Hi everyone! This is Lalz’s silent partner in crime taking over her blog today, her sister B! I feel a special connection to this blog because the idea for it came about a few years ago when Lalz was visiting me in Hawaii. She was bored and I suggested she document her daily activities to keep her busy and over the past few years it has definitely grown much more than we would have thought!
The blog started in Hawaii and after a recent trip of my own to Hawaii, I wanted to share some of my experiences. I personally love planning travel itineraries and activities for trips but found this recent trip a bit more challenging and felt that if I wanted to share some of my finds with the ADITL’s readers.
My hubby and I started with 3 days in Honolulu and not much had changed since my last visit! Haunama Bay is a snorkeling heaven, the food at Ono Seafood and Giovanni’s shrimp truck is as great as I remembered, and the views from Diamond Head were breathtaking.
We then flew to Maui. Even though they are right next to each other, it is a completely different feel. Maui is definitely much less developed and more natural, has a real island feel to it. It was definitely a good order to go from the bustle of Oahu and Honolulu to the much more laid-back Maui.
Snorkeling: I looked up a lot of places as to where to snorkel. There are day boat trips that take you out to places but we wanted somewhere close. We read a lot about Black Diamond and Old Airport area in West Maui. It was a FAIL! Those areas have very strong tides and the snorkeling does not happen until 30-50ft out so if you are not a great swimmer like myself, it is absolutely scary. We did however LOVE the snorkeling off of Napalli Bay. It is a series of three bays and it is amazing. The Bay makes the water calm, the snorkeling starts basically off of the shore, and the fish are amazing. We swam out maybe 30 ft and we came across a giant sea turtle! Definitely would recommend this are. Just be warned the shoreline access have a very small parking lot so you will have to park on the street and walk a bit. You can rent snorkel gear for the day or week from the stores in the area or the hotel you are staying.
Road to Hana: This is one of THE things to do and I looked at maybe 10 websites to figure out what to do and what to see. So here is the thing, it is a VERY hard drive. The road twists and turns so much – you can’t go more than 10-20 mph. It is definitely an all day activity. You basically start at the town Paia which depending on which part of the island you are can take 1-1.5 hours to get there. Be sure to load up on water and snacks because there is not much. And have a full tank of gas. From there, you are supposed to pass the Twin Falls – we did not even see it! The problem is that the sites are not marked at all. You have to go by mile markers and if you miss it, which you may because you are trying not to go over the cliff or get hit by another car, you will drive right by. The first we actually found was the black sand beach at Waiʻanapanapa State Park which again is poorly marked. You turn into what seems like a residential street then drive further. There is an area to park; you walk down to a very small beach with a lot of people! Just as you enter turn right and there is a small cave area, which has a gorgeous view. If you are adventurous like us you can hike a but and go to an elevation that leads to a pretty deserted beach with more black rocks than black sand. After this you drive a bit more and there area again some poorly marked falls but then you get to Halekuela Park. Now this is on the east entrance (not the west which is the crater). Here you pay $20 for a 3-day pass. There are two trails, Pipiwei which takes you up to the fall and the very beautiful Bamboo Forest. It is a medium intensity hike. There is a second trail that takes you to the Seven Sacred Pools, which you can swim, some very cold water and get to the falls. The view is lovely. After this which is halfway in your day you are probably super tired but then have to take another 1.5 to 2 hours to drive back on another very curvy and winding road. There are a bunch of stands on the route – especially nice is the banana bread at the Halfway to Hana shop. Overall it is a nice, sometimes scary, and long ride worth it to do. These are some of the other stops and the mile markers: Paia Town to stop by and get snack on the way to 1.5 to 2 hours of very windy roads with breathtaking views, Halfway to Hana snack shop for banana bread and fresh coconut (Mile Marker17), Wailua Valley State Wayside: pretty view (Mile Marker 18), Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach (Mile Marker 32) park and explore beach, Haleakala National Park: Ohe'o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools), the Pipiwai Trail with Bamboo Forest, and Waimoku Falls.
Halkeule Crater: This was a MAJOR disappointment. As by hubby said, if you have ever been on a plane and seen clouds, you have seen this place! You have to start the drive at 3am and it is a very treacherous drive (almost like the Road to Hana) in the dark. It is freezing up there (40 degrees) and honestly the sunrise was very underwhelming. I definitely would not recommend it.
Food: The food is great especially fresh fish. One of the places we loved the most was actually a food truck, South Maui Fish Company, that we went to twice. The most amazing poke and fish tacos. Paia Fish Market (3 locations on the island) was also amazing.
Coffee: There are lots of coffee places but in Kaanapali there is a coffee plantation and they sell their coffee at Island Vintage Coffee. Definitely pricey but their Hawaiian Honey Latte was one of the best coffee drinks I have had to date.
Liana: Small town with a bunch of small and cute shops as well as your regular souvenir shops. Definitely worth the stroll.
That is all I have. Hope this was helpful for anyone planning a trip out to islands!