Last month I finally had the opportunity to visit my first Hawaiian island, something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time now. I only had five days off- and with 11+ hours of flying to get to Maui from Florida it ended up being only 3 full days on the island, but we managed to visit a lot and see a lot in the short amount of time we were there. Here’s a full recap of our trip:
First things first, getting there.
My boyfriend and I flew out of Miami International Airport at 5 am to head towards Dallas Fort Worth where we would then hop on a plane straight to Maui. By the time we landed in Hawaii it was only midday still there even though back home in Florida it was nighttime. We would’ve liked to explore some that day, but given our jet lag and long travel day we decided to head straight to the resort we were staying at on the west coast of Maui. We got there around 2pm after picking up our bags and getting a ride to the airport and spent the day lounging at the Westin (which was perfectly fine considering we had a beautiful pool and were right on the beach). We had poke’ and burgers with mai tais and pina coladas and everything was incredible.
Haleakala and Sunflower field
There are two things almost everyone recommended I see while in Maui, one of them being Haleakala. Haleakala is an active Volcano on the East side of Maui. Since we were staying on the opposite coast, it took us about an hour to drive to the bottom of the volcano and then another hour or so to get to the top. The entire way is a twisting and turning road, but offers a good view of the island until you reach the fog. Unfortunately the day we went was extremely foggy, and we really weren’t able to see anything the whole way up, or even at the top. For that reason I didn’t really think this day trip was worth all the driving we did, and the time it took. We still managed to get some photos where it looks like we’re on mars though! And occasionally the clouds made a cool photo.
I forgot to mention that on the way to Haleakala, we passed one of the most beautiful sunflower fields I’ve ever seen. Actually, the day after visiting the field we saw a video circulating around Facebook that had gone viral of the same exact field. Though we stumbled by it on accident, this might’ve been my favorite photo spot in all of Maui that we saw. I’m not sure who owns the field, but we definitely weren’t among the first to discover it, we saw a ton of tourists and locals alike snapping photos there when we stopped.
Now for the best part- lunch. Being the seafood lovers that we are, my family had to stop at the famous Geste Shrimp food truck. We took the northern coast all the back to the Hotel and it was right on the side of the road along the way. The plates were $13 each and they had a number of different flavors. THIS SHRIMP AND RICE WAS AMAZING. And so much food. We ended up splitting 2 plates for 4 people. 10/10 would recommend while visiting
Finally to finish up our day we decided to stop by a snorkeling spot I had looked up previously. We parked the car at the edge of the trees and walked our way down to the water. It was raining but we were going to get in the water anyways so we didn’t care. Wild roosters and chickens lined all the palm trees and picnic benches and lucky for us the place was almost empty because of the weather. Just two boats out near the drop off a few hundred feet offshore. The visibility wasn’t great because at this point it was already 4 or 5 in the afternoon and it was cloudy, but we still managed to run into a big sea turtle and some fish. I imagine on a clear day it’d be beautiful.
Westin, Black Rock Beach, & Slaughterhouse
Today we decided to start our day relaxing after having such a busy day yesterday. We hung out by the pool, went swimming in the ocean, and had breakfast at the resort.
Around lunch time we drove to visit black rock beach just a mile or two down the road, a spot right in front of a Sheraton hotel that I’d seen pictured by a lot of other bloggers. The beach itself isn’t very big but there’s some cool coral and fish right near the rock structure. As we swam out there we saw a lot of kids and adults jumping off the rock so of course I had to participate even though I’m terrified of heights. I was actually pretty impressed with how many people were doing it considering it was actually pretty hard to climb the rock with the waves crashing and the low tide. Regardless, Colton and I went for it (twice actually) and tried to get a good picture or video and failed miserably (twice). He says I don’t know how to jump off a cliff… so it was my fault. Oops.
For lunch today we went to Maui fish market, a small fish market/restaurant that had AMAZING poke, oyster shooters and fish tacos. Seriously, everything was amazing and not very expensive. $10-$13 per meal. If you can’t decide what you want 100% get the tuna poke. You won’t find anything like it in the states.
We decided to try our luck snorkeling at a different area today. Lucky for us we had some better visibility and more success here. We parked up a hill at slaughterhouse and walked down to the beach from there. Before doing so though we walked through a hole in the fence to check out what we were going to be swimming in. Lucky for us we could see some turtles from above and swam right to them when we got to the bottom and into the ocean. This was a far shorter swim than we did yesterday, as most of these turtles were very close to shore and hiding next to large rocks. There was more coral reef here also with some cool caves and underwater arches. I found it odd how the sea turtles in Maui all seemed to not be scared of humans, but I guess tourism will do that. We were able to swim side by side and near them for a few hours without them swimming away. Disclaimer: it’s super illegal to touch or harass a sea turtle so if you do get lucky enough to see one, keep your hands to yourself.
Blowhole and Road to Hana
This was our last day in Hawaii, and it was rainy when we woke up, so we decided to pack our stuff and head towards the blowhole near our hotel before the road to Hana before we went to the airport. Our flight was a red eye back so we had pretty much the whole day.
Nakalele blowhole is a natural blowhole at the oceans edge. It wasn’t too much of a hike to get down to it, but I’d definitely recommend wearing athletic shoes because it can be slippery with the rocks and muck. Also next to the blowhole is a heart shaped rock formation that’s become a pretty popular photo spot. It was cloudy and just finished raining when we got to the blowhole but on a sunny day the blowhole emits a rainbow usually.
Because it was rainy in the morning, we got a late start and didn’t end up getting to the Road to Hana until only a few hours before we had to go. We spent about 2-3 hours on it which was not nearly enough. We skipped over a lot of stops and only tried to hit the most important ones, but unfortunately due to landslides a lot of the waterfalls and hiking spots I wanted to see were blocked off to the public. We still got out of the car a few times and did a little exploring, but spent most the time in the car just driving down the twisty turny road.
What no one told us about Road to Hana is how sketchy the roadway is. The whole thing is a curving, winding road where it narrows out into almost a one lane road every time you’re in your blind spot turning a corner. I honestly think it’s a miracle we didn’t get in an accident and I’d like to know how many accidents there are per year there. With that being said a lot of people still drove like maniacs whipping around each curve, so if you’re an anxious or stressed driver the Road to Hana probably isn’t for you. One recommendation I heard over and over again that I definitely would recommend to you all is to buy the cd they sell at all the tourist shops and gas stations just before you enter the park. It’s an audio cd that goes through the entire drive, telling you where exactly to stop and what’s at each stop. Because we didn’t have the whole day we skipped over this, but I think if we were able to spend the whole day there it would’ve made the trip a lot easier to navigate and find spots to stop at.
On our way to the airport we stopped at a restaurant across the street that was amazing. We got all the food to go and brought it into the terminal with us and even though it took longer than we expected, the portions and food quality was great. One thing I wanted to try while in Hawaii was one of the many odd spam food items they have here. I’ve had spam before but Hawaiians have put their own many twists on it. We tried the spam fried rice which really just tasted like a fried sushi roll in eel sauce. My parents and boyfriend made fun of me for ordering it but then they both loved it as much as I did. I also ended up ordering this fruit salad in a pineapple that I watched them cut up in front of me.
Until Next time Maui!