Maui Primer Print

First, for purposes of knowing how we think, we always stay in Napili bay, and for years stayed at Napili Shores, a condo that is about 30 years old and is in Napili Bay.  Everything in Napili (which is quite small) is only two stories high so there isn’t the cluttered, high-rise feeling associated with other touristy areas. 


 Vital data on Napili Shores:

Napili Shores
5315 Lower Honoapiilani Highway
Maui, HI  96761
(808) 669-8061

In 2000, at Jennifer’s wedding, we stayed at Napili Kai, which is across the bay from Napili Shores.  We liked it better and will most likely stay there from now on.  Napili Kai has a good restaurant (the Sea House) that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is on its beach.  Napili Kai is also built on and around its own beachfront so having a splendid view and making use of the beach is really easy.  Vital data on Napili Kai:

Napili Kai Beach Club
5900 Lower Honoapiilani Highway
Maui, HI  96761
(808) 669-6271 or, for reservations, (800) 367-5030



Now, here is our packing list for a trip to Maui:

Wine/Bottle opener
Snorkel fins
Snorkel masks
Bathing suits
TEVA sandals
Hawaiian shirts (Tommy Bahama, Reyn Spooner, etc.)
V-neck T-shirts
Deck shoes
Dark glasses
Visors and a wide-brimmed hat
Recipes for various dishes
Dial soap
Head & Shoulders
Coffee filters
Camera gear

I usually wear shorts and T-shirts everywhere.  I wear deck shoes to dress up, sandals when I’m casual.  There are one or two restaurants on the island that require a coat (but no tie) for men.  I’ve never been to any of them.  I think it’s ridiculous to require a coat in a place where the Governor wears Hawaiian shirts to the office, so I refuse to patronize a place that would presume to force me to wear a coat.  The islands are very casual.

 From the airport at Kahalui, it’s about 25 miles to Lahaina.  The road is clearly marked and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it.  I assume you have rented a car.  If not, you must rent a car because you cannot possibly get along on Maui (or any other "outer" island) without one.  We stop at the Safeway in the Cannery Shopping Center at the north end of Lahaina (the far end when driving up from the airport) for groceries on the way to Napili.  You might want to do the same thing.  Kaanapali is only about two miles past the Cannery Center and Napili about eight miles, but it would be nice not to have to go back.  Following is our standard shopping list:

Copy of This Week Maui1
Myers Dark Rum
Trader Vic's Mai Tai mix
Hot dog buns
Fresh fish
Coffee (unless brought along)
Coffee filters (unless brought along)
Kitchen Cook'd potato chips2
POG juice3
Salt & pepper
Pickle Relish
Salad dressing
Teriyaki sauce
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Saran wrap
Aluminum foil
Zip lock bags
Fresh ginger
Papayas (6)
Limes (6)
Sliced turkey
Hot dogs  
1A free guide to Maui that is displayed in racks at virtually every store on Maui.  It’s a great guide that is full of maps and coupons for freebies.
2Kitchen Cook’d is the brand you should buy; anything else is a poser chip and won’t be nearly as good.  They are almost always in an area by themselves, away from the standard racks full of other, imitation chips.  They come in red and yellow double bags.  Buy at least four bags if you like chips.  Trust me.
3POG is a mixture of papaya nectar, orange juice, and guava nectar.  It’s really good and is, for us, part of what makes breakfast in Hawaii nice.  A half papaya with a lime section to squeeze on it is essential, too.


This gives us the basics for lunch and setting up a minimal kitchen inventory in the condo.  The list is arranged geographically in the store.  As you enter, go to the left wall and work your way over to the right wall.

Be sure you lather up completely with sun block every time you go out to lie in the sun.  Hawaii is in equatorial sun and you will burn to a crisp in a half-hour without sunscreen.  People like me that are sensitive to sun burn to a crisp in an hour even while wearing level 40 sun block.  Be careful.


Our favorite restaurants:

Roy's Kahana Bar & Grill
4405 Honoapiilani Hwy.
Maui, HI  96761
(808) 669-6999

 Roy’s is probably the best restaurant on Maui.  Like all other intelligently run places, it’s casual, but I dressed up and wore a Hawaiian shirt, Dockers and deck shoes.  It’s in the Kahana Village Shopping Center, between Kaanapali and Napili.  Everyone must go here at least once.


Mama's Fish House
799 Poho Place
Paia, Maui, HI  96779
(808) 579-8488

 A fabulous fish restaurant that runs its own fishing boats and keeps its fish in iced sea water until the moment it needs to be cut.  Mama started the restaurant in her house and it grew there.  It is on the beach between Hookipa (the wind surfing capital of the world) and the outskirts of Paia, an old sugar mill town.  It is about five miles east of the airport, away from Lahaina, so you might want to go there for dinner after going to Haleakala or Hana.  It’s worth the trip though; they make the best mai tais in the islands at Mama’s and they do wonderful things with fish.  We went back in 2007 and it was wonderful again--had a small table next to the windows overlooking the beach and enjoyed a great dinner.


888 Front St.
Lahaina, Maui, HI  96761
(808) 667-2288

 Very popular and very good, at the north end of Front Street and therefore close to Kaanapali.  Excellent food with fresh ingredients.  They bake their own bread on site, every day.  They usually have a “fish sandwich” each day, made from the fresh fish of the day.  It’s frequently opakapaka, or pink snapper, which they cook northern Italian style—sautéed in butter, olive oil, lemon juice and capers—and then place on a slice of their fresh bread.  Fabulous.  It’s so good that Sue and I stop here for lunch before going to the Safeway, and then stop for lunch on the way home, too.  From here, I always walk over to the Crazy Shirts shop across the street and down a few stores because they make the best shirts in the islands.  Longhi’s is great and it’s in a fun area of Front Street.  We went back in 2007 so I could have my "fish sandwich" and it was still good--opakapaka again.


David Paul's Lahaina Grill
127 Lahainaluna Road
Lahaina, HI  96761
(808) 667-5117

Excellent restaurant in downtown Lahaina, a few blocks down Front St. from Crazy Shirts and a block up from Front.  Very good food;  it’s highly rated and David Paul is a very accomplished chef.  We returned in 2007 and it's still great.


Hali'iMaile General Store
900 Hali'imaile Road
Makawao, HI
(808) 572-2666

It was featured in Gourmet, Sue and returned in 2007 and it's still very good--in fact, I bought the cookbook on that trip.  Makawao is a small cowboy-type town part way up Haleakala.  The restaurant is actually in the town of Hali’I Maile and is worth the trip; it’s not far from Paia.  Good food in a nice, Hawaiian country setting.


Honokowai Okazuya Deli
3600 Lower Honoapiilani Hwy.
(808) 665-0512

Sue and I tried this place in March 2007, based on the advice in Wizard Publications' Maui Revealed.  It was so good we had lunch there three times.  It's a tiny little joint with zero ambience, no alcohol and it's too hot.  But, the food is fabulous and based on the guide's advice we bought lunch and took it across the street to eat in Honokowai Beach Park.  If you're staying in a condo, buy your dinner to go and take it back to enjoy wine with the food.  The fresh ono with lemon/caper/butter sauce was excellent.  The owner is a former executive chef at Mama's Fish House and Kea Lani and he decided that instead of opening another high-end/high-cost restaurant, he would channel his energy to the food and keep it low cost.  The menu is very diverse with lots of daily specials so you can eat here all the time.



  If you've never been to Hawaii, you may be wondering how to pronounce some of these names.  Honoapiilani is pronounced ho-no-ah-pee-ee-lahnee.  Hawaiians pronounce all vowels independently, so two i’s will be pronounced ee-ee.  The town of Paia is therefore pronounced Pah-ee-ah. 

 For many years, riding bicycles down Mt. Haleakala was very popular.  Cruiser Bob’s Downhill was the first of the bicycle ride outfits and was the best, but I’ve heard they are no longer in business.  I took that ride twice and loved it both times.  If this type of thing is still available, I recommend it.  They will pick you up at about 2:30 a.m. for the sunrise trip and drive you into Paia, where they feed you donuts and coffee and fit you to a bike, crash helmet and slickers.  They drive you up to the top of Haleakala to watch the sunrise, which is spectacular, after which you ride down.  It’s a blast.  The road will descend from 10,000 feet to sea level in only 35 miles.  We stopped at the Kula Lodge for breakfast, where the view is incredible and Curtis Wilson Cost has his studio.  Stop in and look at his paintings; we think they’re gorgeous and consequently have several prints and a serigraph.  Pack sweatshirts because it will be cold at the top of Haleakala.  It was 32° at the top before sunrise the last time I rode.  You’ll be back in time for lunch and an afternoon on the beach.

 If you decide to drive to Hana, plan on an all day trip.  Go to Jameson’s Grill & Bar for breakfast and ask them to pack a picnic lunch for you to eat on the way, or pack your own, but leave by 9:00 a.m.  Or, there is a place called Picnics in Paia that packs very good picnic lunches and is on the way.  You can call ahead to order for pick up in the morning.  It’s about fifty miles to Hana but it took us all day to get there, swim in the seven sacred pools (which are really cold) and drive back.  Lindbergh’s grave is a little past Hana, in Kipahulu, at one of the most charming little churches imaginable, built on one of the most scenic spots in the world.  It is beautiful out there and was the traditional home of Hawaiian royalty.  It rains a lot on that side of the island, so it’s very lush.  The road to Hana is a driver’s nightmare—over 600 curves and only one lane wide in some areas.  However, the scenery is some of the most beautiful that you’ll ever see, so if you can spend a day doing this, I recommend it.

30 Baldwin Ave.
Paia, Maui, HI

On our last trip to Hana with Jennifer, we drove out the south route, going past the Ulupalakua Ranch and coming in through Kipahulu (where Lindbergh is buried), then into Hana.  We spent a night at the Hotel Hana Maui, which is easily one of the most romantic, lovely, peaceful spots in the world.  Then, we drove back out the north route.  It was well worth doing. 

The Iao Needle is worth seeing, too.  It’s in central Maui in the Iao Valley and is a very interesting rock formation in a beautiful, lush valley.  There is an orchid farm on the way up that propagates orchids.  We bought a few there and had them shipped home.

Take books (Sue takes needlepoint, too) and plan to relax.  We love Hawaii and Maui is our 2nd favorite island.  We hope everyone enjoys it as much as we do.