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On our trip last month to Hawaii, we had very limited time on the ground, so we opted to do more relaxing and less exploring. It is in my nature to go-go-go, but I almost always return home from trips exhausted because of that pace, and since this trip was an anniversary trip, we wanted to just chill…or at least do that to the extent that I could. Because of that, we honestly didn’t do too much on Maui beyond what was offered in the Andaz Maui, and on the amazing beach in front of the resort. However, during our two nights we did do a couple things in Wailea beyond the confines of the Andaz, so I wanted to share those details here. For a much more comprehensive list of suggestions on Maui and in Wailea specifically (many of which I hope to use on a future trip), go to the comments section of this post. There are dozens of things we hope to eventually do listed there!
This will be the final post in this series on our Hawaii trip; here are the previous posts.
Big Beach and Little Beach:
About a 10-12 minute drive from the Andaz is Big Beach in Makena State Park. Little Beach is in the same location, albeit with an additional walk past Big Beach. This beach is big and beautiful, but the waves can get pretty big at certain times during the day. There is a lifeguard stand, though if you think you are likely to need it, I would skip getting in the water. My favorite thing about the Big Beach were the large shaded trees. In fact, we bought some shrimp tacos from a truck that was in the parking lot and had a picnic at a table under a large shaded tree while just watching the ocean (cash only). It was one of my favorite parts of the trip because it made you just sit still and feel like you were actually in Hawaii.
I have eaten on a beach many times, but rarely while under natural shade, without getting swarmed by bugs, and without being so hot and humid that I was miserable. Here the temperature and scenery were perfect. The shrimp taco wasn’t bad either (though it was huge – get a fork).
To get to Little Beach we turned right after entering Big Beach and kept walking until we came to a small trail up a hill. We climbed over the hill and to the other side where Little Beach is tucked away. Note that there is no ADA access to Little Beach: although minimal, there is some climbing involved. Little Beach lives up to its name by being much smaller, but what it might lack in size it makes up for in personality. This place was a bit like a hippie time-warp, though mostly in a good way. We missed the famed Sunday night drum circle, but went on a Monday morning and some folks were still camped out on the beach from the night before…many sans clothing since this is a clothing optional part of the beach.
We don’t have too many photos of Little Beach as it wouldn’t have been a very nice thing to do since most folks weren’t quite dressed for the prime time internet…or then again maybe they were, just not for this corner of the internet.
You certainly don’t have to want to shed your swimsuit to enjoy Little Beach, but do be aware that others will likely just be swimming and sunning in the suit God gave them, so steer clear if that is something that would make you or your crew uncomfortable.
Monkeypod Kitchen Restaurant:
I would love to say that I ate at various delicious spots in Maui such as Mama’s Fish House, Star Noodle, and more. However, the only restaurant on my list that I made it to was MonkeyPod that is located literally a minute from the Andaz Maui. This joint has 36 craft beers and works with local farmers to attain the “freshest, highest quality ingredients possible”. I think they nailed it and the food and drinks here were fresh and delicious. We went for happy hour when some of the drinks and food items are a bit cheaper. Happy Hour happens twice a day from 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM and 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM.
- Draft Beers: $4.75 for beers originally $9 and under, $7 for over $9
- $6 Ocean Vodka cocktails
- $6 white and red wines by the glass
- $8 culinary cocktails
- 50% off all appetizers (with a few exceptions)
- $9 pizzas (not including the daily specialty pizza or the famous lobster pizza)
I had the Monkeypod Mai Tai that was $8 during happy hour instead of the normal $12. The menu describes it as made with old lahaina light rum, maui dark rum, lime, orgeat, orange curacao, honey-lilkoi foam. It was strong and scrumptious.
The Smoked Taro Hummus with upcountry romaine, cucumber, and radish was discounted 50% during happy hour and we ate every drop. It was a perfect snack to go with our afternoon drinks.
On our way back to the airport to fly home we stopped off at Da Kitchen that is located in a strip mall about 10 minutes from the Andaz Maui, as I was craving a huge pile of white rice, teryaki chicken, and greens before we left. I have no photo of the lunch since I inhaled it in the car on the drive to the airport, but it did the trick. This is not at all a fancy joint, but serves huge portions at reasonable prices. Josh seemed to enjoy his burger, though it was insanely greasy from what I remember!
We didn’t make it to see the sunrise on Haleakala, drive the Road to Hana, snorkel at Molokini, eat at Mama’s Fish House, or do some of the countless other things that I know we would have enjoyed on Maui, but that’s okay. We are lucky that this hopefully won’t be a “Once in a Lifetime” visit to Maui. We hope to return in the not too distant future (for longer next time), and I think we made the right choice in taking our limited time on this trip to just enjoy swimming and sitting on the beach eating shrimp tacos.
As you may remember from the first post in this series, my husband was reluctant to go to Hawaii. He thought it was too far, too expensive, and too over-hyped to be worth it. He trusted me enough to give it a try and he loved it. The laid-back atmosphere, delicious food, beautiful beaches, and perfect weather were enough to win him over. I’m thankful that we can now look forward to future visits to the islands together. Now I just have to convince him that Kauai is just as awesome.