Happy Monday everyone! This weekend was definitely one for the books, so I have a feeling that I might be dragging a little bit this morning and wishing that I could be back at the beach instead of in the office. But alas we all must adult, so instead of being at the beach I’ll be reminiscing about it with Biana for some weekending!
Since my birthday was so close to the weekend, I knew that I wanted to get out of the city for a quick weekend getaway. We knew that we wanted to go somewhere close that we could drive to, and somewhere that would be easily accessible to dogs as well so that Dart could go with us. We tossed around a few ideas, but when we started talking about how Chris had never been to Galveston before, the idea of quick weekend at the beach sounded perfect!
Chris picked me up from the office on Friday and then after a quick hour drive we were out of the city and on the small island of Galveston. While there are a ton of hotels to choose from on the island, Chris and I opted for a VRBO rental that was literally right off the beach. When we first arrived, the wind was really starting to pick up and there was a chance for rain, so we opted to stay in for the night, cook some dinner, and just relax. It was the perfect start to the weekend!
The bedroom that we were in faced east, so we were up bright and early Saturday morning. Dart had never been to the beach before, so we were anxious to get him out there to see what he would do with all the sand and the waves and all the seagulls!
The beach was very busy that morning, and we enjoyed a couple of miles walk and watching Dart going insane over all of the new sights and smells and of course the ocean. If you follow me on Snapchat, you might have seen the video of Dart when he was standing in the ocean and then got scared by the waves coming in. It was so funny! Needless to say, Dart definitely prefers the sand to the ocean!
After our morning walk, we headed back to the house, made breakfast, and then packed up our stuff and headed to the beach. It was very windy on Saturday which meant that we had trouble setting up our tent to begin with, but once it was setup we enjoyed the cooler weather that we got with the wind. It was a beautiful and relaxing day, despite a little bit of rain for about 10 minutes, and I loved just sitting at the beach and reading a book and planning part of our Europe trip. It was perfect!
At around 4:00 we had our fill of the beach so we headed back to the house and relaxed for a little bit before eating dinner and then going on another evening walk on the beach. That night there weren’t nearly as many people on the beach as there had been that morning, so it almost felt like we had it to ourselves.
We had an early checkout time at 11:00 Sunday morning, so Chris and I made sure that we were out of bed early enough to get a walk in with Dart before eating breakfast and packing up. Sunday morning felt a lot like Saturday evening in the fact that there weren’t that many people on the beach, so Chris and I let Dart off his leash for a little bit and he absolutely loved it! The wind wasn’t as bad as Saturday, but that also meant that it got a lot hotter than Saturday as well. After our walk we cooked breakfast and then we hit the road to get back home.
The advantage to going on a weekend trip so close is the fact that we got home so quickly! Before we knew it we were back at home and getting started on laundry, grocery shopping and just getting ready for the week. Our little weekend trip to Galveston was perfect, and I’m so glad that we got to continue my birthday celebrations at the beach!
Have you ever visited Galveston before? Have you gone on a birthday weekend getaway?
One more thing before I go, March means the beginning of Spring and the start of something new. To get you fresh and ready for the new season, I’m teaming up with Emelia and a few other blogger babes to gift one lucky person a $75 Sephora or Ulta gift card –winner’s choice and a bunch of Emelia’s tried and true favorite products including a GlamGlow mask, BECCA Highlighter and more. The giveaway ends Sunday April 2, so be sure to check back on the blog next week to see if you’re the winner!
Eating is one of my favorite things to do on trips. Not only do you get to experience the culture of the city or country that you’re visiting, but it also creates so many memories. While we technically didn’t leave the country in order to visit Hawaii, because of all the influences from the Pacific Island nations Hawaii has quite a unique outlook on food. So here we go with one of my favorite posts to write, a where to eat on Maui post!
Like I’ve mentioned before, we didn’t have a car during our stay in Maui, so most of the places that we visited were right around our hotel, The Westin Maui, which is located right at Kaanapali, a town on the Northwest side of the island. Another town that is just a few miles south of Kaanapali and easily accessible by cab is Lahaina, and you’ll see that all of the restaurants that we visited are in these two towns.
I also want to preface this post, and the post that I’ll write about food on Kauai as well, by saying to remember that you’re visiting an island. I know that it seems obvious, but some people don’t understand why there seems to be such a pricing difference between what you’re paying for food or hotel rooms in Hawaii versus mainland USA. Just remember that pretty much everything you eat and use during your stay on Hawaii has to be shipped in, so the cost of those things that you eat and use are going to be a little bit more expensive. So when you see the prices to eat at some of these restaurants, just remember that the higher prices a lot of times has to do with where you’re actually visiting. Ok, now it’s time to talk some food!
Located literally just steps away from our hotel, the Hula Grill was the perfect outdoor casual restaurant for our first night on Maui. By the time that we had arrived at the hotel, checked in, and freshened up a bit, we walked outside to catch the most beautiful sunset. Because of the time that we arrived, there was a pretty long wait at the Hula Grill so when we spotted a seat that was open at the bar, we snagged it!
We weren’t terribly hungry, so we decided to split some fish tacos for dinner. I don’t know if it was delirium from the long flight, but those fish tacos couldn’t have been more delicious alongside the Mai Tais that we had to have!
Another reason that we decided that splitting dinner would be worth it was because we had to get Hula Grill’s famous dessert while we were there, the Hula Pie! Made with Chocolate Cookie crust, macadamia nut ice cream, and whipped cream, hot fudge, and nuts on top, you definitely need to split this with somebody!
Overall, Hula Grill is a great option if you’re staying near Kaanapali or Lahaina, and offers a great location for watching the sunset on the patio as well. Just make sure to get there early so you can grab a table before it gets too crowded! There’s also an indoor dining room if you would prefer to eat inside. Make sure to save room for dessert because the Hula Pie is not to be missed!
Location: 2435 Kaanapali Parkway, Building 1
Lahaina HI 96761
Located literally right next door to Hula Grill is Leilani’s On The Beach, which also offers both indoor and outdoor seating. After a very early morning bike ride down Haleakala, we arrived back to the hotel very tired but also very hungry and ready for lunch! Before hitting the pool, we decided to head to Leilani’s for lunch!
Because we wanted to enjoy the weather as much as possible we opted to sit out on the patio, plus it also offered some pretty awesome people watching as well. We started off our meal with some Mai Tais because we when in Hawaii, you must drink beachy and fancy cocktails. For food though, I decided that fish tacos would be the perfect option for me again, and what can I say, they’re one of my major food groups, and when in Hawaii you should eat as much fish tacos as possible! While Hula Pie was on the menu again, we weren’t hungry enough for dessert that day.
Overall, Leilani’s felt a lot like Hula Grill especially since they’re right next door to each other with a lot of the same menu choices. They also both offered patios which would have beautiful views of the sunset and indoor seating options as well. Either way I don’t think that you can go wrong with either or, and of course I’d recommend the fish tacos or the Hula Pie!
Location: 2435 Kaanapali Parkway, Building 1
Lahaina HI 96761
Our guided tour of The Road To Hana took the whole day, but when we got dropped off at our hotel, we pretty much had just enough time to catch a cab from our hotel back to Lahaina to watch the sunset over the water! Once we were done watching another spectacular sunset, we were definitely ready for dinner, and one of the places that was very easily accessible, had great views of the water, and was within walking distance was Cheeseburger In Paradise, yes just like the Jimmy Buffet song!
With a few other locations on Maui and on Oahu, Cheeseburger in Paradise is obviously a very popular choice when you’re craving a good burger. Overall, the menu had your basic burger options, but also some really unique options as well like the Mac & Cheese Burger. I was being basic that day and opted for the Black N Blue Burger because I was in desperate need of some blue cheese!
Overall, we thought that the burgers were good especially if you’re kind of over eating fish tacos or poke. We also really enjoyed the fact that there were local Hawaiian beers on the menu so that we could enjoy something else other than a Mai Tai! Because of it being situated right on the water, this location of Cheeseburger in Paradise gets very crowded, so be prepared to wait for a table. We were lucky enough to grab some seats at the bar so that we could eat quicker!
Now one of the foods that you absolutely, hands down, cannot miss during your trip to Hawaii is the famous Hawaiian Shaved Ice, and the place to grab some shaved ice on Maui is Ululani’s. Luckily for us, Ululani’s was literally just down the street from Cheeseburger in Paradise so we just walked over and immediately got in line for some dessert.
Now I’m sure you wondering what makes Hawaiian Shaved Ice different than normal snow cones that you get at home, and that my friends is the little bit of sweetened condensed milk that is added to whatever flavor combination you choose. The condensed milk adds just a little extra sweetness to your delicious shaved ice!
When you arrive at Ululani’s be prepared to wait in line! I think that since everybody wants to try some Hawaiian shaved ice while they’re in Hawaii, no matter what time you visit you’re pretty much guaranteed a line. I honestly can’t remember what flavor combinations that we tried, but I know that Chris got a Hawaiian Shaved Ice and loved the condensed milk on top! It was the perfect and refreshing way to end our day! Like Cheeseburger In Paradise, there are several locations around Maui, so if this location isn’t close to you, there’s probably another one nearby!
If you’re looking for a fancier night out on the town during your stay in Maui, then look no further than Lahaina Grill. Located right in the heart of Lahaina, if your socks aren’t blown off by the beautiful restaurant itself, then don’t worry they’ll be blown away by the delicious food that you’ll be served. There’s a reason that it was voted the top restaurant on Maui 24 years in a row!
Overall our time at Lahaina Grill couldn’t have been more perfect. The service was incredible, and we loved our dishes that we got. One of my favorites was the “Cake Walk” that served up three different types of crab cakes because who doesn’t love crab cakes, especially when they’re done in different ways? Our early dinner reservations worked out perfectly for our time at Lahaina Grill because we literally walked out the door to the ocean and watched the sunset. It was the perfect end to our first full day on the island.
Our Hawaii trip was a 5 year wedding anniversary trip so we knew that we wanted one of our dinners to be extra special, although I’m pretty sure that we did book some other fancy dinners during our time on Kauai as well. I really thought that Lahaina Grill nailed it as far as being a beautiful restaurant with beautiful food that was perfect for celebrating any occasion! Just know that you’ll end up paying a little bit for it as well.
Location: 127 Lahainaluna Road
Lahaina HI 96761
And there you have it, my guide of where to eat on Maui! It’s definitely not the most comprehensive of guides, but it’s a good place to start if you’re staying in the Kaanapali or Lahaina part of the island. I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women from some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!
Have you ever visited Maui? Are there restaurants on this list that you’d want to check out?
Besides Haleakala National Park, perhaps the most known attraction on the island of Maui is The Road To Hana. Known for extremely narrow roads and hairpin turns that are often blind, the treacherous roads lead to beauty that you can only begin to imagine, which is why when we visited Maui on our big anniversary trip we knew that we needed to spend a day doing The Road To Hana.
One of the biggest questions that we asked ourselves when we were planning this portion of our trip to Maui was whether or not we wanted to drive The Road To Hana ourselves or whether or not we should book a guided tour. After doing our research, we decided that booking a tour made the most sense for us, and I thought that I’d lay out the reasons why you should book a guided tour as well.
Why You Should Book A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana
You Won’t Have To Rent A Car
When we put together our itinerary for Hawaii, I only gave us two full days in Maui. Day 1 was devoted to Biking Down Haleakala while Day 2 was going to be our Road To Hana day. Because we had booked a tour of Haleakala, the only day that we would really need a car would be our second day for The Road To Hana.
After doing some research about the island, I found out that it would be pretty easy to navigate around the island without a car since taxis are readily available. Which meant that if we didn’t have a car we wouldn’t be stuck at our resort the whole time. That’s not really the case when it comes to some of the other Hawaiian islands like Kauai. Now obviously, renting a car would be cheaper than booking a tour, but see the second point below for another reason why we wanted to book a tour.
You Don’t Have To Worry About Driving Those Treacherous Roads
Like I said, The Road To Hana is filled with not only blind turns, but several of those are on one way roads that might unpassable if there has been bad weather. To say that it can be stressful on a driver would be a huge understatement. Let’s not forget that the main reason that you’re in Hawaii in the first place, to relax and be on vacation, so you might as well not stress yourself out with trying to drive yourself on The Road To Hana, which leads me to my next point.
You Can Focus On The Beautiful Scenery
The reason that everybody loves The Road To Hana is because it’s filled with breathtaking views that you don’t get at home. If you’re driving, chances are you’re not taking in the amazing views, and I’m pretty sure that Chris will 100% vouch for me after our trip to Big Sur a few years ago. He was so focused on driving that I don’t think that he fully got to appreciate the beautiful California coast.
Which Tour Group Should You Choose?
Now that I’ve laid out all the reasons that you should choose a guided tour of The Road To Hana, I should mention which tour group that we ended up choosing: Valley Isle Excursions. The reasons that we ended up choosing Valley Isle Excursions was because they provided transportation to and from our hotel, they took us to the highlights on The Road To Hana, breakfast and lunch were provided, and the tour groups were limited to 12 passengers which meant that you didn’t feel overly crowded on your tour.
With a price of $151.99/person ($141.99/person if you book online), it can seem a little pricey, but when you consider the fact that it’s an all day tour and everything else that I just listed, I think that it’s a pretty good deal. The vans that Valley Isle Excursion used were extremely comfortable, not only were they air conditioned, but we weren’t all over the other passengers on the tour either. I also felt that our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and he told us all about the history of the sites that we were seeing and gave us more than enough time at all of our stops. We couldn’t have had a better tour experience!
What You Can Expect To See
Now obviously on your trip to The Road To Hana you’ll want to make sure you see the highlights and Valley Isle Excursions has done just that. They have a map of the different stops that they make around the Road To Hana, weather permitting of course, so here is what you can expect to see!
The Clubhouse At Maui Lani
The Maui Lani Golf Club is where you’ll begin your day with the Valley Isle Excursions, with a continental breakfast served up along some beautiful views! The day started off looking a little gloomy, but thankfully the sun came out and we still got some pretty cool pictures too!
Trees that look like somebody literally just took a paintbrush to them, the rainbow Eucalyptus Grove is stunningly beautiful! While these trees aren’t native to Hawaii, they do grow like crazy and make for some beautiful pictures!
Waianapanapa State Park
One of the things that I had to see during our Road To Hana trip was a black sand beach. Caused by when the hot lava meets the cold Pacific Ocean, the black sand beaches are beyond beautiful and make for some great photo ops, even if it’s an overcast day!
Oheo Gulch In Haleakala National Park
A beautiful part of Haleakala National Park, these fresh water pools are perfect for swimming as well as offering a beautiful view of the rocky Hawaiian coast and the Pacific Ocean. If swimming isn’t your thing, there’s also lots of hiking in the area as well with even more waterfalls to see!
Probably my favorite shot of the whole trip was taken here at the church of Palatal Ho’omau. The resting place of Charles Lindberg brings a ton of people to this spot every year, but even if your’e not an aviation fanatic, the beauty of this space is enough to bring you back to this spot time and time again!
It’s still amazing to me how different the landscapes of an island as small as Maui can be. The last part of your trek will take you around the backside of Haleakala and the barren back of the volcano is a huge contrast to the luscious rainforests filled with waterfalls that you just saw on your trip to Hana. Even though it’s not filled with greenery, this side of the island is beautiful in its own way!
What To Bring On Your Trip On The Road To Hana
A Camera/Extra Batteries
This is obviously the most important thing to remember on your trip on The Road To Hana. Without a doubt you will take numerous pictures of the beautiful landscapes, and the last thing you would want to forget is your camera or extra batteries.
There are numerous stops along the Road To Hana at little roadside stands. Because of the nature of The Road To Hana making everything so remote, I would suggest bringing cash to buy some coconut squares or some locally made banana bread or jerky. You won’t be disappointed!
Bathing Suit/Towels/Change of Clothes
One of the most famous stops along the Road To Hana is the Pools at Oheo Gulch. You will make quite a long stop at this location, and one of the most fun things to do during your time there is take a dip in the Pools. Not only are they refreshing, but you also get a great view out to the ocean as well. Just make sure to pack a bathing suit and towels and potential change of clothes. There are restrooms available for you to change.
And there you have it, anything and everything that you need to know for your own trip on The Road To Hana, especially if you wanted to book a guided tour. If you’re in the market for a guided tour of The Road To Hana, I can’t recommend Valley Isle Excursions enough. We loved our time with them and we felt like we really got to see the highlights without having the stress of driving it ourselves! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women from some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!
Have you traveled The Road To Hana? Have I convinced you to take a guided tour?