Adventures

Our Maui Top 10 List

When it comes to Maui, I probably would have been completely satisfied spending the week on the beach or poolside reading, but after that long plane ride it seemed only right to do a little exploring.

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My husband helped me come up with our 10 favorite experiences in Maui. Yes, three of them involve food. No judgment, please. Full disclosure: The list originally featured four food-related faves.

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10: Hike at ‘Iao Valley State Park. This hike is beautiful and since our bodies were still on Mountain Time and we were up before dawn, we had the trail all to ourselves.

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9: Fish tacos at The Fish Market, Lahaina. I had the most amazing grilled fish tacos served in a basket with macaroni salad. Casual. Quick. Divine.

8: Trivia night at The Pour House. For two nerds who haven’t missed an episode of Jeopardy since we started dating (even counting the nights our two daughters were born), we jumped at the opportunity to play trivia on the island. We ended up winning a $20 bar tab and were embarrassingly proud of our efforts.

7: Hawaiian sweet bread at The Banyan Tree. This stuff. I can’t even explain how delicious.

6: Pools at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. We stayed at the villas near the Ritz-Carlton, but our villa had an agreement with them for guests to use the pool. There is a wonderful kids’ area our daughters would have adored, and an adults-only area where we could read in pure peace. The pools overlook the ocean, which is a plus.

5: Spa day and couples’ massage at The Grand Waleia. Our flight home didn’t leave until 9:30 p.m., which left us one last day to soak in some relaxation. This spa is absolutely amazing. We spent the afternoon in the sauna, steam room, and healing pools, then got a couples’ massage. The only thing left to do was have a glass of wine at the airport and completely zonk out for the long overnight flight home.

4: Twin Falls hike. The waterfalls on this hike are stunning exactly the kind of thing I imagined I’d see in Maui and they didn’t disappoint. I was also intrigued by the amazing flowers on this hike. Many were like nothing I had ever seen before.

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3: Sushi at Sansei. We are both sushi fans and agreed this was the best we’d ever had. The service was also excellent. Make a reservation. We tried to get a table our first night in Maui and had to make a reservation for the next night.

2: Whale watching with Ultimate Whale Watch. Our small boat made it easy to get close to the whales. We saw at least a dozen whales breaching, slapping the water, and even swimming right under our boat! We went on the 4 p.m. tour, which meant we caught a stunning Maui sunset during the ride. Our captain and the marine biologist onboard were knowledgeable and clearly very excited about their jobs.

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1: Helicopter ride with Sunshine Helicopters. I was a little apprehensive about getting on a helicopter for the first time, but just moments into the ride I experienced complete relaxation as we flew over the Maui countryside. This is truly the best way to see the island and worth every penny.

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Adventures

All 50 by 40: Hawaii

I just finished visiting my 43rd state on my quest to visit all 50 by age 40, and this last trip left me with one question: Why did I leave Hawaii until number 43?! Silly.

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My husband and I stayed on Maui. It was absolutely gorgeous. We chose not to island-hop on this trip because we really wanted to absorb as much of Maui as we could while still having time to relax.

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I am currently working on my Maui Top 10 list, which will definitely include whale watching and eating my weight in fish tacos.

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There was relaxing pool time.

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The Banyan Tree, which gets creepily loaded with noisy birds at sundown.

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Our beautiful resort made it difficult to come back to snowy South Dakota.

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Our beautiful resort made it difficult to come back to snowy South Dakota.

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The fantastic hiking trails were one of our favorite parts of the island, and, in my mind, an excuse to eat more fish tacos.

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I took my first helicopter tour. It was awesome!

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We left our three-year-old and eight-month-old daughters home with my very generous and caring parents. We missed them so much, but the time away was good for us. Thank you, dear friends, for reminding me of that, and squelching that mommy guilt before it had a chance to take hold.

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Stay tuned for my favorite parts of Maui. What state should I visit next? Here are the remaining seven.

The Updated List

Alaska

Arkansas

Michigan (I have been to airports)

Tennessee

Texas (I have been to airports)

West Virginia

Wisconsin