A Local's Guide to Maui

Matthew
A Local's Guide to Maui

Food scene

I know what you're thinking...how is shaved ice a must stop? Trust us on this one. Hawaiian Shave Ice is very different than the "snow cone" shaved ice you may find on the mainland. This is a great stop for a mid day snack or little dessert but anticipate a bit of a line. There are multiple shave ice options but Ululani's is the best with a few locations around the island. We also recommend trying the "Snow Cap" on top for extra creaminess.
43 íbúar mæla með
Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice
61 South Kihei Road
43 íbúar mæla með
I know what you're thinking...how is shaved ice a must stop? Trust us on this one. Hawaiian Shave Ice is very different than the "snow cone" shaved ice you may find on the mainland. This is a great stop for a mid day snack or little dessert but anticipate a bit of a line. There are multiple shave ice options but Ululani's is the best with a few locations around the island. We also recommend trying the "Snow Cap" on top for extra creaminess.
Flatbread is the best pizza on island and a great stop when coming back from a hike along the road to Hana or when exploring the surf town of Paia. Our personal favorite is the Mopsy's Kalua Pie but you cant go wrong with any of their wood fired pizzas.
54 íbúar mæla með
Flatbread Company
89 Hana Highway
54 íbúar mæla með
Flatbread is the best pizza on island and a great stop when coming back from a hike along the road to Hana or when exploring the surf town of Paia. Our personal favorite is the Mopsy's Kalua Pie but you cant go wrong with any of their wood fired pizzas.
Looking for a great brunch or big breakfast to start your day? Kihei Caffe is a great stop with a traditional breakfast menu which has something for everyone.
99 íbúar mæla með
Kihei Caffe
1945 South Kihei Road
99 íbúar mæla með
Looking for a great brunch or big breakfast to start your day? Kihei Caffe is a great stop with a traditional breakfast menu which has something for everyone.
If you're looking for a quick burger, Haven's is a great stop. There smash burgers are tasty and make for a great "pick up and go" meal. If you're looking for a sit down experience, this hole in the wall isn't the best stop due to little to no seating.
Havens
30 Manao Kala Street
If you're looking for a quick burger, Haven's is a great stop. There smash burgers are tasty and make for a great "pick up and go" meal. If you're looking for a sit down experience, this hole in the wall isn't the best stop due to little to no seating.
Mama's has to make the list but unfortunately, its very unlikely you'll be able to get a reservation. Mama's is currently booked 3-4 months out for dinner reservations. If you're lucky, you may be able to get a table for lunch. Mama's offers some of the best, locally caught fish. Its so fresh and local that below each menu item is the name of the local fisherman who caught the fish. Prepare to spend some money if you are lucky enough to enjoy this stop!
172 íbúar mæla með
Mama's Fish House
799 Poho Place
172 íbúar mæla með
Mama's has to make the list but unfortunately, its very unlikely you'll be able to get a reservation. Mama's is currently booked 3-4 months out for dinner reservations. If you're lucky, you may be able to get a table for lunch. Mama's offers some of the best, locally caught fish. Its so fresh and local that below each menu item is the name of the local fisherman who caught the fish. Prepare to spend some money if you are lucky enough to enjoy this stop!
MonkeyPod is a personal favorite for lunches and/or dinners. They have a great menu with something for everyone. They offer classic options like excellent burgers, pizza, salads, and fish. Many say they also have the best Mai Tais on island.
137 íbúar mæla með
Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman
10 Wailea Gateway Place
137 íbúar mæla með
MonkeyPod is a personal favorite for lunches and/or dinners. They have a great menu with something for everyone. They offer classic options like excellent burgers, pizza, salads, and fish. Many say they also have the best Mai Tais on island.
Coconut's is the go-to spot for some excellent (and award-winning) fish tacos. Its a casual experience and a great spot for a lunch break after the beach or quick dinner bite.
93 íbúar mæla með
Coconut's Fish Cafe
1279 South Kihei Road
93 íbúar mæla með
Coconut's is the go-to spot for some excellent (and award-winning) fish tacos. Its a casual experience and a great spot for a lunch break after the beach or quick dinner bite.

Experiences & Excursions

If you're visiting to Maui, it's almost guaranteed that you've heard of the Road to Hana. This road is more about the journey than the actual destination at the end. The road is dotted with beautiful coastal views, waterfalls, hikes, and hidden beaches. There are so many stops that you'll never be able to hit all of them. So we suggest finding 3-5 must stops along the road and giving yourself a full day (literally 12 hours) to be able to enjoy the drive and multiple stops along the way. There is little to no signal along the road and stops are marked by mile markers so plan your stops before leaving. I highly suggest downloading the app "Road to Hana GyPSy Guide" for downloaded audio guide on the best stops and interesting history along the drive - its a game changer. Note that many rental car contracts prohibit you from driving the "back side" of the road with a rental car. Its a long, twisting drive with hair pin turns and one-way bridges so drive carefully. P.S. Many locals drive this road daily and drive it faster than any tourist could. If you are being followed closely, please safely pull over to let them past.
25 íbúar mæla með
Hana Highway
25 íbúar mæla með
If you're visiting to Maui, it's almost guaranteed that you've heard of the Road to Hana. This road is more about the journey than the actual destination at the end. The road is dotted with beautiful coastal views, waterfalls, hikes, and hidden beaches. There are so many stops that you'll never be able to hit all of them. So we suggest finding 3-5 must stops along the road and giving yourself a full day (literally 12 hours) to be able to enjoy the drive and multiple stops along the way. There is little to no signal along the road and stops are marked by mile markers so plan your stops before leaving. I highly suggest downloading the app "Road to Hana GyPSy Guide" for downloaded audio guide on the best stops and interesting history along the drive - its a game changer. Note that many rental car contracts prohibit you from driving the "back side" of the road with a rental car. Its a long, twisting drive with hair pin turns and one-way bridges so drive carefully. P.S. Many locals drive this road daily and drive it faster than any tourist could. If you are being followed closely, please safely pull over to let them past.
Wainapanapa State Park is the home of the black sand beach that you may have seen pictures of. Beyond the beach, there's plenty of beautiful views, cliffs, and Hawaiian landscape to explore here. Note that you do need reservations to be able to park and enter the park so plan ahead for this stop! Wainapanapa is located at mile marker 32 on the Road to Hana.
7 íbúar mæla með
Waianapanapa State Park
7 íbúar mæla með
Wainapanapa State Park is the home of the black sand beach that you may have seen pictures of. Beyond the beach, there's plenty of beautiful views, cliffs, and Hawaiian landscape to explore here. Note that you do need reservations to be able to park and enter the park so plan ahead for this stop! Wainapanapa is located at mile marker 32 on the Road to Hana.
Kaihalulu Beach (also called Red Sand Beach) may be one of the most unique beaches in Maui. Located in a hidden cove in Hana town, it can be tricky to find. The trail to the beach is at the end of Uakea Road. Park by the baseball field or at the end of the road (obey all no parking signs). The start of the trail begins where the pavement comes to an end and on the other side of the small grass field. Follow the path along the hill until you hit the beach. Careful of steep drop offs and sliding dirt/sand. P.S. This is a popular spot for locals. Please be respectful of private land and no parking signs. Try to keep this as a "hidden beach" :)
7 íbúar mæla með
Kaihalulu Beach
7 íbúar mæla með
Kaihalulu Beach (also called Red Sand Beach) may be one of the most unique beaches in Maui. Located in a hidden cove in Hana town, it can be tricky to find. The trail to the beach is at the end of Uakea Road. Park by the baseball field or at the end of the road (obey all no parking signs). The start of the trail begins where the pavement comes to an end and on the other side of the small grass field. Follow the path along the hill until you hit the beach. Careful of steep drop offs and sliding dirt/sand. P.S. This is a popular spot for locals. Please be respectful of private land and no parking signs. Try to keep this as a "hidden beach" :)
The Pipiwai Trail is located 12 miles past Hana by mile marker 42. You get a 2-for-1 with the Pipiwai trail: a beautiful bamboo forest and Waimoku Falls at the end of the trail. Its a 4-mile round trip hike but heavily trafficked and good for majority of ages and skill levels. From parking, its about a 1-mile hike to the bamboo forrest. Scenic and picturesque is an understand. From the bamboo forest, it's another mile or so to Waimoku falls. This is a massive 400 ft waterfall. You cant get very close to the waterfall due to dangerous conditions and several deaths but its a sight to behold (obey all park signage and don't get too close).
16 íbúar mæla með
Pipiwai Trail
16 íbúar mæla með
The Pipiwai Trail is located 12 miles past Hana by mile marker 42. You get a 2-for-1 with the Pipiwai trail: a beautiful bamboo forest and Waimoku Falls at the end of the trail. Its a 4-mile round trip hike but heavily trafficked and good for majority of ages and skill levels. From parking, its about a 1-mile hike to the bamboo forrest. Scenic and picturesque is an understand. From the bamboo forest, it's another mile or so to Waimoku falls. This is a massive 400 ft waterfall. You cant get very close to the waterfall due to dangerous conditions and several deaths but its a sight to behold (obey all park signage and don't get too close).
If you're visiting Maui sometime from November through May, whale watching is a must. We recommend a whale watch with Pacific Whale foundation in Maalaea or Lahaina. Peak seasonality for whales is January through March so expect to spot whales breaching from the beach. But if you want a close-up experience, this is the way to do it!
43 íbúar mæla með
Pacific Whale Foundation
300 Maalaea Road
43 íbúar mæla með
If you're visiting Maui sometime from November through May, whale watching is a must. We recommend a whale watch with Pacific Whale foundation in Maalaea or Lahaina. Peak seasonality for whales is January through March so expect to spot whales breaching from the beach. But if you want a close-up experience, this is the way to do it!
Haleakala National Park gives you a glimpse into the side of Maui beyond the beaches. Its a personal favorite and is always a highlight of friends, family or guests who we bring. Catch sunrise or sunset at the peak of this dormant volcano. At over 10,000 feet, you'll literally be above the clouds. Sunrise requires a reservation - sunset does not. It is VERY cold at the top (30-40 degrees with wind) so layer up and dress warm!
120 íbúar mæla með
Haleakalā National Park
120 íbúar mæla með
Haleakala National Park gives you a glimpse into the side of Maui beyond the beaches. Its a personal favorite and is always a highlight of friends, family or guests who we bring. Catch sunrise or sunset at the peak of this dormant volcano. At over 10,000 feet, you'll literally be above the clouds. Sunrise requires a reservation - sunset does not. It is VERY cold at the top (30-40 degrees with wind) so layer up and dress warm!
Makena Beach is also called Big Beach and located on the far south side of the island. As the name suggests this beach is big - who would've guessed! It's a great stop for a roomy beach, boogie boarding, sun tanning, and any else you could enjoy at a beach. This beach has some strong shore break so be cautious if you have small children.
83 íbúar mæla með
Makena Beach
6600 Makena Road
83 íbúar mæla með
Makena Beach is also called Big Beach and located on the far south side of the island. As the name suggests this beach is big - who would've guessed! It's a great stop for a roomy beach, boogie boarding, sun tanning, and any else you could enjoy at a beach. This beach has some strong shore break so be cautious if you have small children.
Looking to snorkel? Honolua Bay is a great stop on the West side of Maui. But there are plenty of great snorkeling spots all around the island. Makena Landing and Mala Wharf are two other excellent snorkeling stops. Expect to see plenty of fish, green sea turtles, and maybe even a few reef shark if you're lucky!
64 íbúar mæla með
Honolua Bay
64 íbúar mæla með
Looking to snorkel? Honolua Bay is a great stop on the West side of Maui. But there are plenty of great snorkeling spots all around the island. Makena Landing and Mala Wharf are two other excellent snorkeling stops. Expect to see plenty of fish, green sea turtles, and maybe even a few reef shark if you're lucky!
Looking for a nice hike, waterfall, and cool swim? Twin Falls is a great stop and located very early in on the road to Hana. I recommend doing a guided hike with Hike Maui for the full experience. They have access to trails not open to the general public, help you avoid the hassle of (very) limited parking, and ensure you go when conditions are best. P.S. There are literally hundreds of beautiful waterfalls on Maui, primarily along the Road to Hana. However, most require you to trespass on private property and are often difficult to find and require a local guide. Although more "touristy", Twin Falls is beautiful and a great hike accessible to everyone.
32 íbúar mæla með
Twin Falls Maui Waterfall
32 íbúar mæla með
Looking for a nice hike, waterfall, and cool swim? Twin Falls is a great stop and located very early in on the road to Hana. I recommend doing a guided hike with Hike Maui for the full experience. They have access to trails not open to the general public, help you avoid the hassle of (very) limited parking, and ensure you go when conditions are best. P.S. There are literally hundreds of beautiful waterfalls on Maui, primarily along the Road to Hana. However, most require you to trespass on private property and are often difficult to find and require a local guide. Although more "touristy", Twin Falls is beautiful and a great hike accessible to everyone.
'Iao Valley is an often overlooked destination but offers incredible views and it steeped in Hawaiian history. The valley is where the first King Kamehameha began his quest of uniting all the islands in Hawaii. It's the scene of the of the massive battle that took place in 1790 which had so many casualties that it was said the river ran red with blood. There is some great hiking and scenic views here and it's only a short drive from Kihei.
42 íbúar mæla með
Iao Valley
42 íbúar mæla með
'Iao Valley is an often overlooked destination but offers incredible views and it steeped in Hawaiian history. The valley is where the first King Kamehameha began his quest of uniting all the islands in Hawaii. It's the scene of the of the massive battle that took place in 1790 which had so many casualties that it was said the river ran red with blood. There is some great hiking and scenic views here and it's only a short drive from Kihei.
The Cove is a small beach right off of S Kihei Rd in downtown Kihei. It's a popular spot for surf lessons, paddle boarding, and beginner surfers. If you're looking to try surfing, you can rent boards or sign up for lessons at Maui Waveriders across the street.
9 íbúar mæla með
Cove
2128 Iliili Rd
9 íbúar mæla með
The Cove is a small beach right off of S Kihei Rd in downtown Kihei. It's a popular spot for surf lessons, paddle boarding, and beginner surfers. If you're looking to try surfing, you can rent boards or sign up for lessons at Maui Waveriders across the street.

Shopping

Front Street is rather touristy but nonetheless is a great stop! This historical street is along the water and lined with surf shops, art galleries, boutiques, and some excellent restaurants.
15 íbúar mæla með
Front Street
15 íbúar mæla með
Front Street is rather touristy but nonetheless is a great stop! This historical street is along the water and lined with surf shops, art galleries, boutiques, and some excellent restaurants.
Paia is a cute surf town with several local boutiques and restaurants for a nice shopping stroll. It is located on the north shore near Ho'okipa which is an excellent surf spot. So if your looking to experience a typical "surf town", this is it! It's likely you'll drive right through Paia on your way to the Road to Hana. Better Things Coffee is a great stop for coffee and Choice Health Bar is a great stop for Acai bowls.
98 íbúar mæla með
Paia
98 íbúar mæla með
Paia is a cute surf town with several local boutiques and restaurants for a nice shopping stroll. It is located on the north shore near Ho'okipa which is an excellent surf spot. So if your looking to experience a typical "surf town", this is it! It's likely you'll drive right through Paia on your way to the Road to Hana. Better Things Coffee is a great stop for coffee and Choice Health Bar is a great stop for Acai bowls.
If you like the finer things in life, The Shops at Wailea is for you. This classy shopping center boasts some big names like Gucci, Rolex, Tiffany, and Prada. They have plenty of other stores like Lululemon, Quicksilver, Volcom, and Tommy Bahama. There are also several food options if you need a dinner or lunch stop.
99 íbúar mæla með
The Shops at Wailea
3750 Wailea Alanui Dr
99 íbúar mæla með
If you like the finer things in life, The Shops at Wailea is for you. This classy shopping center boasts some big names like Gucci, Rolex, Tiffany, and Prada. They have plenty of other stores like Lululemon, Quicksilver, Volcom, and Tommy Bahama. There are also several food options if you need a dinner or lunch stop.