What can I say about Maui? First of all, take me back! But really... the super soft sandy beaches are a dream, the water is blue blue, and the opportunities for adventure are endless! Basically, a Roaming Yogi's dream.
I went to Maui with my boyfriend, Thomas, for our good friends, Kim and Alex's, wedding. We decided to stay after the wedding festivities to celebrate my 29th birthday and also just because, why wouldn't we? From delicious, fresh food to adventures in scuba diving, hiking, and chasing waterfalls, I can honestly say that this was my favorite experience in the Hawaiian islands yet. 10 days was just not enough for me on this magical island and you can bet on it that I’ll be going back!
Yoga in Maui
We started our trip off on the south side of the island in Kihei where there were quite a few yoga studios around. The great thing, though, about this side of the island is that most of the beaches have big, lush grassy areas in front of them. So, I took this part of the trip to practice on my own outside. On the sand, on the grass, on my air bnb patio, everywhere. This was the perfect opportunity to turn in on my own, and I found that it was a great way to get centered and let go of everything going on back home.
The second half of our trip was spent doing the Road to Hana and then staying in Hana for two nights (more on that later). We had the chance to practice yoga at the Art Barn. This local spot (we were the only tourists) seems kind of like a community rec center when you walk in and has a super laid back vibe. The yoga was amazing. The teacher had us flowing non-stop the entire time and we were dripping in sweat. The intense movement and sweat were just what we needed after spending the whole previous day in the car driving the Road to Hana.
The last place we stayed in Maui was my favorite of them all, Paia. While we were here I went back to my outdoor practices on the Paia beach and boy were they DREAMYYY. :)
Healthy Eats in Maui
A couple of months ago I began getting back to a vegan and gluten free diet, which can be quite a challenge when eating out. In a commitment to enjoy my travels I decided to allow myself some fish on the trip, which helped things a bit, but there were definitely parts of the trip that made eating gluten free pretty hard.
While in Kihei, we hit up a great local sushi spot called Sensei Sushi and found one of the best vegan places I’ve ever been to called Joy’s Place. Seriously, this place has the best options for anyone on a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free diet. They even had pictures on the wall with different celebrities that visit. Steven Tyler was all over that thing, so apparently he's a appears to be a regular. LOL. Our third night there, my bestie Alyssa, hooked us up at the Humble Market Kitchen in Wailea. Expensive but SUPER fresh and delicious. This place is worth every cent.
On our way to the road to Hana we stopped in Paia to hit up the Mana Foods Store to grab some snacks for the road. They have a juice bar with lots of well priced options. We each got a cold brew and a papaya smoothie bowl. Drool.
On the way to Hana there are lots of little places to stop and grab treats like banana bread or coconuts. We stopped at Coconut Glenn's Ice Cream. All of the ice cream here is vegan (score!) and he serves fresh coconuts the he chops open right in front of you. Needless to say, I was in banana-vegan-ice-cream-and-fresh-coconut heaven.
While staying in Hana we learned a hard lesson. We had heard that eating at the restaurants in Hana was a bad idea. They are way overpriced, not very good, etc. So, we decided to hit up the food trucks for dinner. Unfortunately, on the first night there we didn’t realize that the food trucks close before 5pm so when we got there around 6 they were all closed. We were forced to resort to going the the only restaurant that was open and paid over $60 for two overpriced, tasteless meals. Yuck.
The following day, we finally got to taste the highly recommended Ae’s Thai food truck and it lived up to its reputation! Plus, it only cost about $24 for the two of us. One important tip: Medium spicy= Extra Spicy. Order mild unless you have a high tolerance for spicy.
The last day in Hana we ate at the food truck next door to Ae’s called Surfing Burro. We had yummy vegan burritos and shared a banana pb smoothie. Another cheap and delicious success! Moral of the story- If you are passing through or staying in Hana, eat at the food trucks. You won’t regret it!
In Paia, we went to Mama’s Fish Shop for my birthday dinner. Another splurge but seriously SO GOOD. Like, you have to go. Just plan on dropping a solid amount of money when you go.
Our last meal in Maui was breakfast from Paia Bowls. These were the BEST Acai bowls either Thomas or I had ever had. What I wouldn’t do to have another one of those bowls.
Adventure in Maui
Like I said earlier, there is SO much to do. We could've stayed another week just to hit everything on our list.
While staying in Kihei we took a day trip west up to Kapalua to see the Nahale Blowhole. The area around the blowhole looked like we were in Ireland. It was absolutely breathtaking. On the way back we stopped at a gorgeous rock jumping spot called Cliffhouse in Ka'anapali and then we stopped for a quick happy hour in the adorable little town of Lahaina.
We went scuba diving at the Molokini Crater with Maui Dive Co. This was our first scuba dive trip outside of our certification and it was an epic, yet exhausting, experience. Our first dive was inside of the crater where we saw tons of colorful fish. Our second dive was on the backside of a crater with a 400 foot drop (yes, I kind of freaked out for a moment) and we even saw a couple of smaller sharks. If you don’t scuba dive, that’s ok, there are snorkeling tours that take you out to snorkel on the inside of the crater.
Road to Hana
If you know anything about the Road To Hana, you know that it is an adventurers paradise. Filled with waterfalls, hikes, and insane ocean views, this is not something you should miss on a visit to Maui.
Our first stop was to Honomanu Bay at mile marker 14. This is a pretty cool little cove that you can drive down to if you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle. We didn't know that though, so we trekked down to the beach on an almost non-existent trail and got eaten alive by mosquitos. Lol. It's all about the adventure, right?
Our second stop was at the Wailua Lookout at mile marker #18. A beautiful spot to stop and take in our big, blue sea. :)
Our third stop was at Waikini Falls at mile marker 19. These 3 gorgeous falls, also known as "the 3 bears" were worth every minute of the stop. We had to park up the road a bit and then walk down to the start of the slightly sketchy trail that begins underneath a bridge. Once we got down, we left our stuff on a rock and hopped in to swim around and soak in all of the amazingness around us.
Our fourth stop was Coconut Glenn's Vegan Ice Cream stand which I mentioned earlier. Best vegan ice cream, EVER.
After Hana about 20 miles or so is the Haleakala National Park where the Seven Sacred Pools and the Bamboo Forest are located. We trekked the 4 mile round trip bamboo forest hike to get to the most massive waterfall I've seen in my life. It was truly magical.
While staying in Kikei, our air bnb was located right behind Kameole 3. There are 3 Kameole parks, the soft sandy beaches with large grassy parks situated right behind them. The beach itself was perfect. We spotted sea turtles, the sand was soft, and the water was clear. Plus it was just a short a 2 minute walk from our room.
On our last day staying in Kihei, we meandered over to Big Beach in hopes of scoping out the drum circle that they have on Sunday nights in the nude beach section of this beach. We never found it though, because the second we got on the beach we found a perfect little shady spot to hang out under. The water has very little waves so it was perfect to float around in and gaze down the coast and at the Molokini Crater. We wished that we had been hanging out at this beach the entire time!
The Red Sand Beach in Hana is tucked away in a cove. You have to walk along this trail on the coast to get there and the whole thing is breathtaking. We went at sunset which means you don't see much of anything so I'd recommend getting up early to check out the sunrise there.
Koki Beach in Hana has big waves that are perfect for people who love to bodysurf like Thomas. There are also giant prehistoric looking birds that circle around the overlooking cliff as well as the little island right off shore. This was another place that was great to hang out and spend some time at.
Paia Beach in Paia is yet another beauty. Paia has some great waves and lots of sea turtles come up on shore at sunset. I even got to have a chat with one during sunset on the night of my birthday. :)
Where to stay in Maui
We chose to do Air Bnb for half of our trip. It is a great way to save some money on a longer trip and you can find super cool places to stay like the Tiny House that we stayed at in Hana.
Travaasa in Hana was pricey (very) but we chose to splurge for a night to celebrate my birthday. They have a pool with an amazing view. We even woke up extra early on my birthday to catch a glimpe of the sunset. Those cotton candy clouds are heavenly.
The Paia Inn in Paia was my favorite! This hip little hotel on the main road in Paia has beach access and the cutest decor! They also have a healthy cafe right down stairs and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. I wish we had stayed there another night or two.
How to get around Maui
We rented a Jeep to get around and it was sheer perfection. Driving with the top down along the coast of Maui... just imagine it! Plus it was great for going along the roads that aren't so smooth. I definitely think this is a must for a trip to Maui.
Thank you Maui for one unforgettable tropical getaway, I will definitely be going back!
Be on the lookout for pictures of our upcoming retreat to Iceland on our Instagram @roamingyogiadventures!
To join us on one of our next two island adventures to Sri Lanka and then Greece, click here. Hope to see you there!