Maui is hands down one of my favorite places in the world (even though I have a long list of favorites). This was my 3rd time back on the island, this time with Rudy’s family, and I know it won’t be the last! For me it’s the combination of relaxed, happy people, bright blue ocean, and fresh caught fish / tropical fruits that make this destination so magical. I think you have to be off your rocker not to like Maui.
We stayed on the “quieter” side of the island, at the Fairmont Kea Lani. The resort was absolutely STUNNING. This trip was mostly spent relaxing on the beach, but when we weren’t there we were either eating or snorkeling. The epitome of a vacation if you ask me. That’s the beauty of visiting a place for the 3rd time… you don’t feel so pressured to get out and explore all that the island has to offer, AKA no time to actually relax and do nothing but sip on a piña colada. Things like the Road to Hana were not part of this trip if you know what I mean.
Since we were lazy bugs, all I can really recommend are some really good restaurants and some fun activities. The Andrews family is BIG on good restaurants so it’s always such a treat (literally) when I go on vacation with them. Here’s where we went:
- Monkeypod. This place was so good we ate here twice on the trip. You MUST get the lilikoi mai tai. Really great menu and lots of yummy options. One night I had fish tacos, the other night I had lobster pasta.
- Ko. This restaurant was in our hotel and one of the best we ate at. Plantation style food and very upscale.
- Mama’s Fish House. This legendary spot is a must-go when in Maui. I can’t believe this was my first time going! Located in the cute little town of Paia, this place takes the cake for fresh fish dishes.
- Nick’s Fishmarket. This place was at our hotel as well. We ate here on the last night and it was nothing short of amazing. Get the calamari and black and blue ahi for apps!
I strongly recommend snorkeling while you’re in Maui! We brought our Laguna Fins (Rudy’s company) with us of course 😉 We saw so many sea turtles each time we went. They are the cutest little creatures. Eel, trumpet fish, Moorish Idols (a Finding Nemo fish lol…), and more! One of the days we did a sailing charter with Island Star Yachts (highly recommend) and we sailed to a great snorkeling spot where we saw the “feeding station”. A group of turtles were posted up in this one area, while all kinds of fish were feeding from their shell. The turtles get cleaned and the fish get fed… it’s a win win!
One thing we were very careful about is using reef-safe sunscreen before going in the ocean. There are a lot of harmful chemicals in most sunscreens, like oxybenzone and octinoxate, that end up in our oceans and kill the coral reefs. It’s great to use a mineral, reef-safe sunscreen before getting in the big blue. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to find in regular stores. That’s why it’s best to bring your own. See a list of reef-safe sunscreens here.
If you guys have any restaurant/activity recommendations for Maui, please feel free to list them below in the comments!