Sunday, March 30, 2014

Things to do in Maui, Hawaii

The greatest aspect of Maui is that you can be as active as you want in engaging in activities and/or eating!  I'll first describe some of the activities and end the post with my favorite topic, food!

Dolphin's Point.  This little cove is on private property, but many non-residents come here to snorkel with the giant turtles!  A caution is that getting into the water can be slightly dangerous, as there is a narrow passageway into the water.  Bring your own snorkeling gear, and for those that aren't great swimmers, use a life jacket so you can enjoy the view!  

Napili Beach has got to be one of the cleanest and gorgeous beaches that I have been to thus far.  While, Cayman Islands still reigns as #1 for the most beautiful, this was a close runner up.  Bring a tent if you are planning on napping in the sun, as it can get pretty warm.  It was very peaceful and not overly crowded.

Road to Hana is at least a day-long trip.  It is a windy road that has several stands and sights to stop at on the way to the top.  It is suggested that if you are only going to spend a day going up to Hana, leave very early!  We made a mistake by starting our journey in the afternoon and driving back to the hotel at night.  At many points on the road, it only allows one car to pass, although traffic flows both ways.  Also, it is hard to see anything beyond the curves.  The trip is worth it though, snagging banana bread, ice cream, and seeing waterfall after waterfall!

Haleakala Summit has many areas of exploration, and therefore, you can easily turn this into an all-day activity.  It costs approximately $10 to enter the national park, but the pass lasts for a few days.  Most people travel to the very top for the sunset.  We went in the afternoon.  The best piece of advice that I got from a friend is: Wear a jacket!  It is very windy and cold towards the top!  You can hike so wear comfortable shoes!  If you prefer, you could drive to the top as well.

A foodie at heart, I compare food to the standard of San Francisco food.  Therefore, the Asian/Asian-fusion restaurants that were very popular were OK and didn't wow me (only my opinion =).  What did wow me were the desserts!

Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop probably has the best pie I've ever had.  The pies range from $8-$9 and they are definitely a vacation splurge.  However, every bite is worth it (see  The two purchased were banana cream pie and chocolate mac nut pie.  We ate the savory pies as well, chicken pot and beef pies, which were tasty, but doesn't rival the dessert pies.
Maui Specialty Chocolates has the hot commodity: dark chocolate truffle mochi!  We were naive tourists and casually strolled into the shop on the afternoon expecting to fill our tummies with the mochi.  The owner noted that it is usually sold out by morning.  He stated, "No problem.  Just order it and pick it up tomorrow." I highly recommend pre-ordering to ensure you reserve the delicacy.  We bought one pack for us and one pack to bring home; they can be frozen, but taste the best fresh.
Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice: On a warm day, this melt in your mouth shaved ice is all you need!  Choose any combinations of flavors, including a variety of ice creams.

Bistro Cassanova.  I wanted a change from eating mounds of rice and fried meats.  I stumbled upon Bistro Cassanova and I was so happy that I did!  I got my pasta carbonara craving taken care of!  We also ordered a strawberry crepe.  The carbonara was definitely the highlight.  The server was also very knowledgeable and friendly.  
One disappointment that I will share is that Maui did not have a masubi shop like Oahu.  The best masubis are surprisingly at a Chevron gas station, and the spicy pork one is the most delicious one.  Again, these sell out in the morning and they don't always make the spicy pork one so scoop them up when you can!

Popular spots
Flatbread Pizza Company and Da Kitchen (pictured below)

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