In the summer of 2014, my family and I flew to Maui, my favorite Hawaiian island. We stayed near Lahaina in the lovely Kahana Village, a collection of condos right on a little beach with a pool and beautiful gardens. Maui has a bevy of beautiful beaches. It also has so many restaurants with incredible food. All the unique tourism attractions reflect the culture of the island. Our excursions took place on the west coast.

Of course with any trip to Hawaii, a major destination is the beach. The first beach that we went to was Kapalua Beach, a gorgeous beach with shallow waters lapping at the shore in lazy waves. While snorkeling, we saw two majestic sea turtles, the state fish, and many other colorful creatures. The calming warm waters and soft white sands were relaxing. Napili Beach was right next to Kapalua Beach. Napili had larger waves and deeper waters. Rental pink, blue, and yellow inner tubes made riding these waves a blast. We visited Napili Beach twice. Then we decided to go to Kahana Beach near our condo. Kahana was another mellow beach with small waves and shallow water. It was a great place to paddle board. My favorite beach was Makena, which was farther south down the coast. It had bright peach-colored sand, crystal clear waters, and large waves. Rich dark brown cliffs surrounded the beach, blanketed in lush green trees. If I were a mermaid, then I would definitely live at Makena Beach.

Kahana Beach - The beach near our condo
Kahana Beach – The beach near our condo
Snorkeling at Kapalua
Snorkeling at Kapalua
The view of Makena Beach from up on the cliffs
The view of Makena Beach from up on the cliffs
Paddle boarding at Kahana Beach


Lahaina was full of awesome places. One was the Maui Bath Salt Company, a cute little shop that sells bath salts of all different scents. There was also a palette-knife painter who has a tiny gallery on Front Street. He was painting a picture of a gorgeous sunset shining through a cresting wave barrel. Next was a larger gallery full of the metaphorical realist work of Vladimir Kush, a very talented surrealist who paints bright-colored scenes that deliver deep messages. My favorite paintings in that gallery are “Arrival of the Flower Ship,” “Last Supper,” and “Planet Sunflower.” The Sugar Cane Train was another popular stop. If you’re more of an outdoorsy person, a different experience in nature was a farmer’s market right next to Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop where they sold luscious tropical fruits like pineapple, jackfruit, and pink and white dragon fruit.

Our first meal in Maui was at a Lahaina restaurant called Koa’s. It was more of a casual restaurant with beautiful ocean-side and rooftop seating. We ordered a delicious ahi poke appetizer that was just the right amount of spicy. My entrée was a juicy chicken breast accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes and a crispy fried egg that gushed when I cut it open. The second time we visited, I ordered a fresh white fish coated in a salty seaweed and sesame seed rub that came with white sticky rice and a refreshing chunky mango salsa.

We also dined at Roy’s, a fancier restaurant that also had a water-side view. After learning that they print new menus every night (!), I ordered Crusted Monchong, a succulent white fish, on a bed of creamy parmesan and lobster risotto.

At Cheeseburger in Paradise in Lahaina, my cheeseburger was the perfect greasy meaty mouthful, and I loved listening to the live band on the upstairs deck.

Merriman’s was a classy restaurant that served me some delicious chicken with pumpkin slices and a taro cake. The atmosphere was lovely with soft bright light and delicate whites and creams in the elegant decorations.

We stayed near our condo one night when we went to RB’s Black Angus Steakhouse. The steak was very tender and savory, even atop a California sushi roll appetizer.

My favorite restaurant by far was Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop in Olowalu, Maui. When we passed it on the way to our condo from the airport, I knew that we had to go there. We went there twice. The first time I went, I ordered a mouth-watering Ahi Benedict with a creamy spicy Hollandaise sauce and avocado. We also got some coconut cream and chocolate pies that definitely lived up to the restaurant’s name. The second time there, I ordered the amazing Coconut French Toast.

Breakfast fruit, including vibrant pink dragon fruit
Breakfast fruit, including vibrant pink dragon fruit
Leoda’s Coconut French Toast
Leoda's homey decor
Leoda’s homey decor


I advise anyone staying at Kahana Village to go to China Boat, a cute little restaurant right down the road with inviting lights and a white porch. I also urge everyone to go to Star Noodle because I heard that the line usually runs out the door, probably because it is the sister restaurant of Leoda’s. Don’t miss out like I did!

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Maui, as it was truly a wander-worthy experience and a brilliantly bright place to be.

One Reply to “Meandering through Maui”

  1. Dessi,
    Similar to how the image of the pink dragon fruit stands out against the white page, the vibrant details of your wonderful trip to Maui brought your experience to life. I know the writing is good when my mouth is watering and I become jealous because I’m unable to sample the flavors you were lucky enough to savor! Congratulations on your first article for Germ…I’m looking forward to reading more of them in the future!

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