My husband and I will be on Maui in October. Spending few nights Lahaina, couple nights Kihei. Our priority is deep sea fishing - suggestions for a captain or charter company? Also considering ziplining, helicopter tour, rent a beater local Jeep to go to Hana. Suggestions for good local eating? We want to avoid typical touristy spots, want nothing to do with a tour bus and don't want to sit through a torchlight luau dinner show. We don't golf or scuba dive, but kayaking would be okay - though have been warned of sharks that time of year? We have both just turned 50 so want to have fun but at a relaxing pace. Did I mention the priority of good local eats?
Gannon's Restaurant, 100 Wailea Golf Club Dr. Wailea is the best restaurant with the most amazing view on the island. Their French toast for breakfast is the best. The view is so beautiful, you just want to linger. The service
Mama's Fish House Restaurant in Paia is also an experience not to be missed. You are right on the ocean. The fish is wonderful.
Pacific Whale Foundation can't be beat for anything they offer. I would check with them as far as deep sea fishing.
Don't miss the sunsets.
Keawakapu Beach is the best. Right around 6, people begin to gather to celebrate the setting sun. It is moving.
One more restaurant I loved was
Buzz's Wharf on Maalaea Bay. The desserts and drinks are so good that you almost have to share an entree.
Mentioned in this answer:
Kimo's is a great seafood and steak restaurant in Lahaina. Being that it's right on the water, it's very popular for sunset. Make sure to leave room for the Hula pie!
If you're looking for a quick bite for lunch in Lahaina, Ba-Le Vietnamese Food is a good choice. It's in the Lahaina Cannery Mall Food Court and offers French/Vietnamese. I went back several times for their Lemongrass Chicken Sandwich, it was addictive. There is also a Ba-le location at a strip mall in Kihei.
If you are interested in healthy, organic foods and smoothies try Choice Health Bar in Lahaina for breakfast/lunch. Hours are 8am-4pm.
For Mediterranean Cuisine, Bistro Casanova is a great choice in Kahului.
Café des Amis in Paia for Mediterranean and Indian Cuisine including sweet and savoury crepes, curries, and salads. They serve pure fruit smoothies and coffee and have Happy Hour every afternoon between 4 and 6 - All Beers, Wines by the Glass and Cocktails Half Price.
Paia Bay Coffee is a great little coffee shop for breakfast. It's popular and gets quite busy. It's one of the first places on the left when you drive into town coming from Kahului. Their parking lot is small, but just past it on the right is a large public lot.
Milagros Food Company is a gourmet Southwest food and Tequila Bar in Paia. I really enjoyed the Blacked MahiMahi Tacos.
After eating at Milagros, we crossed the street for dessert at Ono Gelato Company in Paia.
It sounds like you're planning on doing Hana as a day trip. It would be best to start very early, as the drive time alone from Kihei and back is 4 1/2 hours. The speed limits in Maui are lower than you might expect. 55 mph is the fastest speed limit on the island and it is not on the Road to Hana. The limit goes down to 10 and 15 mph quite often because of the many curves and one-lane bridges where you need to yield. It is mostly paved, except for a short section on the south side which is graded and graveled. The entire road is perfectly navigable with any vehicle as long as there isn't extreme weather, in which case the road will likely be closed. There can potentially be small rockfalls anywhere along the road. I drove it twice with regular rental cars, and a beater jeep isn't necessary. Rental car companies will tell you that you're on your own if something happens (and you need a tow for example), but it shouldn't void your contract. If you decide to rent a vehicle just for that drive, I would suggest you rent it the night before, so that you can get a really early start, and not get held up at a rental office.
Hana doesn't have that many dining options but you'll most likely only be looking for a lunch spot. You will come to Nahiku Marketplace (a row of food vendors, an art gallery and a coffee place) before the 29 Mile Marker on the left. My Thai is a good option there, but it isn't always open.
The black sand beach at Wai'anapanapa State Park is worth a stop. There is also a very nice coastline of lava rock to explore here. The turnoff to this park is just before you get into Hana and easy to miss if you're not paying attention.
In Hana, Hana Fresh is a nice option for lunch, especially if you are into healthy, organic foods and smoothies. They also serve coffee. This place is set up outdoors under a couple of large tents in front of the Health Department. One tent is the food service area, the other has about a dozen picnic tables.
After Hana, you will come to Haleakalā National Park where the Seven Sacred Pools (also known as ʻOheʻo Gulch) are located. It's a short walk from the parking lot and Visitor Center and many people take a dip here. The pools are prone to flash flooding in heavy rains and I witnessed this on one of my trips in early January. It was fascinating to see, and almost unbelievable in comparison to the tranquility that those pools more often have.
If you swim in fresh water on Maui or any of the Hawaiian Islands, keep in mind that Leptospirosis: http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/ is a potential risk. There have been a few rare cases where people have contracted this disease in Hawaii and died from it - most likely due to lack of information and symptoms that aren't necessarily severe. To be safe, avoid going swimming or wading in fresh water if you have open cuts. The bacteria enter the body through cuts or abrasions on the skin, or through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes. I asked a ranger at Ohe'o Gulch about leptospirosis and she said she didn't know of a case that happened there, but it could potentially happen. She doesn't go in. I went for a dip there about a week after the flooding and felt pretty safe as I figured any bacteria would have been flushed out, but I didn't put my head under the water.
A REALLY nice hike starts from the same parking lot in the national park: the Pipiwai Trail. Also very popular, and very worthwhile, if you have the time. It is 4 miles roundtrip with 650 ft elevation gain. Some highlights on the trail are an enormous banyan tree, waterfalls, and a bamboo forest. The trail ends at Waimoku Falls and you return the same way.
It would be best to plan your day well, as driving the Hana Road back in the dark won't be much fun.
I have a limited number of photos of my recent trip to Hawaii posted on my Facebook page. They are in a public album, so as long as you have a Facebook account, you can check them out:
Mentioned in this answer: