Maui Really Revealed: Trilogy's Top Weekend Picks As Recommended By Our Crew
Living in Maui can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you're constantly surrounded by beautiful weather and days that are ripe for adventure, and you're blessed to live in a tropical place where there is always somewhere to explore. On the other hand, living in paradise doesn't come free—and most of your days are spent at the office rather than lying on the beach. Sure, captains and crew on the Discover Lana‘i tour literally have their office on the beach, but even with the scenic working conditions, there's still nothing like a day off to relax and do as you please.
Another strange thing about living in Hawaii is the absence of a traditional weekend. Trilogy offers tours on every day of the year, and since tourism is Maui's largest economy, it isn't uncommon for Maui residents to work on Saturday and Saturday. Their "weekend," however, could be Wednesday and Thursday, which is a nice way of saying there's no such thing as traditional weekend crowds. We often get asked by many of our passengers what we do when we have a day off, so to provide some insight into a Trilogy "weekend," we asked our crew some of their favorite things to do whenever they have a day off.
Take The Kids To Baby Beach
Haven't been to "Baby Beach?" Technically, there are two places on Maui that locals refer to as "Baby Beach," and both offer protected lagoons where you can safely wade with young children. One of the beaches is located in Lahaina on Pu‘unoa Point, and it's a short walk along the beach from the pier at Mala Wharf. The other beach is in the town of Pa‘ia over on Maui's north shore, where a large, natural saltwater pool is at the west end of Baldwin Beach. Neither beach offers restrooms or showers, but both have shade and calm water for splashing around with the keiki.
Eat at the Sea House Restaurant
Shhh...don't tell anyone, but the Sea House Restaurant in Napili Kai is one of the island's best deals. The breakfast here is filling and affordable and looks out over the water, and after breakfast you can go swimming or snorkeling in turquoise Napili Bay. Happy hour starts at 2pm and lasts all the way until 5, and the half-priced pupus and oceanfront setting create a perfect afternoon. As if the prices and setting aren't enough of a draw, the Sea House Restaurant is also a supporter of Trilogy's Blue ‘Aina reef cleanups.
Kula Country Farms Pumpkin Patch
Did you know that "Lahaina" translated in Hawaiian means "cruel, merciless sun?" Since so many of our days are spent on the water, one of our favorite things to do on a day off is escape the coastal heat. Temperatures Upcountry are often ten degrees cooler than you'll find down on the shoreline, and a favorite stop when driving through Kula is at Kula Country Farms. This roadside farm stand at 3,000 ft. has a sweeping view of the valley, and the local produce sold at the farm is fresh, ripe, and affordable. In fall, a large field is packed with pumpkins as they grow ripe and orange on the vine, and it's a rural retreat for taking photos and stocking up on produce.
Hike Waihou Springs Trail
Another great thing about living on Maui is the fantastic diversity of landscape. In only 25 minutes you can drive from Pai‘a up towards the top of Olinda, and be completely immersed in a forest of pines that could be mistaken for the Pacific Northwest. The Waihou Springs Trail is at nearly 4,000 ft. towards the top of Olinda Road, and it's a shaded loop where the crisp air makes it feel like you've gone on vacation. As an added bonus, a spur trail leads down into a gorge where caves are cut from the cliff face, and hikers with headlamps can explore the caves and walk beneath the mountain.
Dinner at Flatbread Pizza
If there's one scene that's common everywhere it's a pizza dinner with friends, and Flatbread pizza is your best chance for finding some Trilogy crew. This Pai‘a pizza house uses local produce and lots of organic ingredients, and has Maui Brewing Company beers on tap at the small but popular bar. Need a suggestion for what to order? Try a "Mopsy" with kalua pig and organic mango BBQ, or a "Co-evolution" with Hawaiian goat cheese kalamata olives and onions.
No surprise here...the crew loves to surf! During winter months you'll find Captain Brian at Honolua Bay (pictured above), and summer months mean Captain Casey is at Puamana Pools. Look for Captain Jason at Ho‘okipa when headed out towards Hana, or Captain Seth at Lahaina Harbor on big southern swells. For visitors who are just starting to learn how to surf, one of the best places to take lessons is at Ka‘anapali Point, and the Trilogy Beach Shack at Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel offers lessons throughout the year.
No board? No problem! On days with waves one of the best things to do is simply jump in and bodysurf, and Baldwin Beach and Makena State Park are two of the Trilogy crew's favorites. Aside from the waves, one of the great things about these two beaches is that both are free from development, and both spots are local favorites for an old-fashioned day at the beach. (Photo by Trilogy crew member Cyrus).
It's important that Trilogy's lifeguards stay fit, and on days with no waves you can often find crew members working out in the sand. Beach runs, ocean swims, or long-distance stand up paddles are perfect for staying fit, as is running with heavy rocks along the ocean floor.
Explore in ‘Iao Valley
One of the reasons that ‘Iao is so popular is it's the only valley in Mauna Kahalawai that has a road and is accessible by car. Taking the short hike to ‘Iao Needle only takes 15 minutes, but it's also fun to hike up the river and explore the different pools. There are no official "trails" in the valley (so hiking is at your own risk), but exploring the different swimming holes and ridge lines is always a fun adventure.
Play Tour Guide With Friends
When you live in Maui there is an increased tendency for friends to want to visit. (Can you blame them, really?) More often than not, a "weekend" from work means playing tour guide with friends who are visiting the island, which can mean anything from hiking to waterfalls in Hana to walking around Nakalele Blowhole. When friends visit we often do things we wouldn't do on a regular basis (like watch the sunrise at Haleakala), but it renews the pride we have for this island and we just want to show it off.
Camp at Hosmer's Grove
Finally, while Maui doesn't have the same level of campgrounds that you'll find in parks on the Mainland (none, for example, have flush toilets or showers), there are still a couple of wilderness campgrounds that are perfect for getting away. A crew favorite is Hosmer's Grove on the road up to Haleakala, and since it isn't often that we can put on a flannel and bundle up in a sweater, the cool temperatures at 7,000 ft. are a relief from the constant sun. It's the perfect campground for an evening BBQ and grilling beneath the stars, and a refreshing way to take a breather and relax in the cool mountain air.