MY TRAVEL

A Perfect Maui Trip Ending

Roger and I remained on the Island for two extra days after our friends and family flew home. There were more wonders to see, more amazing secrets to be discovered. We decided to create our perfect Maui ending.

Lahaina and Kaanapali

Our planned destination was a drive up the north western coast of Maui. The first stop was Lahaina.

Looking down at Lahaina Beach

Neither of us knew where this road would lead but we felt adventurous and decided to trust that there was beauty to be revealed around every corner. We made a wrong turn once but at the end of the road we were able to look down at Lahaina Beach in all it’s glory!

Around the next curve in the road

We were driving along the coast on Honoapiilani Highway and the sights we encountered were more beautiful than anything I have ever seen. The images will be burned into my mind and heart forever.

Honoapi’ilani Highway – Not for the Faint of Heart – But Worth Every Gasp of Breath!

Honoapi’ilani Highway is also known as Hawaii Route 30. It is 35 miles long and is very windy and twisty and sometimes narrows to one lane. We were actually pretty nervous at times and felt as though we were driving at the edge of a cliff, but in hindsight, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again!

Being Adventurous

If you do become adventurous and decide to attempt this road, you will encounter some breathtaking sights. We had no idea of what was ahead. But it’s not for the faint of heart. In order to enjoy the views you will want to make sure to take a few hours.

Stopping along the way
Looking down near Nakalele Point

Magic Around Every Turn

The first big turn in the road after leaving Lahaina led us to Black Rock Beach and Kaanapali. We stopped to take photos but headed down the road a bit until we came across the Kapalua Coastal Trail. Then on to Punalau Beach area and past the Nakalele Point and Blowhole.

View from Road was Stunning

The view from the road was so stunning that we had to get out and hike across the boulders to the edge. I didn’t want to leave this magical place. We slowly crept to the ledge of the cliff so we gaze in amazement.

View from Above
Edge of the Cliff

The photos just don’t do it justice!

We took so many, it’s hard to decide what to share!

On the drive back, before turning into the valley, we passed The Bellstone, which is past Nakalele Blowhole, and again, the view was breathtaking.

The Bellstone

Away From the Coast and Into the Valley

Once we had enough of the ocean views (who could ever get enough of that?) we continued along the narrowing road, around bends and cliffs and one lane areas. The final curve opened up into the greenest valley I have ever seen.

The Village of Kahakuloa

The Highway changes in this area. It is no longer Honoapi’ilani Hwy but is now Kahekili Highway. This road starts heading back down into the Kahakuloa Valley. This is a small, isolated village and is home to about 100 people and two churches.

The Kahakaloa Valley
My Friend’s Church in the Valley

It Will Call You Back

There was a professor at my job who was from Maui. He explained that his best friend owned the little green church in the middle of the Island. He asked that I stop and take a photo of it for him. My friend missed his home and his friends. Here is his little church.

Following One’s Heart

He has since retired from his teaching career on the mainland and followed his heart in order to teach in his beautiful Island paradise. His advice to me; “It’s not about you falling in love with the island. If the island falls in love with you, it will call you back.”

Leaving the Valley

As we neared the end of our day’s journey we passed this adorable gallery right in the middle of know where! It is called the Kaukini Gallery and Gift Shop and is owned by Maui artist, Karen Lei Noland. She started this gallery on her grandparents ranch. We were exhausted and didn’t stop in, but this is on my list to do the next time we visit.

Karen Lei’s (formerly Kaukini) Gallery

Our day ended back at the resort to rest for another day of exploring tomorrow!

The Next Day – Heading to the East Coast of Maui

We couldn’t forget about that amazing view of the mist coming from the waves while locals raced the waves as they kite-surfed. As the day began, we decided to head to that side of the island for more discoveries.

Heading to Hana

We started down the Hana Highway, past Kanaha and Baldwin Beach Parks to the town of Paia, Maui’s coolest town with shopping galleries, cafe’s and nightlife. It holds Maui’s largest organic grocery store. After checking into Mama’s Inn  where we were staying for our final two nights, we drove back into Paia for lunch and to visit the organic grocery.

Milagros
Milagro’s Mexican lunch!

Paia, Maui

We had an amazing lunch at Milagro’s Food Company, mexican restaurant and then after strolling through town, we visited Mana Foods, Maui’s best organic grocery. This store carried everything you could possibly want, from exotic meats to organic products. They had a yummy bakery, baking everything on-site, daily, a vitamin room, a chocolate and tea selection. We could have spent hours in here, shopping and watching the people, but we finished up and headed back to our room to explore the amazing Mama’s Fish House and Inn!

Mama’s Inn Cottages

Each cottage has it’s own entrance gate and small courtyard. We were greeted by fresh flowers as we entered ours. That night we sat in our courtyard and looked at the stars. So many stars!

The next day we strolled the grounds. It was perfect. The cottages seemed to come right out of a storybook. Some were suites with beachfront lanais but we chose the garden cottage because it was quiet and across the yard from the restaurant.

The Grounds at Mama’s Inn – Picture Perfect

After passing the famous Mama’s Fish House restaurant we came upon the most picture perfect beach we have seen yet. It’s hard to even describe so I will gift you with an image of what we were viewing as we walked out of the foliage.

Mamas Inn
Path from cottage to beach
The beach
Mama’s Beach
Mama’s Inn, beach

As I said, there are no words, but I will try. This area of the Inn was quiet, peaceful, breeze blowing through the trees, couples quietly staring out to sea or strolling along the waterline, music slowly floating through the air, mountains in the distance. Perfection doesn’t even explain it.

Mama’s Inn

The Beach

The beach itself was gorgeous but a little too rough to swim in. The large waves beat against the lava boulders. We were only able to walk on the beach and catch the spray from the waves as they hit. But that was enough. Just being in this magical place was perfection.

A walk along the beach at Mama’s Inn

Mama’s Fish House

Mama’s Fish House, Maui

The famous restaurant on the Island of Maui is Mama’s Fish House. The reservation list is a long one with the guests at the Inn getting first choice of a reservation. We were lucky to get in. The food and atmosphere were both worth the wait for anyone wanting to visit. Open Table calls it the “Second most popular restaurant in the US.”

Mama’s Fish House

I honestly cannot remember what we ate that night. But I remember the food was amazing and the sound of the waves near our outdoor table made it even more perfect.

The next time we are here, I will make sure to review the details of our meal and take many photos!

After eating we went back to our courtyard to stare at the star filled sky.

Hookipa Beach

Mama’s Fish House and Inn sits on Hookipa Beach, where international wind-surfing, kite-surfing and board-surfing competitions are held. This beach, seen in passing, is what drew us back to this area. I truly wish I could have captured the mist rising off the crashing waves and glistening in the sun. It’s something you need to experience in person. The photo below is the closest I could find to what we saw that day.

View from Mama’s Inn – the amazing mist rising off of the waves!
The view from above Hookipa Beach
Hookipa Beach
Hookipa Beach and Kite surfers

Video of the Beach

The Road to Hana

The road to hana
The Road to Hana

Our final morning in Maui started with fresh fruit from our kitchen table. After eating, we loaded our car and headed south along the east coast of Maui on the famous Road to Hana. We had heard many wonderful things about this drive so the expectations were high. I can’t complain at all. It was beautiful, but I wish we would have done this drive first and stumbled upon the Northwestern coast later in the trip. That first drive spoiled us.

Final Adventure

It was fun driving into the rain forest on our final adventure of the week. I wish we would have gone to the very end and experienced the Wailua Falls and The Seven Sacred Pools of Oheo but we stopped in Hana Town for lunch and realized we got a late start that day so we didn’t want to have to drive back on the narrow road in the dark.

Thanks to RoadtoHana.com for this amazing video

We took our time getting through the rain forest and maneuvering the narrow road and one lane turns. We made one curve and we came upon the Upper Waikani Falls looming before us. There is no parking in front of this sight so we had to pull over in the emergency lane to take photos. It was worth the stop.

Road to Hana
Along the Road to Hana – Upper Waikani Falls
Another view along the Road to Hana

Back to the Road

Then back on the road again. We opened our windows so that we could listen to the rain in the forest and smell the dampness of this magical area. When the forest opened up and the sun came out we had arrived at Wailua Valley. Again, it was hard stopping but I needed that photo for my memories so we stopped.

Wailua Valley, Maui
Wailua Valley, Along The Road to Hana

We drove up the mountains and saw some pretty lookout areas and then we arrived at Koki Beach. It was a cute little area with picnic tables and warning signs. And the beach was beautiful.

The Road to Hana attraction
Another stunning view
Koki Beach along the Road to Hana

We made it to Hana Town for a late lunch at Barefoot Cafe and then decided we needed to head back. As we were driving back, we had the windows down, the moist breeze blowing through our hair and Somewhere Over The Rainbow, by the amazing Hawaiian artist, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (aka IZ) came on the radio. What a surreal moment! We drove in silence, listening to this amazing version of the song, in paradise. It doesn’t get much better than that!

A perfect ending to our perfect trip!

Thank you for allowing me to share our Maui adventure with you.

Click here go back to the beginning of the journey.

To read Maui part 3 and Maui part 2

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