfect for Stand-Up Paddle-Boarding, and if you like bigger surf then you might like to check out the waves on the North Shore, particularly Ho’okipa Beach.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

9. THE LUSHNESS

As we drove around the island of Maui, we loved that one minute we’d be on the coast, the next in a more arid area, and then we’d be hit with the lush greenery around us. You can even head Up Country and feel the temperature drop 10 degrees {Celsius}. There are so many climates in one island. Mind blown.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

10. THE FAMILY TIME

We holiday to spend time together as a family, and while we mostly choose to visit tropical locations, it’s simply because it makes everyone happy. I love that when we visit Hawaii, Maui in particular, we come away so happy because we’re doing things we all love. No one has to compromise. It’s bliss.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

11. THE INSTAGRAM-WORTHY COLOURS

Oh man, the colours! The buildings and shops in both Paia Town and Lahaina have the most beautiful coloured buildings. This is outside Frida’s Mexican Beach House in Lahaina.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

12. HO’OKIPA BEACH

Just a short 20 minute drive from the airport, you can find this super popular beach. We stopped up at the top car park, and checked out the view from the rocks {it’s amazing that right next door is a farm with cows grazing!}, and watched as the surf smashed into the shore. It was a big surf day, and out on the water was loads of surfer, and even kitesurfers.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

13. THE TURTLES

Turtles are protected in Hawaii, so you can’t touch them and you have to stay about 10 feet away at all times {which can be hard to do when they swim right up to you – but you have to try}, and they’re also very respected. You can find as many as 30 basking in the sun in the afternoons on Ho’okipa Beach. This one was around 50 years old, and loving the sun.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

14. THE FOOD

This probably deserves to be at the VERY top of the list, and I’ve shown much restraint by not talking about it until now… but the food… OMG. It’s good. It can be as simple as poke from the local Foodland {buy the non-frozen one for freshness}, or go all out and have lunch at Mama’s Fish House. There’s little trucks all around the island that you can stop at, including Like Poke at Kahului that are worth stopping at and trying their wares. There’s yummy pies at Leoda’s Pies, beautiful food at Kula Bistro in the Up Country, and in Lahaina you’ll find so many great places to eat. I suggest heading a little out of town to a series of three restaurants; Frida’s Mexican Beach House, Honu and my favourite, Mala Ocean Tavern. In Paia, definitely get in early at the Paia Fish Market for a fish burger, a-mah-zing!

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

15. THE SHAVE ICE

TRY THE SHAVE ICE. My favourite is at Tobi’s Shave Ice in Paia. The art to a good shave ice is a good scoop of quality ice cream in the bottom {choose from vanilla or macadamia vanilla} and then a good natural flavouring, topped with lashing of condensed milk. The Haleakala Sunrise at Tobi’s is amazing, and tropical, and delicious.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

16. PAIA TOWN

I fell in love with this sweet town. It’s filled with beautiful restaurants, and stores with locally created goodies. Take a stroll through, shop and stop to eat. It’s a beautiful place.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

17. LAHAINA

Lahaina is a little bigger than Paia, but it’s just as beautiful. It’s right on the water, and a little more touristy {so a great place to stop and get souvenirs}. Head to the Banyan Tree to meet some locals, experience the grandeur of the Banyan tree {it’s so huge!} and shop at the stalls from locals. It’s a great town to spend some time in with the family, and even at night it’s a nice place to potter around.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

18. THE SCENERY

Everywhere is beautiful. Even the roads are located so close to the coast that you get the best view as your cruise around. It’s just stunning.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

19. THE LUAU

We enjoyed the Luau at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel which was amazing. Beautiful food, great entertainment, and the kids got tattoos from the locals. It’s a definitely must-do if you’re staying at the hotel, and if not apparently there is a great Luau in Lahaina as well.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

20. THE HAWAIIAN-NESS

Maui feels really untouched, and still Hawaiian… which I know might sound weird, but it’s true. The resort we stayed at for most of our stay, Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, is the most Hawaiian Hotel in Hawaii. It’s owned by Hawaiians, and you can feel that in the hotel. There’s local crafts for sale in the lobby, the hotel doesn’t feel overdeveloped, and it feels respectful of the Hawaiian heritage. I really loved that.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

21. THE BEACHES

I love the beaches in Hawaii. The water is so beautiful that you can walk right in and feel like you’re walking into a bath. The waves aren’t too big. It’s so clean. You have to experience them.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

22. THE DRIVES

There is so much to explore, and the drives are gorgeous. Like seriously, look at that ^^, we’re above the clouds!

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

23. HALEAKALA CRATER

Haleakala Crater is a dormant volcano that sits above the clouds. Experience a chilly climate, really thin air, beautiful landscapes that you’ll remember forever, and volcanic rock. I heard that the sunrises on Haleakala is the best experience ever, but I think any of time of day is magic as well.

24 Reasons To Visit Maui

24. THE COOLNESS

Maui is just cool, through and through. I feel like we only just scratched the surface and we need to go back to explore more, and we will… time and time again, I’m sure.

Have you been to Maui? What do you love about it? If you haven’t been, is it on your bucket-list?


My family and I travelled as guests of Hawaii Tourism Oceania.

 

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  • Leanne

    Oh Yes Chantelle, I loved reading your story, as well as watching the You Tube video as well. How lucky for you to spend time with a local, and what a wonderful experience for your girls. I LOVE Hawaii, our first visit was in 2009, and since then I have been 7 times, have just planned out next one, in March with our 3 adult children. I have been with all of them before, but at different times. We are going to Kauai, Maui & Oahu. Have you been to Kauai? That is my absolute favourite, although Maui is a close second, oh and I love Oahu as well. The big island we didn’t get to see all that we wanted to – its a big island! But I would love to go back there as well. I think what I love about all the islands – tops is the people, but you can go and adventure in the morning, chill in the afternoon, and have a great sunset, cocktail or two and dinner in the evening, and shop well into the night as well, so you come home having had the best time, and you don’t feel like you need a holiday to get over your holiday – you just come home and plan the next one! So I just counted and its only 16 weeks till we leave – doesn’t sound long in weeks. I can’t wait to spend uninterrupted chill time with my family, so looking forward to it. Mahalo and A hui hou Hawaii!

    • Wow, that’s going to come around quickly. I haven’t been to Kauai – what do you love about it? xx

  • Tess Pretty-McMahon

    We have travelled to Hawaii 3 times now, but this year was our first trip to Maui, and loved it. I was suffering morning sickness (disguised as motion sickness) at the time and didn’t know it, but it didn’t stop us from getting out and seeing it all. Watching the sunset from the top of Haleakala was sensational (and freezing), the Road to Hana was great, and we managed to find Charles Lindberghs grave site. But if you don’t mind food, the cream puffs are to die for at T.Komoda Store and Bakery in Makawao. They have been a tradition since 1916 and we are so glad that we stopped in and tried them!

  • We stayed at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel on honeymoon and we’ve been itching to get back to Maui ever since. We’re hoping we’ll make it next year for our 10 year anniversary. It’s much more intimate than Oahu and next time we’ll definitely hire a car and go follow (but not in a stalker way) in your footsteps!

    • I hope you get back there. I thought of you guys while I was there. It would have made for a magic honeymoon. 🙂

  • Melbourne_Mum

    I love Maui! We’ll be back there in 2 weeks woohoo! We stay at the Hyatt – beautiful pools and gardens (flamingoes and penguins). Surfing lessons were great last time. A sunset walk along Ka’anapali walk to the Whaler’s Village for dinner is gorgeous. We heard there’s cliff diving at the Sheraton Black Rock or thereabouts so keen to see if that’s true. It’s literally paradise on earth.

  • Love your Hawaii stories, looks like paradise ?

  • Dee

    Your pictures are amazing! I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, since the Brady bunch did!

  • Denise Blust Vermillion

    I love all your pictures, but especially the one of your girls learning to hula. It’s precious. I have to say I love Maui too – you need to try the Noodle House in Lahaina. It’s across the highway in an industrial park. To die for. But if you want real “Hawaii-ness”, you need to go to Kaua’i 🙂

@Fatmumslim