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Maui Magic

by Ashley Casorio

There are many things that are synonymous with Hawaii like pineapples, mai tais, and hula dancing. You can also add Maui to that list. Despite each island having their own stunning vistas and personality, there is just something about Maui that evokes postcard images. Stunning sunsets that dip below the neighboring islands in the far-off distance and a cool laid-back vibe make up this paradise.

There are two main resort areas that are worth considering staying in: Ka’anapali and Wailea. On a recent girls’ trip, my friend and I chose to stay in Ka’anapali so that we could be close Lahaina, a historic fishing village with quaint shops and restaurants. Having come off a week of touring around O`ahu and driving everywhere, we wanted to be close to great places to hang out at night.

We decided to not plan out our three-day trip too much and kind of go where the wind took us. We landed early at about 7:00am from Honolulu and headed straight to our hotel where we spent the day lounging at the pool and on the beach. Sometimes you just need a day to do nothing. That night, I decided we should get a sunset drink on the rooftop of Fleetwood’s, a fantastic place right on Front St. in Lahaina owned by Mick Fleetwood that always has live music. We ordered a cold cocktail, some of the best poke I’ve ever had, and gazed out at the horizon and Lana’i to watch the day end.

The following morning, we woke up early and hit the road. The Road to Hana that is. A 64-mile winding stretch of asphalt, the Road to Hana is something every visitor to Hawaii must do. If you suffer from motion sickness, it’s not a bad idea to take some medicine prior to setting off. I recommend going during the week to avoid many cars on the road which can create a tourist traffic jam. We happened to hit it just right on a Tuesday and there were hardly any other visitors doing the drive that day. With so many pit stops along the way, it’s important to do some research before you go. There are hiking trails, waterfalls, and food trucks to stop off at (pick up some banana bread!). At the end of the road you are rewarded with both a black sand beach and a red sand beach to choose from. Fair warning, the red sand beach doubles as a nude beach, but also happened to be the most beautiful of them all.

On the ride back to Ka’anapali, we stopped at the famous Mama’s Fish House for a drink and some kitschy atmosphere. I couldn’t get enough of the hula girl lamp that danced on her own. Once our glasses were drained, we decided to beeline it back to Fleetwood’s for another sunset, another cold cocktail, and another poke. Why fight a good thing? In related news: we are still talking about that poke.

We had a late flight on our last day, so we drove to Pa’ia for an acai bowl and some shopping. We asked around for the best beach in Maui and were directed to Makena Beach and were so glad we did. More of those amazing Maui vistas and blue water rounded out a perfect few days in a perfect Hawaiian paradise.

Ashley Casorio is the writer behind The Wandering Ash travel blog: Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @thewanderingash for photos and musings on her travels.