After a couple days of adventure on the Road to Hana, it’s time to settle in Maui along Kaanapoli beach – ie. the tourist resort area.
Maui is known for multiple beautiful drives. We love road trips and driving is always a pleasure for us, so we haven’t been able to resist trying them all. Not to mention that with such short distances between everything, it’s no big commitment to hop onto one of these roads and test it out. There’s no harm – and very little time lost – in turning back.
One of the only roads said to rival the drive to Hana is the Kahekili highway, which is a windy, cliffside, one lane road to get to the Kaanapoli resort area. Of course there’s a much easier highway route to get there, but where’s the fun in that?
We quickly decided this was our favorite drive on the island, with the most beautiful views we’ve had yet and very little traffic.
However, when we did have traffic it was quite the adventure. Of all the drives we were warned about, this was the only one we truly appreciated the challenges of one-lane roads. One of the sections we got caught in was sloped with no guardrail where 4 cars tried to pass us in succession. Though everyone grimmaced a little in the moment trying to squeeze by, we ended up without a scratch and with many laughs to go around.
By the way, there is no better way to start a sunny drive like this than with the best Hawaiian shave ice on the island: Ululani’s. We sampled many kinds of shaved ice, which was anywhere from unpleasantly hard, crunchy chunks of ice (like the “crush” setting on your fridge), to ice so well shaved that it was as creamy as ice cream. Ululani’s was like fine snow, with homemade flavorful syrups and a delicious condensed milk topping:
After an exciting drive, we checked into our next hotel for the remaining 4 days of our trip where we would spend our time beach lounging and frolicking in the water. Though a bit outdated, our hotel won us over with this amazing ocean view room:
We opened the door whenever we were in the room for neverending sounds and views of the ocean. After listening to this day and night, I may go through withdrawal when I’m back home sitting in my living room in silence.
Under the Sea
There are a few well known spots to snorkel and scuba dive along Ka’anapali beach, so we tried a couple. One is the famous Black Rock, while the other is the highly under appreciated coral reef right in front of our hotel.
It was here where we, being the only ones in the water, mingled with a sea turtle for a while…
We stumbled upon him snorkelling around our reef, where we let ourselves unobtrusively float in the waves right beside him. We drifted back and forth together, him eating his coral, us taking our pictures, while he occasionally looked up at us to see if we were still there.
We enjoyed it so much we almost missed our check-out time. I’ve never seen Shane so excited by an animal encounter!
Lahaina Front Street
Every resort town needs its waterfront boardwalk full of tourist tshotshke shops, and Front Street in Lahaina is just that.
We spent an evening strolling the streets, watching the sunset from a beachside restaurant lit with tiki torches, enjoying the lazy beach vibe.
Lahaina is also home to a crazy huge Banyan tree, which spans over an entire block in its width. Its canopy is so large with so many birds hiding in its foliage that it sounds like you walk into a rainforest when you step under its leaves.
Banyan trees are very interesting in their formation. They grow out laterally, the big branches dropping roots from the air, which dig down into the ground. Some of these grow so thick they look like new trunks, making it sometimes indistinguishable from the main trunk.
This gets tricky, as was proven when one one tourist we overheard exclaimed in awe, “look, this tree connects with this tree, which connects with that tree, which…”. Nope, all the same tree!
We didn’t burst her bubble though. Nature’s pretty neat, isn’t it?
And, That’s a Wrap
After all our fun in the sun, our trip to Hawaii has come to a close. We already can’t wait to come back! Thanks for following along. We’ll see you again soon – somewhere in southeast Asia….