We recently escaped winter in California – which is very cold this year – and spent 5 days on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Years ago Mike and I spent 2 nights in Honolulu on the way back from Australia but we had never been to Maui together and heard many recommendations that it was the best island for kiddos. We stayed at Honua Kai with some friends who also have a 2 y/o. Our accommodations were insane. The villa was so nice, with a huge patio for us to all lounge on and a great pool just steps away. In my opinion, traveling with toddlers justifies spending a bit more on lodging because you are most likely going to be there more than you would sans little ones.
We certainly splurged for this stay but it was one of my favorite parts of the trip! It was very special to get away to a gorgeous destination and stay somewhere equally as plush.
Instead of posting my normal day-to-day recap, I decided just to highlight a few of my Hawaiian favorites. Read on!
What is a tropical vacation without sand & sea? Cam and I spent one-on-one time down at the beach while Mike figured out some surfing logistics. I had a blast with my little dude digging in the sand and occasionally dipping our toes in the water. It is so fun to hang out with him, chat, and see the world through his eyes.
On another day we went to explore Baby Beach as a group. As it might sound, it is perfect for kids because of the calm, shallow water. It felt more like a lake than the ocean, it was so sedated. Here the dads built sand tunnels – eventually getting very serious about it and extending one all the way down to the shore – while we walked along the shore and played in the water.
So Much Swimming
Similarly to beach time, pool time is a given when traveling to a tropical destination. There was the great pool steps away from our villa but also a few other pools throughout the property. Of course, the best one was the one with the waterslide. Cam absolutely loved flying down the slide. Every time he splashed into the pool at the end, he immediately exclaimed, “can I do it again?!” We must have done it 20 times in a row. No exaggeration.
Our friends offered to “baby monitor watch” for us so we could go on a date at Duke’s, the restaurant on the hotel property. (Expect Cam wasn’t actually fully asleep when we left so they ended up doing some real babysitting instead; poop diaper change included – thanks, guys!!)
It was great to dress up and go on a proper date with appetizers, a few rounds of mai tais, and fresh fish entrees. We were also lucky with the table we sat at, scoring one right next to the live musical entertainment. Ah, the rum, the breeze, the mellow tunes. Loved it all.
The Maui Butterfly Farm
We adventured out one morning to check out the Maui Butterfly Farm, where we could hold caterpillars and be up close to a bunch of butterflies. This place was on the pricey side but I loved that we actually got to experience butterflies landing on our fingers and hands.
There was a fruit stand next door that looked great to check out for some local noshes but we were approaching naptime so had to hurry back, blasting kidzbop on the way to keep them awake. Nothing says parents of toddlers like vacationing in a minivan listening to the same song on repeat because your kids don’t like anything else. (For those wondering, our hit song was 24 karat magic… “Put your pinky rings up to the MOOOON”)
The Hyatt in Maui
Ok, this was one of my favorite things to do and it was free so, even better! Every morning Hyatt staff members feed the lobby penguins. We went over to watch them waddle around and snack on fish. Then decided to stay and explore the grounds. Strolling beachside, we saw flamingos, ducks, and swans up close. It was so much fun! (Maybe more so for me than Cam…) I highly recommend this if you are looking for something new to do with kids.
Toward the end of our trip, we made it to Monkeypod, a restaurant that came highly recommended by a few friends. Oh, wow. What a hit! I can now confirm they have the best mai tais. Happy Hour was legit. There was a great vibe. And the kids got free noodles and cheese!!
Obviously, we came back the next night too.
We had a blast in Maui. It was the perfect vacation with Cam and our friends. On our last day, as we were packing, it started pouring rain (for the first time during our stay) and I knew the island was crying because we were going home. 😉
Until next time, Maui, Aloha!