Ben and I talk about Hawaii a lot. We even want to move there! But no worries, India is still home. When we were leaving I asked Ben of all the things to do in Hawaii, what his favorite bits were about Hawaii and they were pretty similar to mine, which I want to share here. There are a lot of guides out there saying what you should do, like the “Road to Hana”, but when I ask friends about their vacations, I just want their best memories, not a guide book answer.
10 Favorite Things to do in Hawaii
1. Surf Classes with Nancy’s Surf Clinic
I loved surfing! I really want to do more of it. It was such a rush. I remember when I got obsessed with learning to snowboard years ago, and this is kind of like that. I know I’ll be surfing again. Read more about my lessons in this article: 10 Adventures to have in Maui.
2. Staying at the Modern Hotel
It is one of my favorite hotels ever! It was so cool to have a suite and such a great view of the ocean. The hotel was pricey and I reviewed it for this blog. I know it’s not in everyone’s budget for a suite, but the standard rooms are really nice too and around $300 which is the norm for Waikiki. Read my review of Modern Hotel here.
3. Old Lahaina Luau
Ben and I both loved the laua! I didn’t think it was tacky or too overly touristy. I mean, yes it was full of tourists but it was such a beautiful show. It was right on the beach, there was a stunning sunset and delicious food. Read more about this in my Guide to Maui.
4. Flying in a helicopter with Air Maui
I got chills and almost “happy tears” while flying with Air Maui. While in the helicopter, they went over to the waterfalls in the valleys of the green lush mountains. They got so close to the water! It was incredible and there was this cool soundtrack playing in our headphones. Read more about my time with Air Maui there if you want.
5. Living like a local in Spreck’s Plantation
I loved the last two nights when we stayed at Spreck’s Plantation house. It was just 10 minutes from the airport so was good to get all our shopping down and close to the rental car drop off. It was by far the most affordable place we stayed and they had bicycles, laundry, and snorkling equipment you can borrow. For more info check out my Guide to Lodging in Maui.
6. Snorkling in such clear Maui water
Snorkeling here was better than anywhere I’ve done, which used to be Ko Tao as the best. I had a blast out with Alli Nui on a catamaran. It was a 6 hour tour with a local Hawaiian lunch and other snacks. You can snorkel on our own as well and there are rental places just about everywhere. If you want more information on Alli Nui check out this article: 10 top adventures in Maui.
7. Having freedom of a rental car
Normally I don’t rent a car when I travel, but I guess most of my big trips were outside the US. Having a rental car in Maui let us see the whole island while we were there- I’m talking all over the place! When we had no plans we went for a drive and found things to do. Of course the road to Hana was one. I wrote about the car companies we used in my Guide to Maui.
8. The views: sunsets, rainbows, beaches
I used to think India had some of the best sunsets, but that was because I hadn’t seen Hawaii’s! I mean, every day we saw a rainbow… I think because of all the mist in the air? Maui is one of the wettest places on earth, and one of the windiest! The views on the road to Hana were great, but actually the route from Lahaina south had amazing views, many of which are whale watching points which sadly wasn’t in season while I was there.
9. Eating in hippie Paia town
We liked Paia so much that we ended up staying at the Paia Inn in the center of town. Many of the top foods in Maui are in Paia from the fish market to the cafes and a little Mexican place. I particularly loved the sandwiches from Mana Foods! Check out my guide to food and shopping in Paia for more.
10. The massage I got at Montage Hotel
This was a life-changing massage. I’m not kidding: lomi lomi Hawaiian style with hot stones done by a woman that could read my mind. There were saunas, steam rooms, and waterfall outdoor showers. I loved every second of this spa. I did check out 3 spas in Maui, but this was the best.