There is so much to do on the little island of Maui, we quickly realized what a great place it is for a family vacation. Here is my vacation guide for a week in Maui!
WHERE TO STAY
We paid $100 a night to stay at the Days Inn Maui Oceanfront and we were 30 seconds from Keawakapu Beach! It’s definitely a place to stay if you plan on being out and about since the room is small and there aren’t many amenities. We spent a lot of time on the beach and took daily walks up and down Keawakapu Beach in the morning and spent the rest of the day beach bumming.
The ocean is nice, calm and super suitable for kids. We even took baby out to bob around for a bit. My husband rented snorkeling gear from Boss Frogs for $24/week so we took turns (aka I attempted a few times and inhaled a lot of ocean water) to snorkel off the beach. My husband went scuba diving off the beach with Scuba Luv Maui (look for the red chairs near the showers!) and he got to meet some sea turtles!Where to stay: Days Inn Maui Oceanfront
Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
We had some points for a free stay at a Marriott so we booked two nights at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. The room we stayed in runs for $350-$400/night. We got a newly renovated room, which was gorgeous! Construction is expected to be finished by December 2016 and they’re adding in a whole kids section with a movie theater and kiddie pool which looked pretty nice. They also offer childcare services for parents who want a romantic night out. The entire place is beautiful and I’m actually super obsessed with all the furniture there. I loved the look and feel of this place! Also, they have some amazing customer service! I snapped a picture of my view and put it on IG and they sent me a bunch of yummy Hawaiian snacks and a stuffed toy for Elara! We spent a lot of time at the pool and there were tons of other families with young children like us.
The only con is that the beach is kind of far from the property and requires a 15 minute walk. In addition the beach has a steep drop off, so watch out for that. However, snorkeling here was a lot of fun, I even got to see a bunch of fishies!Where to stay: Wailea Beach Resort Maui
Wai’anapanapa State Park cabin
We went glamping in Wai’anapanapa State Park in Hana. Cabins go for $90/night and sleeps up to 6 people. It was clean and huge – we were very impressed! If you’re up for the adventure of glamping, this is a great place to start. There is a fridge, electric stovetop, and furnished kitchen. We stopped at a grocery store before we left for the trip and stocked up on pasta and fruit so we’d have food for the weekend. There is a well-stocked general store in Hana that you can go to if you need other provisions. The only con here is that there is no air conditioning and be ready for mosquito bites – I mean, you are in nature. But the starry sky at night is well worth it! Also bring you’re own towels, sheets, blankets and grab a mosquito net if you have one!
This is a place to go if you want to hike, we didn’t find any beaches around here safe for kids. We did find lots of scenic hiking trails of varying intensity. We walked around the black sand beach, caves, and lava cliffs in the state park.
WHAT TO DO
This is the obvious thing to do in Maui, and it’s the best thing to do in Maui. A lot of the family beaches are near Wailea and Kihei. I’m a big scaredy cat of water, but the ocean was so clear I could see my feet! I felt pretty comfortable getting out there. The waves near Hana and Paia are rough, but they do have lots of surfers you can watch!
You can rent snorkeling gear or go on snorkeling tours. You will see the same things off the shore of Maui that you’ll see near Monokini, so I would actually suggest snorkeling on your own if you’re experienced.
This is was definitely a highlight of our trip! We used Shaka Guide ($6 app) to guide us down the Road to Hana. We usually don’t ever pay for apps, but this one was well worth it! It uses your GPS to tell you where to stop and look. A lot of the stops are hidden and hard to find and this app came in handy so many times! This drive is also not for the faint hearted. There are narrow roads and there are tight curves the entire way to Hana. You can end your trip by going to Haleakala NP and swimming in the Ohe’o pools, but call the National Park Service in advance to see if they are open.
Other than beaches, Maui has tons of beautiful hiking trails. Our first hike we did was Nakalele Blowhole. It’s a steep and rocky climb down, but do-able as long as you have a good pair of sneakers and strong legs and knees.
We also did a few hikes along the Road to Hana, the Shaka Guide will tell you where the trails start. We did a short hike to the Venus Pools. The Pipiwai trail in Haleakala National Park is also another great hike, it had rained very hard the days we were in Hana so the trail was closed, but I’ve heard good things!
Haleakalā National Park
We went to Haleakala National Park’s summit district. The sunrise here is supposedly breathtaking, however we ended up making it into the NP around noon and the view was still very beautiful! When we initially got there, everything was covered in dense fog, but it cleared up and we were greeted with a view over the island. You can also enter the park through Hana in the Kipuhulu district to get to the Ohe’o pools and Pipiwai trail.
WHERE TO EAT
Maui Pie – they have a Lilikoi (passionfruit) cream pie that I still think about. The pie is just so fluffy and light, you’ll feel zero guilt after having a slice!
Leoda’s – another pie place that’s amazing. I got a chocolate macadamia mini pie for $9 and it was heaven. At first I was pissed I bought a pie that expensive…but after tasting it, I didn’t feel so mad. So rich and chocolatey!
Down to Earth – A friend of ours told us that vegetarian food is hard to come by on the islands, so she recommended this place. It’s a vegetarian/vegan grocery store near the airport, and they have everything! I even tried some tofu musubi. We loaded up on some snacks while we were here. They also have a hot food bar which had some really tasty stuff that we filled up on.
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice – it’s all about the ice and syrups here. We ventured out and tried the watermelon, calamansi, li hing mui (sour plum), mango and lilikoi flavors. We had shaved ice almost every day while we were on the island – it was a good way to end our day.
Surfing Goat Dairy Farm – It’s a road trip to get here, but if you’re a fan of cheese, you should do it! We had a tasting platter, and omg, was it good!
Author: My name is Hetal Vasavada of Milk & Cardamom! I’m a Jersey native who has adopted the beautiful city of San Fran as home. Cooking and baking are a passion of mine that have lead me on a wonderful journey including the opportunity to be a contestant on season 6 of Masterchef.