This last trip to Hawaii was my fourth ever, though it was my first visit to Maui. I've heard a lot of rumors about Maui over the years, including that Maui was the best island in Hawaii to visit until everyone found out about it. Everyone described Maui has having so many different areas, like volcanoes, good beaches and waves, and great flora. I wasn't sure what to expect, really, except that The Weather Channel said that we would have great weather and very little rain.
We arrived in Kahului on Sunday and picked up a car to drive out to the west side of the island. Kahului is like the WalMart part of the island. Since the airport and cruise ships come into Kahului, there are many fast food restaurants, shopping centers, and cheap hotels in the area. In order to get to the touristy part of Maui (the west side) you have to drive around the island's coast. The easiest way to do that is to drive from north to south and then up the coast to Kaanapali.
When you arrive on the west side of Maui you will find condos and 10 story hotels with views like ours below.
The standard paradise - pools, cabanas, breezy lanais, waves. The best waves on the island are supposidly at the North West tip, by The Ritz, or by Kahului where we heard the Jaws competitions are held when the waves are just right. Speaking of which, we definitely watched this episode of Fantasy Factory while on Maui and thought it appropriately timed.
In Maui we were privileged to eat some amazing food. I was craving fish all during March in preparation for this trip! I highly recommend Duke's Beach House or Leilani's (same company, we first tried Duke's in Kauai and it is now a favorite). The dessert, Hula Pie, comes out on it's own special plate and is literally a quarter of a large, mountainous pie! We also ate at Cool Cats Cafe and really enjoyed it!
Kauai may still be my favorite island (since I'm not a fan of Oahu or the parts of Maui that remind me of Oahu), but Maui was an excellent trip idea for this time of year. We arrived at the end of the humpback whale season in Maui, and there were still plenty of things to see and do. Most of the time though, we just lounged and enjoyed our time in paradise.