Maui Family Travel Guide • Everyday M and K (2023)

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Hawaii had been on my bucket list for as long as I could remember. I heard from so many people that it was, indeed, worth the hype and unlike any other tropical destination. I can now report back that it is truly magic. To go to Hawaii is to fall in love with Hawaii. So many people told me that I would leave a part of my heart there and they were correct! I know it will not be our last time on the island! We stayed in Maui, but hope to soon visit the other islands of Hawaii.

After we got back, so many of you asked if we used a travel agent and had so many questions on our vacation. Nope, no travel agent, just you ladies! We have such a large audience of fabulous women who have traveled to Hawaii, lived, own property, or who go every year because they fell in love on their first visit. Our vacation was basically crowd sourced, so THANK YOU to any and all of you who weighed in and gave us all the tips and tricks!

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I could go on and on about how magical it felt, but I feel like our videos say it better! There are several links in this post. I am so happy we brought our kids. At ages 8 and 10, they were perfect little travel companion and created some pretty great memories on this trip! I cannot wait for our next adventure as a family!

The flight, hotel, and rental car were booked as a package through Costco Travel. The package includes all of flights through Delta, resort stay for one week, and a Mustang convertible rental car! HIGHLY recommend getting a convertible!

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Resort: The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali

We loved our resort, the place is just altogether beautiful and amazing! The waterslide and pool for the kids, won us over. It is great for kids AND adults! The hotel has a great spa, workout facility, bars, and restaurants. The Westin is a great family hotel and highly recommend it for your Hawaii vacation!

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Road to Hana:

The Road to Hana is one of the world’s most scenic drives! The road takes you to Maui’s spectacular waterfalls, black sand beaches, bamboo forests, lava rock formations, and amazing ocean views as you wind your way through 620 curves and over 59 bridges (yes, you read that right).

It was one of my favorite days in Maui and we absolutely recommend doing it! Thanks to you guys (our travel agents! lol), we purchased and downloaded the GyPSy App (only $10) and it MADE the trip! I actually couldn’t imagine not using it. This app will give you absolutely everything you will need to know about the trip – where to start, how long it takes, what stops to make if you have kids, etc. GyPSy gives you the history of Maui along the drive and gives you a heads up of exactly where to park and turn off to see certain things.

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There are so many places you can stop and explore. The attractions along the way are better to just slow down and view from your vehicle as you pass by. Here are things we decided to see on our spic journey to Hana:

Twin Falls & Garden of Eden

This was highly recommended by the tour guide as a stop if you have kids.The Garden of Eden is 26 acres of nature trails with brilliant colors, unique flowers, and rare trees. It has some of Maui’s most breathtaking ocean views, including the opening sequence of the film, Jurassic Park. Enjoy the picnic areas and one of the most colorful and extensive collections of Ti plants on the island. My kids also really enjoyed all the chickens, ducks, and cats on the property.

Ke’anae Peninsula

Black Sand Beach at Waiʻānapanapa State Park requires reservation. Unfortunately, we did not have reservations and decided to stop at Ke’anae Peninsula. The peninsula was created by an outflow of volcanic lava from Haleakala. We saw giant black rock formations, we would’ve loved to have seen the black sand beach.

Three Bears Falls (aka: Upper Waikani Falls)

This is NOT noted as a stop by the tour guide, I do not think that you are really suppose to climb down to see the falls. It actually says keep out, but tons of people visit the falls. Just be careful. The part where you leave the side of the road to get down to the rocks (about the first 10 yards or so) is a bit scary and steep. Once you get past that, it’s pretty easy sailing. Swimming in the falls with my family is one of my favorite moments of the trip.

Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread

This is an absolute must. Take a left after mile marker 16 to the Keanae peninsula. Aunty Sandy’s is open everyday from 8:30am till 2:30pm. They do run out of banana bread daily, so plan to be there early if possible.

Hana Harvest Cafe

We loved this little stop along the way for a quick stack!


We did not venture past Hana because by that time we were all exhausted and the kids had been in the car long enough. We stopped at the Hāna Ranch Restaurant for a few beers, some kiddie cocktails, and appetizers to celebrate our arrival to Hana!

Lanai Dolphin and Snorkel Adventure with Maui Adventure Cruises

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Whale watching season in Maui is November-May with peak season typically running between mid-January and March. We saw bottlenose and spinner dolphins, humpback whales, sea turtles, and so many cool fish! Seeing all the wildlife was amazing, but the Captain and his crew are what truly make the excursion SO MUCH FUN! We had Captain Cary and his co-captain, Jack. The two of them were so entertaining and fun! It is a 4-hour outing and the entire time they tell you all about the history of the islands, fun facts about the animals, and crack an extreme amount of dad jokes. 🙂 They are absolutely hilarious and so much fun! Jack interacting with our kids was so helpful and making sure the kids understood how the snorkel equipment worked.

This was my absolute favorite day of the entire trip! I am an adventurer through and through!

Here are a few things you may need to know if you decide to go:

  • There are morning and afternoon tours, do the morning one. Your chances of seeing more wildlife are higher.
  • The tour includes a paper bag lunch, so no need to bring snacks unless you are very particular and/or have special dietary needs. They have lots of water and soda on the boat as well.
  • They will ask you if you want to rent a wetsuit top jacket for $10 – do it. It will make you more buoyant in the water and keep you warm. Yes, it’s hot in Hawaii, but you will still get cold while in the ocean.
  • Bring tip money. We loved our crew and made sure to tip appropriately. They were awesome!
  • If you have never snorkeled and feel anxious when you get in the water, just breathe. It wasn’t my first time, but I got a bit anxious when I first got in because the breathing is just different, but I just told myself to relax and gave myself a minute to get used to it and I was absolutely fine!
  • Bring: Sunscreen, Dramamine (if you get motion sickness), and an underwater camera or smartphone waterproof cover.

North Shore Zip Lining Tour

Ok, if I am being totally honest, which I always will be, this was my least favorite excursion that we paid the most money for. Even though it wasn’t my favorite, we still had a blast. What truly made it fun was the awesome employees. They were the most encouraging, fun-loving hippies I’ve ever met and I just adore them! Seriously, the absolute coolest, I felt a little like a dinosaur around them, but whatever!

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I think why I felt the ziplining was slightly underwhelming is because I pictured us ziplining actually THROUGH the trees. Kind of like a flying monkey in the jungle experience. As life goes, unmet expectations that you dream up, always set you up for disappointment. I also just wanted it to be a little more thrilling. If you are afraid of heights, don’t do this.

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Henna Tattoos

I know this sounds like a silly thing to include, but it was 100% the thing my kids were so excited about! We told them if they were good on the trip, they could each get one! Henna tattoo shops were all over the island, so take your pick at any turn! LOL

Myths of Maui Luau

We were on the fence about going to a Luau, but in the end… when in Rome, right? What we heard about Luaus is that they are cool to see, but the food is subpar and they are expensive. I can confirm, this is all true, at least for the one we went to. Did we get to see a cool show that is filled with rich Hawaiian culture, yes. Was the food and drinks underwhelming, yes 100%. The show was cool, but Lennon was very upset that there were not more fire-breathers. One note, this was a more inexpensive Luau. There are fancier ones that we could’ve booked, but Hawaii already breaks the bank.

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K’s Hawaii Food and Restaurant Stops

The Acai Bowls at Choice Health Bar in Whaler’s Village are TO DIE FOR! Choice Health Bar is Maui’s freshest award-winning plant-based cuisine, featuring an array of smoothies, acai bowls, salads, cold pressed juices, savory wraps, and much more. Whaler’s Village is located right by the string of resorts (ours included) and we went there every morning for the acai bowls. I dream of eating them once again next to the ocean in Maui, but until then, I recreate them at home!

Lahaina Pizza Company

There are a few things I loved about the Lahaina Pizza Company. The pizza was absolutely fabulous (think Rocky Rococo thick crust style pizza, but even better), the open-air dining that looks over the main street, and OMG the Italian Chopped Salad is to die for! Again, another recipe we created at home.

Miso Phat

When we polled the audience on places to eat in Maui, this place was mentioned time and time again! Made popular by Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives , this was such a cool spot! A little bit of a ‘hole in wall’ vibe (which we love) with outstanding sushi. We got to meet the owner, Shawn Steadman, who created Miso Phat Sushi in 2013, with his main goal being to serve the freshest catch on the entire west side of Maui, and to have fun doing it! That mission truly makes us so happy!

Ululanis Hawaiian Shave Ice

Again, another VERY HIGHLY recommended place by our followers and just like the tagline says, no, not all shaved ice is created equal. LOVED IT!

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Lahaina Fish Company

This was one of my favorite meals of the trip! Somehow we got placed right on the edge of the restaurant overlooking the ocean and it will forever be a core memory for me. We had spent the day whale watching and snorkeling and the whole day just felt magical. The food was amazing and we will definitely be going back our next time in Maui!

Cool Cat Cafe

Fun laid back atmosphere slinging killer burgers! Love the open air dining!

Paia Fish Market

We went to their front street location which has the cutest outside dining! The food was good and very reasonably priced!

Monkeypod Kitchen

EVERYONE said that we had to get the mai tai at the Monkeypod, so of course we did. I hated it. LOL It was so strong that I couldn’t even drink it. I am not sure if that’s how it was supposed be or I just got a bad one! Ellis still can’t stop talking about the fish tacos. Every fish taco she’s has since has simply not measured up. haha! We didn’t end up getting them, but everyone highly recommended the poke tacos!

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Hawaii was absolutely magical and trying to find all the ways to get back as soon as possible! Having the resource of our awesome community to crowd source help make this trip a dream! I hope this is helpful for your future planning to Hawaii! It is an absolute must visit.

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Like most trips, we were not able to do all the recommendations that were sent! However, we still want to share them with you! Here are all the Maui recommendations that we were not able to get to. I guess we must go back! 😉

  • Mt Haleakala Sunrise Tour**
  • Ferry to Lanai and explore
  • Snorkeling Molokini Crater**
  • Snorkeling at Turtle Town
  • Banyan Tree Visit
  • Wailea Beach
  • Nakalele Blow Holes**
  • Warren and Annabelle’s Magic Show**
  • Waimoku Waterfall
  • Baldwin Beach
  • Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour
  • Lavender Farm
  • The Gazebo**
  • Friedas Beach House
  • Mala
  • Sensei Sushi**
  • Sugar Beach Bake Shop
  • Kihei Cafe**
  • Maui Brewing Co**
  • Tin Roof
  • Mamas Fish House ($$$)
  • Fleetwoods**
  • Star Noodle Lahaina Grill**
  • South Maui Fish Company
  • Honolulu Cookie Company
  • Island Vintage Coffee
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