Things to do in West Maui

West Maui is my favorite place to stay when visiting Maui. It’s close to all the great outdoor adventures, prestine scenery, resorts, condos, shopping and great restaurants.

There are plenty of affordable vacation condos for rent in Kahana and Napili, just north of Ka`anapali. You can get anything between a studio and up to 3-bedroom condos, well-equipped with all kitchen and BBQ utensils, washer and dryer for your wet bathing suit.

The best thing about having a kitchen on your vacation is you can enjoy a relaxing breakfast in your own condo. The kitchen is equipped with pots, pans to make eggs in whatever ways you prefer, coffee makers for your first cup of coffee in the morning, tea pots for you tea lovers, refrigerators with ice makers to fill up your cooler with ice. They also have coolers, beach chairs and umbrella for you to take to the beach. How thoughtful are they?

If you like, you can host a BBQ dinner by the poolside. All BBQ grill utensils are provided in the condo.

One of my favorite things to do on West Maui is driving up north along the Honoapi`ilani Highway. We usually stop at the Napili Shopping Center first thing before the start of the trip to grab a cup of coffee for the ride.

My favorite is the dirty chai latte (chai latte with a shot of espresso) at The Coffee Store. That’s my usual latte on steroid for the morning. Eat some breakfast, read some tourist magazine to check out local restaurants to try for the evening.

The first stop of the trip is the Dragon’s Teeth at the Makalua-puna Point in Kapalua. The lava here is light color in shape of giant sharp teeth, the result of years of salt water and wind.

Then we keep driving north of Honoapi`ilani Highway, we check out the Slaughterhouse Beach (what a lovely name), Honolua Bay and then Punalau Beach.

The road after these is meandering and up-and-down hill, like a roller coaster ride.

Here’s the list of Maui attractions along this long winding stretch of drive. These are all natural beauty that's worth the drive. And you need to see and experience these place to believe the beauty of the Maui.

Nakalele Blowhole
Ohai Trail
Kahakuloa Head
Mushroom Rock Shore Hike
Bellstone
Olivine Pools
Kahakuloa Village
Panini Pua Kea Fruit Stand – coconut candy
Julia’s – banana bread
Kahekili’s Leap
Kaukini Gallery
Bruce Turnbull Studio and Sculpture Garden
Lower Makamaka`ole Falls
Wailuku town

I usually turn around before the road gets too narrow somewhere after the Olivine Pools.

Trust me…we rode all the way to Wailuku from Kapalua, and it was not a pleasant drive with many scary encounters with oncoming traffic on a narrow cliff. The scenery is definitely awesome and worth the drive. Just be sure to get a very small rental car. I was lucky we did it once and made it out alive to catch our flight home.

Anyway…when we return to Napili, we stopped at the Shopping Center again. This time is for lunch (or late afternoon snack) at Maui Taco.

I don’t know why…it’s just taco, but it tastes so good.

One time we decided to chill at the Kahana beach. Lucky for us, it’s whale season, and we saw them jumping up and down and flipping through the water.

It's whale season between November and May when humpback whales return to breed in the warm Hawaiian waters.

I’m happy to be able to see whales as I’m scared to death to be on a boat. I can get really seasick, and I have pictures to proof that, but I’m not sharing. So I prefer watching the whales at the shore.

Along the Lower Honoapi'ilani Road, there is a health food store Farmer’s Market at Honokowai Beach Market that smells very aromatic when you walk in. They sell all kinds of organic groceries, yummy healthy lunches and acai bowls.

There are also couple other restaurants that we absolutely love.

Pizza Paradiso Mediterranean Grill. This is a true Mediterranean restaurant. Not only is the food great, but the selection. When was the last time you go to a Mediterranean restaurant that offers cuisines from both Italy and Greece.

You can have authentic Italian pasta dishes, pizza, AND falafel, stuffed grape leaves and hummus all in one meal. And don’t forget the Tiramisu, gelato and baklava at the end for dessert.

Our other favorite is Pi Artisan Pizzeria. I just love math.

You may have guessed it right. It’s a new-age Italian restaurant. Of course, there is pizza pi(e)s. You order your food at the kitchen counter. You can stand there and watch your food being prepared in the kitchen behind a glass.

The food, drinks and service are wonderful. The restaurant is on the Front Street right across the ocean. So you get an awesome Maui sunset view to accompany your lovely dinner.

The restaurant is part of the Outlets of Maui, which means you get 4-hour free parking validation while you walk around the historic downtown Lahaina after dinner to work off all the calories consumed.

Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop in Olowalu towards end of Lahaina. They have the usual café menu items, such as soups and sandwiches. But, of course, we’re here for the pies.

All kinds of pies - savory pies, fruits pies, cream pies, potpies, etc. I’m not a great pie fan. But I’ll eat the pie fillings. It’s great food.

You definitely have to stop by the Farmacy Health Bar after the hike to the Iao Needle Valley. They have great organic kale salad, acai bowl and surprisingly, fresh sugar cane juice. The owner looks like a Raggae band singer. He’s super nice and friendly.

It’s very easy to find. Just come down Main Street from the Iao Needle Valley. And the Farmacy is at the corner of Main Street and South Market Street. Plenty of street parking, at least the day we went.

Don’t forget to check out these West Maui attractions too:

Day-trip to Molokai
Maui Aquarium

Hope you find West Maui as magical as I do...that's my second favorite place (right after Honolulu).

Now you can fly directly from Honolulu to Kapalua, West Maui with Hawaiian Airlines.