Spending time exploring Maui was awesome. I wanted to thank my readers for the great recommendations! Since we used points and miles for the majority of our Hawaii trip, we didn’t feel as guilty spending money on food and activities. The first night we arrived around 11PM and stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Airport Maui, which was a very new and clean hotel for 20,000 Marriott points. The next 3 nights were at the Outrigger Maui Eldorado.
The first full day, we took the airport shuttle from the Marriott to Dollar rental car and picked up our car after heading to Costco next door. We visited downtown Lahaina, which had a bunch of tourist shops and expensive restaurants. We walked around for a while, ate a picnic lunch on the beach (poke from Costco), had some shaved ice, and visited the Banyan Tree Park.
The 2nd day was the big day to visit the Road to Hana. We left at 6:00AM to start driving from our condo on the west side of the island to Hana, the east side of the island. We got to the base of Hana at about 7:30AM after a 30 minute stop at Foodland for takeout lunch.
The Road to Hana is a must do in Maui. Exploring Maui is not complete until you’ve done the Road to Hana. You drive through a tropical rainforest, see waterfalls, and beaches. There are many stops along the Road to Hana, but many of them are tourist traps. Each stop is noted by the mile marker on the road. Here are the main stops we did:
- 9-mile mark – Waikamoi Ridge Loop: We did this short hike through the lush forest, which took about 20 minutes. Great scenery, but no waterfalls.
- 18-mile mark – Ching’s Pool: Locals jump from the bridge 25 feet high into a swimming hole. I didn’t jump that high, but I did jump off a rock 🙂
- 32-mile mark – Waianapanapa State Wayside Park: We made it to this State Park and turned around afterwards. It is incredibly scenic and the beach is made of black sand!
On the way back, we went to Hookpia Lookout Point on the way to watch the North Shore surfers. Thanks for the recommendation tripledigittrips.
The 3rd day we drove to Iao Valley State Park, which was about 45 minutes away from our Condo on the west side. It costs $5 to get in, but it was definitely worth it for the nice views and scenery. Afterwards, we headed to the beach in Kihei to relax check out the beaches. In the late afternoon, we went to Black Rock near the Sheraton to snorkel and watch the cliff divers. There was a ton of fish and you didn’t even have to venture out too far!
Thanks for the recommendations everyone, we had a great time. The only big attraction we did not visit was the Halekala Crater, which would be another 2-3 hour drive each way due to lack of time. My next post will be full of food and budget tips. I’ll show you how to not burn a hole through your wallet, while experiencing and exploring Maui.