Location: Maui, HI   |   Date: June 2017   |   Maui Part I Travel Guide

For Christmas last year, Buck’s family decided to do something different. Instead of giving out presents, we put that money towards traveling to places on our bucket list. The idea was, each year we would go somewhere different, with our first stop being Hawaii.

I had never been to Hawaii, so I didn’t know what to expect. Luckily Buck’s Mom researched places to stay, activities to do and restaurants to check out. See below for our travel guide and photos from the trip. If you’re in a rush and would like a pdf print out, click the link above.


Rise and shine. We left early Saturday morning to begin the journey to Maui. The plan was to stay in Maui for a couple nights, then fly to Oahu for the remainder of our vacation.


  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Books
  • iPad for your sanity – many of our flights also offered movies
  • Earplugs – you know there is bound to be one screaming baby
  • Pillow, blanket, socks – if you get cold like me
  • Face wipes – it’s a long flight
  • Disposable mini toothbrushes – because why not

We landed in Maui around 4:00 pm and went straight to dinner. Within the first couple of minutes, I could see why people fall in love with this place. It almost feels like you are in another world. There are thousands of colorful tropical plants spreading across the land, jagged volcanoes and roads that twist and turn near the ocean’s edge.


This restaurant was a great place to set the tone for the beginning of our trip. We were seated on the rooftop overlooking the ocean, watching the sailboats slowly glide across the horizon. A lot of the main dishes involved freshly caught fish balanced with fruit and veggies.

  • Make reservations if you can, it’s a popular spot
  • Menu is a little on the expensive side
  • Sunset Ceremony with Hawaiian singer

hotel was filled with open breezeways, tropical plants, stylish modern interior and swimming pools cascading over each other. Around each corner was a beautiful view of the ocean and the amazing paradise we had stumbled into. The hotel rooms were just as nice and equipped with every modern convenience you might need during your stay.



We left the hotel at 2:30 am, and arrived at the top of the volcano around 4:30 am. We knew we wanted to get there a little early to ensure we would get the best seats. Although this was an early morning activity, it’s definitely a must-see. The gradual sunrise over the volcano with the fog slowing rising was a sight I will never forget.  

  • 9740 ft
  • Visitors center at the top has the best seats
  • Road twists and turns, bring Dramamine if you get car sick
  • Chilly bring a blanket, warm hat and maybe thin gloves
  • Camera





This was a perfect place to stop on our way down from the volcano sunrise. The restaurant had a cute cottage interior lined with windows. The patio out back had a wood burning fireplace, tropical landscaping spilling over the hillside and hidden ponds.

  • Check out the garden behind the restaurant, you won’t want to miss it
  • Offers brunch with a lot of amazing fresh fruit



We laid out, swam and went snorkeling

  • Bring snorkel gear
  • Current was strong and hard to swim at times
  • Saw lots of colorful fish and a turtles

We ate dinner at the hotel and went to bed early.





BREAKFAST : Ate breakfast on the way in the car

This was certainly the first helicopter ride I had ever been on. It was a great way to tour the whole island and learn a lot of history. We saw the breathtaking views of the ocean, cattle farms, beaches, waterfalls, and small villages living off the grid.

  • Take Dramamine at least an hour before the ride if you are worried about getting motion sickness
  • Wear a dark shirt, it’s better for pictures and the glare when you are in the helicopter
  • Glenda “the good witch” as she told us was our pilot 



The Road to Hana was a great way to explore Maui. It offers history on the island and sightseeing. Certain mile markers have paths to hidden waterfalls or endless views of the ocean. If you have time on your trip this is another must do. Make sure to give yourself a whole day and research beforehand what stops you would like to check out.

  • Packed lunches
  • Mile Marker #14 – Ke’anae Peninsula
    • Small area to pull off the road
    • No swimming just sightseeing
    • Peninsula is on the left with Honomanu Bay
  • Mile Marker #16 – Ke’anae Arboretum
    • We didn’t have enough time to see this stop
  • Mile Marker #19 – Upper Waikani Falls
    • Freshwater Pools
    • Bit of a hike but not terrible
    • We jumped into the pools and went swimming
  • Mile Marker #32 – Wai’anapanapa State Park
    • Black Beach, swimming
    • Hiking, rocky bring water shoes
    • Restrooms and outdoor showers
  • Mile Marker #42 – Pools of Oheo also known as Seven Sacred Pools
    • Must-see stop
    • Hiking
    • Multiple waterfalls on the ocean, pools were not swimmable when we were there but they normally are
  • Mile Marker #48.1- Waioka Pools, also known as Venus Pools
    • By far one of our favorite stops, more private, we could have spent all day there
    • Cliff jumping, swimming, snorkeling and laid out on the rocks
    • Some pools are fresh water with others being salt
    • This place was more of a local spot which means it was hard to find at first. Park near the half stone wall, make sure your car is over the white line or else you will get a ticket. Once parked, hop the half stone wall, follow the path through the tall brush. You will come to a metal gate, hop it then continue on the path into the field. That will take you to the pools.







After a long day of exploring The Road to Hana, we were excited to relax. This was a beautiful restaurant right on the ocean. It was so close you could go for a walk on the beach after dinner and enjoy the sunset.

  • Amazing food and specialty drinks
  • Very popular spot, make reservations ahead of time 




BREAKFAST : Bagels and fresh fruit


  • Hour from hotel
  • Hour boat ride to the Molokini Island
  • Snorkeling gear provided
  • Go pros and cameras with waterproof case rentals. About $50 and they will download your photos and give you a flash drive before you leave.
  • Colorful fish, location was very clear
  • Served breakfast and lunch
  • Drinks served after snorkeling

After snorkeling, we went back to the hotel and enjoyed the pool for a couple hours before our flight to Honolulu.


Stay on the lookout for our tour guide for Honolulu, HI Part II




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