Things to do on Maui

Maui is a great island to visit if you want a mix of nightlife and tranquility. Vacationers find both on Maui, an island with some of the best beaches in all the Hawaiian Isles.

Maui vacations are nothing new to Kevin Lustgarten and his family, who travel to Kihei, Maui nearly every November. He wrote in and shared some ideas for what to see and do in and around Kihei.

“Over near Kihei (Ma’alaea) there’s a restaurant called The Waterfront. Make reservations for 5:00 p.m. one night and take advantage of their 2 for 1 fish special. Also, they make a caesar salad right at your table…old fashioned and awesome. Everyone we recommend this place to loves it. There is a sheltered outdoor eating patio with a sweeping view of the ocean and nearby harbor. Get a table out there and you won’t be disappointed.

For a fun night out look into a cool magic and illusionist show in Lahaina called “Warren and Annabelle.” My dad talked us all into it after he’d heard great things from co-workers…we were skeptical but let me tell ya … it’s really awesome. When you call to make reservations make sure that Warren is actually doing the show. See Seriously, it was both great magic and the guy is funny as heck too.

For sushi in Kihei try Sushi Paradise (closed Monday nights) for a low frills but great sushi meal — if you like that sort of thing. This is an establishment primarily known to locals. We’ve gone there since the mid-nineties and it never disappoints. It’s in the mall across from Azeka Place. Across street from McDonalds.

A fancier, bigger sushi place is Sansei…1881 S Kihei Rd…gets crowded. Try for reservations: (808) 879-0004. Sansei is more of a full-on restaurant.

If you want to go snorkeling then rent some gear at Snorkel Bob’s — basically it’s in the same Kihei strip mall as Sushi Paradise. It’s kind of a spread out strip mall so you have to poke around a bit to find it but not hard. Anyway, they’ll recommend some snorkeling spots. I took my kid to a great place with was just past Makena — Ahihi Keanau Reserve. Very cool for sure! Also, up that way you run into a sweet lava flow…totally different scenery.

For SCUBA divers look up B&B SCUBA in Kihei.

I took my first open-water dive with them and was very satisfied with the whole crew. They provide sandwiches and fresh baked cookies for the ride back to harbor. Really hit the spot. Hopefully, you can make it out to Molokini.

When it’s time to leave Kihei and the lowlands of Maui…

Drive to Up Country, Maui one day. First there’s a little town called Paia,, that has some cool little coffee shops, t-shirt places, etc. — plus the famous Mama’s Fish House that everyone raves about. It’s an institution.

From there head up the volcano. The Haleakala Crater is actually VERY cool (literally…cold). If you go up on a clear day it’s pretty amazing because you’re at 14,000 feet looking down to sea level where you were only an hour before.

If you go to Up Country then check out the town of Makawao. It’s hard no to since this is the main Up Country town ( A good handful of boutique shops and maybe the only place on Maui where you can find a truly original t-shirt.

Depending on how your day shakes out…go to Haliimaile General Store … everyone loves this place (seriously). I think you can go there for drinks, maybe lunch, and for sure dinner. It’s one of those can’t miss restaurants on Maui along with Mama’s Fish House, which is in Paia. Pricey.

Stop at Costco and load up on the food staples and beverages like beer and wine (if you’re so inclined). You go by it on way from airport to Kihei. Shop at Safeway if you’re in Kihei. It’s the best store for groceries. It’s off the Piilani Highway kind of up from the Kihei Shopping Center — where Sushi Paradise is.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST…go to breakfast in Kihei at Stella Blues. It’s also in the same mall, basically, as Sushi Paradise…and I think it’s by the Long’s Drugs. THIS PLACE ROCKS for breakfast. Try the Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes along with whatever else…if you go to breakfast while over there hit this place for sure.

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