2.09.2013

Whales, Pie, Possible Death and 6 More Things to Include in Your Next Hawaiian Islands Vacation

This is a list of the top nine items that were enthralling enough to make me want to hurry back to Maui and Oahu and experience them all over again.  My list was generated through personal experiences built up with a combination of Yelp, TripAdvisor, my trusty guidebook, and pure luck.  Take what you want, comment on the ones you've experienced, and please feel free to add your favorites in the comments section below.

Places To See:

1) Pearl Harbor (Honolulu):  Must I explain?  I think not.  The day I know I will be returning to Oahu, I will be booking tour tickets at Reservation.gov, packing a portable packet of tissue, and setting aside an entire day to go through the museums, listen to the audio tour, and be humbled all over again.

2) The teeny weeny road to Kahakuloa (Northwest Maui):  If you're into one lane roads, hairpin turns, and great banana bread, this is a trip not to be missed.  Here's a great article covering most of the stuff Matt and I ventured out for and will hopefully get back to do again.


3) Shop at Global Creations and Interiors in Haleiwa.  Local artistry galore.  I especially fell in love with the works by North Shore artist Heather Brown and even brought a piece home.

Places to Eat:

4) Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop (Lahaina):  Thick fresh sandwiches, house made pies, relaxed atmosphere, and locally sourced farm fresh ingredients.  Paleo if you want it, coconut cream pies if you don't.

5) Ululani's (Kahului):  I'd like to thank my fellow Yelpers for this shave ice perfection find.  Airy, light, sweet, and delicious.  Shave ice heaven just minutes from the Kahului airport.  Paleo?  Not so much.  But who gives a crap when you're in Maui on vacation.  Not me at least.  Ululani's is totally worth feeding the addiction.

6) Kua'Aina (Haleiwa):  Gargantuan juicy hamburgers fit for a king.  If not a king, at least a POTUS.  A behemoth mountain of meat and veggies.  And practically an entire avocado if you want it.  Paleo?  Absolutely can be!  And very tasty at that.

Things to Do:

7) Swim in the Olivine Pools (Northwest Maui):  There is quite a bit of controversy about visiting these pools, so educate yourself thoroughly before planning a stop.  Can you die or get severely injured?  Yup.  It could happen.  Especially if you make decisions like these guys.  Watch the waves.  Be smart.  And know the risks.  This was one of my most favorite experiences the entire trip.

8) Kayak with whales...or sea turtles...or dolphins (West Maui):  Whatever water vessel you opt for, just be sure you do it with Hawaiian Paddle Sports.  This is a top notch outfit that gives personalized attention on one heck of a tour.  And kayaking next to whales is freakin' amazeballs.  Need a little more reassurance?  Check out what TripAdvisor has to say and then go follow Hawaiian Paddle Sports on Instagram.  Their daily uploads are like a mini-vacation.

9) Get a lomi lomi massage:  This was and still is on the top of my list.  How can I recommend something that I didn't try?  Because it's a massage and you really can't go wrong with lying naked under appropriate draping on or near the ocean while your muscles are melted down into gooey piles of relaxed zen-ed out mush.  Sign me up!  Upper crust experience: Waihua Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.  My more than likely experience: Zensations Spa in Lahaina.  Either way, I'm pretty sure I'll ooze out the door feeling fabulous.

So there it is.  My supertabulous list of 9 things to add to your next Maui (and Oahu) vacation.  Go forth, eat lots, and be tan.




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