We just got back from a week on Maui, Hawaii. This was my first trip to the Aloha State, and we had such a wonderful time! Just in case you?re planning a trip to Hawaii someday and enjoy travel research as much as I do, I wanted to create a list of favorites from our trip to reference later.
This trip was a work trip for Jeremy, and I was lucky enough to be able to tag along for the week. In between work events, we had plenty of time to explore, so I made sure to do a lot of trip research in advance to make the most of our time there! After a year (mostly) without travel, I soaked up the chance to read blogs and guide books and all the things. I love travel planning! I was 23 weeks pregnant on this trip as well; the perfect time for a babymoon in my opinion!
For every restaurant we loved and activity we enjoyed, there are a dozen more! Maui has no shortage of things to do and wonderful places to eat. Even still, I left feeling like we truly made the most of our time. Every meal we ate was wonderful, and we had such a great balance of relaxation and adventure!
I?m sure many of you reading this have been to Hawaii and probably have so much more knowledge of the islands than I do! I am by no means an expert! Just a first time traveler sharing her experience 🙂
Thoughts on Maui as a Babymoon Location
I was 23 weeks pregnant when we took this trip, so I did a lot of googling of ?Maui Babymoon,? and I thought it might be helpful to weigh in on whether or not I would recommend Hawaii as a spot for a babymoon trip!
My general thought is a resounding yes! Especially for me, in the second trimester, I love to have a balance of physical activity and rest. Hawaii definitely provides that! And I felt like a boss tackling challenging hikes with baby bump in tow.
The only downside was not being able to eat delicious poke bowls or enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail with dinner. I tried lots of virgin cocktails on this trip?and my poolside virgin mojito was the best!
Things We Loved About Maui
The locals and frequent travelers we talked to all agreed that Maui is the best of both worlds in the Hawaiian Islands: both enough tourism to give it plenty to do but enough natural, untouched beauty to make for incredible adventures. It?s the only Hawaiian Island I?ve visited, but I do feel like it was the perfect place to start! Jeremy has been to both Oahu and Maui and says Maui definitely takes the cake for him!
We are not typically beach vacation people. In fact, we haven?t been on a beach vacation since our honeymoon in 2012! We have typically done either the mountains or Europe, but I admit that I can see the reasons that Maui keeps people coming back again and again. The views, the sunrises and sunsets, the tropical fruit that grows on the island, the unique blend of American and traditional Hawaiian culture, and the chance for both relaxation and adventure.
Where We Stayed
Jeremy?s work brought us to the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea. I can?t imagine a more perfect place to stay on Maui! The Wailea area is absolutely beautiful and we found it easy to navigate our way around the island from there.
The Fairmont Kea Lani was such a wonderful resort. It is situated at the southern end of the Wailea Beach Path on Polo Beach. All of the rooms are suites. The restaurants on property were delicious (Ko was our favorite!). The beach was beautiful and peaceful. Overall, I felt like the resort had a really laid back, quiet feel?although there was still plenty to do!
We arrived at the hotel after dark, so I woke up the next morning before sunrise (thank you, jet lag) eager to see the view from our lanai. It did not disappoint! I soaked up the view as much as I could all week.
Five Favorite Things
The Road to Hana
The Road to Hana probably deserves its own blog post! We were gone from our hotel for 14 hours on our Road to Hana day, and it was absolutely the highlight of our trip! There are so many resources for The Road to Hana, and there are so many ways to do it!
The number one tip I have is (Thanks to our neighbor, Adam!) is to download an app called Gypsy Guide Tours for our trip on the Road to Hana. This app was a game changer! We paid $6.99 for the Road to Hana tour; it was worth every single penny.
Gypsy Guide is a pre-downloaded tour of the area that doesn?t depend on cell phone data (thank goodness because we had pretty much none!). As you drive the route, the app plays clips of audio that give tips for the journey, history of Hawaii, and information about each stop. It really helped us make the most of our time!
We rented a mustang convertible from Turo for the day and set out early in the morning for the road to Hana. We stopped at Paia Bay Coffee for our morning joe and delicious breakfast before setting out on the road. There are so many places to stop (and Gypsy Guide helped us avoid some of the spots that weren?t worth the time), but a few of our favorites were the Rainbow Eucalyptus at the Ke?anae Arboretum, the Ke?anae Peninsula, the Nahiku Marketplace for Coconut Shrimp, Coconut Glen?s for amazing Vegan ice cream, and Hamoa Beach.
By far, our favorite stop (and the last along the road before we turned around) was the Pipiwai Trail. The bamboo forest and the hike to Waimoku Falls were not to be missed. When we got to the end of the trail, we veered off trail a bit and climbed through the rocks to another hidden waterfall where we swam by ourselves. That was absolutely the most magical moment of our trip!
2. Hike Waihe?e Ridge Trail
This trail is listed as ?moderate,? but it was pretty difficult for this pregnant mama! I?m not going to lie; there were a few times along the way when I considered turning around, but I?m so glad I finished it! It?s a 1700 foot elevation gain, and it?s that elevation gain that makes the views at the top so spectacular! If you love a vacation adventure like we do, bring your sunscreen and comfortable shoes and add this one to the agenda!
3. Sunrise and Sunset on the Beach
I try to catch a sunrise on every vacation?no matter where we are. There?s something about getting up in the quiet of the morning hours and seeing the world wake up that is just so magical to me. But, Maui takes the cake as one of the best sunrise experiences I?ve had. I woke up for the sunrise four times. Three times I watched it from the hotel, but one day I got out and drove a few minutes south to Makenna Beach. I was the only one there; it was the perfect way to start the day.
Even if you aren?t typically a morning person (looking at you, Jeremy), I don?t think you?ll regret watching a Maui sunrise. But if early mornings aren?t your thing, be sure to plan a few evenings around watching the sunset on the beach. If you?re staying on the west side of Maui (like Ka?anapali or Wailea?where most of the resorts are), sunsets are hard to beat!
4. Spa Day/Golf Day
I know this isn?t Hawaii specific?and I probably don?t have to tell you how enjoyable a massage is on vacation, but I wanted to include this on the list as one of the things we did that made our trip so enjoyable. On the day that Jeremy headed out to play golf at the Wailea Emerald Course (where he shot his best round ever), I headed to the spa at the Fairmont Kea Lani for a pregnancy massage. I don?t splurge on massages often, but this one was so worth it. After a challenging hike at Waihe?e Ridge the day before, a prenatal massage was heavenly.
Just a reminder?.don?t forget to save a few pennies to pamper yourself on vacation! For me that means the Spa?.for Jeremy that means a round of golf with beautiful views of the coastline.
5. The Food
Oh man. We had so many incredible meals on Maui. Overall, I would definitely say that food is expensive on the island?when compared to prices we are used to here. But thankfully, although we were paying a premium, we were eating well. My mouth is watering thinking about so many of the things we tried! Fresh caught fish, incredible fruit, Maui-raised beef, and tropical flavors. There were no shortage of incredible restaurants to choose from. For every place we ate, there were several more that people recommended that we didn?t get to try. All the more reason to go back!
I will mention that right now, as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of restaurants are running at reduced capacity, and reservations book up weeks or months in advance. So, if you?re planning a trip, start making reservations now! Especially for places like Mama?s Fish House. When we were checking in to our reservation, we heard the host tell someone else that the next available reservations were in November?5 months away!
Food We Loved
Quick Eats/Counter Service
Akamai Coffee – There are several locations of Akamai Coffee. And between the Kihei and Wailea locations, we found ourselves there four times over the course of a week! They had delicious coffee drinks (Iced Oat Milk Lattes have been a pregnancy craving for me, and these were some of the best I?ve had) and a great menu. We particularly loved the Banh Mi sandwich and Huevos Rancheros!
Paia Bay Coffee – I mentioned this one above. It was a great spot in Paia, and a great place to start on a trip for the Road to Hana! The vibe was awesome, and our breakfasts were on point!
Coconut Glen?s – This Ice Cream Spot is worth pulling over on the Road to Hana. I had read about it and had it on my must-try list, so when we passed it up initially, I asked Jeremy to turn around and go back. We both agreed it was worth it! All of the ice cream is coconut milk based, so it?s vegan. We tried the Lemongrass+Ginger. So delicious!
Farmacy Health Bar – I knew I couldn?t leave Hawaii without having an Acai Bowl, and Farmacy Health Bar did not disappoint. I will warn you that there is nowhere to sit?it?s counter service only! But it was a perfect place to stop in Wailuku on our drive back from Waihe?e Ridge Trail. It was the best Acai bowl I?ve ever had; make sure you try the fresh papaya on top!
Paia Fish Market – You?ll be hard pressed to find a list of Maui food recommendations that doesn?t include Paia Fish Market. We visited the Kihei location. I got the blackened snapper plate with rice and potatoes and slaw. Everything I ate was so fresh and so delicious! It was worth the wait in line. I only wish I had gotten to go back for the fish tacos, too! They looked incredible.
Kihei Caffe – I absolutely love a good breakfast spot. I have already mentioned how much I love mornings, and there?s something about enjoying a local breakfast that just starts the day off well. Kihei Caffe is an island favorite and with good reason. It is counter service only, and even though there might be a line, the food comes out quickly and the outdoor tables turn over quickly as well. The banana macadamia nut pancakes were incredible.
Mama?s Fish House – Every single person I talk to about Maui mentions Mama?s Fish House. Because reservations are booking so far out, we didn?t think we would get a chance to try it, but thanks to the folks we traveled with and some sort of reservation magic, we got a table on our last night. This place had so much hype that I just couldn?t imagine how it could possibly live up to it, but it did. It was hands down one of the best meals I?ve ever had. We split the fish curry and the Kona Kanpachi stuffed with lobster and crab and wrapped in a macadamia nut crust. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. And then the banana crisp for dessert. Oh my word.
The setting for Mama?s Fish House is also incredible?with views out to the water that are absolutely picturesque to watch the sunset. What a dream.
Ko – This is one of the restaurants at our resort?The Fairmont Kea Lani. But even though it was especially convenient for us, it would be worth a drive. It is one of the most highly rated spots on the island, and I can see why! Everything we tried was incredible. The short ribs melted in my mouth, and then we finished off with a pineapple creme brulee that was actually served inside of a Maui Gold Pineapple.
Nick?s Fishmarket – Nick?s is also on site at the Fairmont, and it was also absolutely delicious. Every flavor was on point. We had such a great dinner here!
Monkeypod Kitchen – This is a sit down restaurant, but it?s definitely more casual than those listed above. There are a few locations, and, at least while we were there, they were wait list only?which is nice if you haven?t been able to get reservations somewhere! We actually just picked up take out from here for dinner one night, and we were very impressed! The pork and pineapple pizza was a personal favorite.
I hope this recap of our trip is helpful when you set out to plan a trip to Maui someday! Go enjoy the adventure and the relaxation and the amazing food and the friendly Hawaiian people. Aloha.