Luau: Your trip to Hawai’i is not complete if you do not attend a luau. Maui has 5-6 different luau options and we only had a chance to experience one. The Old Lahaina Luau is considered to be the most authentic in Maui, however; we decided to attend the Royal Lahaina Luau since it has more food options for a vegetarian. Also, no fire dances at the Old Lahaina Luau!
For those of you who don’t know what a luau is, it is basically a Hawai’ian feast that with spectacular hula dance performances. Kalua pig (slow cooked in an underground oven) and poi (taro paste) are amongst the 2 delicacies available in most luaus. Taro is one more thing that Hawaii is famous for! Though, poi does not taste good. The show usually goes on for over 3 hours and the audiences are treated with great Hawaiian music and hula dancing. Most luau’s are catered to tourists and feature dances from various Polynesian islands like Samoa, Tahiti, Fiji. The Samoan fire dance is a show stopper for a lot of people and is indeed breathtaking.
Food: After it gets dark, Lahaina downtown is a great place to hang out. We preferred exploring dining options at the downtown rather than eat at the resort everyday. Here’s my pick on few of the dining options you have available while you are vacationing at Maui.
Longhis – An Italian restaurant at Lahaina downtown. Mai tai’s are their speciality.
Cilantro – A local Mexican restaurant in Lahaina that reminds you of La Salsa.
Monsoon India – The food is not that great, but this place in Kihei has the most amazing sunset view at the beach while you are enjoying dinner.
Mixed Aloha Plate – A local favorite and my favorite from the entire list. Although I could not try out the authentic Hawai’ian options, the look and feel of this Lahaina downtown restaurant describes what Maui is all about.
My blogs on Maui would be incomplete without the mention of Roselani icecream – Maui’s original ice cream with great tropical favors to offer. If you are visiting Maui, DO NOT leave the island without tasting Roselani :). Needless to say, shaved ice is a great way to cool off the heat and enjoy it on the beach. The best one out there is the 3 layered tropical delight shave ice sold at a food truck outside Big beach of Makena beach. Drinking chilled coconut juice in tropical weather at a beach is indeed the QUEEN of clichés. But don’t miss out on it just because everyone does it!
One more food item that you should not miss is the locally made banana bread sold at food and fruit stands on the road to Hana. We parceled a few loaves of Banana bread and slow baked dry coconut to the US mainland. Hawai’i is famous for its coffee plantations, so make sure you don’t miss that either. We tried local Maui peaberry and a couple of other local Maui flavors. Peaberry is usually the mass favorite and considered to the Holy grail of coffees! Any coffee lover would love to cherish a cup of Maui peaberry. I absolutely do 😀
Shopping: No vacation is complete without shopping and collecting souvenirs. If you are going to Maui, stores to check out are Banana winds, Waterworks, Glass Mango. Whalers Village and Lahaina Cannery Mall should cater to most shopaholics.
That said, I am feeling that I have already wrote too much in my three blogs, but believe me, there is much more to Maui. No wonder there are people who go back frequently and are still not tired of the place. I hope all my pointers in the 3 blogs make your Maui vacation memorable!