Hawaii Travel Guide: Top Picks for Maui and Oahu

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Well guys, this is the LAST post from my Hawaii vacation. Are you sad? Because, I am! Here's post one, two, and three if you missed them. These pics are from the luau we attended- its information is below.

 I was in Maui and Oahu for a week in June and had such an amazing time, so I thought I share my top pics with y'all! Let me preface this with the fact that this was my first time on the islands and we were on Oahu more than Maui, so that's why Maui's list is smaller.  

My top pics for Maui:

The Road to Hana- This is absolutely stunning. They have a tour you can take, but we rented a car and drove ourselves. The route is scenic and ruggedly beautiful. Be careful, because all of the bridges are only one-lane. The rest of the roads are two lanes, but still kind of small.  I wore a Dramamine patch and was very thankful, as I get carsick easily. Once you get to Hana, I recommend Shaka Pops, specifically the Maui Mojito. You also need to visit Wai'anapanapa State Park and see the blow holes and black sand beach. They are absolutely phenomenal!

Mount Halekala Sunrise and Bike Tour- This is easily my favorite adventure on Maui. The guides pick you up around 3 am to take you to the top of a mountain so you can see the sunrise. You then ride a bike down 26.2 miles of steep terrain. It's basically coasting though, which actually makes it more of a thrill. You get to ride down overlooking the entire island, as well as going through lavender and eucalyptus farms, and family owned ranches. I recommend doing this at the beginning of your trip so that you are still not on Hawaii time yet- this makes getting up easier. Also, be sure to bring a hat. They give you a jacket and pants to wear because it's so cold on top of the mountain, but I would have really liked something to cover my ears with.

Paia. This is a cute little town that is known for its shopping, wind surfing, and little eateries. Its only downfall is its lack of parking. Try to get there at an off time, specifically not around lunch or dinner time.

Mama's Fish House. This was probably my favorite meal of the vacation. They catch their fish daily, so their menu constantly changes. Not only is it super yummy, but it butts up right next to the beach, and is absolutely gorgeous. Be sure to get a reservation now, as they book up very quickly.

Da Kitchen. This was my dad's favorite place that we ate. It is local soul food and the portions are huge! You'll want to get their Moco Loco, which is an island tradition. Also, prepare to be weirded out with their use of spam. It is used as a delicacy!

My Top Picks for Oahu:

Lanikai Beach. In my opinion, this is the prettiest beach on Oahu. It is in Kailua; I wish we could have spent more time on it! They are known for their sea turtles, but we didn't see any. If I were to go back, I would have hopped on a little boat that was ferrying people to an island across the way. (I imagine that that is where most of the turtles hang out...away from all of the tourists)

Pearl Harbor. This is a must. It takes the full day if you do the Arizona and the Missouri, but it was worth it. It is a very sobering experience that I think everyone should have experience it. At the very least, it makes you appreciate our soldiers more.

Chief's Luau. If you're going to attend a luau, this is the one for you. They shuttle you up to a mountain, so you're actually looking at the coastline from your seat. It is very entertaining and I couldn't recommend it more. As I stated at the beginning of my post, these pictures were actually snapped at the Luau!

Heavenly.  I love farm-to-table places and that is what this restaurant is all about. They serve local items and are very health conscious, striving to only use organic items. Their fresh pineapple mimosa was great!

Bill's. Oddly enough, this is an Australian Restaurant in Hawaii, that is known for its scrambled eggs! They make eggs, as well as pancakes, with ricotta. This gives them an amazing smoothness. They also have good coffee!

House without a Key. A part of the Halekulani Hotel, this restaurant sits on the beach. It is as tasty as it is beautiful.

Hans Hedemann Surf School. I had never surfed before, so this class was gold. The instructors were out in the water with use the entire time. The boards were long, so they were easier to use, and the gave us surf shirts and water shoes, so that helped a lot as well. I only wish I had reapplied sunscreen on the back of my thighs- they were burned to a crisp, so it hurt to sit down, for a couple weeks.

Things I would have liked to have done, but didn't have time:

Pineapple Farm. They have Pineapple Tours on Maui and I was dying to go. I had this preconceived notion that I would have all this access to fresh pineapple and I barely saw any! So, whenever we chose to forgo the pineapple farm, I thought it would be okay, because we were going to see pineapple everywhere. NOT.

Haiku Mill. Located on Maui, I actually contacted this place several months prior to our trip and decided not to go, due to the charge. For under 30 minutes of photography, I would have to pay a $500 fee. I wish I could have seen it in person- it is seriously SO pretty in pictures.

Duke's. As one of the best known bars, I would have liked to have had a Mai Tai there. Next time, I suppose!

Whale Watching. I've seen dolphins, but never whales! I know you can do whale watching a lot of places, so I'm not that torn up about it.

Iolani Palace. Located on Oahu, this was the house of Hawaii's royalty. Like most little girls, I was obsessed with princesses and read a lot of books about real ones, not just make believe. I vividly remember reading the Diary of Princess Ka'iulani via the Royal Diaries of the Dear America Series! I would have loved to toured her house, to learn more about her.

Koko Head Stairs. We just didn't have time for that many stairs! I wish I could have seen the view, though! We drove by it though, so that should count for something, right? 

Kapiolani Farmer's Market. I am a sucker for fresh fruit and veggies, so I would have liked to see Oahu's market in action. You can never have too many samples;)

Have you ever been to the Hawaiian Islands? What are your top pics? Did I leave anything off? P.S. If you liked my post, here's an easy Pinterest image!

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