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Trip Report: May 20-25

New Jersey
Level Contributor
52 posts
30 reviews
Trip Report: May 20-25

First of all, a big thank you to this Maui forum for helping me plan my itinerary. I book marked and saved numerous itineraries and questions which helped me immensely.

My husband and I are in our early 30s. We visited Maui for 6 days and loved every bit of the island. I booked through Costco’s travel package. We stayed at Royal Kahana Maui by Outrigger. The hotel by itself was alright, no great landscape or beach access. However, our room was great. We had an ocean facing studio with a beautiful view. Simply loved waking up to the sound of waves. Our room was also equipped with a nice kitchen.

I must admit that the weather in Maui was worrying me since there was a lot of rain in the beginning of May. However, the weather gods have been extremely kind to us. We had spectacular weather every single day in Maui. There was brilliant sunshine, plenty of breeze and clear skies almost every day during our vacation.

Day 1: May 20th

Being from NJ, we decided to halt in San Francisco both ways during our journey to Maui. Besides meeting family and friends in San Francisco, this helped us avoid extra long flights and somewhat helped with the time zone changes. We took a 10am flight from SFO to OGG. Once we landed in Maui, there was instant warmth and breeze which was refreshing. Our rental car booking was through Alamo. After reading some TA forum posts, I had checked in online. We were out with our car in a few minutes. The drive from OGG to our hotel was 50 mins. We enjoyed the drive as this gave us a chance to see Maui.

After checking into our hotel and freshening up, we decided to check out Ka’anapali beach. It was barely a 5 min drive from where we stayed. It was drizzling a bit and hence, the beach was kind of deserted. We parked at the Westin parking lot and walked on the beach enjoying the breeze and drizzling rain for about an hour. It was bliss! We came across a beach bar on the ocean and happy hour was going on. We sat down with our mai tais facing the ocean, enjoying the breeze and listened to some live music. It was a beautiful way to begin our vacation. After spending 2.5 hrs or so at Ka’napali beach, we decided to head out. We stopped at Times market to pick up some local fruits and grocery to get us through the next few days. We called it a night and were in bed by 7.30pm. So much for avoiding jet lag!

Day 2: May 21st

I had Haleakala sunrise reservations and had decided to take a call depending on the weather. Thanks to our jet lag, we were up and awake by 2.45am! I looked out from our lanai and the sky was clear with no rain. We immediately got ready, packed some fruits to snack on the way and started driving! The drive was about 1hr 45 mins. The road up to Haleakala was a little tricky to drive at such wee hours. We reached the summit at about 4.45am. The colors of the sky for the next 1 hr until sunrise were brilliant. Words can do little justice to the beauty of sunrise over Haleakala! Despite covering up with layers and using sheets from our hotel room, we were freezing. I wish I had brought my gloves coz my fingers were frozen while clicking pictures. After watching the sunrise, we walked around a bit, and drove to another summit whose parking lot was closed during the sunrise. After spending an hour or so, we decided to return back. We were starving and I was waiting to try acai bowls. Hence, we stooped at Paia Bowls in Paia. During our trip, I fell in love with acai bowls and had them almost every day, sometimes even twice a day.

The exhaustion kicked in as we were finishing up our acai bowls and decided to head back to our room. We slept for a couple of hours and had a quick lunch in the room itself, watching the beautiful ocean from our lanai. Around 3 pm, we decided to head out to see Nakalele blowhole. The drive to the blowhole was twisty and full of turns. I started feeling a little motion sick by the time we reached mile marker 38. I had read up a lot that MM 38 is the best spot to see the blowhole. However, I am not sure if I read wrong! After exploring the area, we never got the see the blowhole! I followed this https://anonymouse.smugmug.com/Blowhole/ and still never managed to find it. We were the only 2 people in the entire vicinity and I started to freak out thinking we were in the wrong place. We had parked right next to Julia’s banana bread (which was delicious, FYI!) and the guy in the stall told us blowhole was ahead. I wasn’t sure what to do so we decided not to venture any further north and instead head to Kapalua Bay.

Kapalua Bay turned out to be my most favorite beach on Maui. It was cute, small and absolutely beautiful. We spent about 2 hrs just relaxing by the beach watching people snorkell and kids play in the water. However, the time zone difference was getting to us and we finally returned to our room for sunset. We had our dinner on the lanai while watching the sunset and were off to bed by 8pm!

Edited: 31 May 2018, 03:11
17 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
14,232 posts
33 reviews
1. Re: Trip Report: May 20-25

What a beautiful start to your Maui time! We missed the Blowhole on our first try many years ago too. I still like the hike from mm38 but you can’t miss it at mm38.5. Next time!

Milwaukie, Oregon
Level Contributor
4,339 posts
22 reviews
2. Re: Trip Report: May 20-25

Nice report. Glad the weather cleared up for your visit!

Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
4,914 posts
9 reviews
3. Re: Trip Report: May 20-25

Nice start to your trip. Looking forward to reading more. Sorry you missed the blow hole. You likely just timed things wrong and were in the area during low tide meaning it wasn't "blowing."

Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
3,680 posts
129 reviews
4. Re: Trip Report: May 20-25

A great read....looking forward to more

Julia's wasn't there on our last trip....hopefully she will be there next time to try her banana bread

Level Contributor
39,340 posts
1,019 reviews
5. Re: Trip Report: May 20-25

Great report! We love Kapalua Beach also, it is my favorite place to snorkel and see lots of fish without having to go too far out. 🏖🌸🌴🍍

New Jersey
Level Contributor
52 posts
30 reviews
6. Re: Trip Report: May 20-25

Day 3: May 22nd

It was our special day, our 5th anniversary! My husband and I love doing “activities” and we had 2 of them planned for the day. The first one was a morning helicopter ride of West Maui and Molokai mountains. Before heading to the heliport, we had our mandatory breakfast stop for acai bowls in Paia. We had booked our tour through Air Maui. This was our first helicopter experience and it was splendid. Truly an exhilarating experience to have an aerial view of the lush Maui landscape as well as see other water falls that are inaccessible by land. The famous waterfalls that featured in the movie Jurassic Park as well as the beautiful Molokai Island were the highlights. It was only 9am when we were done with our tour. We had an afternoon snorkeling trip booked at Coral gardens for 1pm from Maalaea harbor. After contemplating what we should for the next 4 hrs, we decided to head south towards Makena/big beach. I was pretty impressed with the Wailea area, especially the huge golf courses and well landscaped resorts. We bought some fresh coconut water just before entering the beach, lay down our beach towels and soaked in every moment for the next 2 hours.

Soon we were getting hungry for lunch and decided to try Miso Phat Sushi in Kihei. Being vegetarians, we always have limited food options, especially in a place like Maui. We tried a few vegetarian rolls and they were great. Our next stop was Maalaea harbor for snorkeling. We had found a great online deal through Malolo company, which was just 40$ for the both us. Since we had splurged on the helicopter ride, we had booked a relatively less expensive snorkeling trip. We both are average swimmers and have snorkeled just once before. The journey to coral gardens wasn’t too long (which means less sea sickness for me!). We saw a variety of fish and beautiful corals. However, we did not see any turtles. We returned to Maalaea harbor by 4pm and were exhausted. We contemplated going out for dinner, but weren’t too hungry so decided to pick up some food instead and enjoy in our lanai.

Day 4: May 23rd

I hadn’t planned anything specific for this day and wanted to take it light. We slept in till 6 am which was a luxury considering we were usually up by 3-4am! By 7am we decided to do the Kapalua Coastal Trail, especially since I loved Kapalua Bay. While the hike itself wasn’t too strenuous, this was by far the most scenic hike we have ever done, hand down! It took us 1 hour each way from Kapalua bay to Fleming Beach Park. We stopped to take numerous pictures, each being more picturesque than the other. Very content with our start to the day, we headed back to the room to relax. We watched some TV, slept for a bit while enjoying the beautiful ocean breeze. I simply can’t get over the ocean facing lanai, can I ?

By 2 pm we were starving and decided to try the farmers market in Ka’anapali. I was amused and happy to see that most of the menu was vegetarian. It was paradise for us! While the atmosphere is that of a grocery store, the food was absolutely delicious. We had some sandwiches and fresh coconut. Having grown up in India, we miss drinking fresh coconut water in mainland USA. This vacation satisfied our cravings for coconut water as well as a lot of tropical fruits (mango, jackfruit).

Next we decided to explore Lahaina town. It was a cute little town buzzling with activity. It was extremely hot and we spent a good amount of time under the HUGE banyan tree which offered so much shade. We stopped at Ululani’s shave ice and relished the coconut and mango flavors. By the time we finished shopping for some souvenirs, it was past 5pm. I did not want to do a Luau since the food wasn’t a big attraction to us vegetarians. However, I had read up about the free hula show at Ka’anapali beach hotel. However to our dismay, when we reached there we realized the free hula show is every Friday and not every day! Wonder how I missed such an important piece of information. We had the entire evening in front of us and weren’t sure what to do. So we decided to catch the sunset from Black rock beach and enjoy some live music that was going on. It turned out to be the most romantic evening as we ended up having so much time to ourselves with nothing on the agenda!

Level Contributor
301 posts
33 reviews
7. Re: Trip Report: May 20-25

Beautiful report. I agree that there is nothing like enjoying the ocean view, it just doesn’t get old! Waiting for more.... :)

Kapaa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
52,748 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: Trip Report: May 20-25

Sounds like a lovely time, thanks for posting!!

S W Arkansas
Destination Expert
for Kihei, Maui, Hana, Haleakala National Park
Level Contributor
11,540 posts
16 reviews
9. Re: Trip Report: May 20-25

Funny how some of the best evening are the unplanned relaxed just enjoying each other. I've enjoyed the reports. You guys had a wonderful trip.

Prosper, Texas
Level Contributor
1,737 posts
50 reviews
10. Re: Trip Report: May 20-25

Sounds like a great time. Thanks for posting!

Reply to: Trip Report: May 20-25
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