Maui's Magical Moments

“I went to Maui to stay a week and remained five. I never spent so pleasant a month before, or bade any place goodbye so regretfully. I have not once thought of business, or care or human toil or trouble or sorrow or weariness, and the memory of it will remain with me always.”  ~Mark Twain

My favorite moments from this island of a million magazine-cover worthy scenes happened every day and often.

I couldn't stop taking pictures on the Road to Hana.  Don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise-the Road to Hana is a national treasure, and my favorite spot on Maui just might be the Black Sand Beach. 

The Road to Hana: Twists and Turns and views like this

The Black Sand Beach-my favorite spot in MauiPlan on dragging yourself out of bed at 2 a.m. on one of your Maui days (and catch up on sleep at the beach later).  You absolutely have to see the sunrise on Haleakala and it requires an early wake-up call to drive the two hours to the top.  I recommend bike riding down with 360 degree views of Maui on the way down. We stopped and stared at this rainbow for a good five minutes.

On another planet: Watching the sunrise on Haleakala, an active volcano

A full rainbow welcoming us to the day as we bike ride down Haleakala I still compare every piece of bread I've had since to the one I had at Spago.  The Maui Onion Foccacia Bread is divine bites of sweet caramelized Kula onions enveloped in warm, chewy bread. Sigh.

The best bread I've ever eaten: Maui Onion Foccacia Bread at SpagoThis will forever be one of my favorite photos of my sister, enjoying the view

Possibly the most beautiful infinity pool in the worldThe perfect Hawaiian beach=Wailea

This is what you dream about when you think of HawaiiI loved spending a good part of each day in the warm Maui waters.  While scuba diving with Maui Undersea Adventures, we met lots of new friends like this guy.

If it's your first time on Maui, like it was for us, the Old Lahaina Luau is a fun way to spend an early evening, followed by wandering Lahaina's main street.  While we started one day with sunrise on Haleakala, we ended it with this sunset at the luau. Classic, perfect Maui.

In Love With The Road to Hana & The Black Sand Beach: Day 4 in Maui

Leading up to my trip, it was funny how divided people were on the Road to Hana. It ranged from "It was my favorite thing ever!" to "I liked it...I just wish I had a helicopter to take me back after I got to Hana" to "Ummm....yeah I'd skip that." No matter what, it was something I was really looking forward to so we chatted with the concierge at the Four Seasons, got a map, and hit the road with a full tank of gas at 8 a.m.

The Road to HanaI absolutely loved it.  There are over 600 hairpin turns on the Road to Hana, and it's about 50 miles from Paia to Hana, though we went beyond Hana.  We decided to stop at a few sights on our way there and a few on the way back, so it took us 2 1/2 hours to get to Hana.  If you're a hiker, bring your gear and bug spray.  I wish we had brought bug spray even for getting in and out of the car.  We weren't going to be doing any of the hiking due to time constraints but still loved stopping for heart-stopping views at the Keanae Peninsula and Wailua Overlook.  It was fun to browse the Nahiki roadside boutiques (get the coconut candy!). 

Looking Down at the Black Sand BeachThe unforgettable moment for me was stopping at the black sand beach at Wainapanapa State Park.  I will dream of this beach.  It was absolutely perfect. It is actually mostly smooth, small lava pebbles so bring a good pair of beach sandals.  I felt so at peace and in the moment on this small beach.

Black Sand BeachI didn't see the danger factor that is often written about.  If you are a relatively safe driver, you will be fine. As in, you aren't into going 75 mph around hard turns.  I drove leisurely, made great time and was aware of my surroundings.  Easy!  Bring good music for the road and someone you like traveling with.  I can't count how many times we played Beyonce's "Best Thing I Never Had."  We cranked it up and gave it our best American Idol shot.

Travaasa HanaWe stopped in Hana at Oprah fave Travaasa Hana (formerly Hotel Hana Maui) to take a look. I'll be doing a separate post on it at some point but I loved it.  Lunch was at Hana Ranch Restaurant which was a huge mistake. One of the worst lunches ever!  Maggie got a pulled pork sandwich and more than half of it was pure fat.  So we shouldered on and ended up biking for smoothies at Laulima Farms, about 12 miles past Hana. 

Biking for SmoothiesI'm a history nut & loved stopping at Charles Lindbergh's grave, which is before Laulima Farms, about 11 miles from Hana. Turn at the Maui Stables sign--there is no other sign for it. He is buried in the graveyard of the Palapala Ho'omau church.  Lindbergh spent a lot of time at his home in Maui with his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  At the end of his life, he knew he only had days to live and so he left New York and returned to his home on the island.

Charles Lindbergh's GraveWhen I go back, I'll spend a night in Hana after driving the road.  Hana just feels different.  It's quiet and isolated in a wonderful way. I will also pick up a picnic lunch and eat it on the black sand beach.

After a long day of sightseeing, we had a comforting and delicious dinner at DUO restaurant back at the Four Seasons. DUO is where we had been eating the divine breakfast buffet each morning, but it transforms into a fabulous steak and seafood house at night.  There is a raw bar, with the freshest seafood you can imagine.  The crab cake appetizer was almost all fresh crab, the ahi tuna melted in my mouth and the skillet-roasted vegetables were crisp with a touch of salt and pepper.  We both loved the strawberry crumble and the pink cotton candy that comes with your check.  It was one of my favorite nights.  Thank you to Cecil for a wonderful chat about New York, Maui, food and for being so kind to us.

Crab CakeOne more photo from The Road to Hana-kisses with a new friend! Near the start of the road is a guy with a bunch of parrots on the side-you won't be able to miss him.  $20 buys you as many photo opps as you want for you and your traveling buddies.