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Maui Favorites


  • 808/662-3600Leoda's, 820 Olowalu Village Rd., Honoapi'ilani highway 808/662-3600(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  808/875-7679808/875-7679(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 808/667-5400(808/667-5400) 286 Kupuohi Street, Lahaina, Maui. 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.
  • Pineapple Grill at Kapalua Resort (tel. 808/669-9600808/669-9600): The best new restaurant on Maui -- if you only had 1 night to eat on the island, I'd send you here. In fact, if you eat here at the beginning of your Maui trip, you might end up coming back! Chef Ryan Lucky is a genius at turning fresh local ingredients into culinary masterpieces such as the Maui-style seafood paella with Portuguese sausage and Kula herbs.
  • Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar (tel. 808/669-6286808/669-6286 in Kapalua and 808/879-0004808/879-0004 in Kihei): Always the kids request for birthday dinners, and Sarah's and Scott's 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 (tel. 808/572-2666808/572-2666): 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, Maui, HI 96779-8607. Tel: 808/579-8755808/579-8755 ) 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!
  • Grandma's Coffee House 153 Kula Hwy Kula, HI 96790 (808/878-2140808/878-2140) good coffee in a unique location upcountry, Gregg's favorite destination spot. Sarah and Scott like to bike to Grandma's on Saturday morning for breakfast.
  • The Kula Lodge 15200 Haleakala Hwy. Route 377, Kula, Maui, Hawaii 96790 (808/878-1535 - 800/233-1535 this is the place to go for one of those must do breakfasts. The view is stunning and it is located in a beautiful setting for a classically romantic breakfast.
  • Old Lahaina Luau (tel. 800/248-5828800/248-5828 or 808/667-1998808/667-1998): 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 Ave Paia, HI 96779 (808/579-6323808/579-6323). The best crepes on the island, Connor always has at least two! Try the savory crepes and then have a desert crepe to finish.

Best Beaches

  • Ka'anapali Beach: Four-mile-long Kaanapali stands out as one of Maui's best beaches, with grainy gold sand as far as the eye can see. Most of the beach parallels the sea channel, and a paved beach walk links hotels and condos, open-air restaurants, and the Whalers Village shopping center. Summertime swimming is excellent. The best snorkeling is around Black Rock, in front of the Sheraton; the water is clear, calm, and populated with brilliant tropical fish.
  • Napili Bay Beach: On an island of many great beaches, this one takes the prize. A golden crescent with swaying palms protected from strong winds and currents by two outstretched lava-rock promontories, Napili has calm waters that are perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking. Even though it borders the Kapalua Resort, the beach is long enough for everyone to enjoy. Facilities include showers, restrooms, and lifeguards.
  • 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.


  • Best Place for Make-up: The Cosbar at the Shops at Wailea. Sarah and the girls favorite!
  • 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! Sarah love to take her guest.
  • 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 Burgers - The Kobe burgers at Mala Cafe in Lahaina. Mala Ocean Tavern, Lahaina, (808) 667-9394(808) 667-9394 They are a little pricy, but so good. We all love them!
  • Best Tennis Coaches- On the west side try John Monnier at the Royal Lahaina. On the southside at Makena tennis club, ask for Frank or Scotty and tell them Chrissy sent you.
  • Best Snorkeling - Don't waste your time on anything else, go straight for the Molokini Crater! (Connor, Nastiya and Tonya).
  • Best Underwater Activity for ages 10 and under: Atlantis Submarines (tel. 800/548-6262800/548-6262) for a plunge beneath the waves without getting wet have the kids go on the yellow submarine ride. (Skylar)
  • Best Live Entertainment - Warren and Annebelle's 900 Front St # A202 Lahaina, HI, 96761, 808/667-6244808/667-6244. 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(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. (All the kids!)
  • Best Action - Try the Zip Line at Kapalua Kapalua Resort's zipline course is one the country's largest. Nearly two miles of parallel line-zipping action takes you soaring within the West Maui mountains. It's scenic and fun!
  • Best Whale Watching - The Pacific Whale Foundation ( They have multiple locations on Maui, they really do it right.
  • Best Breakfast Spot - The Gazebo ( 5315 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, HI - (808) 669-5621(808) 669-5621) Favored by all of us as the best west side breakfast eatery, get there early as there can often be a wait.
  • Let us know your favorite spots and things to do, we'll add them on and keep everyone informed. Have fun!