No zip-line, paintball, or a helicopter tour for me, thank you. Less than four months since the previous visit, my Maui beckoned from the northwest.
1) Humpback whales make us giddy! They amaze with distinct behavior patterns and sheer size, from a 2,000 pound newborn to 90,000 pound adult. Our Pacific Whale Foundation naturalist pointed out the turquoise coloration visible in the ocean is from the underpart of the white pectoral fin. We delight with each massive splash and tail slap.
2) The Kapalua Coastal Trail is 1.76 miles of accessible sandy, volcanic and wooden walkways among indigenous plants and a Wedge-tailed shearwater
(‘Ua ‘u Kani) habitat along the big blue Pacific.
3 ) Poke bowls are ono, inexpensive and readily available, chockful of tasty ahi marinated in Shoyu, ginger, seaweed, spices or other seasonings and rice.
4) Mai Tais: the contest continues. Decision: the prize for the best varies, based upon ingredients, maker and the mood of the judges! Thankfully, the recipe has evolved and creativity blossoms!
On day 7, Merriman’s Kapalua (with Flor de Cana rum, fresh lime, orange curaçao,orgeat, lilikoi foam) has an edge over The Plantation’s Magestic Maui Mai Tai ( with coconut rum, Hana Bay Rum 151), but tomorrow is another day.
5) Grandma’s Coffee House always satisfies. This institution still thrives through extended family, delivering Grandma’s comfort foods and island coffee.
6) Surfing Goat Cheese is becoming an Upcountry staple. Now with 185 goats and 25 employees, it is an attraction for the kids and the foodies. I recommend the Diabolical Goat Cheese with Thai Dragon Chiles.
7) Ocean Vodka: the story here is a good one: son Shay presented his family with his dream to make vodka on the slopes of Haleakula with organic sugar cane and Hawaiian water from 3000′ depths of the Pacific. They did it! Our guide David, adopted by the family, shared the pride and the good stuff.
8) Upcountry is a destination on Maui, not simply a stop on the way to Haleakula.
9) The pineapple upside down cake at Pineapple Grill! The restaurant has a way to go to rival others in Kapalua but this rocks.
10) Front and center, our Ridge condo rates for whalespotting!
11) The Plantation restaurant continues to provide a memorable dining experience overlooking Kapalua.
12) Snorkeling at Kapalua Bay: when the wind and sea calmed on day 5, early morning snorkeling was dreamy. “There’s a humuhumunukunukuapua’a near my foot,” my husband said as we entered the clear waters. We gaped at the underwater aquarium and especially the periwinkle coral. And we thought we were ruined by Galapagos…
13) Merriman’s on the Point is unmatched for the view, the tastes and the staff.
14) Maui’s official color is pink-what more is there to say?
20 thoughts on “My Maui: 14 for ’14”
Oh dear. We’ve been living on Oahu since the beginning of February and we’ll be here until May 11th. We were debating about whether we should go to Maui since our only visit was one day as a cruise stop. Judging by this blog post, the answer seems to be “yes”, actually “yes” with an exclamation point. We’ve seen whales in the waters off Oahu, I haven’t really enjoyed any of my mai tais and I don’t eat raw ahi which kind of erases poke as a possibility, but you’ve included plenty of other reasons for us to reconsider.
What great ideas! Ready to pack:-)
Lovely photos, you’ve captured the essence of Maui. We lived on Oahu for 1 year and it always just felt like another big city, but Maui and the Big Island are both equally special in their own rights.
It seems mandatory to take on the other Hawaiian islands during your stay. The lavender farm is another reason to see Upcountry, and there’s Haleakala, and Hana…
Thank you! Agreed. Each island has its own gifts.
I’ve visited both Kauai and the Big Island and, now, you’ve shown me that I’m missing all the fun and beauty that Maui has to offer. I can only imagine how exciting and totally awesome it was to see the whales! Beautiful pictures!
We have just returned from Maui and I miss it already! You and I have very similar tastes! We had a spectacular dinner at the Plantation as well! You guys were busy! Thank you for the lovely post!
Hope to get to Hawaii soonish. It’s only 6 hours from NZ – but the airfares are still sky-high – not enough competition on the route. Maui would be my go-to destination for sure!
Beautiful photos. I was in Maui many years ago, and would love to return.
I have really been missing Hawaii lately and your photos have reinforced that feeling! Northern Maui is so fabulous. I just wish it was easier to drive there. Beautiful post!
We are still enjoying, but at island pace. Thank you!
I will be visiting Grandma’s Coffee House next time I’m on the island! Thanks for the tip.
Sipping Grandma’s Hawaiian Coconut Coffee now!
If the skies open up, do visit. Thank you for reading & commenting!
What beautiful photos of Maui. I would be so thrilled to actually see whales in this heavenly place
April is the end of season. December was the onset. We are gearing up for Jan-February ’15. They are fascinating.
Even the photographs made me feel relaxed! It must have been a glorious visit~
It’s been a long time since I took a trip over to Hawaii. Going from San Francisco there really is no excuse. I was in Costco the other day and they had poki for sale. I didn’t buy it but it got me thinking to travel it it’s origin. Now this. It’s a sign!
I actually avoided Hawaii for years, but then one son moved to the Big Island. Each island stands on its own, past the usual tourist attractions. Upcountry is unique and quirky. Happy it’s a sign-
Grateful for sharing thiss