Friday, March 13, 2020

Two Days on Maui: Haleakala & Whale Watching

Every year, mrC and I try to spend our anniversary somewhere new or doing something new.  In the past we have spent the day leaf peeping on the Kancamagus Highway, running a few races together, driving to the top of Mt. Washington and lots more.

Back in October, mrC took me over to Maui for a couple of days for our anniversary and more recently for a quick whale watching trip. Both times we stayed in Lahaina at the Pioneer Inn. The town of Lahaina reminds me so much of Newport, RI ---> right on the water, cruise ships and boats in the harbor and streets lined with shops, restaurants and pedestrians. It just has a good vibe.

The Pioneer Inn is an older but quaint large inn right in the heart of Lahiana with views of the water, an attached restaurant and the nicest people work there. I love the rocking chairs on the lanais (even though they tip back dangerously easy!).

On our first trip to Maui we had more time to explore. We found acai bowls at Baya Bowls and if you know me, this was a priority! They were very good, but the location was off the main drag and the seating was limited on shade which is a big deal on a hot day in Hawaii! We strolled under the historic Banyan Tree which is the largest in the USA. We found plenty of good food and great views at Cheeseburger in ParadiseKimo's, and Lahaina Fish Co.

One highlight was snorkeling at Baby Beach. We walked about a mile from the hotel to the secluded beach used mostly by local families. The beach is protected by a long reef creating a perfect place for spotting fish in the shallow and warm water.

Never ones to pass up an active experience, mrC booked us on a Haleakala Sunrise Bike Tour. Much like our Sunrise Trek up Mt. Batur in Bali (read about that here), we were picked up around 3am at our hotel and transported to the top of Haleakala in time to see the sun come up.

After a the stunning sunrise, we took a tour around the summit and then began our descending bike ride back down the volcano to Haiku. It was super fun!!

Last month we went back for a quick two days basically for whale watching, but we explored a bit more too. We enjoyed a light breakfast on the water and then watched some group surfing lessons. It definitely looked like  great place for newbies to get their feet wet 😉

Thanks to the early flight out of Honolulu, we were able to book the morning whale watching tour out of Lahaina and it was AMAZING!! I highly recommend visiting Maui in the winter and taking a whale watching tour. We booked with Pacific Whale Foundation and they did a great job.

The next day we hopped on local bus #28 for a ride to the nearby town of Ka'anapali which is where a lot of large hotel resorts are located, one on top of the other. It's like a mini Waikiki. 

It was nice to check out the shops and restaurants at Whaler's Village (I even got a henna tattoo), basically an outdoor mall, but the highlight was mrC spotting breaching whales during our beach front walk!

Most importantly, we enjoyed more amazing food on this trip. I think we found our favorite Lahaina acai bowl at Breakwall Shave Ice and it had lots of seating options in the courtyard of The Wharf off Front Street. It was so good, we had it both days. We were back for some delicious ono grilled fish at Lahaina Fish Co and more ono at Captain Jack's Island Grill.  

As usual, we left Maui with more items on our Maui bucket list, so we will be back!

Have questions about our trip? Drop them in the comments below!

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