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Trip Planning – Maui Activities & New (to us) Restaurants

Our 5th Anniversary trip to Maui is now only 2 weeks away! Continuing from my previous posts on our plans here and here, we’ve booked a couple more activities for our trip. We’re really excited to be staying at the brand new Andaz Maui at Wailea for 4 nights. Now that it’s fully open, there are more pictures of the resort online, yay!

Picture of one of the pools. Pic courtesy of Andaz Maui Facebook Page.

We love snorkeling and having a great snorkeling beach in front of the resort is going to be so convenient. I’m used to staying on condo’s which are a few blocks away from the beach so we’re usually toting a big bag of stuff around. Not anymore! Steve even has his own set of snorkel gear, which fits great, from Snorkel Bobs, which is a fantastic place to rent snorkel gear for a week. See my review here.

The Andaz sit right on Mokapu Beach. Pic from Hawaii Life Blog. Can’t wait to snorkel here!

Since we’ll be at the resort for only a short while, I didn’t plan anything outside of the resort as I really wanted to soak up all the Andaz has to offer (hopefully the government shut down won’t last for long which means we can visit the summit of Haleakala before our trip is over). I’m pretty excited about all their dining options and amenities, including their apothecary-style spa, Awili. I’ve booked myself and Steve some splurge-y omakase spa treatments on our actual Anniversary (Friday Nov 1st). I’m really excited about this, and hope the treatments are worth the hefty price tag.

The apothecary-style Awili Spa. Image from the Awili Spa website.

Other than that, it will be a nice 4 days of relaxation, snorkeling, eating, and possibly short drives around the Wailea/Makena/Kihei area, including the most awesome beach in Makena where we saw turtles in the water on a previous trip.

We’ll also be in Hawaii for Halloween! Although we’ve had our fair share of costumes at this year’s New York Comic Con, we may check out the nighttime festivities in Lahaina, where there’s usually a big parade and lots of activity. The only catch is that Lahaina will have closed off it’s streets to cars, therefore it will not be convenient to drive there. There will be shuttle buses from Kihei and Wailea that will take you to Lahaina all day. However, considering we’ll still be on east coast time on our first full day of vacation, I think a nice tranquil night in sounds pretty perfect too.

Lahaina Halloween. Pic from MauiNow.com

Our next 7 nights will be spent at the Honua Kai resort in Kaanapali. I do love Kaanapali as it’s a nice blend of resorts, shopping, restaurants, beaches, and it’s close to Lahaina where all the action is. Our resort has a new spa that just opened, the Ho’ola Spa, but since we’d have already spent so much at the Andaz spa, we may not do another spa day.

Can’t wait to get into those lazy river pools at the Honua Kai. Pic from Hawaii Life

We did book a few activities after we move to the condo…one that I am particularly excited about is the farm tour and luncheon at O’o Farm in Kula. Kula is in upcountry Maui, which is one of our favorite areas to visit. The scenery is beautiful and the weather is nice and cool. O’o Farm is a private farm owned by Chef James McDonald, who has pioneered a lot of Hawaii Regional Cuisine as well as the farm-to-table movement in Hawaii. Whether the phrase farm-to-table is cliche, it’s still a positive thing, and one that I’d like to partake in as well. O’o Farms grows and prepares all the vegetables used in the luncheon…sounds a lot like the Blue Hill at Stone Barns experience Steve and I had in August, but on a much more casual and less pricey way.

The farm tour lets you forage for green stuff, which you can then eat in an outdoor lunch setting. Pic from O’o Farms Website.

And probably the most thrill-seeking of activities we’ll do is zip lining! We had a fun time zip lining on the slopes of Haleakala on our previous trip to Maui in 2009, so this time we/re going to try the longer and higher Kaanapali zip lines. We went with Skyline Eco Adventures which was the first zipline can you buy propecia online company in the US…coo huh? They even have the domain name www.zipline.com.

Ziplining on the slopes of Haleakala on our last trip

I am also thinking about doing a magic show…I know, Maui is the last place you’d think of to see a magic show, and I can’t even remember ever going to one in my life…but the Warren and Annabelle’s show in Lahaina gets consistently RAVE reviews…I’ve also been recommended this by a few forums…I am still on the fence about this but since we don’t really do luau’s or other shows I figure it may be a good idea to see something on our vacation.

In terms of food, here are a few places we haven’t been to that I want to try. All pictures are from the establishment’s website unless otherwise stated:

Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop – comforting home made savory and sweet pies in a home-y setting. What’s not to love?

Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop in Lahaina. Top Chef alum, Sheldon Simeon’s other restaurant.

 Nuka Maui – a much raved about new sushi place. It’s a but far as it’s near Upcountry so we will have to see if we can get here or not.

Nuka Maui. I love sushi in Hawaii.

The Plantation House for Breakfast/Brunch – Located in Kapalua, this place is supposed to have fantastic food and a view to boot. I want to go early in the day to enjoy the views.

Brunching on Maui is so lovely

 

Especially with a view like this

Bistro Manila – no website it seems, but has favorable reviews. I don’t have much experience with Filipino food, but I hear this is a good place to try some! I often get mistaken for Filipino, even though I am Singaporean-Chinese, but I would really like to know what Filipino food is all about. If you have any recommendations on what to try (and I am pretty adventurous), please let me know!

Whole fried bangus (milkfish). Sounds good already! Pic from foodspotting.

Makawao Steakhouse – Makawao is the paniolo (cowboy) town of Maui, much like Waimea on the Big Island, but a think it’s a bit more chic and boutique-ish. The Makawao Steakhouse though, seems to represent a traditional cowboy-era, and I kinda like the fact we’re eating steaks in cowboy town. This restaurants was recently taken over by Cafe O’Lei (which is a good thing) – so their ratings have been steadily going up. Hoping to make it here if we are Upcountry for dinner.

Meat! In cowboy town!

I loved the Thai food we had earlier this year on Oahu’s north shore at Opal Thai. I realized the take-out I’ve been frequenting in NYC is just NOT the real thing, so I’ve been itching to get some REAL Thai food. Maui Thai Bistro that just opened up in Kihei has been garnering some real exclamations of authenticity and even some dishes that you can’t find elsewhere…can’t wait to eat here!

Southern Thai style oxtails. Pic from yelp

 

Not all of what we want to eat is in a typical sit-down restaurant. I have a huge penchant for street food and food trucks and Maui has their own sweet food truck culture. I will be perusing the Food Trucks on Maui app to see what’s close by to us when we’re visiting beaches all over the island!

I love food trucks parked next to each other…then I can get something from each one…

 

Takamiya Market – I really love poke (Hawaiian marinated sashimi), and I’ve heard great things about the poke at Takamiya market. It’s a plethora of prepared-foods under one roof combined with a grocery store so I’m going to have to make a stop here!

The perfect lunch! Put in cooler, Eat on beach. 

 Tiffany’s Bar and Grill – i’m definitely on the hunt for more local-style places, and Wailuku seems to be the place for this. Tiffany’s is a local bar/watering hole with Hawaiian/Asian style comfort foods, such as fried chicken wings, and kimchi fried rice with a sunny-side up egg. Sounds like my kind of place!

Fried chicken wings. Pic from Mauinow.com

 

There are definitely others on my list of must tries…hopefully we will be able to hit most of them! Coming up on the blog…the rest of Day 7 of our Oahu trip report, and more Disney food posts!

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