Aloha! We have been visiting Maui for the past eight years, and this gorgeous oasis has easily become my favorite relaxing destination. My family always stays in the Kapalua area, which is such a lovely part of the island. There is something so incredible about Maui from the friendly locals, to the amazing food, to the stunning beaches, mountains, and flora. Maui is a place I know I will be visiting for many, many more years to come. I hope that someday I will get to maybe live on Maui during some point of my life- that would be a dream!
I have received so many emails and questions over the past few years about my favorite places on the island and our favorite things to do there. Here are some of our favorite places to eat & things to do in the Kapalua area:
- Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop (pictured at end) – This is probably my #1 favorite restaurant on the entire island. Leoda’s Lahaina Dog is out of this world. You also have to get one of the famous pies; my personal favorites include the banana cream and the chocolate mac nut.
- Mama’s Fish House – We always go to Mama’s on the way to the airport because it is about an hour from the Kapalua area. It is pricey, but it is probably the best rated restaurant on Maui. The seafood there is incredible, and the atmosphere is hard to beat.
- Pineapple Grill – The Pineapple Grill is an adorable restaurant located on a golf course, making it an awesome ‘photo op’ go-to. If you go, you absolutely have to eat out on the patio. They are constantly changing up their menu, but their desserts are the absolute best. Between the Smores dip, the chocolate brownie in a pan with mint chocolate chip ice-cream, and the Pineapple upside down cake, it’s too hard to pick one favorite!
- Merriman’s – We have been going to Merriman’s for years, and it’s a long-time Miller family favorite. The location is just perfect, offering a great view. The sea food dishes are just phenomenal and they usually have awesome live music. It is also in walking distance of the Montage.
- Plantation House – Plantation is another one of our long time favorites. It is located on the golf course and offers a great selection of sea food dishes and pasta. I opted for some sushi!
- Hula Grill Kaanapali – The ‘Hula Pie’ is a must! It’s huge, so make sure you share!
- Leilani’s on the Beach – My favorite thing about Leilani’s is the delicious sea-food pasta. It has a little bit of everything! Leilani’s also has a really fun, exciting atmosphere with lots of families. Leilani’s is owned by the same people that own Hula Grill, so there is Hula Pie here as well!
- Relax on the beach – This may be a given, but it always tops my list each visit to Maui. There’s nothing I love more than laying out on the beach while reading a good book. It’s so relaxing and is always ‘much needed’ after finals week.
- Take a yoga class – This probably is not for everyone, but as a yoga addict myself, yoga in Maui is the absolute best. I love a morning yoga class while enjoying an amazing view of the beach. I personally like the classes at the Montage, which you can attend even if you are not a guest at the resort!
- Haleakala crater – Totally worth the drive up, especially if you love a good sun rise. Pack warm clothes because it is super, super cold up there. We were not prepared in our shorts and sandals!
- Take a surfing lesson – My dad, sister, and I took surfing lessons during one of our first ventures to Maui. Though we weren’t too stellar at it, we still enjoyed trying it out.
- Whale watching – If you were to ask my mom what her favorite Maui activity is, she would definitely tell you whale watching. Whether you’re on the lookout for whales from the pool/beach or on an actual whale-watching tour, it’s exciting every time you see one of them poking their heads up.
- Take a helicopter tour– This activity is on the pricier side, but let me just tell you, there is no better view of the island. A helicopter tour of Maui is just breath taking.
- Watch the surfers at Ho’okipa Beach Park– The waves here in the winter time are seriously hardcore. It’s too rough to swim in, but it’s entertaining to watch all the talented surfers out there!
- Banyan Tree Park & shopping at Lahaina – Located in the town of Lahaina, the Banyan Tree Park is a must see. It’s also located next to the harbor, which is always a great place to watch the sunset before dinner. I also love the shopping in Lahaina. They have an awesome shark tooth store where I always buy all my shark tooth necklaces. They also have a LUSH store in Lahaina, and the staff there is so friendly and helpful!
- See a Luau– This is such a Maui classic! If you’ve never been to Hawaii before, you absolutely have to go watch a Luau! I love watching the firedancers and all the performers!
- Play golf – If you love to play golf, you have to try out one of the golf courses on the island. They are absolutely gorgeous.
- Zipline tour- There are ziplines located all around the island. They are really fun and offer stunning views. We have enjoyed zipline tours for years now- as kids and as adults.
- Scuba diving/snorkling – There are tons of places around the island to scuba dive and snorkel! You can see some really beautiful fish! Molokini is especially a great place for snorkeling.
- Lavender farm– In our past 8 years or so of visiting Maui, we have never ventured out far enough to see the island Lavender Farm. We decided to check it out this past year (pictured here) and really enjoyed it.
- Family pictures– We absolutely love getting family pictures taken in Maui (shown at bottom). I would recommend wearing white because it looks really nice in any beach photo! It also makes for a great Christmas card.
- Take a hike– There are so many amazing places to hike in Maui! I would definitely recommend taking a guided hiking tour so you won’t get lost or miss any of the incredible things along the way.
Leoda’s is my favorite restaurant on the island!
Lahaina Dog- beef dog topped with Maui pineapple chutney and Poha berry mustard
Chocolate mac nut pie
Aloha nui loa from my ohana to yours!