Westside Maui Mini-Moon from Wendy Laurel

Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink

I’m lucky enough to call Maui my home. I have been here for over 15 years and live on the westside of Maui — which is the Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua areas. If beaches, laid back lifestyle, warm breezes, bare feet, and blue skies and ocean are your thing, Maui is the place to visit. I am a simple girl and a big believer in the simple things in life and I think my list of favorite things to do and see reflects that.

Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink

Things To Do

Relax: To me the most important thing to do on Maui, is relax. Its hard to wind down, but to me, the whole point of Maui is letting it go — sit by the pool and read a book, swim in the ocean with a floatie, chill out.

Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink

Surf: When in Hawaii, do what the locals do and surf!  Outrageous Surf gives beginner lessons and rents surfboards in Lahaina at a great beginners surf spot (Breakwall).

Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & InkMaui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink

Rent a Bike: you can rent a cruiser bike at West Maui Cycle and see the town that way. Its a fun way to get around and give you the beachy-town vibe.

Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink

Snorkeling: Just dipping underwater and a whole new world opens up. Snorkel equipment can be rented at numerous places in town and the best places to snorkel are Black Rock in front of the Sheraton or at Kapalua Bay (in the summer months).

Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink

Whale Watch: During the months of December – April the whales are in Maui and can be seen easily from the coastline. Jumping up on a boat like Trilogy (a catamaran) to go on a whale watch from Lahaina harbor is a must do. There is nothing like being on the ocean and seeing the whales up close.

Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & InkMaui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink

Cliff Jumping: If you want more adrenaline in your vacation, you can jump cliffs at Black Rock or Cliff House in Kapalua. Or you can sign up for parasailing or jet skiing (only available in summer months when there are no whales) or zip line over valleys in Kapalua.

Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink

Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink

Places to Stay

There is resort Maui and backyard Maui. The best places to see the resort side of Maui include the Kaanapali resorts — Hyatt, Sheraton, and Westin or you can go more upscale at the Montage or Ritz Carlton in Kapalua. All will have fantastic pools, rooms, and service and are right on the ocean.

Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink

Maui Mini Moon | Wendy Laurel & Snippet & Ink

Pictured above: Westin, Ka’anapali. 

Backyard Maui can range from renting a private home on the beach, ocean front condos to going the Airbnb route. Im all for an ocean view though— its why you came and nothing beats the sound of the ocean at night. So that would be my splurge of the trip.

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One of my favorite little known places is Lahaina Shores. Its right on the ocean in Lahaina town and has great rates for nice spacious oceanfront rooms.

Where to Eat

Mala Oceanfront Tavern: If oceanfront dining with local organic farm to table ingredients in a casual hip atmosphere sounds ideal, then Mala Oceanfront Tavern is your place. its located right in Lahaina town.

Choice Health Bar: Choice Health Bar is a very popular vegan organic and healthy breakfast and lunch place in Lahaina. Order juices, smoothies, salads, acai bowls and other healthy treats right at the counter. (Bonus: They have a fresh salad sushi option at night!)

fresh fruit to eat-1organic fruit-1

Longhis: Located on Front Street, Longhis is a Lahaina tradition. They have an amazing breakfast but their dinner is my favorite. Lots of italian and fresh seafood options, but my favorite is their complimentary pizza bread served as an appetizer and the artichoke with parmesan.

Merrimans: Merrimans is oceanfront with local farm to table ingredients but in an upscale gorgeous dining environment. they are up on the cliff above Kapalua bay and even have a fire pit they light up at night.

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Ululani’s Shave Ice: No trip to Maui is complete without having a Ululani’s Shave Ice. For extra yumminess, make sure to get ice cream on the bottom and top your shave ice with Kauai cream.


My Favorites

Ironwoods Beach in Kapalua is my favorite beach on the westside of Maui. Its not in front of any resorts so not many tourists go there. Its empty most of the day. But its a big wide beach with fine grained sand and a gorgeous,  wild ocean and there are cliffs on either side!


The Farmers Market in Honokowai is my favorite place to eat. Its a small health food store with a daily hot food bar, fresh salad bar, fresh organic green juices made to order, and smoothies and acai bowls.

front street-1 roxy poster-1

On the westside I love shopping either on Front Street — mostly little surf shops (think Billabong, Roxy, Naish, etc.) or at Whalers Village at Kaanapali (surf shops mixed with higher end stores) but nothing so high end you cannot shop barefoot.

Spa Montage is home to my favorite yoga and pilates classes and a gorgeous location for a massage or spa treatment. I love the Tuesday/Thursday 8 a.m. yoga classes with Danielle.

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  • these are such gorgeous, gorgeous images!! what a great post too! every time i see wendy’s work, it makes me want to jump on a plane to maui. <3

  • I just visited Maui and it was gorgeous! Ululani’s Shave Ice was my favorite! Wish they were here in NYC!!

  • I love this travel guide and these images are gorgeous. Wendy’s photography is always beautiful and makes me feel like I’m there.

  • LOVE this, Wendy! It seems a lifetime ago when I first met you on your beautiful slice of heaven. And now whenever I see a photo with bright colors and carefree soul, I just know it must be yours. Seeing this post makes me want to explore all those places!

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