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Maui, HI

Updated: Sep 15, 2023


Our itinerary 

Day 1: 

When traveling, Alec and I typically prefer to wake up early and take the first flight out for the day. We like to do this so we can utilize that travel day and explore whatever new city we are seeing. So Friday morning came along and we got up at the butt crack of dawn, Ubered to the airport, and flew to Maui, Hawaii. Luckily from LAX to OGG (Kahului, Hawaii) the flight is only about 5 ½ hours and only a 2 hour time change from California, so we arrived around noon Hawaii time. If you are traveling from anywhere in the Central time zone or further, I highly recommend stopping in Los Angeles for the day to help adjust to the time and break up the flight a bit. Once we arrived in Hawaii, we picked up our rental car from Avis, then headed for our resort. We rented a Jeep Wrangler which I highly recommend! It was so nice to be able to take the top off and enjoy the gorgeous weather throughout our trip. Having a car is key for this trip if you plan to do lots of excursions throughout the island, it does cost an arm and a leg if you’re under 25 but was completely worth it! The drive from the airport to Kaanapali took about 40 minutes and was super scenic. 



Once we got to the hotel, we checked in & hit the pool. Weirdest thing we learned about Hawaii is that it rains when it is completely sunny almost everyday but doesn’t last very long. Once our hotel room was ready we went back to our room to change and get ready for dinner. We drove to Maui Brewing Co. which was only about 5 minutes away and only had to wait about 15 minutes for a table. It is a cute, bar atmosphere with a mix of adults and kids. We both started off with a drink, Alec got a Bikini Blonde Lager and I got a Maui Brewing Co. Dragon Fruit Hard Seltzer. Both drinks were super light and refreshing. Alec and I both ended up getting chicken sandwiches but his was super spicy! After paying the bill, we headed back to our hotel to get some rest before our busy day snorkeling.

Day 2:


Saturday morning we got up super early again to head to the Maalaea Harbor to board the boat for our snorkel trip to Molokini Snorkel Tour & Turtle Town Snorkel Tour. We booked this excursion through our hotel and were able to get a great discount, so I highly recommend reaching out to the concierge of your hotel to see what they can offer too! The harbor was only about 30 minutes away from our hotel and a super easy drive. Once we arrived and checked in, we boarded the boat to find our seats. I highly recommend arriving early to find a seat on the lower deck to help prevent motion sickness, especially on windy days. Before buying and applying sunscreen, be sure to check if it is reef safe. It is actually against the law to swim in the ocean with sunscreen that isn’t reef safe, this helps preserve the coral reefs and keeps all the fish/creatures safe.

Upon arrival they had some fruit, muffins, & bagels for all the guests to enjoy before heading out to snorkel. On the ride out to our first location, we were able to see many whales because spring is peak whale watching season. Our first stop was the Molokini Crater which is basically a huge rock in the middle of the ocean in the shape of a semicircle. If you know me at all you know I'm not a huge fan of snorkeling or the ocean (huge fear of sharks) but this was the best experience I have ever had! The water was SO clear and the waves weren’t too choppy, so I felt very comfortable getting into the water. After snorkeling for about 45 minutes, they called everyone in and we headed for the second location, Turtle Town. I’ve always wanted to check off swimming with turtles on my bucket list and am so glad we got to do that on this trip. This water was a little more open and less clear but getting to swim next to huge turtles was completely worth it. We stayed at this location a little bit longer but after about 45 minutes snorkeling, I was ready to be done. At the front of the boat they had a couple slides & platforms to jump off of so we did that a couple of times before finding our seats again to eat lunch. They had pulled pork sandwiches with all the fixins plus chips and fruit which hit the spot! They also had alcoholic drinks for purchase but we stuck to water to keep hydrated for the ride back. I typically get pretty motion sick but luckily sitting on the first deck saved me and we were able to enjoy the whole excursion without feeling nauseous.


Once we got back to the harbor we went to our hotel to relax a bit before dinner. We had reservations at Son’z Steakhouse which is actually located inside the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. We took a quick 5 minute over to the area and walked around the resort a bit before checking in for our reservation. Alec started off with an old fashioned (his fave) and I got white wine. For dinner he got the new York Strip Steak, which should not come as a shock to anyone and I ordered Mahi-Mahi. The restaurant was very elegant and romantic, perfect for a celebratory anniversary dinner.


Day 3:

Sunday morning we left the hotel around 8 am to start on the Road to Hana. We ended up downloading the Gypsy Guide app to help navigate our drive. I highly recommend using the app to guide your trip opposed to a CD because it uses your location to determine where you are and explains exactly what you're driving past.  Before hitting the road we stopped at Akamai Coffee Co. for banana bread and coffee, which was the best bread I’ve ever had!


Everyone’s experience on the Road to Hana is different because it all depends on what you choose to stop and see. I definitely recommend taking the Gypsy Guide’s advice and stopping at things along the way because it truly is called the Road to Hana for a reason. Throughout our drive we stopped at Twin Falls Keanae Arboretum (to see rainbow eucalyptus trees), the largest food truck stop, and Wai-anapaanapa State Park (also known as the Black Sand Beach). The Black Sand Beach was absolutely gorgeous, we could have spent all day there! After walking around the grounds, seeing the Cliff Geyser, and enjoying the refreshing (pretty chilly) water we drive to Hana. To be honest it is really not super necessary to stop and get out at Hana unless you really want to. After seeing Wai-anapaanapa it’s a little bit of a let down but still part of the journey nonetheless! Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go to the 7 pools but have heard it is truly beautiful and would love to have seen it. Everyone recommends not being on the Road to Hana in the dark so we wanted to make it back to the main highway before the sun went down. 

Once we made it back to the hotel we got ready pretty quickly and headed to the Whalers Village to eat at Monkeypod Kitchen. We decided to drive to the area, which was only about 5 minutes away. This place seriously has the best food and drinks I’ve ever had! Alec and I both got Mai Tais (which is the drink they are best known for) and I was completely obsessed. For dinner I got the speciality pizza and Alec got the Bison burger, seriously don’t think you could go wrong with anything on this menu. After dinner we walked around the Whalers Village for a bit which was pretty crowded and filled with families, then headed back to our hotel. Once we got back we ended up hanging out in the hot tub with some other super nice couples before hitting the hay for another fun day.


Day 4:

We booked our hotel through booking.com so when we got assigned Ka'anapali Beach Club we learned that it is a part of the Diamond Resorts which is a timeshare company. To get the discount on the snorkeling excursion (which saved us a couple hundred dollars) we had to do a timeshare presentation. Luckily we were under the age of 25 at the time so we legally couldn’t buy a timeshare, so they graciously gave us a quick 15 minute presentation plus the discounts then sent us on our way. 


Monday was our first year wedding anniversary so after the presentation we headed to the pool to enjoy mimosas and some sun to celebrate! Connected to our pool area was an outdoor bar as well as a grill. For lunch we had delicious sandwiches then headed to our private little beach area for a quick swim. It was pretty rocky so we had to be super careful when swimming close to shore. After we soaked up all the sun we could, we dried off and headed to Ululani’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice which was located outside of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. Seriously the best shaved ice I’ve ever had, I got raspberry coconut and Alec got raspberry blueberry. Lastly to celebrate an incredible first year of marriage we went to the Royal Lahaina Luau (myths of Maui Luau) for dinner and a show which was 5 minutes from our hotel. We bought tickets ahead of time through our resort which was absolutely necessary, they definitely fill up quickly though so book as far in advance as you can. They do assign seats however, so no need to get there super early. At the entrance you can purchase floral leis for $15 but they also provide a shell lei for free. Our ticket price included an amazing buffet dinner with endless drinks and desserts too. We had such a fun time listening and learning more about the Hawaiin culture and being grateful for everything our first year of marriage has given us!

Day 5:

Our last day in paradise made me want to stay in Hawaii forever! After checking out of our hotel, we packed up the Jeep and headed over to the Whalers Village for breakfast at Island Vintage Coffee. We both got the freshest acai bowls that I could have eaten everyday for the rest of my life! We loved the Whalers Village area and would HIGHLY recommend staying there when visiting. It is conveniently located in the center of everything, from hotels to shopping to the best food places ever! After walking up and down the sidewalk by the beach we sadly had to head back to the car, return our beloved Jeep, and go back home.


Overall it was a beautiful trip celebrating our first year of marriage. I cannot wait for many more adventures exploring this beautiful world with you, Alec Ryan!!


 

Where to stay


We booked through booking.com which I don’t necessarily recommend but we did end up getting to stay at a beautiful resort. Ka'anapali Beach Club was very scenic, with a great pool, 2 hot tubs, and a small beach. They are a part of the Diamond Resort chain however so you do have to attend a seminar offering you the opportunity to buy a timeshare. Luckily at the time Alec and I visited we were only 24 and technically couldn’t buy timeshares, so our seminar was only 15 minutes long opposed to 2 hours. Another perk of staying there was discounts on our excursions as well as staying in a suite. 





Other places to stay in Ka’anapali 


Other places to stay in Wailea


 

Where to eat


Breakfast


Brunch/Lunch

Food truck


Dinner


Dessert


 

What to do


Parasailing (depending on the time of year, they don’t allow it during whale season)


*be sure to check my Maui insta story for geotags for specific locations of where we went if needed!


xo, 

the stegalls


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