I don't typically write trip reports but when I was preparing for our vaca with our toddler, I found so many negative posts that I wanted to pass along positive feedback about our trip and the fun you can have with a youngster!
We flew from KC to CA and spent the night in Oakland both ways. We added 2 days to the above dates so we still spent 8 nights on Maui. This really helped break up the long plane ride and made for a much less tiring and stressful trip. For the flight, we packed lots goodies including: lacing cards, bristle blocks, books, DVD player, pipe cleaners (great for stringing Cheerios), sticker book and lots of treats - Cheerios, pretzels, cheese/pb mini ritz, etc. His fav were the bristle blocks.
Day 1 - Arrived in mid-morning. Went to K-Mart to pick up sand toys and ate a quick bite at Burger King. Checked into hotel and spent time getting settled and exploring resort/grounds. Then off to Ulua Beach. Bought a few provisions (milk, cut pineapple, etc) at Whalers at the Shops at Wailea...including some panini's for dinner.
Day 2 - Breakfast on balcony then off to Ulua beach again. Husband did snorkeling spotting lots of fish and a large sea turtle. Tried Jawz Fish Tacos in Kihei. Just ok. We all took an afternoon nap then off to Lahaina for a stroll and shopping. Dinner at Teddy's Better Burgers, Lahaina.
Day 3 - Found Kihei Caffe - great outdoor breakfast place. Busy but fast service with yummy breakfast potatoes. Today, we go to Palauea Beach. Snorkeling here just OK. Lunch at Maui Tacos. Decent but not blown away. Afternoon drive to Wailuku to check out ukulele's at Mele ukulele. Then we took route 340 over the top and around west Maui. What an exciting and nail biting drive. Mostly one lane - great scenery. Stopped at a little stand for chocolate chip cookies, a walk on a black sand beach and watching some surfers. Dinner - bento boxes from Whalers.
Day 4 - Kihei Caffe for breakfast. Ulua beach for more snorkeling - opposite reef...more sea turtles. Quick nap followed by lunch at the parked taco truck on Kihei rd. Took a stroll down past the other Wailea resorts. Found those beaches to be quite crowded. Dinner at Da Kitchen. Good fish and chips.
Day 5 - Breakfast on balcony. Family photos on Mokapu beach. Beach time on Ulua...more sea turtles and a family of large sting rays seen while snorkeling. Lunch - best find! There is a food truck parked about 100 yards off main Kihei road, in front of Worldwide Wyndham reort. Best fish and fried calamari ever tasted! Then on to Iao Valley for hike. Followed by stroll through Paia. Our toddler loves spaghetti so we did takeout from Manoli's and ate on the balcony.
Day 6 - Up early and off to explore road to Hana. Enjoyed several stops, waterfalls and scenic overlooks. Fresh pineapple and banana bread. Mediocre fish lunch near Hana. Vendor gave our toddler a fish on rod made out of a palm frond. He loved it! We pushed through and went all the way around southeast Maui. Interesting changes in scenery and roads! We are glad we did it but it is a long drive. Entire drive took about 10-11 hours...(door to door). Dinner at Da Kitchen - fish tempura (huge portion...enough for 2)
Day 7 - Breakfast at Kihei Caffe. Up country to Surfing Goat Dairy. Enjoyed tour, feeding goats and cheese tasting. On to Makawao for lunch at deli...then walked through town. Checked out kids pool at Marriott and adults enjoyed water slides! Watch sunset on Ulua beach and a wedding. Dinner from Manoli's.
Day 8 - Last day :(. Lazy day...Kihei Caffe, Ulua Beach, great food truck, Manoli's for dinner.
The secret to our great trip was a little pre-planning and just going with the flow. No, we didn't eat at Mamas but we did eat well. We came home rested and relaxed with some great memories! I encourage all parents to adventure with your young ones! There were lots of families with young children there. And enjoy!