Maui: Our Excursions

Craig and I spent 9 days on the island of Maui and we were going to make the most of every day.

We definitely had our fair share of down time, but we also made sure to get out and explore the island every day as well.

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While we were there, we chose to go on three paid excursions:

– a snorkeling cruise

– surfing lessons

– zip lining

We spaced them out, so that we had something to look forward to throughout the week. With our free day inbetween those adventures, we drove around the island checking out other sights:

– a blowhole

– volcano (Haleakala)

– drove the road to Hana

It seems most logical (and easiest) to tell about our adventures in a chronological order, so that’s what I’ll do.

We flew into Maui and arrived Friday afternoon. Upon arrival, we immediately headed to Whole Foods. (We do not have a Whole Foods in Alaska, so I get pretty excited anytime I go in one.)

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Yes, that’s a big smile planted on my face while grocery shopping.

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We, of course, had to partake in the hot and cold salad bar and eat outside. . . .absolute bliss.

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As we were walking back to our car, Craig spotted this Minnesota license plate all the way in Hawaii!

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The next day, Saturday, we went to a beach for a while and then drove around the very west end of the island–Kaanapali to the Blowhole.

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As we drove along the coast, I was surprised how quickly the landscape changed. Actually, the landscape changed a lot throughout the island–from picturesque beaches to rugged, desert-like topography and even some lush rainforest areas.

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Lots of winding roads

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and narrow bridges.

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The blowhole: water spewing up through a hole in the rocks.

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It was super windy. . .I had to hold my shirt on. (Plus I was cold.)

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The next day, on Sunday, we drove up to the top of the volcano: Haleakala.

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At one point during our drive up, we could see both sides of the island.

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There were a lot of winding roads and hairpin turns to get to the top, but we eventually made it.

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As soon as we stepped out of the car, at the top of the volcano, I immediately exclaimed, “it feels like summer in Alaska.” I was not expecting 48* in Hawaii!

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We ended up hiking down into the volcano for a while.

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I wore my Chacos, which was a bad idea. I knew that going into it, but I didn’t want to get my new running shoes dusty. It was worth it.

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This is one of Craig’s favorite pictures.

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Craig practicing yoga on the top of the volcano.

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Round-trip our hike took about 3 hours.

On Monday, we had our snorkeling cruise booked through Maui Adventure Cruises.

We were supposed to travel to another small island off the coast of Maui, but the winds were too strong to go there, so the crew came up with an alternative plan.

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I promise my husband is not “special.”

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We had a great time snorkeling. I could not believe how crystal clear the water was, and there were so many different types of tropical fish!

Unfortunately I did not get many pictures of us snorkeling; I was too paranoid I would drop the camera in the ocean.

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Part of our cruise also involved some whale watching.

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I know the whales seem really far away in the pictures, but the crew had to stay at least 100 yards away. They were still incredibly manificant to watch.

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Craig got SO burnt while we were out on the water. Like everyone said, you don’t feel like you are getting burnt because the water isn’t super warm and being out on the water always feels cooler. (I was actually cold.)

I sprayed him down with sunscreen before we set out, but you can see exactly where I sprayed it–the white squiggly lines–and the areas where the sunscreen just misted his back. 😦

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Yes, it was as painful as it looks. He got second degree burns on one shoulder.

I’m so sorry, Honey!

Moral of the story: don’t use spray sunscreen or douse yourself in it!

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On Tuesday, we decided to drive the Road to Hana and travel around the east side of the island.


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The east side of the island is filled with lush green forests due to a higher amount of rainfall.

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It was incredibly gorgeous, but the roads were very windy. (Craig was not a fan; I was okay.)

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There were many  waterfalls along the way.

I had picked out three stops along the way, but for various reasons, we didn’t stop at any of them, so we didn’t get to really see the waterfalls and pools close-up. I was pretty bummed. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to go back again.

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We did stop at this pit stop to grab a bite to eat. It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere before Hana, but they had some decent food.

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Craig did not like the hairpin turns, so he had to buy some ginger ale to try and calm his stomach.

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We also bought this amazing coconut bread. It was to die for!

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After driving through Hana, we continued the rest of the way around the back side of the island.

This is acually the back side of Haleakala (the volcano). You can see where water has eroded the land away.

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We did make one stop at this Catholic church.

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They have services about three times a year–when there is a 5th Sunday in the month.

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This is my hillbilly, “I’m from the country picture.” (I am actually from the country!)

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Part of the tretchurous road we drove.

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The rugged coastline.

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We are going to submit this picture to Chevy to their marketing and advertising department with the slogan “Chevy Runs Deep” in the upper left-hand corner. This is the Cruze.

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A sweet picture I couldn’t resist posting.

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A cave/tunnel we saw along the coast.

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On Wednesday, we had our surfing lessons.

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We took surfing lessons through Goofy Foot Surf School, and we had an excellent experience. They provided rash guards (the long sleeve shirts), water shoes, and of course surf boards for us to use. I did not think I would even be able to stand up on the surf board, but I did! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

I wasn’t able to bring our camera out with us while we were surfing, so I just have these shots of us prior to going out.


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Craig making sure to spray himself down with lots of sunscreen.

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On Friday, we had our final excursion: zip lining.

I didn’t get any pictures from zip ling because I was worried we would lose our camera, so I left it behind. In hindsight, it would have been safe in a zipped pocket.

Our zipling adventure was through Kapalua Adventures Zip Lines and once again we have nothing but positive things to say about our experience. The staff was great, we felt safe, and we had a blast!

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That pretty much wraps up our big excursions during our trip. If you are planning a trip and have any more specific questions, I would be glad to help you out!

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15 responses to “Maui: Our Excursions

  1. We were on island at the same time and I live on Kaanapali 12 weeks out of the year. I actually talked about you to a lady at the pool one morning that was from Anchorage and worked in the school system.

    • What?!?! You get to live on Maui for part of the year!! Jealous! How do I score a job like this! Too funny that we were there at the same time!

      • Where did you stay on Kaanapali? What was your favorite place to eat? Perhaps we even “met” running on the boardwalk or on the beach.

      • We actually stayed in Lahaina. It would be really hard to pick my favorite place to eat because there were so many good ones, but I’d definitely have to saw Aloha Mixed Plate is up there: the view was awesome, you were right on the beach, the food was fabulous, and the prices were reasonable (a big factor for me). (I’m going to be doing a post about all the places we ate!)

  2. What a cool trip! It looks like that island is gorgeous with a lot to do. Poor Craig and his sunburn! I used SPF 60 when I went there a few years ago and made sure to re-apply often, I still got burnt. It looks like you guys got some much needed vacation/relaxation time far away from Alaska!

    • I was wondering about that. To me it looks like lava ran down the middle, but my husband kept saying it was from erosion. Thanks for clarifying.

  3. Okay, we totally need to travel together. Greg and i pretty much only ever take “active” vacations. We like to hike and explore as much as we can- with some time for relaxation and lots of eating thrown in there. Let’s go to Hawaii! 🙂
    Poor Craig with that back!!!
    LOVE all your photos!!

  4. Hi,
    Molokini snorkeling tours are the perfect way to make your vacations unforgettable. Molokini Crater is considered as one of the world best locations for snorkeling and diving. The breathtaking coral formations and the abundance of tropical fish and other marine life in the area make this tour unforgettable.

    best maui snorkeling

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