After getting off my puddle jumper from Oahu, I walked into what seemed to be a luxurious beach resort, but no, it was just the Maui Airport. I was surprised to find my surfboards already waiting for me at baggage claim, I quickly grabbed the boards and ran for the street to call a cab. My first stop on the lush island was a small surf town called Paia. If you find yourself looking for a really cool town, I highly recommend this spot! There are some really great boutiques in this area if your looking to do some shopping or get some grinds. If you want one of our round beach towels you can get them at a cool spot called Biasa Rose! After grabbing a quick lunch, the only thing on my mind was getting into that ocean.
The next beach up the way was Hoo'kipa, an epic break with great rights and lefts. Now typically the waves in Maui are riddled by high winds, but on this particular day the wind was absolutely dead. I couldn't have been more excited, head high peaks coming in consistently, and not a great deal of surfers in the ocean. You'll always find some locals there under the picnic shelters talking about their last session or speculating the line up. I was so stoked to walk down the steps and find one of our ambassadors laid out on the Cape Verde round beach towel. If your not looking to surf, I still highly recommend checking this beach, Hoo'kipa has a spot in the far east corner where the sea turtles seek refuge and lay in the sand. This was so amazing to witness, my first time at this beach I thought I was looking at dozens of rocks and boulders scattered across the sand. But as I walked closer, I realized these beautiful creatures were just taking an afternoon nap. Now, there are rules for the safety of the animals that you stay at least 100 feet away, so if you want to snap a photo please do it from a distance.
The next day, my next visit was the far east side of the island, on the road to Hana. My surf buddy could not join me on this trip, and my goal was to visit a small tiny boutique at the very end of this journey. This drive took me 4 hours, and yes it was quite sketchy at certain points. The road is extremely narrow, so when your driving please be careful when making those blind turns and narrow bridges. Do not let this long dangerous drive deter you from making the trip, it is so worth it! You will see some of the most gorgeous waterfalls, black sand beaches, red sand beaches, and lush rainforests. As you drive on the road to Hana, I recommend checking out a small lagoon called Honomanu Bay. Now if your surfing, this left reeling river wave is epic, but very sharky. My first time surfing it I came across a local surfer by himself there, I turned to catch my first wave and heard a frightful yell. He was paddling swiftly for the shore behind me saying he saw a large Tiger Shark. Luckily I was on the wave and was able to connect it to shore (I was only out there for 5 minutes!). We watched the water for about 20 minutes as the left just kept ripping with nobody in sight, he looked at me and said, "ok we good now". I was skeptical, but after watching him catch a few I couldn't resist. This beach isn't the nicest, and the water is very murky and brown, but it makes a great photo op for you and a loved one. I used my round beach towel to cover my belongings in the car, unfortunately break-ins are quite common on the islands.
The road to Hana has so many great stops, I personally love Koki beach given the powerful wave that is a sandy bottom and the amazing view of outer islands. My friend was on her round beach towel at this gorgeous beach while I picked off some great lefts. Now, for those who don't want to surf, or if the waves are too big, my second favorite thing to do is go to the waterfalls. There is an amazing red sand beach with a perfect waterfall that just pours into the ocean. As the water churns up you can see the most amazing blue bubbles being oxygenated. I had to jump into this pool, which is totally safe to jump but I would NOT dive.
This is the first chapter for best places to stay in Maui, my next recommendations will be Honolua Bay, Lahaina, Kihei, and Wailea. Cheers!