Vacationer’s Guide to Maui
Advice for Couples and Families Traveling to Hawaii
The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa "Poolside"
Provided by Maui Visitors' Center
Imagine sandy beaches draped with towels and palm fronds. Listen to the crash of the Pacific and feel the warm lick of waves tickle your toes. This may sound like our native San Diego, but it’s far from it. This is Maui, the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui is part bustling hub, part tranquil getaway. A jaunt across the Pacific from our airport will get you to the island’s white sandy beaches, where greetings of “Aloha” ring in your ears from the moment you touch the ground. Whether you’ve brought along the kids or just your sweetheart, Maui holds a vacation of unparalleled splendor.
Maui for Families
Looking for a destination that can accommodate all ages? Maui might be the place for you. Friendly locals are happy to point you in the direction of the best beaches, hikes and restaurants for the whole crew.
Where to Stay in Maui
The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, located along Kā‘anapali Beach on Maui’s west side, offers 40 lush, manicured acres of easy luxury. There’s plenty to keep the gang busy at this resort, including scuba diving, hula demonstrations, lei-making classes, garden tours and even penguin feedings! (The hotel is home to a colony of African black-footed penguins.) Spend the days relaxing poolside by the Keiki Lagoon (or children’s pool, for little ones), then get ready for a night of cultural surprise with the “Drums of the Pacific Polynesian Spectacular,” an exciting dinner show complete with a traditional imu (underground oven) ceremony and the fantastical flavors of Hawaiian cuisine.
If you parents need a night or day away, drop the kids off at Camp Hyatt, where they’ll do a variety of cultural activities. If it’s dinner time, dip into Japengo, the award-winning restaurant that features fresh, locally sourced Pacific Rim cuisine. The menu includes some of the best sushi on Maui—like the Blackened Ahi Roll with crab, avocado and cucumber topped with blackened ahi, spicy mayo and Maui onion—as well as fresh flavors like the Sashiwo-style hamachi and watermelon, a refreshing meld of fruity and delicately fishy flavors.
What to Do in Maui
Need a break from all that sun and sand? Kids of all ages will love the Maui Ocean Center, which bills itself as the Aquarium of Hawaii. There’s a whole trove of exotic and breathtaking wildlife just below the surface of Hawaii’s waters.
Explore the island’s Upcountry, which includes Haleakalā National Park. The park garners more than a million visitors every year. Buckle up and drive the park’s winding roads to the famous Haleakalā Crater.
When those inevitable cries of “I’m hungry!” start drifting up from the back seat, satisfy their sweet tooth with one of Maui’s favorite treats: shave ice. Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi Magazine voted Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice as its top pick, and they’ve got multiple locations to keep you satiated throughout your travels.
Maui for Couples
If you’re planning a romantic getaway for two, Maui also has your answers. Stroll the beach hand-in-hand, sip fruity cocktails and get lost (or found) on some of the island’s oldest trails during your couple’s retreat.
Where to Stay in Maui
“Couples Only” sounds like music to our ears, and that’s exactly what you’ll get at Hotel Wailea, Maui’s five-star, zen-inspired, garden-like resort. With just 72 suites—all recently meticulously renovated with rain showers, full kitchenettes and top-notch amenities—Hotel Wailea epitomizes the word “exclusive.” It’s perched 300 feet above sea level, meaning every suite’s balcony offers expansive, 180-degree views of the Pacific. Here, you won’t find a pool packed with screaming kiddos, but a relaxing oasis ready to ease you into luxury, especially if you spend the day at one of the private, residential-style cabanas. The bar serves up your fruity favorites with fresh, local ingredients—just as they should be.
The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea serves a true taste of Maui with locally inspired menus populated by fresh, pure ingredients. The islands’ own farms and fishermen serve as the source and inspiration for these delectable dishes, like lobster from the Big Island, Hawaii. Begin with the Kampachi Crudo, a simultaneously light and sumptuously oiled hors d’oeuvres with avocado puree, radish, green papaya and nuoc cham, paired with the restaurant’s signature martini, the lemony Lilikoi (Hawaiian for “passion fruit).
Where to GO in Maui
What better way to relax than with a cold beer? Maui Brewing Co. is a cultural landmark in the brew community—you won’t have any trouble finding their suds across San Diego—but it’s a different experience entirely to taste it on-island. Take a tour, and the two of you will learn exactly what goes into these brews, the history of the company and plans for the future (hint: they’re big). Board games abound in the tasting room if you want to stay awhile.
Maui is known for stunning waterfalls and lush landscapes, especially along the winding road to Hāna, but finding the best hiking trails can be tricky. Who better to show you the way than a local? Local Maui Tours, owned and operated by Maui native Kellen Ferguson, offers tours of Maui that cater to the tourist’s style. Ferguson takes you to secret spots and helps you climb to new heights—both literally and figuratively—to make the most of your Maui adventure. But it’s not all adventure. Ferguson knows where to refuel authentically, so whether that’s at an impromptu BBQ stand or a homemade banana bread retailer, you won’t leave hungry.
No matter if you’re traveling with your family or your honey, Maui is a special paradise perfect for any time of year.