My family and I just love new adventures and I’m so excited to share our most recent one with all of you. This past weekend, my husband, sons, and sisters joined me on a Zipline Tour with Skyline Eco-Adventures Haleakala Course. As a part of their Kama’aina special, we were able to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity. Unfortunately, my husband did not take part in the zip lining due to an ankle injury, but he enjoyed watching as we had a lot of fun that day.
There are two locations for the Skyline Eco-Adventures Zipline on Maui, in Ka’anapali and on the slopes of Haleakala. We decided to do the Haleakala Zipline and can’t wait to try out the Ka’anapali one in the future. Skyline is famous for being Hawaii’s #1 Zipline Company and being the 1st Zipline Company in the United States. It was founded in 2002 on my beautiful island of Maui by father and son Buck and Danny Boren. Skyline’s first location, the Haleakala Skyline Tour (which is where we went this past weekend) is located on the Historic Haleakala Ranch in beautiful Upcountry Maui.
The Zipline is located just a few miles before Haleakala National Park entrance and is easy to find with signs along Crater Road to help guide you. Parking is easily available as well. I read that Skyline Haleakala was recently recognized by Fodor’s Travel as one of the world’s most amazing zipline courses and I’ll be honest, it is definitely a must-have for anyone to try.
Skyline Eco-Adventures Haleakala Zipline Course
The Haleakala Zipline includes a fun and a bit scary “Indiana Jones” style swinging bridge and 5 awesome ziplines. My sister Harmony is afraid of heights, but she conquered them all and enjoyed the fact that they started off with a small and short line (like a bunny slope when you go skiing). Each line gets longer and faster until you work up to the long Pendulum line at the end of the course. The course tour will take approximately 1.5 hours to get through with a small hike taking you to each zipline adventure. I think in total we hiked about 1/2 a mile on a trail that took us through eucalyptus trees. Overall the trail was easy to maneuver and a great addition to the tour.
Thank you Jesse & P.J. for being AWESOME GUIDES!
From the beginning at check-in till the time we left the property after our tour, we felt like we were family. Our guides Jesse and P.J. were very fun and kind and made a worried mom feel at ease. It’s not easy dealing with two 9 year olds, who happen to be twins – but the boys left talking about how funny and cool their guides were and how much fun they had. I was assured of their safety and was able to have a great time as well. I love that the tour offered beautiful scenery and an educational experience for everyone.
The zipline course at Haleakala has you soaring over 90-foot drops and canyons with the fragrant scent of eucalyptus trees surrounding you. The pendulum line (the last zip line) reaches speeds of over 45 mph. While going to each zipline, your tour guide will teach you about the various flora, fauna, culture and even birds that you can find on your Eco-Tour.
Safe fun for the whole family
The boys had such a fun experience that they haven’t stopped talking about our adventure since that day (it’s been 5 days since we went). I love that my family members felt safe and enjoyed themselves. Skyline has sophisticated engineers that take good care in building and crafting their equipment and lines. Each guide is trained above and beyond the industry standard of 40 hours and they each go through an 80-hour training process as well as a period of “assistant guiding”. Skyline performs daily check-ups to inspects all ziplines, platforms, trails, and equipment to ensure safety and fun on each course. And, each year an accredited ACCT inspector conducts a comprehensive review of each Skyline course, piece of equipment and all current practices.
Experience a part of Maui you had no idea existed.
Being Hawaii locals, we get the opportunity to try out awesome activities. This one was definitely one of the most memorable. My family and I have been loving the footage we caught and looking back at all the photos. (sorry this post is photo heavy) As I mentioned before, we look forward to trying the Ka’anapali Course. We have to wait a little while since the twins are not quite heavy enough for that course just yet. Everyone in our party was first-time zipliners with exception to my sister Katt and me, but everyone equally enjoyed their time. It’s a perfect way to see a part of Maui most people have no idea existed.
Conservation and Contribution
Skyline Eco-Adventures also works with our local community to preserve and conserve our natural resources in the islands. From their first day in 2002, conservation has been an important part of their mission. Skyline is the first zipline operator in the world to join 1% For The Planet. (1% For The Plant is a group of businesses committed to giving at least 1% of all sales back to environmental preservations.) Skyline also supports various conservation groups throughout the islands. But, they also contribute in many other ways.
Skyline gives back to the Hawaii Communities!
Skyline has planted over 5,000 native trees. They use solar panels on their corporate office to reduce the energy costs. This helps to offset over 2,550 tonnes of CO2 emissions. They recycle thousands of pounds of refuse from guests each year. And, their staff receive paid service days to support environmental causes. Skyline has donated over $1.4 million to non-profit groups. Last year, my son received a sponsorship for his Pop Warner Football Team from Skyline as well. In 2017 they donated more than 20,000 pounds of food to the Maui Food Bank and Kauai Independent Food Bank. Every September they offer their “We Love Kama’aina” Promotion. For this promotion, they collect non-perishable food items for the local food banks. They give back to their local community and offer great service. But they also contribute in more ways than most can imagine.
There is so much more that Skyline does for our community – from Make A Wish to community service. Read all about it here.
Contact Skyline Eco Adventures
If you’re interested in booking Skyline Eco Adventures for your a Zipline tour – check out their website. You can get all the details and pricing there.
Check out our little video vlog (embedded above) and see how much fun we had. Our family definitely and highly suggests Skyline Eco-Adventures Zipline for your next family fun event. Thank you Skyline for making this experience not only a memorable one, but one we can’t stop talking Eco-Adventures. Mahalo from the Kaho’ohanohano ‘Ohana.
As a local Maui native, born and raised on the island, I know all too well how expensive Maui life can be. Between the cost of living, delicious dining venues and the awesome attractions, $20 does not get you very far, especially when you’re here on vacation. That’s why I wanted to share with all of you my “top” budget-friendly activities that are perfect for your trip to the island while visiting or for the locals alike. Maui offers so many great attractions or things to do that are not only affordable, many are free. In this list, I will share with you some of my free favorites as well as a few that you will need to pay a little, but it’s worth it for sure. With a little patience and planning, you and your family can have a blast. Let’s chit chat about those options, shall we?
*Please note that this list is in no particular order. I think all of my selections are fun and exciting and while visiting or looking to take part in a little Maui stay-cay (if you live here), these are all great options to check out.
#1 – The Maui Swap Meet
The Maui Swap Meet is a local favorite and one of the best places to try out a variety of Maui food flare or to pick up souvenirs. Admission to the Swap Meet is just $0.50 a person (12 and older) and children 11 and under are free. With free re-entry and free parking, it’s the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. There are usually over 200 vendors on any given day and you can find everything from fresh produce to local food, arts, and crafts, sweet treats like Hawaiian shaved ice and jewelry galore. I also love that you can get handmade soaps and candles or a great 10 minute (or more massage). If you want to try fresh fruit and vegetables, you’ll get every type there – including delicious Maui Gold Pineapples. My favorite to grab while at the swap meet is a fresh coconut with sweet coconut water and then coconut spoon meat after I’m done drinking. If you are here on vacation, this is a great place to stop and pick up souvenirs for your family and friends.
*What is spoon meat? It’s when the coconut meat is so soft and tender that you can scoop it out of the coconut shell with a spoon. It’s the best way to eat coconut in my opinion.
A few notes for your day at the Maui Swap Meet – Be prepared with your own bag (recycle tote, etc.) to easily carry your purchased goods. Since it’s often hot, make sure to have water or something to drink to keep hydrated while walking around. Be prepared with cash as most vendors (vegetables and food especially) do not accept cards. Many jewelry vendors do accept credit cards so it’s best to ask if they offer that option but be prepared with cash. Most of the vendors are definitely willing to bargain on the cost of products, but I suggest looking around before buying since some of the vendors further away tend to be cheaper.
#2 – Experience Maui Food Fare at Local Food Trucks
Food Trucks are becoming all the rave around the world but they have been a popular thing here on Maui since I was a little girl. I remember going to Makena Beach as a teen and eating from a few local food trucks back in the day. Nowadays, you can find food trucks selling every type of food pretty much everywhere on Maui, stationed all over the island.
Food trucks are a great way to experience a variety of different local eats for half the price of most sit-down restaurants. They are a great way to grab a quick bite to eat or stop and fuel up after a day playing in the ocean. Some of the food trucks on the island have specific lots where they are located (Kahului Food Truck Lot across from Costco Gas Station) or you can find them in places like the Maui Swap Meet, along Kahului Beach Road at Kahului Harbor or different shopping centers. You can easily spot a food truck everywhere on island, making it a go-to for locals and visitors alike. And, did I mention the type of food you can find at these trucks? Well, the options are endless but include Local Hawaii food and plate lunches, shrimp, Thai food, desserts and ice cream, hamburgers, tacos, Mediterranean food, poke or fish and so much more.
Some of our favorite food trucks are:
Thai Me Up – Kahului Food Truck Lot (across from Costco) and Up Country Kulamalu Shopping Center by Longs
Maui Freeze – Kahului Harbor
Geste Shrimp – Kahului Harbor
Mediterranean Grill – Haiku
Wraps To Go – Up Country Kulamalu Shopping Center by Longs
Dino’s Gourmet On-The-Go – Kahului Food Truck Lot (across from Costco)
#3 – First Fridays on Maui
A great way to experience Maui, in a nutshell, is to attend one of the First Fridays. There is a town party each and every week of the month that is hosted in each town throughout the island. Each town has their own type of celebration and you can expect to have a grand time no matter what First Friday you attend. It’s a fun way to experience Maui nightlife without breaking the bank.
Maui First Fridays are free to attend and most of the parties offer free parking. Bring your appetite and make sure you have cash on hand so you can experience local food and entertainment all in one place. This is a great place to check out awesome vendors that sell everything from food to local crafts and artwork. But, local stores and establishments also stay open and often times offer discounts for the festivities. I love the entertainment that you can experience while walking around (many local artists perform during First Friday parties). This is a great way to experience local artisans, live music and a ton of food vendors.
A few notes if you’re planning to attend: Like I said, it’s a great family event, but be prepared as it gets really busy. Be sure to have a stroller or keep your children nearby as it can get so packed that children get lost easily. I suggest to also have a bottle of water on you as there tends to be a lot of walking around and it’s a great way to stay hydrated.
A favorite thing for my family to do each year during our winter months is to watch the whales. Maui is the winter home to thousands of whales that make the journey from Alaska to the Au’au Channel located in West Maui. The humpback whales come to breed and nurse their young every year from December to May. These beautiful creatures can be found swimming around and playing in our warm waters and it’s a beautiful experience to watch them while they’re in play.
Whale watching tours are actually reasonably priced considering you get a ride on a boat and get to experience our world’s wonders. I would definitely search different companies to use and compare prices accordingly. But, my family and I love watching whales at no cost from our favorite shorelines or lookouts.
Honoapi’ilani Highway, at the Pali Lookout, has a great scenic lookout area that you can pull over and park at to watch these whales at play. My family and I also love to watch them from the shoreline at Maui’s famous Ka’anapali Beach fronting the Westin Maui resort. You can stand on the shoreline and watch the whales play for hours.
*A few tips – if you spot a whale at play while driving, please be sure to pull over off of the road safely. Many visitors spot the whales while traveling along the Pali road and it is dangerous to stop in the middle of the road due to blind turns. Pull off the road completely and do not block traffic.
#5 – Snorkeling on Maui
I grew up with having Maui’s surrounding ocean as my playground so I just had to suggest this awesome activity. Snorkeling in our pristine waters and viewing all of the beautiful sea life is definitely something I suggest while visiting or even if you live here. The waters are crystal clear most of the year so it makes for ideal viewing of turtles, eels, sea urchins and a ton of different species of fish.
You can easily rent snorkel gear from a local dive shop, but if you plan to spend more time in the water, I definitely suggest picking up your own snorkel set. There are a ton of different stores that sell them locally and many of them affordable in cost: ABC stores, Target and Walmart all have different styles. But, our favorite place to pick up snorkel gear is at our local Costco in Kahului (near the airport) because you’ll get a really good one for an affordable cost point. Make sure you grab a dry snorkel (that’s important) because it automatically closes when you go underwater so that you don’t have to worry about getting water down your snorkel.
There are so many locations to view underwater life so we have listed a few favorites for all of you to check out:
Black Rock – Kaanapali Beach (ocean side of Sheraton Maui resort)
Ho’ikipa Beach Park (check weather conditions are the waves can get really big here, especially during the winter months)
*A few tips: It is very important to remember that while you are snorkeling, do not step on the reef. These rocks are living creatures and you can injure and harm the home of many living organisms. Also, make sure that you are using an all natural sunscreen that is zinc-based to protect from sunburn but also to protect Maui’s very important ecosystem. Make sure that if you are going to hang out at the beach after your snorkel that you take with you an rubbish or items that you brought. This is the best way to keep our oceans and ocean friends safe and unharmed.
#6 – Experience Maui’s Beautiful Beaches
I guess you could say this goes along the line of snorkeling, but it’s definitely different. Maui has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world – if you don’t believe me, ask Conde Nast – lol. The beach is one of the best things to do on Maui because it’s free and all beaches are open year round (weather permitting, of course). Grab a beach mat or blanket and stop by a local store to grab some lunch and spend the day sunbathing or playing in the water. Most of the year the water conditions are absolutely ideal for swimming.
What’s great about our beaches is most of them are open to SUP or Stand Up Paddle Board, Kayak or body boarding. While those things all cost money (for rental or purchase), they are also other options for enjoying the beaches surrounding our beautiful island.
*A few tips for spending the day at the beach. Don’t forget about that all natural sunscreen I mentioned earlier, but make sure you have it because a sunburn can be brutal. Remember, anything you bring with you to the beach, take with you – like trash, etc. Leaving it at the beach can cause issues with the sea life, but we also want to make sure we are taking care of our beaches so others can enjoy them. Ask your concierge (if you’re a visitor) about beaches that they suggest for the type of activity you’d like to do. And, don’t forget to check the weather, tide and water conditions before getting into the ocean. A local saying here on island is – “When in doubt, don’t go out!”
#7 – Catch a Hula Show or Learn How to Dance Hula
Hula dancing is a huge part of the Hawaiian Culture and a beautiful art form of the Hawaiian people. There are several hula shows on the island that you can attend and for those of you looking to try it out for yourself? Well, you can also find free hula lessons as well. Check with your concierge to see what is available or check out my list below for options that you can take part in.
Keiki (children) Hula Show – Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 pm at Lahaina Cannery Mall. (Free)
Free Hula Lessons – Thursdays at Lahaina Cannery Mall at 5 pm
Napili Kai Foundation’s Weekly Keiki Hula Show – Every Tuesday at 5:30 pm at Napili Kai Resort ($10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, children 5 and under are free). Proceeds benefit the Napili Kai Foundation.
Polynesian Dance Show – Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 pm at The Shops at Wailea. Free one-hour performance of Polynesian Dances and Hula.
*Check with your resort’s concierge to also see if your hotel/resort has hula lessons on property. It may be complimentary or available for a small fee.
#8 – Tasting Maui Food Tours
When I travel, I love tasting foods that are locally grown or created in the place that I’m visiting. So, I thought the best way to really get to know Maui is by tasting the food that was created here. We have a list of some of our favorite places that are not only reasonably priced but definitely worth checking out.
Surfing Goat Dairy – Probably one of my favorite tours and most cost-efficient compared to the others.
Daily Casual Tour – $12/adults and $8/children. Tours are run every hour from 10:00am to 3:00pm and 10:00am to 1:00pm on Sundays. This casual 20-minute walking tour takes you through their working Dairy and Farm. You can meet the working dairy goats, dogs, cats and their pot belly pig named Charlie. You can view the modern milking machines and view the inside of the Dairy operations. Some goats are able to be pet and of course, it’s an opportunity to take lots of photos and have fun.
Surfing Goat Dairy also offers their Evening Chores & Milking Tour which is $17 for adults and $14 for kids.
Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm – You can book the following:
Guided Walking Tour $12/person – reservation recommended. Times are: 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:00, 2:30pm daily and last about 30-40 minutes.
Guided Cart Tour $25/person – reservations are required. Tour times are 10:30 am and 2:00 pm and last one hour.
Gourmet Picnic Lunch $26/person and includes a basket tailored to your liking with choice of chicken Ceasar wrap, ham & cheese wrap, Caprese sandwich, chicken bacon club, Italian sandwich or garden salad. Lunch includes gourmet chips, a decadent lavender-infused dessert and your choice of beverage. Reservations are required.
Maui Pineapple Tours – You can book the following:
Maui Gold Pineapple Fields & Facility Tour plus lunch at Hali’imaile General Store ($90 / person). This is probably one of my favorites out of all the tours offered as it provides lunch from one of my favorite restaurants – Hali’imaile General Store. It’s the best selection for the money and I highly suggest it. The tour includes a tour of the farm to experience a working pineapple field and operation. You’ll learn about the growing cycle and cultivation techniques, tasting states as you learn about each of them. You also get a Free Pineapple with every tour.
Pineapple Tour – $65/adult and $55/child.
Pineapple Tour & Distillery Tour – $75/adult
Pineapple Tour with Lunch + Distillery Tour – $100/adult
Maui Chocolate Tour & Workshop – $59/per adult and $25/per child 7-12. This is a working farm and is not able to accommodate people with physical disability due to elevation and mobility. Learn how the cacao grows and post-harvest practices to develop the flavor. Join in on hands-on processes and a unique guided tasting. *For more info: Maui Chocolate Tour
#9 – Tour a Brewery, Distillery or Winery
Many visitors don’t realize that we have several awesome distilleries, a few breweries and a winery on the island. If you are visiting local stores like Whaler’s General or ABC Store, even Walmart or Target and Costco offer local favorites when it comes to wines and other beverages. But, many of these options can be found where they are made and these places also offer tours.
Maui Brewing Co – 605 Lipoa Parkway, Kihei. Tours offered at: 11:30am, 12:15am, 1:00pm, 1:45pm, 2:30pm and 3:15pm. *Public Tours are $15 per person and a private tour is $300 (groups of 1-16 people) For more information: Maui Brewing Company
Kohola Brewery – 910 Honoapiilani Highway, Ste. 55, Lahaina. Tours are 30 minutes long. *Tours are $10 per person – ages 21 & older only. Tipping is recommended. For more information: Kohola Brewery
Hali’imaile Distilling Company – 883 Hali’imaile Road, Haili’imaile. Tours are $10 per person and children under 12 are free. Reservations are required and tastings of products are available to guests 21 and over. Each tour operates daily and lasts about 30-45 minutes. Maximum reservation is for 20 people so if you have a larger group, contact the distilling company for options. You can get more info or reserve your space online at: Hali’imaile Distilling Company
Ocean Organic Vodka – 4051 Omaopio Road, Kula. Tours operate 7 days a week 9:30am to 4:00pm. A gift shop is also open from 9:30am and closes at 5:00pm. The tour is approximately 500+ yards so you must be mobile to be able to do the tour. Sampling area is restricted for those age 21 and over. Tours take place every half hour. Cost is $12/person for those 21 years and older ($27 including a lunch meal – reservation required 24 hours in advance). Includes a sampling with take-home souvenir Ocean Vodka shot glass. Get all of the information for this tour: Ocean Vodka Tours
Maui Wine (formerly Tedeschi Vineyards) – 14815 Piilani Highway, Kula. Tours are offered at: 10:30am and 1:30pm and are 30 minutes long. No reservations are required for groups of less than 8. Tastings are $12 – $17 per person for a flight of 5 wines. Tours are complimentary. There are several other tastings available, including the “Old Jail Tasting” which is my favorite. It is a 40 minute experience and costs $35.00 per person. For more info: Maui Wine Tasting Tours
#10 – Take a Drive to…
Whether the road takes you on a journey to the west side of the island, the east side of the island or up a mountain, I definitely suggest spending a day exploring the island by car. Whether it be driving the winding road to Hana and experiencing the lush landscapes along the way or traveling up to the Haleakala crater to experience the views (sunrise or sunset – both are awesome), you can easily experience Maui in all of its beauty without paying a dime, well – with exception to gas and the cost of your rental, of course.
A few of our favorite places to drive to and through and experience the beauty of Maui include:
The infamous windy road drive to Hana – be sure to stop along the way and take lots of photos. Remember that the road is definitely narrow and winding, so be sure that if you stop, pull off the road and be cautious. The road is dangerous so be mindful of the surroundings and where you are.
The road to Haleakala Crater – while the crater is definitely a must-see, the road leading up to the crater is definitely just as breathtaking. A winding road the whole way up – there are definitely great places to stop along the way to experience the views from way up high. I would use this opportunity to capture photos of the entire island from the skies, dance in the clouds and feel the cool air on your face. Don’t forget to stop off at Kula Lodge or Ali’i Kula Lavender farm on your way down
Drive through Up Country Maui. Whether your drive takes you through Kula to visit the beautiful Jacaranda trees in the Spring or through Pukalani and Makawao to visit the old Paniolo (Cowboy) town, you’ll surely find something beautiful in the cool crisp upcountry air.
Take a drive to the west side. Watch the surfers hang ten or see the whales breach in the blue waters. A drive around the west side of the island will open your eyes to a variety of water sports available on Maui.
They say the best things in life are free. I believe that it’s not the “free” aspect that makes it the best part, I believe it’s the memories you make while doing these things that make it the best. I wanted to provide all of you a full list of things that you could do on Maui, most of these are free or definitely cheap, with a few options to upgrade your experience. As a local girl, born and raised on Maui, I still love taking part in the island experience that Maui offers and I wanted to share these with all of you.
Don’t worry – this is just a small handful of things we love and enjoy here. You can expect to see more posts like these that include favorites of a variety of Maui island things to do and experience. Just remember to enjoy your time with whatever it is that you decide to do and don’t forget to have lots and lots of fun.
This is an informational post and no sponsorships or collaborations took place in exchange for featuring these businesses in this post. Affiliate links may be listed throughout.
Maui is my home and definitely my sanctuary – a place I love and will always love. Many of you may be noticing a change in the content here at Honeygirl’s World moving forward and I’m excited about it. You see, as a born and raised Maui girl (or kama’aina as they call it here in Hawai’i), I wanted to be able to share a little about Hawaii and my island home with my readers. Here’s the thing, there are a ton of blogs out there about Maui and Hawaii for that matter, but how many of them are truly from the perspective of a native born? I love writing about my favorite products and sharing my thoughts on the latest and newest beauty trends, but I feel like I really want to be able to share more of my life, with all of you.
So, I bring to you new content that is coming from the heart. If you’re looking for reviews on different types of tourist attractions, activities, and eateries, consider me your own personal concierge. I want to be able to share more of the things I love with all of you, the readers that helped to make Honeygirl’s World what it is today. You can expect to still find a plethora of product features and reviews because let’s face it – beauty is my passion and so is my family. So, don’t think that those videos, reviews, and posts will end. I just want you to know that I’m going to be mixing it up a lot here. You’ll still see the same type of content with a little blend of the island living I love.
Remember what I said earlier, about the point of view on Maui living (or Hawaii living for that matter) is usually not coming from a Hawaii native? Well, I meant it. I really want to share my thoughts with all of you as I have for 10 or more years. I love experiencing all that Maui and Hawaii have to offer and I can’t wait to embark on this journey and share with all of you. Reviewing Eateries that I enjoy here has been one of my favorite things to do on the blog over the years, so I’m excited to share so much more with all of you too.
Like I said before, this doesn’t mean the content you enjoy and love will no longer be here. You can still search and find your favorite posts and you’ll continue to see new ones… I’m just adding to my flair.
Wishing you all a warm summer and lots of paradise loving,
Hello friends. I know I haven’t been very active here on the blog, but I’m making my way back to life and existence, slowly but surely. Yesterday I rolled out a new VLOG. My gosh – it’s so nice to be back doing videos again, so I figured I would share it with all of you. Get an update on what’s going on and follow us around the Maui Swap Meet.
Yay – I’m so excited that it’s finally summer break for the boys. While the twins will be going to Summer school in a few weeks, we still plan to take full advantage of the days we have with each other and summer for us means fun and adventures. Since the boys and I are going to be adventuring around our island like tourists this summer, I figured that I would share with all of you some of the pictures of our journey. While some of them will be fun and exciting, we also plan to revisit some of the places I played in my childhood. So many changes happen as the future evolves and this is my way of sharing all of it with my boys.
A few days ago I found myself pumping gas into my car and an overwhelming feeling of a need to visit sanctuary overcame me. As a child my parents took me to different places on the island to cool off during the summer or hot months or to just relax and as a teenager, I visited these places with friends. I wanted to take a drive to calm my mind. Out of the blue, I found myself driving to little towns that I haven’t been to in over 10 years and what I saw hurt my heart.
My first stop was to Waihee Valley and a location the locals here know as Swinging Bridges. It’s at the top of a narrow road at the base of the mountain range and somewhere I spent many summers, walking across these swinging bridges on a hike to get to the waterfall at the top of the trail. The last time we entered, we were charged a fee (about 10 years ago), even if we were Kama’ainas (local residents). So, I expected that I would need to pay a small fee to enter the grounds again. This time, I was greeted at the top of the road before the entry to Swinging Bridges with a large gate that blocked my entry.
In shock, I sat there for a few minutes to collect my thoughts. How is this even possible? I turned my car around and just as I started my descent back down the road, I passed a local man tending to his garden. His house is located just to the side of where this photo (above) was taken. If you’ve been to Hawaii or live here, then you probably know that even is Aunty or Uncle, so I greeted him by saying… “Good morning Uncle, how are you today?” He responded by approaching my car and we talked story a bit. He explained that the gate was put up about 5 years ago and the property which is owned by the plantation and a private land owner decided to remove access to the public. We talked about how the families that lived in the valley were either moving away or they were offered a lot of money to sell their homes. Long time residents that go back generations that live on the road are also blocked access to something they grew up with. We talked for about 30 minutes and the uncle ended the conversation by saying that I was welcomed to come back any time to wala’au (or talk story).
As a kid, we often went up to those areas to pick fern so that we could make haku leis (floral head wreaths) for hula, weddings and other events. The local people no longer have access to that area any longer without asking for permission. Like I mentioned before, we also swam in the ponds and waterfalls as kids to cool off from the hot Maui heat. About 10 years ago I took my eldest son to these places and he loved it, but now it is no longer accessible.
I absolutely think that those who own the property have the right to block access to the public, however, much of the land in these parts are technically not “owned” by anyone. Hawaii is known for parts of the islands that are blocked from access when they technically are not owned by the person who does so. It’s a common argument throughout the islands. I was so sad to see this gate here because I figured that if it was still easily accessible, this would be one of the places I would bring my sons to go hiking and journeying through the Valley and ending at a gorgeous waterfall. I’m sad to see that the access is blocked, but I know there truly is not much I can do about it to fix the situation. I can only hope that they open it for hiking some days and I can take my sons to visit my childhood stomping grounds.
This was just the beginning of my journey on that day. Over the next week or so I’ll be sharing more of my adventure and over the next couple of months, I’ll be sharing photos and our journey as we enjoy our summer break. Stay tuned for more.
Wishing you all a wonderful summer!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all images are my own. Affiliate links may be posted throughout and all opinions are my own.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone. I hope you’re all enjoying your day and gearing up for a great weekend. I’m super excited because my three boys have officially started their Spring Break, so that means I get to sleep in an extra hour and have a full day to have lots of fun with them. Today, I wanted to share with you another Maui Eats food establishment that I’ve been loving lately. When it comes to Food Trucks, Maui seems to be seeing a huge increase of them around the island. I think Food trucks are not only fun and unique, but give a chef a chance to create delicious food while still offering it at a reasonable cost to consumers like myself. A month or so ago I found myself journeying over to the Food Truck site off of Old Haleakala Highway (across from Costco’s Gas Station) and I have found these places to be some of my favorites to eat at. Today, I’ll be sharing with you Wayne’s Sushi Fresh Off The Boat Food Truck and my thoughts on the grinds I had a chance to try there.
Wayne’s Sushi used to be in Haiku and off of Honoapi’ilani Highway previously, but has since moved to the Food Truck Lot across from Costco’s Gas Station. What is so cool about this food truck is it utilizes a boat, a real boat – named Fresh Off The Boat. The boat is sitting on a boat trailer and has been repurposed into a food truck. Owned and operated by Wayne Miyahira, this food truck is becoming one of my favorite spots to grab a bite to eat.
It’s pretty obvious that when it comes to seafood, my family and I love to eat it and we want it as fresh as we can possibly get it. I’ll be honest, when I heard some of the raves for this little food truck, I thought to myself – hmmm… how could a food truck offer fresh fish? This certainly couldn’t be, in my humble opinion. Then, I found myself at the food truck location and decided I would give it a try.
With selections like Shrimp Tempura, Steak and Shrimp plate, King Salmon, Grilled Shrimp Salad and fresh Ahi, Mahimahi and Hamachi, I was definitely excited to try the various selections of seafood. I tried the Nigiri Sushi (pictured above) which my sons loved and the fish was fresh, tasty and definitely worth the try. One of my favorites is the Hawaii Goes Fishing roll (pictured with the nigiri above) which is a soft shelled crab and spicy tuna roll that is topped with spicy crab, cajun escolar and avocado. It’s served with a creamy eel sauce ($16.00).
Out of all the sushi rolls, I think the Itsy Bitsy Spider Roll is my favorite. If you are a fan of soft shell crab, you’ll absolutely love this roll. The soft shell crab fills the entire roll and it’s beautifully created. Lots of flavor, a ton of seafood and stuffed to perfection. It’s probably my favorite that I’ve eaten out of the sushi rolls I’ve tried.
We also tried the tempura spicy tuna roll (which my sons loved and devoured). This sushi is a spicy tuna and cucumber roll that is prepared tempura style, sliced and served. ($10.00)
Sushi is not the only thing that Fresh Off the Boat offers. They have a wide range of fish plates that I had the opportunity to try as well. If you are a fan of fresh Ahi – you’ll surely enjoy the Ahi Belly Plate ($12.00). The plate comes with several pieces of Ahi belly, rice, spring greens with their sesame dressing and seasoned cucumbers.
But, one of my favorite plates is the Go Fish Combo ($16.00) which offers you ahi belly, miso walu and tempura mahimahi served with rice, their spring salad mix and sesame dressing as well as the seasoned cucumbers. It’s delicious and you get a lot of food for the price.
Whether you are looking for fresh seafood, delicious fish and sushi or steak – Wayne’s Sushi Fresh Off The Boat has you covered. Since they are located in the Food Truck Lot across from the Costco Gas Station, there really is a lot of parking. You are looking at about a 10 – 20 minute wait depending on the number of people ahead of you, but keep in mind that everything is made to order – including your sushi. You get it fresh, so the wait is well worth it.
The Food Truck Lot offers seating as well as other trucks that you can choose from (I’ll be featuring more here in the next few weeks) and you can always call ahead to place your order from Wayne’s Sushi if you can’t wait. What’s so great about this location and the fact that you’re eating at a food truck, is that it’s casual dining. You could be dressed up or wearing a bikini and can still enjoy a great meal.
I have had nothing but great service at Wayne’s Sushi Fresh Off The Boat. I’m always greeted by name and the food I get is consistently delicious, fresh and presented well. Wayne aims to avoid the same old sushi that other bars make and recreate them, taking the flavors and the look to another level. I’m definitely impressed and always look forward to ordering my next meal at this truck.
Did I mention that this cool truck is shaped like a boat? A very cool fishing boat turned food truck with a fun design and I just love the overall appeal of it all. The ingredients and quality of seafood is always on par and if you are looking for casual dining – this is definitely someplace you should check out.
Note that this is not fine dining – it is a food truck after all. Call ahead at: 808-281-8810
Check out Wayne’s Sushi on Facebook to get details on their closures and updates.
I hope you enjoyed this post and my Maui Eats series. I’ll have more posted soon.
The boys and I have been enjoying our summer months together since my husband is usually working on the weekdays. Come on now, we live on Maui, which has been rated the number 1 Vacation Destination by Conde Nast many years in a row, so we do have a plethora of sites to see and lots of fun to be had. While we live on the mountain, we experience really hot days so I decided to pack the boys up into the car and take a drive up to Kula to cool down – since the air is much cooler there. Our journey led us to the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, a place we have visited many times before – but it’s been years since I bought the twins here, so I decided it would be a perfect place to venture.
The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is located on the slopes of Haleakala and overlooks some of the most beautiful views on the South side of the island. It is a 25-30 minute drive away from the Kahului Airport (the main airport into Maui) and a popular spot for visitors to stop at and have lunch after watching the sunrise at Haleakala or hiking the crater. At one time, it used to be free to enter the Lavender farm, so I was surprised to see a guard house at the entry (it was not there my last visit a few years ago) and entry for adults is $2.00. It’s well worth the cost however. You can bring your own lunch and have a picnic or hike the grounds for a great adventure. The air is so cool up there, it was a perfect place for the boys and I to getaway to beat the heat.
There is a little shop that sells tasty delectables featuring the fresh picked lavender, but the boys and I decided that we would just take in the sites and cool down and head home to eat lunch instead. We walked around the gardens and admired the fragrant lavender as we took in the sites.
It was a short little adventure, but a beautiful day out so I took this opportunity to take some shots of the boys and my eldest son Kevin helped take a few photos of my casual outfit I wore.
The best part about our little drive and excursion today was that I was able to spend it with the boys. They go back to school in about 2 1/2 weeks and this summer break flew by too quickly. The twins are off to 1st Grade and Kevin is off to 7th Grade. With Football season starting for all three boys August 1st – I know that times like these will be few in between, so I’m glad we made great use out of our Summer break.
Kimono Cover up – Forever 21 Plus
Ribbed Tank – Old Navy
Linen Shorts with pockets in black – Torrid.com
Flip flops – Guess Jeweled Slip ons
Watch – Invicta Angel
Sunglasses – Maui Jim Maui (style no longer available)
Nail Polish – Sinful Colors Kylie Jenner Trend Matters Collection in Kozy
My embedded video above also showcases our dinner for that evening… I made my homemade poor man’s rissotto (recipe coming soon) and we watched a beautiful sunset from our porch to end a wonderful day. If you’re not following me on Snapchat – my code is in my side bar, come and follow me on my daily journey. What about you, are you enjoying the summer months? I’m thankful to live in Hawaii and blessed to have a lifestyle where every day is an adventure and a vacation.
Since my DSLR hasn’t been working, it’s been really nice to find reasons to take my phone out to practice shooting with it… all the images that you see in this post were taken with my Samsung Note 4.
Disclaimer: Everything mentioned or featured was purchased with my own money. Affiliate links may be posted through out.
When it comes to food, I consider myself to have an eclectic soul. Food not only satisfies my taste buds but absolutely feeds my soul. Whether it is the naughty type or something home cooked and comforting or some great healthy selections, I love them all and enjoy each and every bite. About 8 months ago, my sister Katt introduced me to a new food establishment that I had not been to before. “They have the best Acai bowl, ever!” As a foodie, I thought it was worth checking out and I found myself at their location in Wailuku just a few days after having this conversation with her. Their Wailuku location is a small hole in the wall, large enough to fit a few bar stools with seating against the wall. At any given time, you can have about 6 customers sitting in there comfortably and the lines can be out the door. For my first experience at the Wailuku location of the Farmacy Health Bar, I tried the Waiside Bowl. It literally was an experience I not only enjoyed, but became instantly addicted to.
I love making things from scratch and have ventured into the health food scene many times with my own personal cooking so I absolutely loved the fact that so much care was put into a little bowl of sweet and tart goodness. The bowls come in three different sizes and a selection of different varieties that will not only fill you up with energy and greatness, but they taste absolutely delicious. Each ingredient used in any of their creations is organic and many if not most of what they offer are grown right here in Hawaii. The first time I went to their Wailuku location, the owner talked about looking into expanding and I was so excited to find out that they would be expanding to the Up Country Maui area. I awaited their opening and arrival eagerly.
After the new year 2016, Farmacy Health Bar Pukalani opened in the Pukalani Terrace Center. This location is literally a mile away from my house and I have been dropping in several times in the last week to pick up some of my favorite goodies.
My favorite treat from Farmacy Health Bar is the Wai side Poi Bowl. It’s made with Farmacy made organic poi at the bottom, vanilla macaroon granola (which is yum) or gluten free rustic granola, Farmacy acai mix with a bit more granola, any three fresh fruits available, toasted coconut, hemp seeds and local honey. It’s delicious and my children absolutely love it. A Papa bowl ($15) includes two pounds of the bowls products and is a treat for myself and all three of my sons to share. A few of the fruits they have on selection are banana, strawberries, blueberries, papaya and pineapple. Sometimes you can find awesome delights like dragon fruit or mango when it is in season or they have it in stock.
Besides the Waiside bowl, I also tried the Honolua Bowl which includes: Vanilla macaroon granola or gluten free rustic granola topped with Farmacy acai mix, more granola and any three fresh fruits, toasted mac nuts, goji berries and local Hawaiian honey.
The Country Cacao Acai Bowl is a new one I recently got to try. It includes the Vanilla macaroon granola or gluten free rustic granola topped with Farmacy Acai mix and any three fresh fruits you can select (if you are at the Pukalani location). It is topped with hemp seeds, cacao powder, cacao nibs and toasted coconut with a drizzle of local honey. I like chocolate, but for a while I have passed on this bowl and finally decided I would try it. the cacao nibs have a light crunch which not only add to the flavor of the bowl but work perfectly with the fruits. It’s absolutely delicious and while it has as sweetness we would expect from chocolate, it is not too chocolate in flavor and works well with the fruits. I chose mine with Liliko’i (passion fruit), banana and papaya and it was yummy. If you like chocolate, I think you’ll enjoy this bowl.
If you are looking for something hearty for a great lunch, but not too heavy for those days you need to accomplish a lot – the Pono Bowl is wonderful. The Pono bowl comes layered with quinoa, your choice of soup and kale salad with a garlic cashew dressing (which is oh so delicious) and topped with a spiced popcorn tofu. It retails for $10 and is a hearty meal perfect for lunch. So far I have had the Pono bowl with the Split Pea Soup and Vegetable Curry and each soup had a little spice so it made a perfect compliment to the rest of the bowl. It is absolutely delicious and filling and one of my favorites.
The Young Prince Salad has been one of my favorites since first being introduced to Farmacy. I love Garbanzo beans and this salad really puts some of my favorite salad mix-ins into one spot. It’s delicious and hearty and really helps to keep me energized to complete the rest of my busy day. It’s usually served after 10am so this would make a great brunch or lunch for anyone. The Young Prince Salad includes kale, baby romain, mixed greens, quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, avocado, chickpeas, croutons and french feta with the garlic cashew dressing.
I also tried the Tahitian Lime aid – which includes fresh lime-lemon juice blended with mint, organic cane juice and ice. It’s $7 for a 20 oz. cup and $12 for a 32 oz. cup with refill. This limeade has a great tart and sweet flavor with a refreshing mint taste. It’s delicious and I love that it’s perfect for those warm days but can be a staple any time of the year.
The Lahaina Gold Smoothie ($8 20 oz. cup) comes with papaya, banana, strawberries and fresh aloe vera and organic alkaline sugarcane juice with fresh local citrus and coconut milk is another favorite drink of mine and absolutely delicious. It’s perfect for breakfast and refreshing.
Supporting local business is not only great for our economy and community but it’s always awesome to see that Farmacy Health Bar uses ingredients that are locally grown. I love that Farmacy is now open in Pukalani, just 2 minutes from my home and they are now open at 7am which allows me to get a smoothie or something delicious to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. While they are still working on staffing their Pukalani location you can find them currently there from 7am to about 5:30pm and in February they are looking to expand to dinner which means they’ll be open to at least 8pm. The location has a lot of room for dining in – which is an improvement in comparison to their Wailuku location which is a little hole in the wall. There is also seating available outside the establishment and it makes for a great little area to sit down and chow down on some healthy food while enjoying the cool Up Country air.
While at the locations, be sure to check out their “Pay It Forward” or “Pono Board”. You can purchase a meal for $3.00 to be given to someone less fortunate. The meal is an organic mini pono bowl that includes: guinoa, kale salad, soup and feta. This program that Farmacy offers is a great addition to any locally owned business (or any business for that matter) and I love it. I have purchased several bowls and have donated and I love that it goes to those that are less fortunate. Living in Hawaii, while a paradise to many, still has it’s share of people down on their luck and they have the opportunity to get a warm meal in their opu (tummy in hawaiian).
Each item you order from Farmacy is made to order, so please make sure you are aware of this prior to coming in to dine. While the staff does their best to get your orders out quickly, since everything is made to order and they are popular, there could be some waiting time. I walked into the restaurant last week and the line was out the door, but the food is definitely worth it and is definitely worth not only the wait, but the cost. If you are looking to eat a little healthier this year or just add some great local grinds to your day, this place is a must go. If you are visiting and looking for an establishment with great aloha spirit and delicious food, stop by and check them out. We all know I love to cook and create dishes that are not only pretty but delicious and hearty and while I can create many of these dishes on my own, it’s so great that I have an option that I can turn to for delicious food that’s healthy and made of great ingredients.
Check out their Facebook Page here and stop on in the Pukalani Terrace Center location – let Malik and the team know that Honeygirl sent you. Try some of these delicious selections and I promise, you will love them as much as I do. Oh – they also started a cool frequent buyer program, so make sure to ask about that when you stop in. Everything served here is basically vegetarian, so it’s a great choice for anyone and remember… the food is worth the wait, so be patient, grab a seat and enjoy!
Happy Aloha Friday and Good Eating to you!
Disclaimer: All items featured were purchased by me with my own money. All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to feature this business or their products.
I have been waiting for this day to come for over a year now and I am truly excited to finally say that Maui welcomes T.J. Maxx and today they were celebrating their Grand Opening. Despite the warnings of funky weather and storms due to Guillermo, many made it out early this morning to experience the doors opening on this big day. I received confirmation that many stood in line from 6am as the doors opened at 8am and many experienced the opening festivities that went off without a hitch. I arrived just after 8am and while the line was wrapped half way around the building, it moved quickly and I was able to get into the building within a minute of standing in line.
As I neared the entrance with my girlfriend Jamie, we were greeted politely and sweetly by many employees of the new T.J. Maxx as well as Corporate Representatives. I’ll be honest, I have been to Grand Openings of stores before and it was awesome to see smiling faces on employees that looked genuinely happy to be working for the company. While walking around – I overheard several of the workers exclaim that they were excited to be working for a company that had already proved to be beneficial.
I was a bit bummed to have missed out on the opening festivities, but nonetheless, I was just happy to be a part of this launch day. Walking around the store was a bit hectic as is any store when it is newly opened, especially when you live on an island that really doesn’t have too many stores like such. But, considering I have shopped like a mad woman on days like Black Friday – it was busy but it really wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It was nice to see a variety of products and selections available and I immediately set my eyes on the handbag section which I’ll be back to visit later. The displays were placed appropriately and I loved seeing how neat and organized it all was on the inside. I’ll be honest, I loath shopping at another discount store because of the disorganized mess, so I am hoping T.J. Maxx will hold on to their reputation by keeping it in order as it was today.
Despite the craziness and the large crowds, employees still managed to keep a smile on their face and I stopped to ask several questions and received knowledgeable responses, friendly smiles and accommodation which was a breathe of fresh air.
It’s nice to know that there is much more option on the island for shopping and I wish T.J. Maxx would have opened a month earlier to accommodate for school shopping, but I’m glad it is open today. Filled with various name brands at discounted prices, I found everything from housewares to cosmetics (and everything in between) and I look forward to visiting the store again in the future to really take the time to check it out. It’s nice to know that some of the higher end brands that I love (like hair care) can be purchased at a discount here.
The little showers that we experienced this morning certainly didn’t rain on anyone’s parade and shoppers were excited to see what the store offered. I love the personal “Hawaii” touches I seen through out the store and while I didn’t purchase anything today – I know I’ll be back soon.
Yay – I have finally found the time to post my Summer Essentials video. Honestly, this is the second video I filmed and worked on but since my original video was 40 minutes long, I decided that I really needed to be more tactful with regard to what and how I posted so after some planning the last couple of weeks, here is the result. I hope you enjoy the video and I hope you are enjoying summer.