I feel like I’ve already dragged this out long enough, but I just had to include a few more amazing places to eat and see that I couldn’t squeeze into my last two posts. We had an incredible time in Maui, playing with our kids and exploring new terrains. In all, we put 600 miles on our minivan in 15 days! And we didn’t even make it up to the 10,000 foot (3,300 meter) summit of Mauna Loa.
Our kids went from ocean-shy toe dippers to wave-riding boogie boarders in the two weeks we were there. Their hair still has sun-kissed blond streaks from all of our time at the beach. And I’m sure that they have each grown an inch or two from all of the vitamin C and D they got while we were in tropical paradise!
On one of our drives, we unintentionally found ourselves in the beautiful Iao Valley, and almost turned around before realizing where we were. The park officer convinced us that it was worth the visit, and we paid the five dollar admission and entered. Iao Valley is considered one of the most sacred locations on the island, and an ancient burial ground of the chiefs. It’s an easy walk up steps and paths to reach the lookout point to view the Iao Needle. The garden-like landscaping is a peaceful retreat, and the mountains themselves, which rise directly overhead into the clouds, are a most spectacular sight.
Between the Iao Valley, and Kihei, there is a little tourist-type stop, full of little booths, and even a kid-friendly zip-line, called Maui Tropical Plantation. Just up the driveway to the right was a local, organic veggie stand, bursting with fresh bunches of kale, green beans, beets, fresh turmeric, papayas, avocados and more. It is called Kumu Organics, and we stopped there several times on our way to or from an outing to pick up some fresh greens for the nights we cooked at the condo.
A quick google search for best fish tacos led us to a little café called Coconuts, right in the middle of Kihei. We were not disappointed! This zagat rated restaurant uses only local fish and fresh veggies, and seasons everything to perfection. They had gluten-free options highlighted on their overhead menu board, and their fish tacos were absolutely amazing! It wasn’t uncommon to see a line up out the door. That didn’t deter us though, and we ended up eating there several times!
On our second last night, we ordered take-out from a completely gluten-free restaurant in Kihei, called Brick Oven Restaurant. We ordered chicken satay, classic pepperoni and a spicy Polynesian pizzas, and to finish it off, a decadent chocolate brownie. I was skeptical at first, but I was won over in that first bite of crunchy, cheesy pizza goodness.
Mr. Green Thumb picked up the order, and forgot to ask what exactly was in the dough, and I’m guessing it wasn’t really all that healthy. But it tasted so good–it tasted like a real pizza; not the gluten-free knock-offs most other pizzerias offer. They offered a lot of other veggie, pasta, and entrée dishes as well. And if our food was any indication, I’m sure it is all delicious!
Lastly, we happened to discover on the last Friday of each month, that Kihei blocks off several parking lots and has a big Friday night market. It is full of local food and craft vendors, live music, and more food trucks than I could count. It wasn’t conducive to our young family of hungry, sleepy kiddos, but it would be a fun place to meander through, hand in hand, under the starlight, with island music wafting over the warm night air.
I hope you have enjoyed following along on our family’s adventures in Maui. We visited many other beaches, towns, and shops as well, but I’ll let you discover those for yourself if you have the chance to visit Maui!