Guide to Maui
HomeAway staffer Stacey Clowes recounts her dream honeymoon in Maui:
This is the destination where my husband and I took our dream honeymoon in April 2011. When you see pictures of Maui you think to yourself, it can’t possibly be that beautiful in real life? Well, it is.
It’s one of those places that is even more beautiful in person than you can ever imagine. Everyone wants to go to Hawaii at least sometime in their life. I was lucky enough to take my honeymoon there. Amazing food, beautiful beaches, adventures and the local culture are all crowded onto this amazing little island in the Pacific.
Let’s start with the food. There are some chains, like Cheeseburger in Paradise and other places you feel obligated to go to, but the best places are the local places. Hidden behind a grocery store on a back road in Lahaina is a place called Aloha Mixed Plate. After we found this place we went back almost every day. Not only do they have the best happy hour I have been to anywhere ($2 Mai Tais!), they have the most amazing local cuisine. Kalua pig, Lomi Lomi Salmon, Coconut Prawns with Pineapple Chutney, Poi, and Haupia (a local coconut milk pudding) just to name a few of my favorites. With an outdoor deck right on the beach, this was our favorite spot to grab an inexpensive bite.
View from the restaurant Aloha Mixed Plate
We found it very beneficial to have a rental car so we could drive all over the island at our leisure and go on road trips up and down the Honoapiilani Highway (a stretch of road that rides right along the coast). The best road trip is the infamous Road to Hana. This windy road will take you through a rainforest like environment with numerous places to stop along the way for beautiful waterfalls and photo ops.
Starting on your journey you will go through the small hippie town of Paia. Definitely stop and spend some time there, as it is a unique experience with a personality all its own. There are restaurants and tiny local shops that line this little town and it is well worth the time. On your way out of Paia, you will begin the fabulous journey to Hana where you will notice a slightly cooler temperature as you become surrounded by lush trees and rainforest like conditions. Along the way you will want to pull over for amazing views and be sure to get out and put your feet in the natural springs with waterfalls you can only find in Hawaii. Be careful though, the locals like to zoom past you in unsafe conditions that have surely led to accidents in the past with all the blind corners and narrow roads. Lucky for us, we made it there safe.
Once you arrive in Hana, there isn’t much to see other than a famous general store. We stopped for a snack and a t-shirt and then started our journey back. The purpose of taking this adventure is the journey, not necessarily the destination. On the way back, we came across possibly the best local food we had during our entire trip. A family literally had a stand on the side of the road in front of their house complete with picnic tables and was grilling up fresh tuna just caught that morning. It was probably the most authentic Hawaii experience we had and the food was incredible. It’s the little things like that which make Maui and the Road to Hana a unique experience.