The KJ & Company Maui Travel Guide is finally here! Better late than never, right? We’ve had the opportunity to travel to Maui twice now and have completely fallen in love! There really is nothing quite like Hawaii.
In this travel guide, I am going to be sharing our favorite places to eat, explore and relax at. There will even be some tricks of the trade that we learned along the way! Did I mention that John broke his leg on day 1 the first time we went down there? Yeah, we’re in on the down low of what really goes on. Just kidding, but we for sure had an experience we will never forget!
Maui truely is a gem. Even if you ask the locals or people who have traveled to the other islands, they say that Maui is the best combination of all the islands. You get to experience a little bit of everything! From big, sandy beaches to lush, tropical forests, Maui does not disappoint! Here are some of our favorite places to explore:
Big Beach – Also known as “Makena Beach” is the most picturesque beach you can imagine. And it’s named appropriately – it’s BIG. All the times we visited this beach we were pleasantly surprised by how spacious it was and wasn’t so crammed full of people. Note – Big Beach is not near any stores/restaurants. Pack snacks!
Kam 1 & 2 Beaches – Both times that we traveled to Maui we stayed in the Kihei area. It’s not over-crowded by tourists and you definitely get more of a local vibe. These beaches deliver just that. Plus, they are in walking distance of some yummy food spots! Be careful – always keep an eye on the tide and high tide warnings. John broke his leg on this beach due to a high tide and being ripped out by the rip current. Not to scare you off, but always be aware of your surroundings and never turn your back to the ocean! (we still love these beaches though 🙂
Road to Hana – This iconic day trip is totally worth it! It is so fun to wind through the tropical forest of up-country Maui. Plan enough time, pack enough food and fill the car up with gas for this one. And most importantly, soak it all in! There’s even an app that you can download that can be your travel guide as you travel the Road to Hana. It will tell you all the places to stop to see gorgeous waterfalls and have amazing picture opportunities. If the full Hana Highway is open, you can travel all the way around the UpCountry of Maui – it’s breathtaking! Otherwise, most people turn around once they reach Hana, which is just as great! No matter what, you have to stop at Coconut Glen’s to get some homemade, coconut ice cream. Its dream-worthy!
Places on our bucket list: Since John broke his leg the first time we went to Maui and then Hurrican Hector was passing by the second time (we have the best luck, don’t we?), there were some activities that we really wanted to do but weren’t able to! Here’s whats on our list: Sunrise at Mt. Haleakala, Snorkel Trip to Molokini Crater, Surfing and the 7 Sacred Pools.
This is the part we are really good at haha! Since both of the times we visited Maui had some set-backs in regards to the adventure side of things, we sure did do a lot of eating! Here are some of our favorite places:
Miso Phat Sushi – all the sushi here is amazing and it’s a great local spot! My favorites were the Philly Roll (they have a great make of it!) Miso Phat Roll and the TNT Roll. They have been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!
Mama’s Fish House: Put on a fun dress, get a reservation and enjoy a great dinner at Mama’s! This place is iconic and has a great ocean view. My favorite was Mama’s Stuffed Fish. It is a little bit pricey, so be prepared.
Morimoto Maui – You can’t go wrong with an Iron Chef-ran restaurant! Perfect for a romantic date night. They have awesome sushi, noodle and ramen bowls (we split the ramen and the miso!) for appetizers. For dinner, I went with the duck confit fried rice (AMAZING) and John had the pork chop which he said was the best pork chop he’s ever had! You have to go with the doughnuts with all the different sauces for dessert.
MonkeyPod Kitchen – You just have to go! Such a fun place for dinner. It’s popular, so make sure to get a reservation! We’ve even gotten take-out and it was just as good. Our favorites: MonkeyPod Mai Tai (legendary), Corn Chowder Appetizer, Kalua Pork and Pineapple Pizza, Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi, and PIE.
Outrigger Pizza Company – Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, this place is a must! It doesn’t look like much and you might accidentally drive past it a couple times, but you must stop! Look for a portable, yellow pizza oven cranking out amazing pies. Our favorites: Lilikoi Pork and the White Cheddar Mushroom with pepperoni added on. The perfect pizza to take to the beach.
Kihei Caffe – Two words: CINNAMON ROLLS.
Three’s Bar & Grill – Don’t overlook this place- it’s AMAZING! Our absolute favs: Bacon Fried Brussel Sprouts, Three’s Traditional Ramen (a must!), Braised Short Ribs, and the Molten Chocolate Lava Cake.
Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonades & Acai Bowls – We seriously stopped here every day. Perfect acai bowls and homemade lemonades for a mid-day snack or lunch after being at the beach! Our favorites: Da Kine Acai Bowl, Classic Lemonade, Lava Flow Lemonade and the Pina Colada Lemonade.
Akamai Coffee – Amazing, local,Maui coffee! It has such a fun atmosphere with delicious coffee! Don’t foreget to grab a slice of banana bread here – it’s to die for! We love their iced coffee drinks and they always have so many different ones to choose from – German Chocolate Cake, Macadamia Nut and Honeybee just to name a few. The coffee is the spotlight and the flavors are accents – not too heavy or overly sweet!
There’s so many different hotels, air bnb’s and resorts to choose from on Maui. Here’s where we’ve stayed:
The Kutcher Condo – An updated and stylish air bnb listing owned by the one and only, Jenna Kutcher (if you don’t follow her on insta, do you even have insta?). This was our first air bnb experience and it was so great! We really felt like we were locals when we stayed here. The only downside: we stayed here when John broke his leg and there isn’t an elevator. Minor detail, but we did miss the “resort’ amenities during this time period. If he hadn’t broken his leg, we wouldn’t have thought twice about it.
Residence Inn Maui Wailea – Pefectly modern and updated without the high-resort pricing! They had a great pool area and a large workout room. We stayed in the one-bedroom suite and loved the space! This would be a great option if you are traveling with a family.
Where we want to try next: Andaz Maui – I mean, just go look at it and you will know why!
What We Learned:
Since John broke his leg the first day on our first trip to Maui, we learned a little bit about the medical system while we were there. I’m not saying that Maui has a bad medical system, but there are some things to know if you are traveling there and need medical attention.
- Health Insurance – a lot of places do not accept “mainland insurance.” Meaning, you will have to pay out of pocket. We had to do so for an urgent care facility and an orthopaedic doctor that he later had to get a cast at. This is VITAL to know. You have to pay out of pocket and then submit your claims when you get back home.
- Hospital – there is only 1 hospital on the island. The care system is much looser than what we are used to. Meaning, John was wheeled around on one of those little, round doctor’s chairs instead of a wheel chair and I helped splint his leg…
We absolutely love Maui and can’t wait to go back again someday!