Having been born and raised on Maui, I have a unique perspective when it comes to my island home. Moreover, my family’s business is Hawaii’s premier sailboat activity TRILOGY EXCURSIONS and I was raised working behind the scenes from everything from answering phones, baking cinnamon rolls, and even crewing on the boats. Tourism is one of Maui’s leading industries and people all around the world come to Maui to enjoy it's unique climate and culinary treasures. No wonder it’s been rated the number one island in the world by Conde Nast, and what better place to get married than on an island that has untouched nature, world class restaurants, and the top vendors from photography to florists.
The beauty of a destination wedding is that your guests can enjoy the island before and after the actual event and will have an incredible vacation they will always remember. As a Maui girl I believe in the Aloha Spirit and practicing the concept of Ho’okipa or hospitality. I’m so happy to share some of my top must do, must sees and my only request is that you cherish and honor these places too - Don’t take any rocks, or pieces of coral, and leave it better than you came- discard of your trash, Opala, and please be mindful and help keep Maui thriving and lush.
TRILOGY EXCURSIONS: Obviously, this is the top pick for you if you are coming to Maui and not just because it’s my family business (and yes my WHOLE family (all my siblings and cousins still run this business! It’s a real family operation) - it's a MUST DO. Whether its a half day Molokini snorkel to explore the sunken half crater, or a full day to discover the private island of Lanai, the Trilogy experience will be a highlight of your vacation. (Also a great choice for private rehearsal dinners and even intimate weddings!)
MAUI SKYLINE ECO ADVENTURES: These guys do FUN right. Based up in the beautiful Olinda area on the slopes of Haleakala, or in Kaanapali, the sky line crew are super knowledgeable on the surrounding habitat and Hawaiian history. And the ziplines are FUUUNNN - just the right amount of thrill and adventure but always super safe.
MAUI CRAFT TOURS: See and taste Maui in a unique way! Must do for foodies and those wanting a slightly off the beaten path tourist experience. Great way to see, taste, and love what Maui has to offer in a way that fills all the senses.
OLD LAHAINA LUAU: If you are wanting a taste of culture, there are lots of Luaus out there and they will have somewhat of the same theme - Hula dancing and Hawaiian food and free flow Mai Tais - but this Luau is really the best. The food is authentic, the dancers are authentic, and the Mai Tais… well I can’t vouch for them - but it’s still free flow I believe. Definitely need to make reservations in advance for this one.
ROAD TO HANA: Hana has a special place in my heart and it is where I go to fill my cup. There are many tours out there that can take you and show you this untouched part of Maui, but I love to have the freedom of driving and stopping along the way. I might write another post of the secret waterfalls and beaches, but I also feel slightly protective of them lol… so for now I’ll tell you my favorite places to nibble at! There is a Halfway to Hana stop that has the best banana bread, fresh coconut pieces, and shave ice for a great little snack stop and YAY you made it half way! In Hana town there are more and more food options popping up, but my 3 favorite are: Pranee Thai, BereBere Ethiopian food, and Hot Lava Tacos. Fave beach is Red Sand beach (please respect this sacred beach and wear reef safe sunscreen, take all the litter out if you bring any in, and be careful as its a little bit of a hike and can be slippery). Bamboo forest hike from the 7 Sacred Pools is also pretty spectacular. If you plan on staying out here, Travaasa is an experience like no other and we love all the warm and welcoming staff.
RESTAURANTS: In no particular order
Star Noodle (west side): Try the Vietnamese Crepe and Yuzu cocktail
Mamas Fish House: Try the crab stuffed mahi and the octopus Luau
Monkey Pod: Truffle fries and strawberry pie
Mill House: Chick pea fritters and miso roasted eggplant
Broth (alive and well): Avo toast and vegan ramen
Lineage: Sheldon Simeon’s latest restaurant creation- its a must for creative local cuisine.
Cafe Des Amis: Catch of the day curry and a chocolate caramel banana crepe
Cafe O Lei: Fish of the day special and the roast veggie quinoa salad
Nutcharees Thai food: Crispy fish salad
Vana: Great sushi and small bites
Bap: Authentic Korean and best handmade kim chee and Spider rolls
Nuka: Best Sushi and Japanese
Sanseis: Best 50% off deal 5-5:30pm
Pinatas: Fish tostada
Surf Tacos: Fish tacos
THINGS TO DO WITH KIDDOS (family friendly activities)
Baby beach (in Lahaina)
Baby beach (in Sprecklesville)
Maui Tropical Plantation (feed the ducks, take the train, do the zipline if over 45lbs)
Lavender Farm (there is a fun scavenger hunt)
Iao Valley (the first park has a lot of small huts and fish ponds to explore)