Maui Vacation- Top Maui Hawaii Tips- Our Vacation – Nesting With Grace
We just had the most amazing vacation in Maui, Hawaii! This was part of our Christmas gift to our kids and also part was a gift from Kevin’s parents. I took so many pictures and received so many awesome tips on what to do in Maui and what to eat in Maui from a lot of you. It deserved a full blog post. Over 500 of you commented in a survey I did on Instagram Stories telling us your top favorite things to do in Maui. It was very helpful, because some of the things we had not done before or were planning to do! I am going to share the best beaches to snorkel, boogie board, paddle board, kayak, see turtles, hike and where to eat!! If you have not been to Maui before this blog post will have you adding it to your Bucket List! We are already planning on when we are going back.
This was my third time going. Every time it has been with Kevin’s family. His mom and step-dad were married here about 15 years ago. So they come a couple times a year. They actually gave all their kids an experience gift and paid for part of this vacation by covering the rooms and they are always generous to buy some excursions and meals. We are very thankful for this thoughtful and generous gift, since our flights alone from Connecticut to Hawaii are pretty expensive (and long:)).
I highlighted below in bold the things that we have done in Hawaii. The rest were tips from all of you! I recommend pulling out Yelp and searching for items then bookmarking them! I used Yelp the entire trip to reference recommendations. Also plan some things for the trip before you go and make sure to book it! We plan a beach day basically every other day and excursions the other days to break it up. We also a chill pool day too. It’s all about balance.
What we DID in Maui and Top Recommended Things to DO
**We rent snorkel gear and boogie boards at Boss Frogs. We also rent paddle boards and kayaks from Island Rental, they deliver them to where you are!
Where we ATE in Maui and Top Recommended Places to EAT
**We did go to the grocery store right when we got there. Our condo had a nice little kitchen. We mostly did breakfast in the condo for our family. We tried to keep that meal light and healthy. Then we would make lunches to take to the beach. Dinner we always ate out.
Where we STAY in Maui
Aina Nalu Lahaina by Outrigger- we always stay there. They are two bedroom, kitchen, family room, two bathroom and laundry. It is very affordable and right by Front Street. We could walk to Wailea Beach and dinner every night. They have some that are run thru air b&b and by Outrigger. Kevins mom and step dad are going to buy a condo here soon. Can’t wait to totally decorate it!!! We will share it, because you will be able to stay there! Napili Kai Resort- we noticed that this was an affordable place to stay also. I don’t know much about it. But this option is RIGHT on the beach. So it depends on what you want to do!
Pics from our Maui Vacation-
Lahaina Front Street-
Maui Pineapple Store, right on front street. Cute shop and a healthy snack. This is where we shipped pineapples home from too.
D.T. Flemming Beach- Best for boogie boarding-
Best beach for boogie boarding! I really didn’t get a picture of it. But you can see all the people below waiting for a wave. I LOVE boogie boarding. Young and old all like doing it! D.T. Beach is also right next to the Ritz Carlton, so you can order drinks and food and bring it to the beach. My brother-in-law ordered sweet potato fries that were so good! And my mother-in-law always gets the kids pina colada drinks. (PS- find my swimsuit HERE and Lola’s HERE)
Hookipa Beach- to see all the turtles and watch the surfers
This was the previous time we went to Hookipa Beach (before we learned that you are supposed to stay 10 feet away from the turtles). Now they have a mini rock path to be a signal to keep back from the turtles.
Kapaula Bay- Best for Paddle Boarding, Snorkeling and Kayaking
Glass bottom kayaks! We rented them right on the beach for around $40 an hour, so much fun. Also paddle boards are there too. Good place to snorkel. Great for kids!! No big waves.
Black Rock Beach- best for snorkeling, jumping off rock, paddle-board
If you look out to the black rocks, that is where you can snorkel and jump off the rock!
The tough group who all jumped off the rock! Highly recommend if you have that burning desire:) I was so impressed that Ella did it! Crew is 7 and he jumped off the lower rock. We paddle boarded over there. Right by the rock is a great place to snorkel.
I snapped this picture when we got back from jumping off the rock. It made me tear up. I just have to say it gave me such an appreciation for each individual personality. I kind of have FOMO (fear of missing out or regretting things). I admire Danielle that she is a content person. She is happy to sit under the umbrella and watch. Many times on this trip I would rock Finn to sleep in the shade then I would try to find a comfy spot to lay him down so I could go in the water or go do something. She noticed I was looking for a spot to lay him and said “I’m not going anywhere, I will hold him.” After that first time Finn would find her and snuggle in when he needed a nap. One of the greatest gifts is to love someone’s child or children. She blessed me and him. And I grew an understanding for her personality and a love for our differences.
The water was SO clear and gorgeous! Paddle boarding was great here earlier in the day. Later in the day it got choppy. We ordered paddle boards as I mentioned above and they brought it right to our spot!
My Mother-in-law on the far right is 57, Kevin’s Aunt Velda in the middle is 60 and I am 37. Proof that age doesn’t matter. I will be doing a blog post soon on what we do for workouts, tips and eating! Stay tuned. (PS- my swimsuit is @albionfit same with the others)
Lahaina Shores Beach- paddle boarding and kayak tours
This beach is right off Front Street in Lahaina, easy to walk to from where we stay. You can rent paddle boards there too and many snorkel here, there is pretty coral and a monk seal that hangs out around here. We did a Kayak Tour from there also that was fun. Kevin and I also ran along this beach.
Whale Watching and Snorkel Tour- Captain Steves
We did the whale watching one day then the next day we did the longer snorkel tour to Lani. Loved seeing Lani up-close. And the snorkeling was so fun. We snorkeled at two spots, chased dolphins and had lunch on the boat. The second spot we snorkeled was right by the Maula Harbor where the ship wreckage was. They do snorkel different spots, depends on the tour.
Lanai is owned by Larry Ellison, pretty interesting to find out all about Lanai. He also owns that yacht, that has a sports court in it! There is a Four Seasons and a golf course on Lanai. And many suggested going to the cat sanctuary (over 600 cats there)! My in-laws have rented a car before and drove on the island. They said it was neat, but driving thru the villages was a little uncomfortable.
Finn got in the water with me for a minute then back in the boat while I snorkeled.
We got lucky and he let us dive off the boat in the middle of the ocean (not guaranteed every time) but a must do….so bring towels in case!!
Blow Hole and Heart-Shaped Rock
This was about mile marker 38. Such pretty views. Wear tennis shoes and it does get windy by the water and blow hole, you could bring a jacket but not necessary. We walked down right to the blow hole and took pictures and then to the right is the hear-shaped rock.
We did get a little wet! haha. Love Lola’s face.
See the ❤️ ?? You can get closer, we just didn’t with the kids.
IAO Valley State Park
Short hike, but very pretty. We had also done the one right before it the last time we were here and brought picnic lunches. It is a little longer hike, I recommend both!
(By the way….I learned my lesson after this. To stand where you want the photo taken and take one, then ask a stranger to take it where you did! For some reason we always get our feet cut off or half our body or not the pretty view that we had hoped for).
Above picture was at the first hike Wailuku at the Iao Valley State Park. Very fun, easy hike. I was about 7 months pregnant with Finn.
Where to EAT in Maui-
We walked down and got smoothies and açaí bowls at the Bay Bowls, a food truck close to Front Street. They were all very good and healthy!
Probably the most recommend place to eat! Mama’s Fish House. It is pricey. But so worth it. Make reservations before you even fly out! We didn’t get to go this time. We went the first time we ever went to Maui and loved it!
Fresh Maui Pineapple Juice, nothing added at Maui Pineapple Store. Cute pineapple shop! And owned by a blog reader!
Gazebo Restaurant (Fried Rice and Macadamia Nut Trio Pancakes were most recommended). So good!
We got macadamia pancakes to share. Only place we got them and worth the treat! We had such a big breakfast (and tons left over) that we didn’t eat until dinner!
Fleetwoods- Amazing View and Bagpipe Entertainment! Owned by singer from Fleetwood Mac! Kevin and I shared the special….
Part of the group at dinner at Fleetwood’s.
Leoda’s Pie Shop- we tried many pie’s (all good) had a salad and other lunch items (all good)
Yummy fish tacos from Paia Fish Market.
We had amazing fish at Leillani’s, everyone’s meal was tasty and beautiful ocean view. And they brought out the Hula Pie for my early birthday celebration!
My early birthday cake!
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice was good. I actually NEVER get or eat shaved ice. Just not tempting to me at all. But I did try it. And Finn’s was my favorite. He got the rainbow with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the bottom. There was a line, a popular place to be!
And had to capture all the pictures of Finn getting in his daily nap. I would ask him if he was ready for a snuggle and I wrap him up in a towel, like a do with a blanket at home. Then turn on ocean sounds on my phone and put it right up to his ear. And he would fall asleep within 5 minutes.
Kevin holding sleeping Finn. And we couldn’t keep the umbrella under control one day. Ha! We can’t wait to go back! But first we have to forget the 10 hour flight home. It’s like child birth….we will want to do it again in a couple years! Share an Hawaii tips you have below!
Also I took ALL the photo’s on this blog post with my iPhone! Biggest tip is to CLEAN your lens before every photo!! I also used my Nesting with Grace Preset on every photo. You get 3 different vacations of the preset- the regular nesting with grace (the one I use for more home)- the warm nesting with grace (what I used on most of these, love it for people and outside) and the cold nesting with grace for images that are already pretty warm. Go HERE to read the blog on presets and purchase them (under $8!) The photo below I did brighten it up some too.