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About Maui

We have visited the state of Hawai’i many times in the past 32 years. While most of our visits have been to the Big Island of Hawai’i, since 2010 we’ve escaped the December cool of Oregon to the temperate isle of Maui.

The first time we visited Maui was in 1992 as a stop on a Hawaiian cruise, so we really didn’t see much more than Lahaina, and frankly, weren’t impressed. In 2002, we decided that we needed to take our moms on a trip because they weren’t getting any younger. We chose Maui because, other than Oahu, it was the only island we could fly to directly from San Jose. It rained—a lot—five out of eight days—torrential rains.

Eight years later we finally made it back. Alaska Airlines had just started direct flights and I needed one more trip to stay in the elite program (once you’re there, it’s hard to give up the benefits), so we decided on a quick weekend. And we were hooked. It was too short, so we have since opted for a week. We’ve made some friends and found some great places to visit, shop and eat.

Whenever someone says they are heading to Maui, we tell them you have to visit Main Street Bistro in Wailuku—where we had dinner all three nights of that first long weekend. (12/2015 Sadly we must report that Main Street Bistro has closed.) We’ve since discovered so many other “destinations,” so it only makes sense to share our favorites here and I won’t have to write it all down again. Of course, we’ll probably find someplace new each December we visit, so the list will continue to grow.

Paia Fish Market, Paia—Early is better to avoid a big dinner crowd.
Hula Cookies, Ma’alaea—Great fresh cookies.
Monkeypod by Merriman, Wailea—Fabulous Kale and Mac nut salad

Sherri Reeve Gallery, Makawao—Beautiful art. Tell her Tom and Patty sent you.
Makawao Garden Cafe, Makawao—In the alley next to Sherri’s. Great sandwiches.
T Komoda Store and Bakery, Makawao—Old fashioned bakery with old fashioned prices

Kula Lodge, Kula—Make a reservation to see the sun set
Kula Bistro, Kula—Go for breakfast; plan to take some good food home.
Worcester Glassworks, Kula—If you like handblown glass and interested in the process, it’s worth a visit. If you like dogs, maybe Gus the corgi/Aussie will be there.
Maui’s Winery ~ Tedeschi Vineyards—Pineapple wines. Different, yes, but also good.

The best gas price on the island is Costco, which is in Kahului on the way to the airport.

And finally, what we avoid: Mama’s Fish House
This is highly rated because the fish is fresh and there’s a view (if you get a good seat). Just be aware that this is a $$$$ restaurant. If you do decide to go, plan to spend a minimum of $30-$50 on entrees and over $15 for a glass of wine (never mind the price of cocktails). When we ate there three years ago the bill was $160 for one cocktail, one soft drink and two entrees. It was good, but not great—not a good value when there are so many other good restaurants on the island.