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  • Writer's pictureMr and Mrs Jones

Your Ultimate Guide to Maui, Hawaii!

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

Hi friends!!

We have been wanting to go to Hawaii ever since we got married. We had planned a trip for our anniversary last year, but thanks to all the fun in 2020 and the Coast Guard taking Hunter underway for two months, we were forced to cancel. :( But this year, for our THREE year wedding anniversary, (I cannot believe it's been 3 years of bliss together) we booked our trip to Maui and it was so worth the wait!!! Our trip was packed with island adventures, unique coffee shops, restaurants, locally owned vendors, hikes, and gorgeous views!! We wanted to experience the island, not just have an overly expensive, resort trip. We wanted to meet new people and support local as much as possible! Read our full 8-day itinerary with photographs to help plan your next trip to Maui!

 

Full Itinerary

Day 1:

We flew into Kahului airport at 9:30am Hawaiian time. We picked up our Sandy! For the first 5 days of our trip, we rented a 1980s VW campervan from Maui Westy Campers, and it was THE best decision we made for our Maui experience. We saw the whole island and woke up to breathtaking views every day! It was also such an experience to drive!! Sandy didn't have power steering, so Hunter got an arm workout during the road to Hana! ;) Everywhere we went, people honked and waved and complimented us on the van, we graciously accepted the compliments as if it was our own... I think that was when we decided that buying a van and renovating it into a camper van might just be in our future... what do you think? ;)

After we met with Todd from Maui Westy Campers to pick up Sandy, we took his first recommendation to head to the food truck village across the street from Costco. Let me tell you all... Hunter and I are OBSESSED with poke, or so we thought. Turns out we only ever had mainland poke, which was nothing compared to Hawaiian poke... it was UNREAL!! We came back to Kahiaus Poke Truck multiple times during our stay in Maui!

Next to the airport was a Safeway that we stopped at for some groceries to have on hand in the van! Then we started on the road to Hana. If you’ve never heard of the Road to Hana, it is the most magical stretch of highway, similar to the US1, down the coast of california, but better. Read below to see the next three days of adventures along this 64 mile-long stretch from Kahului to the town of Hana.

Our first stop along the road to Hana was Ke'anae lookout! It was absolutely gorgeous and the contrast between the lava rock and vibrant blue water was a gorgeous sight to see, it was a quick turn off of the Road to Hana and no hiking involved at all, you can pull right up to view and get out to take pictures.

Other than stopping at the Ke'anae lookout we didn't make anymore stops on our way to Hana because we had plans to make it to our friends place in Hana by the early evening. It took us about two and half hours to get from Kahului to Hana.

We visited with our friend for a bit and went to the food truck village in Hana and ate at Makai cafe, this food truck had a super great patio attached with bar top seating and a college-age crowd! Once we finished eating dinner we set up camp on our friends property and planned out our stops for the following day till we fell asleep!

 

Day 2:

We woke up bright and early around 6:00am Hawaiian time and were ready for the day thanks to the time change (we are not normally morning people) ;) We took the morning slow and made breakfast in the campervan, it was so perfect, everything we needed to cook with was in the van! After breakfast we drove to the Hana food truck village and grabbed coffee at Me Tista Cafe. The owner was SO sweet and friendly and the coffee was AMAZING, it was the first macadamia nut latte we had ever had and it was delicious!

Our first adventure stop of the day was the Red Sand Beach in Hana.... take a scroll through the photos below, and that is all, I have nothing more to say! We were speechless. The color of the sand was so vibrant and colorful, it felt like we turned the corner on the hike and stepped into a dream.

Additionally one of my FAVORITE looks from this trip was this blush Vici Dolls dress, and fluffy cloud scrunchies from Kym Nova, isn't it darling? Here is a link to a tutorial of my low puff buns.

We spent a few hours adventuring and shooting at Red Sand Beach, then we headed back to the food truck village in Hana for poke. Just down the street from the food truck village is Hanua beach! One of the locals at the food truck village told us to go check out Hanua Beach and it was beautiful! Definitely a perfect place to take dinner and watch the sunset with your favorite cutie.

After walking up and down Hanua Beach, we headed back to camp to shower and get ready for dinner.

Went to Hana Restaurant (this was the only dinner restaurant in Hana other than food trucks so) it was a little bit on the pricey side, but their seared fish is amazing!


 

Day 3:

This was our last morning day in Hana before heading to the other side of the island, so we packed up and ran to grab another macadamia nut latte from Me Tistas Cafes and drove about half a mile to the Hana resort's parking lot and found the trailhead to hike to the giant cross at the top of Hana. The hike only took about 15 minutes to get to the top, but it was steep, so make sure you bring some tenny's and stretch your calves a little before heading up! But the view was spectacular!

From the parking lot at the foot of the Cross Hike, we drove over to the Hana food truck village for lunch before heading to our next stop along the road to Hana! We ordered fish tacos and a carnitas quesadilla from Lava Tacos Taqueria and they were so fresh and flavorful!

Our next stop was a massive bucket list item on this trip for us! Throughout our trip we had a few things that we wanted to do so badly, like swimming with sea turtles and rock jumping, but swimming in a waterfall was at our top! We stopped at Hanawai Falls at mile marker 24, and it was spectacular!! We were the only ones there for over an hour, AND it started sprinkling that glorious summer rain! It literally felt like we were in a movie, a moment that I will cherish forever. Do you have specific memories that play in your head when you think about your relationships? I have a trailer-like set of memories that play through my mind when I think about our relationship and this memory just made the cut. ;)

We also stopped at Pua’a ka’a falls which was beautiful as well, you can swim in them, and this stop had bathrooms available, however the falls were busier. Along the road to Hana there are several gorgeous stops so make sure you have several hours to pull off wherever your heart is calling you to. One stop you need to make time for is Coconut Glen's for some organic, vegan ice cream. So so good!

After the incredibly wonderful day, we found a spot to camp near Launiupoko Beach!

 

Day 4:

As everyday needs to be started with coffee, we headed to old town Lahaina for coffee from in old town Lahaina, which is adorable, full of shops, restaurants! We stopped at Maui Coffee Co, and the owner was super sweet, but the espresso was not our favorite, so we would suggest to try another coffee shop!

We wanted to learn to learn to surf, and were told that Launiupoko beach was one of the best beaches for beginner surfers and the waves were great, but make sure to bring water shoes because there is a lot of coral! We learned that this beach also has a lot of sea urchins, so make sure to watch your step!

We spent the rest of the day relaxing on the beach and floating on our boards, it was wonderful!

We ate dinner at Hono Restaurant, which was amazing, (plan to make a reservation in advance), they get very busy. It was a great place to catch the sunset with dinner!


 

Day 5:

Remember how badly we wanted to swim with sea turtles? Well Napili was the place to swim with them! We headed to Napili and ate brunch at the Gazebo, which was incredibly busy, no reservations allowed, (you can order takeout though), and we waited to over an hour to be seated.... but it was SO worth it!! The fried rice breakfast is amazing and you have to try at least one of their pancakes!

If you want down the front of the Gazebo restaurant to the shoreline, there are tons of great coral reefs to explore! We saw tons of sea turtles near the edges, but make sure to keep your distance!

After we scratched swimming with sea turtles off our list, we drove south through Wailea and Makena, which was a gorgeous drive, Wailea is like the Beverly Hills of Maui, very ritsy and the homes are gorgeous! We grabbed dinner from Horhitos Mobile Taqueria on our way to find a spot to camp for the night, and we found the BEST place near Ahihi cove for our last night in the campervan!


 

Day 6:

We woke up to a gorgeous sunrise and took the time to do a campervan shoot as it was our last day in Sandy. We cannot rave enough about Maui Westy Campers, the owner Todd was incredible and the entire experience was unforgettable!

We took Sandy headed to Ukumehame beach while we parked the van and cleaned it all out, threw all trash away, emptied the cooler and cupboards, and made sure we had all of out things packed and weren't forgetting anything. Ukumehame beach is another beach that we were told is great for beginner surfers, but it is also very corally, and insanely windy (it could have just been when we were there, I'm not exactly sure) but we were getting pelted with grains of sand! We were laughing of course, but it was painful when hit with a large gust! Then. we returned our campervan at OGG, picked up our TURO rental car. and and headed to the Royal Lahaina Resort. By the time we made it to the resort it was dark but the room was beautiful, we had originally booked a garden view king room, but they asked if we would like to move to an ocean front with two queens, so we took the extra bed for the view!

We ate dinner at the restaurant on the resort, since of course we had entered into the resort part of our trip, everything was going to be much more expensive, but the restaurant at the Royal Lahaina is on the higher end price wise. Hunter got the flatbread and I got the fish tacos, which were delicious! The view from the patio of the restaurant was well worth the price!

 

Day 7:

The Royal Lahaina Resort had a cute little coffee and ice cream shop, so we stopped there for a macadamia nut coffee and it was so so good! We grabbed a small breakfast at the resort... it was super expensive for pretty average food, and they would not let us bring in our coffees, even though we purchased the coffee from their own coffee shop, they made us leave our coffees at the hostess station, and then we could only have them back when we were leaving... so we would suggest going elsewhere if you can.

Another one of our bucket list items for this trip was to go cliff or rock jumping, and Black Rock Jump Rock was just a short walk in front of the Sheraton resort next door! Fun Fact: Hunter HATES the feeling of free falling, he's not fearful of heights, but boy free falling is probably his only fear, but guess what? He still jumped for me! It was so much fun, and you feel like you're falling for much longer than you actually are.

After we dried off and changed, we grabbed some ice cream from the resort (the lilikoi ice cream was amazing) and snacks and headed to Haleakala State Park. We went up to the summit at and it was breathtaking! It was difficult to tell where the ocean met the sky, it is also a spectacular place to watch the sunset as it is the highest point in Maui at 10,000 ft elevation.

We went back to our resort to watch our final sunset on this trip and soaked up all it's magnificence before grabbing dinner at the resort restaurant. Since this was out last night, we soaked it up as long as we could!


 

Day 8:

Our hearts were so sad to pack up and head back to the mainland. We grabbed some coffee and pastries and took a few more moments to soak up the ocean views before heading to the airport.


This trip was nothing short of a dream and we hope that this itinerary will help you explore some of the places we were blessed to visit! Send us your pictures via instagram: ashley.rae.jones. We cannot wait to hear about your adventures in Maui!

Travel Soon! Love, Mr and Mrs Jones

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