Maui Wowee

While we’re still enjoying the summer, I know a lot of you headed to Hawaii this year. Rather than typing up several emails, I might as well blog about it! Below are my favorite highlights of the trip.

stacey ann loves kaanapali beach maui hawaii

On a personal note, I’ve always had a close relationship to Hawaii. During my college years, I was fortunate enough to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Traveling to a destination versus living there are two completely different experiences. I once thought of Hawaii as a fun place to hang out at the beach and drink Mai Tais, but now Hawaii means Ohana, and Ohana means family. Even when I was a newbie, Hawaii felt very warm, welcoming, and I instantly felt at home. After all, everyone is smiling because they live on a beautiful island!

The best part about my time there was being able to immerse myself into it’s culture. Luckily, all of my friends in Hawaii were from the North Shore, which in Oahu is considered the “Country side.” If you’re from the “country” then you’re respected by the locals, so in turn I was lucky enough to see Hawaii’s backroads. I learned how to surf in secluded beaches, went diving, spear fishing, spoke Pidgin, hold an Octopus and eat it, went to local beach parties, went boar hunting (but just watched then cried), and even ate fresh uni right off the shore. I had the time of my life in Hawaii and it will always have a special place in my heart.

Now onto my Maui highlights…

stacey ann loves hamoa beach maui hawaii

Hamoa Beach
At 11am in the morning, we were the only two people on this soft and white sandy beach. One of the things I loved most about Maui were the lack of people. Oahu can be over run by lots and lots of people, especially during the summer months it can be hectic. Maui is for relaxation and adventure, Oahu is for shopping and partying. From the Maui airport, it takes about 2.5 hours to get to Hamoa Beach. More on how to get here below…

stacey ann loves - bamboo trees along road to hana

Road to Hana
Lush bamboo trees line the Road to Hana, but be forewarned, this road is 60 miles of super curvy, motion sickness roads, and sometimes one lane bridges. It’s about 2-2.5 hours if you drive straight, but the purpose of the trip is to stop and explore. You’ll see lots of hikes, food stands, and beaches along the way. There are mixed reviews about driving the Road to Hana because it’s a long drive. You can easily get motion sickness if not careful. My suggestion is to drive slow, look forward and stop frequently.

Before you begin your Road to Hana tour, bring lots of water, sneakers for hikes, some snacks and bring cash! The only food available along this trip are food stands serving local plate lunches, BBQ, Thai food and Maui banana bread. You’ll most likely stop every 15-30 minutes of driving to see the sights!

Despite all the worry, I highly recommend conquering the Road to Hana. This detour was by far the highlight of our time in Maui. There were so many hidden treasures such as the pictures you see below.

stacey ann loves red sand beach maui hawaii
stacey ann loves shaved ice with ice cream and mochi balls
stacey ann loves black sand beach maui
stacey ann loves waianapanapa black sand beach

Haleakala Sunrise
We stayed in Wailea, so it took us about 2 hours to get there, leaving our place at 3:30am to catch the sunrise at 5/5:30am. I would highly recommend experiencing this for amazing sunrise photos. Also because of it’s high elevation, the weather up there was freezing. Since none of us packed any warm clothing, we brought our bedding comforters and beach towels. It was so cold, I wish I had my North Face Snow Jacket!

stacey ann loves haleakala crater sunrise photo
stacey ann loves haleakala crater sunrise photo

Snorkeling and Diving
The big highlight of diving and snorkeling Maui are big Honu Sea Turtles.

stacey ann loves maui hawaii
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stacey_ann_loves_maui_hawaii_scuba
stacey ann loves maui hawaii
stacey ann loves maui hawaii
stacey_ann_loves_maui_hawaii_snorkel
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