I do not blog much on family vacations, because I travel solo most of the time. I also have older children, so I do not consider myself an expert on childrens, "things to do". I am well past that. It is a pleasure to share my experiences with my children and to find things to do that teens, young adults and grown folks all enjoy. How can you fail in Hawai'i?
There is so much to see and do. I am a planner, so it was easy to mark the agenda with outdoor activities. Snorkeling, boating, beach hopping and typical tourist activities were abundant and accessible. We secured a condo in Kihei and drove up and down the coast in search of activities. The road to Hana, Paia, Lahaina, Kapalua, Napili - I think we hit all the hot spots on our 10 day vacation.
The famous Front Street in Lahaina provided entertainment for a couple days, as well as wonderful food and shopping. We tried three different restaurants on Front Street, and of course, the famous shaved ice. The seafood is amazing and the rooftop seating is worth the price of the menu. Be sure to enjoy the calamari at Captain Jacks Bar across the street from the Banyan tree. Almost all the bars offer cocktails with local POG juice. Yum. Add rum. Shake. Serve.
We secured a weeklong pass to the Maui Ocean Center and utilized the facility for bored afternoons when it was raining, or we were tired of our beach days. The aquarium has a wonderful shark tank as well as turtle ponds, and other local fish pools. A wonderful activity for families with small children. A bargain if you get the week pass (same price for one day).
|Pride of Maui Snorkel/ Snuba tour|
|Haleakala National Park|
The Road to Hana may be a bit overrated. We are not "car trip" people. So, six hours in the car on a dangerous windy road, shared with other tourists, who are not the best drivers, and locals who are driving exceptionally fast, was not our idea of a great day. It was exhausting at best. Once we reached Haleakala National Park, we found out the Seven Sacred Pools were not open for swimming due to rough water. Tough day. There were other similar areas (in regards to overlooks, rock formations and ocean access) which were closer to our condo and just as beautiful. I wish we had known beforehand. That might be a trip we avoided. Alternate destinations include, La Perouse as one example, south of Kihei. Blow Hole is another example, north of Kapalua Bay. Amazing locations, far less crowded and just as beautiful.
We took a quick day trip to Paia, where the local shops and brewery were a relief from the congested area on the west side of the island. Laid back and far more chill than Lahaina. Perhaps a bit too mellow to stay here for more than a day or two, it was a quiet getaway from all the tourist shenanigans in the more congested areas. Mama's seafood is also in Paia, which is one of the best restaurants on the island.
Beach wise, it's hard to go wrong anywhere on the island. I am a fan of Kapalua Bay, simply because the water is calm and it is less congested(by tourists). Located in a high end area, I find it soothing and comforting for a quiet beach day. My 21 year old daughter preferred Napili Bay which is a great family beach. Also, calm waters, but it is so crowded I find it appalling. If you are looking to socialize and aren't bothered the incessant sound of screaming children, you will not have issue with this beach. Both are on the west side of Maui. My son liked the beaches at Paia. Typical surf beaches. Great waves and lots of young people. The beaches at Kihei were beautiful and perfect compliment to the calm area.
The sunsets were the icing on the cake. Every evening, undeniable. Hard to forget where you were...a beautiful end to every day in paradise. Hawai'i gorgeous and peaceful.