Stacey recalls her dream honeymoon in Maui and the local experiences that made it unforgettable. Plan your own romantic getaway and discover amazing Maui for yourself.
Story and photos by Stacey Clowes, HomeAway Austin
My husband and I took our dream honeymoon. When you see pictures of Maui, you think to yourself, Can it possibly be that beautiful in real life?” Well, it is.
Maui is one of those places that is even more beautiful in person and a perfect place to honeymoon. Amazing food, beautiful beaches, adventures, and the local culture are all crowded onto this amazing little island in the Pacific.
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
Tour the island
A rental car is beneficial. We liked being able to drive all over the island at our leisure and go on road trips up and down the Honoapiilani Highway, a stretch of road that runs right along the coast.
The Road to Hana
The best road trip is the famous Road to Hana. This winding road will take you through a rainforest with many stops along the way for waterfall viewing and photo ops.
Paia — Starting on your journey, you will go through the small hippie town of Paia. Definitely stop and spend some time there. Check out the restaurants and tiny local shops that line this town and give it personality. Outside of Paia, you will notice slightly cooler temperatures as lush trees surround you. Along the way, pull over for the views, and be sure to get out and put your feet in the natural springs and waterfalls you can only find in Hawaii. Be careful though, the locals drive fast around blind corners and narrow roads.
Hana — Once you arrive in Hana, you’ll see the famous general store. We stopped for a snack and a t-shirt and then started our trip back. The purpose of 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 so special.