2 weeks Ago
My husband and I went on our first trip to Hawaii, we stayed on Oahu for 2 nights and Maui for 4 nights. Here's what we really enjoyed:
Oahu (Stayed in Waikiki) Diamond Head for about 2 hours (wear comfy shoes and sunscreen.) Drove to Kailua stopped at scenic look out points and climbed down to check out some tide pools. We rented a kayak and put in at Kailua Beach Park. It was a short ride to a little island with a bird sanctuary. (I really preferred the smaller beach towns around Kailua to the bigger city and Waikiki area. )
We drove to North shore that evening and caught a sunset. Then we are at Ted's Bakery which was amazing, it looks like a hole in the wall kind of place but the food was phenomenal.
We walked around the shopping areas near Waikiki at night.
Breakfast at Cafe Kaila was great and so was Tucker and Bevvy's cafe.
We checked out China town but it was a bit intimidating for me.
We hiked to Manoa falls and really enjoyed the forest hike. The fall was just trickling but the hike up was beautiful and serene. We would've like to see the Valley of the Temples but we got there too late it was 5 and they closed.
Maui ( Stayed in Kihei) I loved Maui and really preferred it to Oahu personally. There seemed to be less tourist and it seemed more low key.
We landed and checked out Ioa Valley state Park. Very short hike with botanical garden, swimming stream with boulders, and beautiful mountains all around.
We ate lunch at Da Kitchen and really enjoyed it. Breakfast at Kihei Cafe the line was long but it went fast. Great food. We ate here twice because it was open so early.
We took a boat to Molokini Island for snorkeling. This was my first time snorkeling. I wore a waist belt and had an awesome time. The water was super clear and we saw tons of fish, beautiful reefs, octopus, and a tiger shark. We even saw whales on the boat ride back.
Lunch at 808 Deli great sandwiches and home made pudding.
We decided to catch the sunset from Haleakala that night instead of sunrise. I'm sure sunrise would've been better but the sunset was beautiful and we stuck around for star gazing which was remarkable. We even saw a satellite which was amazing. It was very cold. I had on many layers including a hood , gloves, and cover over my nose and mouth for wind.
Finding restaurant open after 10 pm was a little tricky and we ended up grabbing some pizzas to go.
Road to Hana. We used the Gypsy gps App and stopped a lot. I cannot recommend this app enough. It told us exactly where to stop and when. This took us 8 hours and we left by 6 am. We swam in waterfalls, checked out tide pools, ate fresh fruit, it was such and adventure. We drove all the way to the Seven Sacred Pools which was totally worth the extra time. We spent more time at Waianapanapa beach park exploring the black sand beaches, lava tubes, and caves. We missed the red sand beaches but wish we would've checked them out as well.
Next morning drove to Black Rock beach and tried snorkeling but by 10 am it was just too late. We headed to Honolua bay and walked down from the road to a great snorkeling spot. Lots of people on a rocky, pebble beach. We snorkeled here for a few hours. It was a great place even later in the day.
Lunch at Star Noodle soooo good.
Boogie boarding at Kamaole Beach Park III until sunset.
Dinner at Monkey Pod. One of the best dinner I've ever had. Wonderful restaurant. I highly recommend it for a nice dinner out.
Woke up early and got to Ulua Beach Park for snorkeling by 7:30. We saw lots of fish here as well. The water was calm and we were able to swim around the reef and rocks to the beach on the other side and walk back. We could hear whales under water so amazing.
Had to check out of room so we cleaned up and walked around Lahaina for a while. It was okay but I'm not much for shopping. I think I would've preferred to spend our dry day in the Ocean Center.
Tips: Long sleeve rash guards saved my skin from sunburn
Sunscreen without oxybenzone to keep reefs safe. We bought our sunscreen on the island and it was comparable prices to continental.
Water/hiking shoes. Similar to Keens.
Read the Maui Revealed book.! This was recommended to us over and over and luckily our rental had a copy. I took this with us every day. It helped us figure out snorkeling spots, stops on road to Hana, and what to avoid.
The Gypsy app was awesome for road to Hana. We loved hearing the history of Hawaii on the ride back as well.
We used air BnB for both islands. It worked out perfectly. The hosts provided boogies boards, snorkeling gear, beach towels, beach chairs, coolers, travel books, ect. All these things would've cost a ton to rent.
Ship your souvenirs back with UPS flat rate box.
Hats and sunscreen really saved our skin.
Try some Hawaiian Sun canned soft drink. We never drink sodas but got addicted to these non carbonated fruit drinks.
We definitely needed rental cars on both islands for the type of activities we wanted.
Have some sort of an idea of what you want to do and the best time of day to do it. We had a planned itinerary but ended up changing it a lot. We still managed to get through our list of activities.
We aren't normally active people but we stayed so busy on Maui. I never felt to need to just lay out on the beach there were too many fun active things to do.
I'm certain this was the best vacation I've ever experienced. We will definitely be back as soon as we can afford it.