Our favorite hotels, restaurants, and things to do on the island
1 of 15
Travaasa Hana, Hana
The best payoff on the winding road to Hana may be unwinding here, a verdant, 69-acre oasis on ocean bluffs. In 2015 Travaasa updated its bungalows, suites and East Maui-inspired restaurant/lounge, while the gracious staff and spa remain top-notch. travaasa.com; $$$$.
2 of 15Courtesy of Lumeria Maui
Lumeria Maui, Makawao
Halfway between coastal Paia and upcountry Makawao, this beautifully reconceived compound from the sugar plantation era now cultivates wellness, offering yoga, gourmet organic meals, massage, and even equine therapy. Don’t forget the healing power of its West Maui mountain views, either. lumeriamaui.com; $$$.
3 of 15Linny Morris
Hotel Wailea, Wailea
It’s adults-only at this intimate, hilltop enclave of suites with stunning vistas, a cabana-lined pool, and creative cocktail bar. Valets whisk you to and from the hotel’s private Beach Club on golden Wailea Beach; delicious Capische? restaurant is on site. www.hotelwailea.com; $$$$.
4 of 15Courtesy of Napili Kai Beach Resort
Napili Kai Beach Resort, Lahaina
The turquoise waters of Napili Bay beckon from this low-key beachfront condo resort: snorkel, stand-up paddle, or just watch whales in season. Family-friendly, it also boasts great studios for couples, plus Maui’s best happy hour at Sea House restaurant. www.napilikai.com; $$$.
5 of 15Courtesy of The Plantation Inn
The Plantation Inn, Lahaina
Walk to shops, restaurants, and Lahaina’s bustling waterfront from this 18-room B&B—after the lavish chef-prepared breakfast, served poolside. Hawaiian quilts and plantation-style furnishings give it a vintage feel, but the A/C, cable TV, and Wi-Fi are all thankfully modern.www.kbhmaui/plantation-inn; $$$$.
6 of 15Courtesy of Mama’s Fish House
Mama’s Fish House, Paia
Once you book your flight, book a table at this iconic seaside restaurant that epitomizes Hawaiian hospitality and emphasizes fresh seafood. Prices are no lower at lunch, but you’ll have more time to relax on the palm-dotted beach afterward. www.mamasfishhouse.com; $$$.
7 of 15Courtesy of Maui Fresh Streatery
Maui Fresh Streatery, Central Maui
Chef Kyle Kawakami’s bright red truck brings fresh gourmet food to Wailuku and Kahului with a rotating menu inspired by international cuisines—Korean, Indian, Mexican, etc. What’s consistent: high-quality, locally harvested ingredients (such as ahi tuna) and seriously finger-licking flavors (bring napkins). www.mauifreshstreatery.com; $.
8 of 15Courtesy of Monkeypod Kitchen
Monkeypod Kitchen, Wailea
Another brainchild of prolific restaurateur Peter Merriman, one of the co-founders of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, Monkeypod is a casual showcase for artisanal, locally sourced cuisine and cocktails. Bonus: Since it’s not inside a pricey Wailea hotel, prices are relatively moderate. www.monkeypodkitchen.com/wailea; $$.
9 of 15Courtesy of Kula Bistro
Kula Bistro, Kula
Before or after exploring Haleakala, stop here for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a decadent pastry. Keep it simple with burgers or pizza, or go gourmet with fresh seafood, pasta, and local fusion dishes like ahi tacos or kalua potstickers. kulabistro.com; $$.
10 of 15Courtesy of Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop
Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop, Lahaina
Pick up a full-sized sweet or savory pie to stash in your condo, or a pocket-sized one to devour right away, at this quaint restaurant on the road to Lahaina. Hefty gourmet sandwiches, salads, and daily specials will also satisfy. www.leodas.com; $.
11 of 15Hawaii Tourism Authority / Tor Johnson
Spend a day at the beach
Acres of sand invite you to lounge at Makena State Park (pictured)—be wary of the powerful surf break—or D.T. Fleming Beach Park, with Molokai on the horizon. On the Hana side, don’t miss dreamy Hamoa Beach (no facilities, so plan ahead).
12 of 15Andrea M. Gómez
For an inexpensive thrill, don fins and a mask and dip underwater. Sea turtles, colorful coral, and resplendent reef creatures abound off South and West Maui, especially near Molokini (book a dawn trip to avoid crowds), Kaanapali’s Black Rock, and Mokuleia Bay.
13 of 15Hawaii Tourism Authority / Tor Johnson
The road to (and beyond) Hana brims with waterfalls plummeting by the pavement, such as 80-foot Wailua Falls (pictured). In Kipahulu, home of the cascading pools of Oheo Gulch, don’t skip the 2-mile hike to 200-foot Waimoku Falls.
14 of 15Hawaii Tourism Authority / Tor Johnson
Take a hike
Tread by the sea or above the clouds for majestic views. In Kapalua, the Coastal Trail connects several beaches, craggy rock formations, and a labyrinth; atop Haleakala, the Sliding Sands Trail (pictured) mesmerizes with panoramic views across its lunar landscape.
15 of 15The Flying Hawaiian
Learn about libations
Go to the source of award-winning craft beer or vodka, with samplings after an educational tour. Maui Brewing Co. tours ($15) take place in Kihei, while the distiller of Ocean Organic Vodka gives tours (pictured; $10 or $25 with lunch) amid organic sugarcane fields in Kula.