We seriously did a whole lot of nothing on this trip, but then again that was the point.
This was a much needed family vacation that included Grandparents, old friends, and a kindergartner. After trekking the tallest peaks in So Cal and traveling a good deal last year, this was our week of spending quality time in paradise with loved ones who only come together a couple times a year.
We booked our Maui Kamaole condo through VRBO, which was a first for me and a great experience (hint: book by phone and get a discount!). The property had two great pools, lots of BBQs, and gorgeous foliage that you just don’t see at a non-resort property. We were walking distance from the best beaches in Kihei, as well as our favorite place for happy hour (read about Maui Eats in Part 2 next week).
But when you get a little restless and the pool or beach has run its course, there are plenty of other things to check out. Here are a few of our favorites:
Drive the volcano
We did this the easy way and drove our rental up the volcano, Haleakala National Park.
Loaded with iced lavender coffee and ham croissants from my favorite coffee shop in Maui, Akamai Coffee Co., it took about an hour and a half to the top. There is a rest stop/ ranger station about 30 minutes from the top and it’s a good place to stretch and get your National Park passport stamped. The summit offers two “stop and look out” areas that give you incredible views of the volcano and observatory. The giant red flowers were near a little eatery on the road to the summit. Haleakala is very popular for its sunrise views and bike riding, but that just felt like too much work for this particular vacation…
There are plenty of water toys to rent along the beaches of Kihei. The most popular seems to be kayaks, surfboards, and snorkeling gear. Our condo was stocked with tons of snorkeling gear so we always made sure to bring that to the beach. But one day I wanted something easy and peaceful to do on the water. We walked 15 minutes down the road to the Mana Kai Resort and rented paddle boards for an hour or so. It was a great workout and an even cooler way to lay on the board and float along with the roll of the waves.
Reggae Sunset Cruise
One night when we were feeling like a little fun for the whole family, we booked a “reggae sunset cruise” through the Pacific Whale Foundation. Although not quite as advertised (more of a mix of music and no great views of the sunset) we all had a blast. The price included food, three boozy drinks, and fantastic live music. We lounged on the top deck of the boat while nibbling on pulled pork sliders and fruit. After the Blue Hawaiians got flowing, we were all dancing to live renditions of Bruno Mars, Earth Wind and Fire, and of eventually some Bob Marley. The Grandparents let down their hair and the kiddo couldn’t get enough of dancing with a bunch of adults. Book online for a discount on this one or any number of their other boat excursions.
Shopping in Lahaina
When you need a little hustle and bustle, island style of course, head up the road 30 minutes to Lahaina. A quaint historic district plays host to many eateries and plenty of places to get that perfect souvenir. We strolled under a 300 year old Banyan tree and ate a perfect lunch overlooking the sea before scoring some shave ice and Dole pineapple floats. After a few hours we were ready to head back to Kihei to start living in our bathing suits again.