Maui Hot Tips
Guletz Family, October 2018
Trip: Oct 9 – 16 (7 nights).
Stayed: Mana Kai, Kihei, Unit 411.
Iao Valley hike: Always enjoyable, including side trails not just main trail.
Wailuku Old Town: Walk around vicinity of Market and Main Streets for 1-2 hours including café lunch. Pawn, antique, gallery shops. Then at 359 East (Lower) Main Street visit historic Takamiya Market and get authentic Hawaiian lunches to go (poke, poi, etc).
Makawao Town – not much new; same boutiques and galleries. Ate again at Casanova’s deli side – reasonable daily pasta specials ($10) and eat on porch overlooking main street, accompanied by friendly geckos. **Note – 5/29/2021 – Currently closed from COVID restrictions. May not reopen.
Sugar Mill Museum at Puunene: Excellent little museum with lots of info about the immigrants who worked the fields, development of Kahului as a subdivision town, and especially poignant due to closure of last sugar cane fields just a few years ago.
Road to Hana: Yes, we did it once again and allowed all day to do so. Get early start to avoid opposite
(returning) traffic, to allow more time to get as far as O’Heo Gulch National Park (sacred pools), and to avoid heaver afternoon rains. Nice visitor center; bring your Golden Eagle National Park pass.
Notes: This is a longer drive than you remember from your last trip!; Due to rain we hiked only the lower loop trail (1 hour) at O’heo, which viewed pools and ocean. The upper trail to waterfalls is a 4-mile round trip commitment. Along the Hana Highway: Drive into Hana Harbor; Drive into Wailua Village (at mile marker 21) for great ocean waves and coral church photo-ops plus fresh banana bread from “Aunty Sandy’s” stand; Stop to see Wailua Falls just before O’heo park; Not much to see at Hana but stop at historic Hasagawa Store for a few minutes.
Maui Swap Meet: Only on Saturdays 7am—1pm, in Kahului. Worth the trip, even though you will have seen most of the stuff elsewhere. Maui Girlz (Facebook Page Here) shave ice is only $3. Consider going to Tin Roof for lunch following Swap Meet.
Hookipa Beach – regular visit to see surfers and windsurfers. First view from overlook parking area east of beach, then drive down to beach to witness the ‘surf culture’. Added benefit this year — at the right end of beach dozens of turtles have beached themselves in roped-off area. Worth the trip to see the turtles.
Our beach – 2018 notes: Beach looks the same – lots of sand. Snorkeling as good as always with lots of live coral and turtles. Turtles swimming among bathers in the surf being pesty. Snorkeling South Maui: Recently a new parking lot has been built near where the 200-year-old lava flow begins
as part of an enhanced Refuge Area to protect the shoreline. A short trail leads to a cove with the best
snorkeling we’ve seen for both 1 million fish and live coral. Go mid-morning for flatter water. This visitor center area (with a volunteer docent) was built to discourage folks from driving all the way to La Perouse Bay (which is still a nice drive, but we recommend parking at previously described lot instead). Water access to the right side of La Perouse bay from dirt parking area is now restricted to restore sea life there.
Makena Beach (Big Beach) – stopped to visit Grandpa Scotty’s ashes; swimming not recommended here due to surf conditions. Beach beautiful as ever.
FOOD Hot Tips
“Tin Roof” – in strip mall near Costco. Local chef Sheldon Simeon made the big time on “Top Chef” TV show, with goal of introducing Hawaiian and related foods to larger audience. The food here is excellent. Few seats, so most people do takeout. Stop here after Maui Swap Meet.
“Lineage” – Simeon’s first new ‘real’ restaurant in Wailea Shopping Center. We were fortunate to get
reservations for the opening night, single seating at 6pm – a big deal. Met Sheldon after dinner. Unique experience with both food and presentation. Begins with a cart being brought to the table with pupus just after you are seated (we ordered two, range $4-$7). Then order cocktails (some weird, some normal, about $15). Then order dinner. We opted for sharing pupus for our dinner ($16-26 each) rather than the “share’ menu (entrees) such as whole huli huli chicken or beef shank ($60). Total bill including tax and tip was about $45 each. Not cheap but consider that just an entre at many better restaurants is in the $40 range nowadays.
“Surfside Deli” – 1993 S. Kihei Rd: Not really a deli but an unpretentious little spot in a strip mall setting but excellent plate lunch of traditional Hawaiian dishes. Huge portions, so share to experience different dishes. Leave room to share huge home-made ice cream sandwiches. Friday nights has special dinners and live music. Located next to the two multi-vendor shop under the big roofs.
“5 Palms” at our Mana Kai – Now quite expensive ($40 entrees) but here’s the trick – eat at the Happy Hour outdoor seating area adjacent to the bar; happy hour menu lasts until 9pm. We ordered only appetizers and shared. Four cocktails and 5 appetizers with tip was only about $25 each. If you walk in just before the sun sets, you’ll avoid the after-sunset rush.
“Maui Brewing Co” – a new discovery and quite enjoyable. (800) 213-3002. Located in the Tech Park area uphill (mauka) from the main highway 36 above Kihei. Best deal – go during happy hour until 5:30 (check times) when beer is $1 off and appetizers are 1⁄2 off and pizzas for two are only $10. Indoor and outdoor seating; live music; great energy in a great nice setting with corn hole to play; family friendly.
BBQ at the condo – reserve a time at the front desk. Consider buying meat at the Wailea Shopping center – they have marinated chicken and beef skewers ready to BBQ as well as other deli items (potato salad, mac salad, fruit, etc; warning- don’t buy the cheaper meat skewers (gristly) but rather the better of the two beef two choices; both chicken choices were good). Eat on the beach.