The Pretty Pinhead’s Guide to Maui

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Three weeks ago, we took a trip to Maui. I depend heavily on reviews and thought I’d be helpful it I posted a few reviews of my own from our vacation for those who are planning on taking a trip to the gorgeous Hawaiian Island. Just a “heads up”, many of these reviews are for restaurants/places to eat. I like to eat. Trying new places to eat is one of my favorite things to do on vacation!

Dining

MonkeyPod Kitchen

MonkeyPod

We came across this gem during a trip to Wailea. Their menu is absolutely amazing. We ordered some of the Pumpkin Patch Ravioli and Garlic Truffle Oil Fries for appetizers. Both were incredible and it got me very excited for the main course if their starters were that great. I got the Maui special and my sister in law got the fish tacos. Both dishes were divine! I would have loved to dine here for dinner!

The Lahaina Grill

LahainaGrillLocated in Lahaina, this was my FAVORITE meal on the island, hands down. I started my meal with a bowl of their Maui Onion soup. It was the cheesiest most delicious onion soup I’ve ever had. Words can’t even describe it. Then came the main course- Mahi Mahi with gorgonzola cheese, herbed mashed potatoes, spinach,pancetta and a chardonnay blanc sauce. We ended with the Signature Sampler desert which included creme brûlée, Berry pie, sunken chocolate cake and Road to Hana cake. The picture speaks for itself. Not a crumb was left of any course. It was definitely in the top 5 meals of my life. While it was on the pricey side, it was certainly worth it!

Flatbread Company (no photos, sorry!)

This is located in Paia, by the airport. Great wood-fired oven pizza place. It is always packed, so be sure to go early to get a table. I got the Cheese & Herb pizza with pineapple and rosemary. The crust is just as amazing as the pizza- very crisp! It was a great place to have our last meal on our vacation.

Ululani’s Shave Ice

Ululanis

Shave ice is a big deal in Hawaii, but this place is *the* place to get it. It’s not the typical snow cone you would get on the mainland. You can choose your favor of ice cream on the bottom of the ice ( I chose coconut) and then you can pick one of the thousands of combinations that are available of flavors. I got the coconut flavor with sweetened condensed cream, caramel and real coconut. It was out of this world. Their servings are VERY big, so an extra small would have been plenty for me. This is a must to get the “true” Hawaiian experience.

One Gelato Company (no photos, sorry!)

Maui’s best gelato! Tons of Hawaiian flavors. My favorite was the coconut.

Shopping

There are a handful of great places to shop. The three places I recommend are:

1.) The Shops at Wailea – Upscale shopping at it’s finest. Also some local art galleries and boutiques.

2.) Front Street in Lahaina – Many local boutiques and souvenir shops. Many local restaurants here as well.

3.) Whaler’s Village – Maui’s largest shopping mall in Lahaina offers many local and national shops that caters to most everyone.

PearlFactory

When we were in Whaler’s Village, we stopped at The Pearl Factory kiosk. This is a very unique experience where you can pick out an oyster and watch the pearl get taken out and placed in a setting of your choice. My husband bought me a set of pearls at Na Hoku in Lahaina, so I wanted to get a set of pearl earring studs to match. I got some beautiful 7mm white pearls. It was a fun process to watch and I recommend it to anyone for the experience alone. Makes for a great personable gift for someone since you can tell them you picked out the pearl yourself.

Entertainment

Molokini

I will admit, most of our time was spent relaxing by the beach or eating, but the one activity we did that I would recommend to anyone was snorkeling at the Molokini crater. It was the best snorkeling I’ve ever had the chance to experience. We went through Seafire Charters. What I liked most about this was the size of our group- 5. Most of the other charters are between 50-100 people. Our instructors were very personable and took us places the other places couldn’t because their boat was made for shallow water. Scary thing though… they took us along the reef where it drops off to 300 feet and I *swear* we saw a huge shark (13-15 feet long!) about 100 yards away. Even my husband saw it and he *never* believes me. We made a few other stops- one to see a sunken ship and another to see some sea turtles up close and personal. It was kind of creepy since we were snorkeling in the open/deep ocean with murky visibility, but it was a cool thing to see. We were also fortunate enough to see some whales on the tour.

Maui is such a cool place to visit. This is only a very *small* sampling of things to do and places to eat. These all made our trip enjoyable and we look forward to the next trip to the island to try even more!

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