Maui Favorites

Restaurants:

  • Leoda's (820 Olowalu Village Road, Honoapi'ilani highway, 808 662-3600) Leoda’s kitchen and pie shop has casual family style dining in a comfortable plantation era atmosphere. The menu features an assortment of hand-crafted sandwiches, salads, baked goodies and the amazing sweet and savory pies. The seared ahi salad is everyone’s favorite and the fried salad is a must have too. This is a destination that shouldn’t be missed.

  • Pita Paradise (34 Wailea Gateway Center, 808 875-7679) freshest fish in town! Owner fisherman Johnny catches fresh fish exclusively for Pita Paradise. This is our place when we are in Wailea with the kids. Great food and great value! All the kids order Kalua pork pita sandwiches.

  • Star Noodle ( 286 Kupuohi Street, Lahaina, 808 667-5400) You will question where we have sent you as you are dining up the hill inside the Lahaina business park. Don't worry you are not the last! This restaurant is a great find. The Vietnamese crepe and pad Thai are fantastic.

  • Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar (1881 South Kihei Rd, Kihei, 808 879-0004) Always the kids request for birthday dinners, go to for appetizers and nice wine. Relentlessly popular, Sansei serves sushi and then some: hand rolls warm and cold, udon and ramen, and the signature Asian rock-shrimp cake with the oh-so-complex lime chile butter and cilantro pesto. This Kapalua choice is flavor central - simplicity is not the strong suit, so be prepared for some busy tasting. Another branch has opened in Kihei. Possibly the best deal in town, 50% off on the food between 5-6pm on Sunday's and Monday's. Get there early as it always fills up! Call for the specials. Also 50% off bar food in the later hours.

  • Haliimaile General Store (900 Haliimaile Road, Makawao, 808 572-2666) Bev Gannon, one of the 12 original Hawaii Regional Cuisine chefs, is still going strong at her foodie haven in the pineapple fields. You'll dine at tables set on old wood floors under high ceilings. The food, a blend of eclectic American with ethnic touches, bridges Hawaii with Gannon's Texas roots and puts an innovative spin on Hawaii Regional Cuisine. Examples include sashimi napoleon and the house salad - island greens with mandarin oranges, onions, toasted walnuts, and blue-cheese crumble. Always fun for your upcountry drive.

  • Milagros (3 Baldwin Ave, Paia, 808 579-8755) The best margaritas on the island, the chips, salsa and guacamole are fresh and fantastic. The breakfast here is Liam's favorite, he loves the pancakes!

  • Old Lahaina Luau (1251 Front Street, Lahaina, 808 667-1998) It's not exactly a restaurant, but it's certainly an unforgettable dining experience. Maui's best luau serves top-quality food that's as much Pacific Rim as authentically Hawaiian, served from an open-air thatched structure. It's one-third entertainment, one-third good food, and one-third ambience. All the kids love the show, who doesn't?

  • Cafe Des Amis (42 Baldwin Avenue, Paia, 808 579-6323) The best crepes on the island! Try the savory crepes and then have a desert crepe to finish.

  • Misa Phat Sushi (Azeka Shopping Center, Kihei, 808-891-6476) Great Sushi, sit down or take out, open until 9pm Sun-Thurs, open until 10pm Fri-Sat

  • Matteo's Osteria (161 Wailea Ike Pl A107, Wailea, just below the new Residence Inn Maui, 808 891-Vino) Itailain food and wine bar, online ordering, kids menu, happy hour, great pizza.

Best Beaches

  • Wailea Beach This is the best gold-sand, crescent-shaped beach on Maui's sunbaked southwestern coast. One of five beaches within Wailea Resort, Wailea is big, wide, and protected on both sides by black-lava points. It serves as the front yard for the Four Seasons Wailea, Maui's most elegant hotel, and the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, its most outrageous. From the beach, the view out to sea is magnificent, framed by neighboring Kahoolawe and Lanai and the tiny crescent of Molokini. The clear waters tumble to shore in waves just the right size for gentle riding, with or without a board. All the beaches on the west and south coasts are great for spotting whales and watching sunsets, but Wailea, with its fairly flat sandy beach that gently slopes down to the ocean, provides exceptionally good whale-watching from shore in season (Dec-Apr), as well as unreal sunsets nightly.

  • Big and Little Beach Big beach is a favorite locals beach, with shore break waves for ocean sports, a long and wide sand beach with plenty of space for everyone and nice hiking paths and trails. Walk over the hump to little beach, where clothing is optional, and there are full moon parties for your wild side.

Others

  • Best Place for Make-up The Cosbar at the Shops at Wailea.

  • Best Walk Thompson Road. Go to Grandma's Coffee House for your coffee, lock your car and start walking up the hill towards the hospital and take your first right, a little over a mile long you'll walk Thompson Road and see Oprah's place. The views are stunning and you get your exercise!

  • Best Place to Run into Willie Nelson, Charlie's Bar in Paia. This is a local's place where every now and then Willie gets up on stage and still sings Whisky River.

  • Best Wine Store The Wailea Wine Shop at the Wailea Town Center. They have great service and are fairly priced. If you have a Costco card you can use Costco as a back-up as the wine store is closed Sundays and Mondays.

  • Best Snorkeling www.mauisnorkeling.net/molokinicrater.html. For a guided tour, Molokini is the most popular spot. But there are tons of local places that are very beautiful just off shore. If you have time, consider a trip to snorkel/dive off Lanai.

  • Best Underwater Activity for ages 10 and under: Atlantis Submarines (800 548-6262) for a plunge beneath the waves without getting wet have the kids go on the yellow submarine ride.

  • Best Live Entertainment Warren and Annebelle's Warrenandannabelles.com 900 Front St #A202 Lahaina, HI, 96761, (808)667-6244. Book early as this is usually sold out. There's a kid's show as well, but the real entertainment is at night.

  • Best Family Show Ulalena, 878 Front St. Lahaina, HI, 96761, (808) 661-9913 The Maui Myth and Magic Theatre in Lahaina, Maui presents Ulalena, a spectacular stage production based on the historical legends of Hawaii. This is a beautiful show which the whole family will enjoy.

  • Best Whale Watching The Pacific Whale Foundation (www.pacificwhale.org) They have multiple locations on Maui, they really do it right.

  • Best Lunch, O'O Farms(808 667-4341) A truly unique island experience. Breathtaking venue with views of two coastlines. Gourmet lunch prepared in your presence with fresh natural products. $58.00 per person.

  • Best Breakfast
  • (6:30-11:00 am 808 573-1234) Ka'ana Kitchen at the Andaz hotel has beautiful tables of farm fresh foods, hand-pressed juices and a coffee beverage mixologist.
  • Let us know your favorite spots and things to do, we'll add them on and keep everyone informed. Have fun!