Welcome to Maui! E komo mai!
After check-in, take a deep breath and remember you are now in paradise! Aside from Maui’s vibrant nightlife, everything moves at a slower pace here. You are now officially on “Hawaii Time”, so leave your worries behind and allow yourself to melt into the rhythm of island life. This is your vacation and your time; time to take it down a notch or two and relax.
We have many great recommendations to help ease you into your vacation experience and get you ready to explore all that Maui has to offer! There is so much natural beauty and culture to experience on the island of Maui that the readers of Conde Nast Traveler declare Maui the “Best Island” and “Top Travel Destination” in the world over 18 years in a row (possibly more, we have lost count).
Maui nō ka ‘oi (Maui is the best!)
To help get you started, Maui Vision has a YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheHawaiikat/videos
Our videos capture the fun and magic of Maui. From videos of our beautiful condos and properties, to beaches, Maui fun adventures, amazing videos of specific Maui locations with all its stunning beauty and splendor, you have so much to choose from! Please visit our YouTube channel, as we are frequently creating new videos. We also have many videos on our main website at: https://www.mauivision.com. Our videos will help you stay connected to paradise!
Discount Car Rentals
Maui Vision Rental guests are now able to easily check availability and reserve your rental car at terrific rates. Find your perfect island ride easily and securely. Even better, you do not need a credit card to reserve your car rental online! Reserve your car now: https://mauivision.com/discount-car-rentals/
Maui is a very casual place—shorts, sandals and T-shirts are the standard attire everywhere except for the fancier restaurants. We do recommend you bring a pair of binoculars if you have them, along with your favorite music to listen to or support our local entertainers and get their music to take home with you!
Use of Sunblock and Maui’s fragile eco-system
Please help protect our reefs and sea life. Before you buy or apply sunscreen, please read the ingredients. Be careful what type of sunscreen you apply to your skin. Please consider using ZINC or TITANIUM OXIDE sunscreens only as they are better for you and the ocean. These are considered reef-safe sunscreens and are better for the health of our coral reefs. Mahalo! To read more please visit: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2016/09/03/nr16-182/
Maui Helicopter Tours
There is nothing, and we mean nothing like seeing the island of Maui from the air! Our top pick and recommendation are the professional, experienced and capable staff at Maverick Helicopters Maui. We have flown with this crew, and it is a true “bucket list” experience you won’t soon forget. https://www.maverickhelicopter.com/maui/
Beach and Snorkel Recommendations
You will find some of the world’s nicest beaches in south Maui! These gems are often only steps away from your condo. Noted below are some of our top beach picks.
Kihei and surrounding areas:
Charlie Young, Kama’ole Beach Park I, II, and III. All four parks have wide, white sand beaches to stroll upon or sit back and relax on. You will experience views of the clear ocean, palm trees, native greenery, Molokini Crater, the island of Lanai, and the West Maui Mountains. The waters are fairly calm which make these beaches great for swimming. Each Kam’aole Beach Park has lifeguards, restrooms, barbecue grills and showers. Sunset watching is a major event in south Maui.
Friendly people congregate to enjoy this magical event of light, color and scenery. Maui also has a vibrant underwater world great for snorkeling. The best snorkeling spots are between Charlie Young and Kama’ole Beach Park I, II, and III. Each beach is separated by rocky points. Here you will find the best snorkeling for beginners up to intermediate level. We recommend you swim with a friend for safety. These beach parks conveniently border South Kihei Road where you will find many casual and fine dining experiences.
Further south, about a 5-minute walk or 1-minute car ride from the Kihei Akahi Resort, turn left onto South Kihei Road. You will pass the Kihei Boat Launch, then look for a hotel/condo sign and driveway on your right. The sign is for the entrance of: “Mana Kai Hotel / Five Palms Restaurant / Kihei Surfside….” Turn right. The drive ends at a lava rock wall. Make a left toward the liquor / general store. You will see a sign for free public parking. Once your car is parked, head toward the ocean, pass the Mana Kai Hotel and you are on Keawakapu Beach!
In front of the Mana Kai Hotel and the Five Palms Restaurant is another great snorkeling spot. It is easy to access. Even in shallow waters the reef is colorful and fish are plentiful. You can also walk to this beach from the Kihei Akahi Resort by crossing the street to Kama’ole Beach Park II and then walk along the beach and the new connecting beach trail that starts at the end of Kama’ole Beach Park III. This trail hugs the ocean and takes you to the Kihei Boat Launch. Continue walking through the parking lot and the trail connects to the grassy lawn of Kihei Surfside. Keawakapu is a long expanse of palm-fringed beach with multi-million- dollar homes tucked behind tropical foliage. This beach continues on and connects you to the Resort Walk in front of all the luxury resorts and condos in Wailea. The Walk ends at the Polo Beach Club. The Wailea hotels are truly spectacular and well worth seeing. We suggest you walk through the Grand Wailea while you’re on the Resort Walk too.
You can also reach the Resort Walk by car: Drive south on South Kihei Road through town, follow the signs to the Wailea hotels and turn right from Wailea Alanui onto a small road marked Mokapu Beach/ Ulua Beach. Park in the lot at the end of the road, which puts you right on the Walk. You can go left (south) toward the Polo Club, which is the longer distance and passes more of the hotels.
We also highly recommend Big and Little Makena Beaches. These beautiful beaches are a little out of the way, and most of the people there will be locals or returning visitors. To get there, follow Wailea Alanui and Makena Alanui south from the Polo Beach Club. You will pass The Maui Prince; the last big resort hotel in Wailea. It is located further south and further away from all the other hotels. The two pristine beaches are on the other side of Makena Point (a 360-foot cinder cone or round headland that juts out to sea). Shortly after you pass Makena Point, you will reach the first dirt road entrance to the north end of Makena Beach, aka Big Beach (look for small brown SIGN). You will see cars parked in a lot and this is where you will turn (there are two parking lot entrances).
Big Beach/Makena Beach. Sometimes simply called Makena, or its Hawaiian name Oneloa, is a wide, white sand beach over 1⁄2-mile long. A 360-foot cinder cone, Pu‘u Ola‘i, is at the north end of the beach. The beach has a sharp drop- off and rough shore break and the current can be strong, so swimming is not good for children, but it’s a great place for sunbathing and watching the local skim boarders and boogie boarders do their thing!
For a more “complete” suntan, hike north from Big Makena over the cinder cone to Little Makena Beach, Maui’s most popular “clothing optional” beach. The beach is in a protected cove and has a shallow, sandy bottom, so swimming is usually good, but most people use the beach for sunbathing. (Please note that nude sunbathing, though common, is illegal on Maui.)
After leaving the Makena Beach Parks, take a right, back onto the main road. You will travel about 1 to 2 minutes by car to this, one of our favorite beaches. Go slow to find this beauty of a beach! There are several names for this location: “Secret Beach,” “Makena Cove,” and “Wedding Beach.” On the right-hand side of the road you will see a gray lava rock wall that looks like it belongs to a private residence. You will see cars parked alongside this wall. There is a small blue sign that indicates this is a public beach access /entrance. The access is small as if you are going through a doorway. On the other side of this wall is a small, yet breathtaking beach! You may even see a few weddings depending what time of day you arrive! Well worth visiting and there are many sea turtles here too.
Great Snorkeling can be experienced further south of the Makena area by visiting the Ahihi-Kinau Preserve. The bay is usually very calm, and the fish are plentiful. Further south is La Perouse Bay. Make sure to get water conditions and go early to be safe for best water conditions (calmest). Here you will find more colorful sea life, and often dolphins and turtles are spotted at both locations.
Tip: Please keep in mind when signing up for boating excursions to select a dock closest to your condo complex:
Kihei Akahi guests:
The closest boat ramp to Wailea and South Kihei is the Kihei Boat
Ramp/Launch, a 3-minute walk south of the Kihei Akahi Resort.
There are other boating trips that depart from other harbors, but this one is the closest and smallest.
Kana’i A Nalu and Island Sands guests:
The second largest and closest harbor is Ma’alaea Harbor less than a mile from Kana’i A Nalu and Island Sands resorts. Many dive/snorkeling excursions and sunset dinner cruises take off from here, like Pacific Whale Foundation. There are other boating trips that depart from other harbors as well, but this is the closest. Ma’alaea Harbor has wonderful dining experiences for all budgets and a variety of cuisine choices to whet the appetite! Here you will also find fun activities for kids and adults at the Maui Golf and Sports Park. You can play miniature golf, X-Treme trampoline, rock wall climbing, and drive bumper boats.
Dining and Entertainment Recommendations
Island Tip: Most of the restaurants on Maui offer happy hour or an early bird special for breakfast and/or dinner. Call the restaurant you want to dine at in advance to find what great deals they offer. It doesn’t have to be expensive to eat out. FRIDAYS are special on Maui! Each town takes turns to sponsor this event with free live music and outdoor food vendors. Check-out this website for schedule of island wide Friday Town Parties: https://www.mauicounty.gov/2392/Maui-Friday-Town-Parties
Gannon’s Restaurant – 100 Wailea Golf Club Drive – Wailea, HI – (808) 8758080
“Just go with it” was filmed at this restaurant in March 2010. This movie starred Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman. The employees of the restaurant were extras on the movie set and they named the restaurant, Oceano but it is really the new Gannon’s Restaurant. Bev Gannon is a popular chef on Maui and has three restaurants on island. We ate here recently, and the food is to die for. The atmosphere is relaxing and elegant. There is artwork on display throughout the restaurant. Spectacular sunset ocean views and you can see Pu’u Ola’i hill in the distance. You are surrounded by rolling green hills and lush tropical foliage. It is a large, open air establishment with plenty of outdoor and indoor seating. The sliding walls are kept open and there are plenty of large windows so indoors you have nice views. Each of Beverly’s restaurants have different menus but there is some crossover on her popular signature dishes. Tip: Save your dining receipt for 20% off dining at any of the other Gannon restaurants (Joe’s Bar and Grill and Hali’imaile General Store).
Mulligan’s on the Blue – Maui’s Authentic Irish Pub & Restaurant – 100 Kaukahi St. Wailea – Phone 808-874-1131.
A fun Irish Pub atmosphere with great food and live entertainment most nights. Famous Hawaiian performers have played here. The band Soul Kitchen Maui, voted Maui Time’s Best of Maui Best Band 2017, frequently performs here. If you have a chance to experience Soul Kitchen in person, you won’t soon forget it! Call restaurant for details.
Humble Market Kitchen Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott 3700 Wailea Alanui Dr.
This restaurant has a great happy hour from 5-6:30 pm, very good prices and excellent portions. There are maybe 5 choices on the happy hour menu, and they’re all wonderful! https://www.royyamaguchi.com/humble-market-kitchen-maui
Four Seasons Hotel 3900 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea- Phone 808-874-8000
Inside the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel in Wailea is Wolfgang Puck’s Spago who made its reputation in Los Angeles, CA as one of the premier restaurants and is now also located on Maui. Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante is an oceanfront restaurant featuring live classical music performances from 6:30pm to 9:30pm, Monday through Saturday. The food is excellent and atmosphere romantic. Both restaurants are a good place for celebrity watching. Reservations are recommended. At Pacific Grill enjoy Hawaiian slack key guitarist Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6pm to 9pm during sunset. They serve cocktails and pupus in the Lobby Lounge. They also feature Jazz and contemporary music starting 8:30pm to 11:30pm, Monday through Saturday evenings. During the day, this beautiful hotel provides an opportunity for you to meet a variety of Maui Artists seven days a week from 8:00am to 1:30pm. Watch them create and display their artwork for your enjoyment. If you love the artwork this is a great time to buy a one-of-a-kind gift from a local artist.
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa – 3850 Wailea Alanui Drive – Wailea, Maui, HI 96753 – Phone 800-888-6100 and 808-875-1234
Visit the Botero Bar in the lobby at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa. Enjoy cocktails and pupus as you listen to Hawaiian music nightly from 5:00pm to 9:30pm in the Humuhumunukunukuapua’s Lounge (double check time, could end at 8pm). Relax in this romantic setting while watching the sun set into the Pacific Ocean. If you need some pampering, The Grand Wailea has an indoor spa. Make advance reservations for a massage and/or facial. It is expensive, yet luxurious and definitely a treat!
Capische is located at the Hotel Wailea – 555 Kaukahi Street – Wailea, Maui, Hawaii 96753 – 808-874-0500.
This is a great place for entertainment featuring jazz duos on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 7pm to 10pm. Enjoy the live music while watching the sunset. For the culinary lover you will find a new “tasting room” where award winning chefs and sommeliers will give live cooking demonstrations and featured pairings.
Monkeypod Kitchen – 10 Wailea Gateway Place, Unit B-201 Kihei, HI 96753 – 808-891-2322
Happy Hour from 3:00pm to 5:30pm daily and open 11:30am to 11:00pm daily, http://www.monkeypodkitchen.com/wailea/ Great ocean, Kaho’olawe and Lanai island views from outdoor seating area. Indoors you will experience trendy, vibrant and modern décor! After happy hour there is live music inside the restaurant. It’s a happening place especially after casual happy hour.
My personal experience, after 7pm it gets busy and is a great place to people watch; the atmosphere and patrons are stylish and it becomes a lively, social dining experience. The food is top notch and I love their Monkeypod Mai Tai topped with honey- lilikoi foam! It is honestly the BEST Mai tai I’ve had on the island. Chef Peter Merriman supports local produce, organic and sustainable farming, ranching, and fish practices, grass fed beef, renewable fish species and sustainable hormone-free poultry. Don’t miss stopping here!
Pita Paradise – TWO locations in South Maui:
1913 South Kihei Road (counter style café) 808-875-7679 (children’s menu, more
34 Wailea Gateway Center (full service Greek and Italian Bistro) 808-879-7177 (more upscale and Happy Hour menu) OMG the food is mouth-watering good and flavorful. If you love Greek food this is the place to dine! High quality ingredients and fresh caught fish brought in daily by the owner. Try this award-winning Greek restaurant with some Hawaiian / Italian flair added to the culinary magic.
Tip: Visit their website for more details and frequent “coupon” specials.
Fabiani’s Bakery & Pizzeria TWO locations in South Maui:
95 Lipoa Street – Kihei, HI 96753 – 808-8740888
34 Wailea Gateway Plaza, Suite A101 – Wailea-Makena, HI – 808-874-1234
If you love Italian food and yummy melt in your mouth desserts you must try this restaurant! One of my new favorite places to dine. Happy hour daily from 3pm to 5pm. The establishment in Kihei is not on the main drag. It is tucked away in a little shopping center. It has a nice atmosphere and casual dining. Their newer location is at the Wailea Gateway Plaza. Give them a try you will not be disappointed.
The Five Palms (currently closed and soon to be re-opened as Merrimen’s) is an oceanfront restaurant Located in the Mana Kai Hotel – 2960 South Kihei Road, Kihei 808-879-2607.
A wonderful place to view the ocean and enjoy
a sunset! The food is exceptionally good, and the atmosphere is quiet and romantic. I love the décor of the restaurant and fabulous ocean and island views! Great for people watching as it sits on Keawakapu Beach. During the day and right next door to this restaurant you can take yoga classes by Deni Gita Roman and the Yoga Path at their beachfront yoga studio! 808-874-5545 or visit their website at: https://www.mauiyogapath.com/deniroman.html
Fred’s Mexican Café –808-891-8600
has wonderful food and is right next door to Kihei Akahi resort. The atmosphere is casual. If you go early for breakfast between 7:00am to 8:00 am they discount their menu. They serve macadamia nut pancakes and Hawaiian French toast just to name a few yummy breakfast items. They also run specials on “Taco Tuesday” nights- $2.95 tacos and $4.50 margaritas from 4pm to close. Tuesday evenings are popular so get here early and enjoy the discounts.
Another fun establishment is located upstairs Moose McGillycuddy’s – 808- 8918600.
The food is good. The atmosphere fun and casual. They offer live music some nights and have pool tables. Both restaurants offer ocean view dining. Tucked away in the back is the new 808 Bistro they offer covered outdoor dining with views. 808 Deli is wonderful for lunch they make some of the best salads and sandwiches great for a beach picnic!
A short walk from the Kihei Akahi Resort is the Kama’ole Shopping Center – 2463 S Kihei Rd.
Visit Lappert’s gourmet ice cream and the Cinnamon Roll Fair where they have the best coffee, pastries and cinnamon buns! Yum! If you need groceries quick visit Whaler’s General Store they sell your basics like food, toiletry, beach supplies, and Hawaii souvenirs. The food is on the pricey side, but if you do not have time to drive to a bigger grocery store this is close and convenient. It is located across the street from Kama’ole Beach Park II. Next shopping center over is the Rainbow Mall. If you need pampering and beauty treatments visit Lena’s Nail and Hair Salon get a mani-pedi while relaxing in their massage chair. Hair stylist available too! The staff is great and prices reasonable. They do take walk-ins, but they do get busy during high season so I recommend you make an appointment: 808-874-3474.
Da Kitchen has a nice, casual atmosphere with authentic local Hawaiian food (plate lunches), and great desserts all at affordable prices. Many locals dine here. You get big portions at great prices. The food is VERY good too. Da Kitchen is located at: 1215 S Kihei Rd Suite E.
Hawaiian Moons Natural is a health food/grocery store with prepared meals to go. Shop here for groceries or pick up a satisfying meal to take with you to the beach. Very flavorful and yummy and the bonus is I know most everything is good for me. Located directly across the street from Kamaole Beach Park I
2411 South Kihei Road – Kihei – 808-875-4356.
Open from 8am to 9pm, 7 days a week.
Try Kihei Kalama Village – 1941 S. Kihei Road, Kihei Located across the street from Kalama Beach Park. The plaza is the true essence of an international marketplace in a comfortable covered tropical open-air setting. This is the place visitors go to get bargain priced souvenirs and one-of-a-kind gifts. The diverse specialty shops offer a variety of Hawaii’s gifts in island art, ceramics, carved wood, apparel, blown glass, crafts, and more! I have many recommendations at this plaza. Next to this plaza is a place coined by locals as “The Triangle” because there are a few casual restaurants with live music all within a stone’s throw of each other.
Start by visiting Three’s Bar and Grill – 1945 S. Kihei Road, Suite G – 808-879- 3133
which features live entertainment daily. The food is excellent, portions healthy, and the prices are reasonable. The atmosphere is casual and modern, dress up or dress down. They have salsa dancing some nights open to the public. Then visit Life’s A Beach for casual dining, live music and pool tables. South Shore Tiki Lounge offers
live music and good food. What Ales You also has live music and good times. There are many more places to shop and dine in the “Triangle”, but I have not tried them all- yet!
Another great pick for breakfast and lunch is The Kihei Caffe – 1945 S. Kihei Rd. telephone 808-879-2230.
The hours are 5am to 2pm. It is a tiny place with a couple of tables inside and a few more out front. They serve great coffee and wonderful baked goods and Kihei’s best sandwiches to eat-in or take out. Try their raspberry twists, almost a foot long! They are a big hit here and sell out almost as soon as they hit the trays in the morning. Across the road is the Kihei Town Center. Here you will find the closest grocery store Foodland – 1881 S. Kihei Road – Kihei 808-879-9350.
The BEST sushi restaurant is located here- Sansei Sushi! The atmosphere is fun. This is also a great place to people watch. Some nights they have karaoke. There is usually a wait to get into this dining establishment. It is very popular and for good reason! If you arrive just before sunset, they usually discount their menu. If you happen to arrive when they are busy, you can sit at the bar and order your food and beverage. Make reservations in advance! Located across the street from Kalama Beach Park.
Hawaiian/Polynesian Lu’au Shows South Maui (Kihei/Wailea)
No Maui vacation is complete without experiencing a traditional luau! We have recently written about eight different luaus on Maui so you can pick the one that is perfect for you– whether a romantic couple-only experience or fun for the entire family.
Read all about it on our Maui Vision blog here: https://mauivision.com/choosing-the-best-maui-luau/
Te Au Moana: Ocean Tide (Wailea Marriott Beach Resort South Maui)
https://teaumoana.com/ – Reservations: 877-827-2740
Te Au Moana, “The Ocean Tide” is an exceptional luau experience which takes place on the beachfront of the beautiful Wailea Marriott. Enjoy a traditional Hawaiian feast while experiencing ancient Polynesian stories brought to life through traditional dance, music and games. Includes a fresh flower lei greeting or carved wooden fish hook necklace, traditional Imu Ceremony (Hawaiian underground oven cooking), Polynesian crafters and many pre-show activities create an unforgettable family experience!
Gilligans’ Island Lu’au
https://gilligansmaui.com/luau/ – Reservations: (808) 318-3786 Email: [email protected]
Gilligans’ Island Lu’au , is a fun smaller event at the Maui Nui Golf Club, overlooking the course with beautiful ocean and sunset views from up the hill. Great lu’au fare with a fun Polynesian show by popular Manutea Nui E https://manuteanuie.com/. (Manutea can also help you if you want to book entertainment for an event, or a wedding etc.) You’ll often find an expert Polynesian carver set-up outside the restaurant as well, if you want to take something beautiful home to remember us by.
South Maui Gardens Hula Show
https://www.southmauigardens.com/hula-show – Reservations: (808) 419-6562
South Maui Gardens is a beautiful spot to stop by to enjoy an awesome variety of food trucks amidst a tropical plant nursery. Every Wednesday they put on a Hula Show that’s a little more affordable as it doesn’t include food. This way you can enjoy a riveting Polynesian show and pick whatever food tickles your fancy from the plethora of food trucks. See the website above for details!
More South Maui Shopping, Entertainment
Make sure to visit the Shops at Wailea 3750 Wailea Ala Nui, Wailea – 808891- 6770
WOW! Wailea on Wednesday from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. https://www.theshopsatwailea.com/event/Wailea-Wednesdays/2145559084/ Meet the artists and watch them create during the gallery receptions. The Wednesday night free entertainment is between 6:30pm to 8pm in the center of the mall. I love the free hula show. It is exceptional and it is part of the Wednesday line up every other week. What an excellent time for all! You will find high-end specialty shopping here as well: Tommy Bahamas Emporium, Guess, Gucci, Gap, and Banana Republic just to name a few. There are a variety of restaurants, art galleries, and retail shops (all price ranges from expensive to the inexpensive like the ABC Store). Seven days a week you will find many wonderful fine dining experiences: Lappert’s Ice cream, Tommy Bahama’s, Cheese Burger in Paradise, etc.
Tip: In 2015, this complex started to charge for parking. The first hour is free. If you
spend $25 or more there, you can have your parking validated so save your receipts.
Now, moving west….
Ka’anapali Beach is located on the northwest shores of Maui and was voted one of the Top 10 Beaches in the USA. Here you will find miles of golden sand beaches and aqua blue seas and nearby famous championship golf courses. Just a few miles from the resort you will find excellent snorkeling at famous Ka’anapali Beach “Black Rock”, Kapalua Bay Beach, Napili Bay, Napili Point (lots of turtles here), and Honolua Bay which is part of the Mokuleia Bay Marine Life Conservation District located between mile marker 32 and 33. You will find many turtles, colorful fish and coral reefs. Another recommended snorkeling spot is Olowalu here you will find acres of coral reef that stretch for several hundred miles off shore. This area stays shallow for a long way out this spot is located off highway 30 at mile marker 14, about 10 miles south of Lahaina.
Dining and Entertainment Recommendations
Sea House Restaurant Napili Kai Resort 5900 Lower Honoapiilani Road. Lahaina – (808) 669-1500 Absolutely stunning views of Napili Bay, great breakfasts along with lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended.
Merriman’s Kapalua One Bay Club Place, Lahaina – 808-669-6400 High end dining at its finest! Very popular spot, reservations required.
The Plantation House – at the Kapalua Resort, Maui 2000 Plantation Club Drive, Lahaina – 808-669-6299 Stunning panoramic views of mountains and ocean will make you feel like you are sitting on top of the world. I dined here for breakfast and loved the atmosphere and the food is excellent. The menu is local Hawaiian cuisine with a splash of Mediterranean offering the freshest local produce, herbs and seafood available. In keeping with the traditional plantation house atmosphere, teak wood tables and hand-carved chairs with a pineapple motif play off soft, tropical colors, creating a casually elegant dining environment. There is a double-sided fireplace that greets diners in the evening.
Lu’au Shows in Lāhainā (West Maui)
Please check with these companies, as we don’t know who is currently open for business since the fire. Mahalo.
Old Lāhainā Lūʻau 1251 Front Street, Lahaina, HI 96761 808-661-8455
This is an award-winning show. Voted “Favorite Luau” and “Best Luau.” This is an ocean front Luau on Maui! The food is exceptional and plentiful. It is a “traditional” hula show with beautiful dancers. Advance reservations are a must! Visit their website: http://www.oldlahainaluau.com/flash.html
Feast at Lele
505 Front Street – Lahaina, HI 1-866-2995353
I had waited a long time to see this luau. I usually go to my tried and true, but I wanted to find out about the Feast at Lele and we tried it several years ago. I heard many great things about it. So we booked our tickets in advance and attended this outdoor luau by the sea: http://www.iomaui.com/pano/babyfini.html and http://www.feastatlele.com/ I really loved it and highly recommend this venue. The show was unique in that they have the dancers arrive in a canoe from the ocean to the beach. The dancers are beautiful, the food is probably the best I have ever had. It is different from the other luaus in that you get your own table for your family or for you as a couple. This is a sit-down dinner and you have a waiter/waitress serve you (this is not buffet style like the other luaus). It is a small, intimate setting. Any table you are seated at is considered a good view. The food is prepared by popular Chef James McDonald. I believe it was a 3 or 4 course menu and they prepare dishes from each island-Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Samoa. The chef is well-known, and he also prepares the menu for Pacific’ O and I’O (the two restaurants sit very close to the luau another way to catch the show or take a glimpse of the dancers warming up). Another place to dine is Betty’s Beach Café which sits directly BEHIND the show and it is casual dining. The
food is good and the prices reasonable. You can see the dancers perform, but depending on where you sit, you cannot hear the music or chanting of the show.
Other Great Towns to Visit on Maui
My other favorite Maui towns to visit and explore are Makawao and Paia! Each town has a unique and special feel. You will find wonderful art galleries, Hawaiian retail and clothing stores, and fantastic dining. Makawao and Paia are down to earth and a little less touristy. I love the downtown feel and ambiance of these two small picturesque locations. My favorite art gallery in this area is Maui Hands. There is one gallery located in Makawao and one in Paia. Maui Hands represents local artists. You can find wonderful gifts to purchase including original artwork. There are actually four Maui Hands Galleries on the island of Maui, and each gallery represents different Maui artist so each store is unique: http://www.mauihands.com/index.php
Make sure to visit the historic town of Wailuku. There are lots of great places to eat and museums as well! https://mauimuseum.org/
Dining and Entertainment Recommendations
Maui Tropical Plantation/Café O Lei at the Millhouse – 1670 Honoapiilani Hwy – (808) 500-0553
This place is wonderful. The grounds are stunningly beautiful, the food is great, and the service is impeccable. There are other things to do here as well, feed the ducks with your keiki or enjoy the zipline!
Make sure to visit The Maui Coffee Attic – 59 Kanoa St, Wailuku, HI 96793 – 808-250-9555
This is a fun and very cool place that serves both food and coffee. They also have live music. Eclectic and fun!
SixtyTwo MarcKet – 62 N Market St – (808) 793-2277
This place has awesome food too! They have alley seating, you’ll feel a little like you’re in Europe. Indoor seating available as well.
Maui Ocean Center
If you want to venture underwater and stay on dry land, visit the Maui Ocean Center! Named one of the Top 25 Best Aquariums in the U.S. by TripAdvisor, the Aquarium features a variety of Hawaii’s sharks, turtles, stingrays and thousands of vibrant tropical fish. The Aquarium is home to the world’s largest collection of live Pacific corals, faithfully replicating thriving marine ecosystems in every exhibit. A mix of over 60 indoor-outdoor exhibits allow guests to discover Hawaii’s marine life in a single day that would otherwise take a lifetime of exploration to see. Venture through the 750,000-gallon Open Ocean Exhibit featuring a 54ft walk-through tunnel, observe Hawaiian green sea turtles from two views, and see some of the ocean’s most elusive creatures up close.
There are many tour boats to take you to Molokini Crater, the island of Lana’i and Moloka’i. We also recommend the non-profit Pacific Whale Foundation. They do a great job and the staff are friendly and informative. I took a snorkel trip to Molokini Crater and really enjoyed the experience. They also have sunset cruises. Visit their website to learn more: http://www.pacificwhale.org/content/about-us.
Trilogy is another great company:
One of the best sunset dinner cruises is on Ali’i Nui: http://www.aliinuimaui.com/
Upcountry Maui (Pukalani, Kula) and Makawao town:
Dining and Entertainment Recommendations
Casanova’s Italian Restaurant and Deli located in the heart of Makawao Town. Best known for their award-winning restaurant (live entertainment and dancing some nights) 1188 Makawao Avenue – Makawao. 808-572-0220 Polli’s Mexican Restaurant – 1202 Makawao Ave – Makawao 808-572-7808. This is one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. The prices are really reasonable too.
They have great happy hours on drinks and food. I am not vegetarian, but I tried some of their veggie dishes and I could not tell my dish was meatless. Very impressed! They serve meat dishes, but you can substitute the meat with their special veggie mix. Did I mention the great margaritas!
Maui Ocean Vodka is located in Kula/‘Ōma‘opio. It is in an absolutely stunning location with wide open, gorgeous views. https://oceanvodka.com/our-cafe/
You can book a tour of the distillery and organic farm, or enjoy live music at the cafe on the lawn overlooking Maui and the ocean beyond! This is a gem with lots to offer visitors at their beautiful location.
Kula has an amazing farmer’s market on Saturday mornings from 7-11 am. http://www.upcountryfarmersmarket.com/
Kula Lodge & Restaurant – 15200 Haleakala Hwy, Kula – Romantic and rustic! Now owned by the former owners of Five Palms Restaurant in Kihei. Views are amazing and picturesque. Trust me you will be inspired to take MANY pictures. The garden and grounds are spectacular and remind me of pictures I would see in a Better Homes and Garden magazine. I recommend a visit here! The restaurant is large and round with nothing but windows that take advantage of the breathtaking views of the entire island, mountains, valleys, and distant ocean. As you dine here you will experience the best nature has to offer. The natural conditions change minute by minute with drifting clouds and light creating an inspiring landscape. Artist, Curtis Wilson Cost, is inspired by this upcountry landscape and his gallery is located here. With its vaulted wooden ceiling it is open and spacious. The restaurant is 3,200 feet in elevation. It is a good place to stop on your way back from Mount Haleakala Crater. The food is good, and the service is wonderful. The air can be cool and crisp; perfect for their fireplace lounge with sofas. It is nice to have a drink here after dinner. You can also rent rooms there if you want to get a feel for another part of the island.
Town of Pāʻia and Ho’okipa(north shore):
Visit Ho’okipa Beach a special place world renowned as the best place for windsurfing and acrobatic stunts! The world’s best windsurfers and kite surfers are attracted to this location because of the high wind and surf. Watch spectacular feats performed by the pros. You will be amazed. It is the site of two major world- class competitions. By the airport in the city of Kahului there are many big stores like Costco. If you plan on spending two or more weeks in Maui you might consider stocking up on grocery items here.
There is also a large health food store in the same vicinity called Down to Earth Natural – 305 Dairy Rd, Kahului, HI 96732 – (808) 8772661 (Across from the Home Depot). I like the friendly people and staff. It is not as crowded as Mana Foods. The store is 100% vegetarian friendly. In Kihei and island wide we have the following grocery stores: Safeway, Foodland, Times Supermarket, Wholefoods, etc. In fact, most big-name chains that are on the mainland are now here on Maui for your shopping convenience.
Dining and Entertainment Recommendations
Café Des Amis – 42 Baldwin Avenue – Paia, HI 96779 808-579-6323. We love this small casual French restaurant. It is a short drive from Kihei about 25 minutes. The food is reasonably priced. The outdoor patio is shaded, and it is fun to sit and watch the people stroll by. The food is fresh and very tasty! They serve a wide variety of French crepes with Gruyère and many more great
combinations. Indian wraps with lentil curry are among the choices, all served with wild greens and sour cream or homemade chutney on the side. They also serve yummy dessert crepes and smoothies. We always try as many different crepes we can each visit and are satisfied each time. Hands down, this is our new favorite place in Paia. I highly recommend it.
Café Mambo – 30 Baldwin Avenue – Paia, HI 96779
808-579-8021 – Look for the bright orange building with a bull. Casual dining atmosphere and the food is terrific. This is my new find in Paia! It is a fusion of Spanish, Mediterranean, American, and Hawaiian influences. They offer vegetarian Mediterranean style dishes as well as nachos and award-winning cheeseburgers. Their menu is diverse and includes seafood, mussels, shrimp, calamari, Kalua pork, duck, etc. The seafood tapas platter sizzles with shrimp, calamari, and mussels cooked in garlic butter, white wine, and herbs and is my favorite! This is a great restaurant
that will satisfy the entire family cravings. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Happy hour is from 3pm to 6pm. You can get a takeout picnic for the beach or take the road to Hana.
Paia Bay Coffee & Bar – 115 Hana Hwy, Unit G, Paia, HI. Offering breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner. Local Maui coffee beans, fresh baked goods daily. Great staff, cool and eclectic. They have live music and serve alcohol as well as coffee. Open 7am to 8pm daily, happy hour 4pm to 6pm with live music nightly. 808-579-3111 – www.paiabaycoffee.com
Mana Foods – 49 Baldwin Avenue Paia, HI 96779 (808) 579-8078 – BEST Health Food Store on Maui! Groceries can be expensive on island but here you will save money especially on locally grown produce and the variety is plentiful. This store is amazing. You will find unique products sold here that you will never find in a regular grocery store. However, they do sell some name brand products. They have a small deli section with great tasting, freshly prepared food that you can purchase to take on a picnic. If you are vegetarian or vegan you will love it. They do sell some meat here for the carnivores. Vitamins, cosmetics, lotions, toiletry items sold here are organic and good for you. This store is reminiscent of the 60’s era where customers still dress in tie dye and are like way psychedelic. I use this expression in a positive colorful way! Remember this is hippieville- this store is about peace and love. I highly recommend you shop here; it is fun. Paia town is also not far from the airport. Baldwin Beach is a gorgeous white sand beach on Maui’s North shore, next to the heart of Paia town. It’s a short 6-mile drive along the Hana Highway from Kahului airport. The North shore is rougher and less swimmer-friendly than on the south and west sides of the island. It is also a lot windier here, so many beaches along this coastline have a big reputation amongst windsurfers and kite surfers. Early in the morning the beach and waters are usually calm, and you will experience the most beautiful blue/green waters. There are lifeguards and facilities here.
Mama’s Fish House
(just outside of downtown Paia) 799 Poho Place Paia, Hawaii 96779 – 808-579-8488
A VERY nice Polynesian style restaurant. All the fish is fresh caught, usually that day. Unique use of the local greens and produce in the salads, etc. The grounds are beautiful and restaurant beachfront! It is a romantic setting! It is on the pricey side and on most visitor’s wish list to try. Be sure to make dinner reservations before you go.
Hāna (East Maui):
There are several companies offering Road to Hāna tours, which we recommend to help reduce traffic congestion on the narrow, windy Road to Hāna. Please be respectful, East Maui is mostly populated by Hawaiians in their ancestral homes. Please do not park where it asks you not to, and do not venture on private property uninvited. If you do decide to drive, please follow the guidelines listed here: http://www.hanahighwayregulation.com/road-to-hana-code-of-conduct
This will make the experience better for everyone.
Two popular State Parks to visit in Hāna are Wai’ānapanapa and Haleakalā. Both require permits and/or fees to enter. Enjoy the lush beauty that is East Maui, due to the extra rainfall it receives.
Hāna has several food trucks to choose from as well as Braddah Hutt’s, a popular stop south of Hāna. The Hāna Maui Resort has restaurants as well right in Hāna town and there is one gas station and 2 stores, Hāna Ranch Store and the historic Hasegawa General Store where you’ll be sure to find a “I Survived the Road to Hāna” tshirt.
Arts and Music
Maui Arts Cultural Center (MACC) – 808-242-ARTS (2787) – One Cameron Way, Kahului (near the intersection of Kahului Beach Road and Wahinepi’o Avenue) – I have seen some TOP headlining talent here who come to Maui to perform; be it comedy, plays, or music. Check out the calendar in advance and purchase tickets for shows you may want to see during your Maui visit: http://www.mauiarts.org/?p=2
Tip: I recommend for any live outdoor music concerts to buy the cheap tickets so you can stand and/or dance. You can even get close to the stage to the side. You are free to move around outside the seated area. You can sit on the lawn with a blanket or stand. I personally do not like to be seated in the expensive chair section unless you can get near the front by the stage.
The Maui Cultural Center (MACC) is a gathering place where the community can celebrate creativity in personal and shared experiences of the arts. It’s a world class facility where popular and innovative performing artists can be enjoyed…Connecting our community to the world. It’s an educational resource, serving all ages from preschool to adult, enhancing arts education in schools and professional development for teachers. It’s an exhibit space for visual artists from Hawai’i and North America and beyond. It’s a multi-disciplinary complex offering dancing studio, meeting room and function spaces for the community-at-large.
Visit the Harbor Shops at Ma’alaea. Here you will find great shopping, wonderful dining experiences and few more gift shops and art galleries. One of our favorite places to dine is Ma’alaea Grill. It is a local favorite located at the very end of the shopping center in Ma’alaea with a casual ambiance and a great view of the harbor. Big portions at affordable prices, great fresh fish because they are right there when the boats come in! In this shopping center there is a 750,000gallon aquarium filled with Hawaii’s marine life. This attraction is Hawaii’s top-rated family attraction. Visit their website for more details: http://www.mauioceancenter.com/home.html Just north of the Maui aquarium parking lot you’ll find Maui Golf & Sports Park, fun for the whole family. You can play on two miniature golf courses, ride the bumper boats, soar on the XTreme Trampoline, climb the Rock Pinnacle and have a snack in a Hawaiian village setting. It’s a fun place to hold a party for all ages too.
Comedy and Magic
Kupanaha (Maui’s Magical Family)
2525 Ka’anapali Parkway (located in the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel) Lahaina, HI 96761 808-667-0128
I love this show it is a must do and see for all ages! Children are welcome so this makes for a great family event. They begin with serving dinner and drinks. Dancers perform the hula and the magician comes to each table to perform a couple tricks. I have attended this show twice and the second time around was better than the first. The magic is awesome and great comedy. Some of the audience members get to participate in the magic and this adds to the fun and merriment. Our 16-year-old friend was chosen to help perform on stage. Kathleen and Jody are a husband and wife magic team and the main event. Jody is wonderful with the small kids by getting them to participate on stage with him. The adult audience participates too. On a scale of 1 to 10 and 10 being best, I rate the magic show a 10. Food a 7. Customer service a 10.
Other Services and Memorable Things to Do on Maui
If you would like to try your hand at Plein air oil, water color, or acrylic painting lessons, please contact Karen Camara to schedule an outing. Her cell is: 808 – 264- 3927. She is also a wonderful teacher.
Zipline– Zoom through the air on the new Flyin’ Hawaiian Zipline Tour. Maui’s longest course, the five-hour tour includes eight zipline experiences, including a backwards zip and the grand finale line, a whopper at over two-thirds of a mile long. The innovative course spans lengthwise across the West Maui Mountains whizzing you from Waikapu all the way to Ma’alaea, crossing eleven ridges and nine valleys along the way. Flyin’ Hawaiian designed this tour with conservation of native ecosystems in mind and has included a planting of an endangered Hawaiian hibiscus seedling in every tour. Moderately strenuous, there is a little hiking required in-between platforms, but for the most part, this is a perfect activity for the whole family (as long as kids are over ten years old and minimum 75 lbs.) Maximum weight is 250 pounds. Visit www.flyinhawaiianzipline.com or call (808) 463-5786 for schedules and reservations.
Ulupalakua Vineyards -14815 Piilani Hwy 808-878-6058
Take a tour of Maui’s only commercial winery. Tasting room is open to the public from 9:00am-5:00pm, seven days a week. Free guided tours available at 10:30am, 1:30pm and 3:00pm.
Call Toll-free (877) 878-6058. Or visit: http://mauiwine.com
Ulupalakua Ranch Store– 14800 Piilani Hwy 808-878-2561.
BEST local Axis Deer burgers I have ever had! In fact, the first time I had ever tried a deer burger. Axis deer roam the island. They have Maui cattle beef burgers, Maui lamb burgers, elk burgers,
ribs, and more dishes including Kalua Pig. They use locally grown produce too. The chef really prepares the dishes with love. I’m not kidding. It was one of the best lunches. The portions were huge and prices reasonable. Highly recommended for a local Maui, one-of-a-kind lunch. Open 11-3pm.
Maui Culinary Tours– If stopping and smelling the roses (or rosemary) is more your idea of a thrill, then this farm to table adventure fits your bill perfectly. Maui Culinary Tours gets you up close and personal with true island cuisine by touring Upcountry Maui’s agricultural belt. Visit farms and ranches, walk the fields, feel the dirt, enjoy ripening fruit on the vine, and meander many a local farm stand for fresh-picked produce. Talk story with the farmers. Get to know a mushroom grower. Soak in the scenic pastoral beauty and unparalleled views of Kahoolawe, Lanai and West Maui in the distance. And once you’ve seen it sprout, it’s time to see how it gets served. Finish up your tour with a gourmet dining experience prepared by some of the island’s best chefs. Those looking for a shorter experience can opt for the farmer’s market tour complete with family style picnic. Contact Maui Culinary Tours at: By calling (808) 283-5924.
Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge on Sugar Beach has a deck for bird watching. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/kealia-pond
Haleakalā summit – Some advice from a guest about visiting Haleakalā summit: “Haleakala summit takes an hour and a half, but tell people to plan on 2 hours for waiting to pay at the park ranger station ($30/vehicle) and allow extra time if they want to hike to the summit, and to find parking. Spots were all taken 30 minutes before sunset, but we found a place to squeeze in. Tell them to take chairs, water, and warm clothes. It was 40 degrees and very windy! No food or drinks at the summit, but there are real bathrooms.” -Michelle B. Permits are required for sunrise, https://www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm.
Lastly, check out island wide farmers’ markets listings here: https://mauicountyfarmbureau.org/maui-farmers-markets/
I love massage! You may want to call in advance the Maui School of Therapeutic Massage in Makawao 808-572-2277 to schedule your appointment. I’ve had wonderful massages here time and time again. It is not always easy to get in. I really like my experience here too, Aloha School of Massage Therapy in Kahului 808-871-9966 (not far from airport).
There is another massage school in North Kihei- Maui Academy of the Healing Arts 808-879-4266. Each school charges about the same; $35 an hour. Please don’t miss your appointment. If you get a sunburn, they can work around this too. Remember, if you had a great massage experience, please tip well. The one in Makawao just happens to be my favorite.
For our guests with children who are looking for a babysitter while on island you might want to try The Nanny Connection at: http://www.thenannyconnection.com/
Do you need a personal shopper? Let Maui Market Delivery take care of you so you can start enjoying your vacation and relax. They will purchase: Ice cold drinks, alcohol, snacks, gifts, and other personal shopping needs and breakfast items… whatever you need! They will shop for you and fully stock your vacation rental. To place an order visit: www.mauimarketdelivery.com.
OGG Maui Airport- Restaurants
Sammy’s Bar and Grill is in the OGG Maui Airport – I discovered this new restaurant July 2011. He is a famous rock star and was part of Van Halen. I really liked it. Normally restaurants in the airport are just okay, BUT this was exceptional! I did not write the name of the dishes. But my son had a salad with chicken added. And I had their fish and chip dish. This was no ordinary fish and chips either. It was gourmet and high-end. My son’s salad was huge! They used the freshest ingredients. We both enjoyed our dishes and found our meals flavorful and simply awesome! I felt the prices were reasonable for the quality of food we received. The prices range from $6.95 to $24.95 per year 2011. I told the waitress to give my compliments to the chef. What impressed me beyond the food was the fact that Sammy Hagar has created a Foundation and donates the proceeds from this restaurant to local Hawaiian charities to help the children. My waitress told me about her favorite charity, “Keiki’s Dream.” Thank you, Sammy, for opening a great restaurant in the airport and supporting the children of Hawaii! Visit their website here: http://sammysbeachbarandgrill.com/locations/maui/
Hawaiian Music Radio
Over the years we have grown to love Hawaiian musicians and their music, and we listen regularly even when we are on the Mainland. For some, it’s an acquired taste, but we strongly encourage you to seek it out while you are on Maui. The best Hawaiian music on Maui radio is KPOA, 93.5 FM from Lahaina. If you are inclined to purchase any music on your trip, keep the following artists in mind: The Makaha Sons, Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole, Robi Kahakalau, Cyril Pahinui, CJ Helekahi and for unique Hawaiian “slack-key” guitar, Gabby Pahinui, Raymond Kane, Ledward Ka‘apana, Jim Kimo West and Ozzie Kotani.
There are so many GREAT places to dine and visit on Maui that they couldn’t possibly all be listed in this letter. We hope you will discover the other gems on your own. Please call the places noted in this letter to confirm hours of operation, happy hour specials, and entertainment. Things do change on the island and we may not have the most recent information as of this writing. If you can get your hands on a Maui Times newspaper, they have a list of live music times and places right in the middle of their paper called the Grid.
We ask that you always remember that Hawai‘i is just a very small, fragile dot on the map of the world. Wherever you go, go lightly, with love and care for the precious things that give the people of Hawai‘i their heritage and frame of reference. Please do not enter private land and always be respectful to sacred sites.
Maui Vision Rentals wishes you a little paradise and much aloha in your everyday lives.
‘E mālama i ka ‘āina (take good care of the land)