Some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, farm-to-table cuisine, Activities galore on both land and water. Today we’re headed to the Hawaiian island of Maui.
The Best Things to Do in Maui
- Overview of the island of Maui (characteristics, regions, etc.)
- Getting there (airport, transportation, inter-island travel tips)
- Activities specific to Maui
- Where to stay?
- Tips for visiting Maui
- Stories from your visits to Maui
Tom Srsich’s Contact Information
Question: What are the best things to do in Maui?
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Episode 75 Transcripts
(Show text is transcribed by artificial intelligence. Some of it is downright funny.)
Ryan: Aloha and welcome to all things travel. Some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, farm-to-table cuisine, activities galore on both land and water. Today, we’re headed to the Hawaiian island of Maui. You’re listening to All Things, Travel episode 75 original air date, October 13th, 2021. Well, Shayne, we’ve got a special guest with us against today.
Shayne: Yes, we do. great
Shayne: too tall Tom.
Ryan: Too Tall Tom, how are you doing Tom?
Tom: Oh, so glad to be back with you guys. This is one.
Ryan: So a couple episodes ago, we had Tom here talking about the big island of Hawaii and one of the other islands that he’s been to, that he brought up was Maui. And I’ve not been to Maui. Has Shane, have you been to.
Shayne: I have not been to Maui.
Ryan: And so I wanted to hear about it. Cause obviously people talk a lot about it and they, and that’s what they think of when they think of the Hawaiian islands.
So we wanted to hear from Tom about his, um, trips to Maui, but before we get to that, Shayne, you’ve got some housekeeping to take care of
Shayne: Yes, I do. Ryan. Let’s get straight to it. Where in the world is All Things Travel? Dateline, Mechanicsville, Virginia,
Shayne: fun city or town. Thank you for listening. Invite us out. And we like a good rooftop bar. We’ll come down and we’ll have a few drinks at the cue rooftop bar
Ryan: I like that, Tom. Will you join us there?
Tom: I certainly will.
Ryan: All right. Sounds good. So last episode, when you were here, Tom, you talked about your various trips to the Hawaiian islands. It sounded like you’ve been there 6, 7, 8 times
Tom: Yeah, yeah. Somewhere around. That is definitely true. We’ve been to Maui, twice,
Ryan: Okay. All right.
Tom: stayed with the Maui a bunch of times where we’ve landed in the airport.
Ryan: Yeah. Very good.
Tom: There’s a nice bar the Maui airpoty.
Ryan: There you go. I mean, that’s all you need. I mean, just pop in for the, for the, the, the bar and say you’ve been there. Although in my family, we have a pretty strong rule, meaning that I say it and nobody pays attention to it. But my rule is, if you’ve just been to an airport, you haven’t been there.
What do you guys think about that? Is that a true statement?
Shayne: Yes. Yeah. That’s, that’s kind of our, yeah. If you have a connection and you’re just, you don’t leave the airport, it doesn’t.
Ryan: So I’ve been to Germany multiple times, but I’ve never been to Germany because I’ve only ever done a connection. I’ve been to Texas multiple times, but I’ve never been to Texas cause I’ve only been in the airport. So that that’s true.
Shayne: I think so. Yeah. Is there a, is there a threshold, like after 10 connections, then you get to say, okay,
I’ve been to
Ryan: I don’t know.
Shayne: I’ve been to Germany. I don’t think so.
Ryan: I think I just need to go there. I seem to think I need to play on trips there.
Shayne: should, we’ll go to Six Flags.
Ryan: What did you do in Texas? I went to Six Flags.
Shayne: Yeah. We’re not doing that.
Tom: It’s always just run to the half brow house for a Germany.
Ryan: There you go. So Tom, give us an overview of Maui. What can I expect from that island? As far as characteristics, regions, things like that.
Tom: So compared to the big island now we is much busier.
Tom: It is a place where you were going to run into tourists. Wherever you go. My times on the, on Maui have been mostly on the south. So I haven’t seen the whole island. We, one time started the road to HANA, which is a
Tom: ride. Got to the town of , which is the very start of it and found a bar that was just wonderful.
Ryan: I’m sensing a theme And, Tom’s conversations here.
Tom: Maui is a good drinking place better than the big island actually.
Ryan: Well, I don’t know. The one you talked about being on the big island, you talked about just laying on the beach all the time. That sounds like a good drinking place to me.
Tom: It is what you have to work for that Jeff, that you have to walk someplace to get a drink,
Ryan: Oh, okay.
Tom: whereas on Maui, there are many people willing.
Ryan: All right. So how am I going to get there? Same as the big island. There’s Lots of direct flights to.
Tom: of direct flights to Maui and Maui flights. Probably there’s probably more flights to now for more different places than there are to the big island.
Ryan: Gotcha. Yeah. As far as inner island. travel, that’s pretty easy. That’s pretty standard.
Tom: Maui is considerably smaller than the big island, so you can get everywhere. In probably an hour.
Tom: You know, if you have a central spoke now, the road to HANA is a, is a full day, dry, narrow, twisty roads. People pull off wherever they dang. Well, please, to hiking. One of the things I didn’t talk about last time is there is no private beaches in.
Tom: there are private property. So you can’t just trudge through somebody’s backyard cause you saw water and that’s a real problem on the road to HANA now is
Ryan: Okay. And I know I’ve stayed at a couple places in Hawaii where the beaches are public. The beach chairs and umbrellas and tables are not considered public. So the resort guests can use those, but the people who are just there for the day are quote, unquote non I are not allowed to use those amenities.
If you will.
Tom: That has caused a wee bit of a problem on Maui, on the north shore of Maui is where the, the Ritz call thin and, the, big name, the big fancy hotels are Waldorf Astoria and. They’ve been putting their beach chairs almost to the water. And some of the locals have been driving by, in big trucks and parking in front of them. And it’s caused a real to-do riff
Ryan: Yeah. Yeah.
Tom: part of the island, which is something that if you’re staying at the Waldorf, Astoria, and you’re going out to you, don’t want to.
Ryan: That, that that’s, that’s not exactly the view that, that that’s not the ocean view that you paid for.
Tom: Right. And so it is, it is a little bit weird now in the south shore of Hawaii, it’s all the hotels line, the beach. And on the boardwalk, there is a 14 hotel, did a two mile span. And so it’s hotel to hotel, to hotel and they all have walkways collect people onto the beach.
And there I found. The hotels were more likely to only put a chair out if a patron wanted a chair.
Ryan: Okay. Yes,
Tom: So you didn’t have any of those kinds of problems, but while we were there, that was what, that was what the newspapers were talking.
Ryan: Okay. Huh. All right.
Shayne: That’s interesting. What kind of activities would you recommend for Maui?
Tom: Maui is great for scuba diving.
Ryan: And you mentioned last episode that you love to see both your wife and you love to scuba dive.
Tom: absolutely. It’s also a beautiful place to snorkel. The big island doesn’t have a beach called. If you are able to buy a beach, I don’t know what a beach culture is
Ryan: Yeah. Yeah.
Tom: come up to the beach and people walk it around in bathing suits and all of that Maui has that in spades. I mean, it is a beach community.
Shayne: Very cool.
Tom: As you, as you drive along, you see big beach parties, you see, A lot of people, taking advantage of the water and taking advantage of things you can do in water. And probably the number one thing to do there is various water activities. Sail, boating, motorboating, all of that is unbelievably popular and people are doing it everywhere.
Also, the surfing is something you see a lot in Maui.
Tom: So if that was something.
Ryan: I know when I’ve done a little bit of research, Maui, you know, farming is actually big on Maui and coffee, coffee farms, and you know, different food culture and things like that. Coming from the farming. I was that part of your experience on Maui.
Tom: The food to table restaurants are phenomenal. And there’s a lot of them all over and that’s a really fun thing to do. If you’re a foodie, you can, you can go foodie on Mac.
Tom: Really easily and found that to be really kind of fun.
Ryan: Cool. Cool. Are there special dishes that are, are particular to Maui or types of food that you would highly recommend?
Tom: The Maui onion is a beautiful
Uh huh. Sure.
Tom: And so, any food with onion on it is a phenomenal, calamari, octopus, an octopus meals are really, really good. And it’s probably not something that you get in real life. Like the calamari that is way different. And you can tell it I’d recently been swinging.
Ryan: Okay. So the road to HANA, what exactly, what exactly would I be experiencing with the road to HANA? Cause we’ve certainly heard about it, but tell us about,
Tom: it’s a mountain pass.
Tom: It’s a two lane road that goes down to one lane quite a bit. And. Touristy thing to do. So on along the road to hunt, and I think it’s about 17 miles and please don’t Sue me when I got that. No bro completely wrong there are dozens of places that you can stop and do things.
And there is commerce for all of that as well. There are restaurants, there are places to go out and see places to grab stuff. And from what I’ve heard, and again, I’ve never done the whole drive. We, we got way late.
Ryan: at that first bar at that verse bar or
Shayne: the first
Tom: You know,
Shayne: I can appreciate that
Tom: At the end of the road to HANA is a beautiful resort and a beautiful beach that most people don’t actually make. And someday that is my goal is to get to that hotel and it’s supposed to be the sunset, the best sunset you’ll have.
Shayne: Well, hopefully the second bar isn’t good enough that
Ryan: I know.
Shayne: blow off the rest of the
Ryan: that the next time he goes, he’ll make it to the second bar and there’ll be like that. Starnet I need to come again.
Tom: Yeah, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a tough place for stuff like that. You know,
Shayne: That must’ve been a really good bar.
Tom: it really was, phenomenal actually, Willie Nelson had been there, so that made a good enough.
Shayne: Okay. Yeah.
Ryan: All right. Okay.
Tom: It turns out that on the, on Maui, Willie Nelson has been everywhere. Like you can’t walk into any place that doesn’t have a Willie Nelson story and at the same stories that you hear in Texas. So I think they just make up the same one.
Ryan: I going to say, D do you think maybe they all got together sometime Shayne at a chamber of commerce meeting or something And said, Hey, you know what, what if we told everybody that Willie Nelson came here a while and everybody hang up a picture of Willie Nelson and come up with a story of Willie Nelson and it’ll be like the Willie Nelson crawl or something around Maui.
Shayne: And there’s a store probably where you can just buy pictures of Willie Nelson photos, and then you can find the right one that looks like your bar or your restaurant. Yeah. And
Tom: Right there. Plus Sammie Hagar has a big restaurant
Ryan: Uh huh.
Tom: One of our favorite ones is Mick Fleetwood. Mic Fleetwood has a bar in a town called Rihanna, which is just gorgeous. It’s a, it’s a seaside, probably a mile and a half that every restaurant has an ocean.
Tom: And, Mick has the best ocean view of the mall and it’s a three-story restaurant and the roof has a sunset ceremony that is as tacky and as horrible as you
Ryan: Uh, huh.
Tom: that to live your life to its fullest.
Ryan: Oh, love it.
Tom: Yeah, there’s tons of he’s there a lot. I, the couple of times we beat Nikki wasn’t there, but there’s so much rock and roll in that building. That’s a really amazing, one of the, really, a fun, fun place to spend an afternoon.
Ryan: Very cool. Very cool. So where would you recommend staying? Are There are there different communities that are. kind of hotspots for resort?
Tom: We’ve stayed primarily on the south shore, kind of poly area, and that is, two to three mile boardwalk that, runs, along the beach. It’s it’s a beautiful place to stay and it is. Chock full of hotels. Just about every brand, every, every name.
We’ve stayed at the westerns there, for the most part and they’re beautiful, lovely hotels. But every hotel has a restaurant and whatnot, and there’s also a bunch of good local restaurants as well in that area. So it’s a very touristy. Area, but it still has a very Hawaiian feel to it. The other shore has the more ritzy
Tom: We’ve been there just to see what it was like and to, to travel around on that part. That has less, that holds a little bit less excitement for them. And then with like where the road to HANA is, has a bunch of open beaches and the hotel brow, the boardwalk is, you know, all of those hotels open onto this.
And so it’s just flat out gorgeous. One of the restaurants that we found there is the Monkey Pod.
Ryan: Oh, Yeah.
I’ve been to the Monkey Pod.
Tom: Yes, you have.
Ryan: Right across the street from a Lonnie.
Tom: Yes, it is. That’s a very, that’s where we found the first one and actually the first one was actually on and on the Maui.
Tom: And, that place is just one of my old time favorites. Their Mai Tai is just to die for
Ryan: it is.
Tom: the little coy full.
Ryan: Yup. Yup, absolutely. I remember, I remember the first time we went there, my wife, my wife, my wife ordered a Mai Tai and the waitress actually said halfway talking to her halfway under her breath. Good girl.
Shayne: That’s funny.
So, Tom, what would be your best tips for someone wanting to visit Maui?
Tom: The first thing you have to know when you visiting Maui is put enough money in your wallet so that you’d have to go to the hospital. If you fell off of it. is not an inexpensive trip.
Ryan: sure. I get it.
Tom: And compared to the big island, it is a different, it’s a different level of expense. It’s unbelievably well, well, well worth it. Right now, we mentioned a little bit on that other show. Reservations are unbelievably important to get into sponsors, to want to.
Ryan: And That’s not just COVID that’s just in general.
Tom: That’s just in general
Ryan: Okay. All right.
Tom: There’s a Mama’s Fish House that I have tried to get into and tried to get into and tried every time we’ve been there. And you really have to make that reservation when you decide to go in,
Shayne: Oh, wow.
Tom: it is supposed to be one of the best fish houses in the world. And so while we were at the hour hotel, some of our new best friends were like, oh, we found the local. And we called and we were able to get a reservation. And so they were able to get a reservation for dinner at three 30 in the afternoon.
Ryan: Yeah. Hey, if that’s what you gotta do, that’s what you got.
Tom: And that this turned out to be a pretty good Pro Tip in Hawaii is that a lot of the reservation services are not necessarily in Hawaii.
Ryan: Uh, oh,
Tom: hit that and.
Ryan: So, So really buddy, up to your concierge at your hotel, if there’s that hard to find thing you want to make sure that you you’ve got the.
Tom: And now during COVID, even that doesn’t help a lot.
Tom: a hotel from one of the famous, restaurant from one of the famous surf surfers Dukes.
Ryan: Yeah, sure.
Tom: We used to be able to get into duke. Just like, do you want to go get a drink at four o’clock you’d walk in. And this last time we were there, you had to be there at 11 o’clock in the morning to have a shot of getting in.
Tom: And so, and it was, again, just, they don’t have enough people working. If a lot of the people, a lot of the, from the hotel staff came back to the mainland, all Jordan COVID and it was, Hawaii was so closed. During COVID that a lot of people just left to find work elsewhere and they haven’t made it back yet.
Ryan: Yeah. Yeah, well, hopefully that will cycle through and as things change, then folks will come back and that will help support the tourist industry even more. So.
Tom: And you have to have the Hawaiian attitude. Like if you came to this place, you go to the next place.
Ryan: And probably that, that next place you’re going to have a really good meal and local flavors too. So.
Tom: Yup. And we found like, Tommy Bahama has the Tommy Bahama restaurants. Well, they opened a new type of restaurant, and the very first one was on Maui, in Lahaina. And nobody was going to that one yet. And now the, as people got used to. And you could see people getting used to what, even while we were there, because we went there pretty early after the, the islands reopened were there in April of this year.
And so we could see which places were reopening quicker and which places, what reopening slower. And so that placement had just opened up. And so people weren’t sure what it was,
Ryan: Yeah. Yeah.
Tom: and that was a great place to. And they have it’s it’s by their outlet mall, which is a hysterical form in a place like.
Shayne: That’s, that’s a surprise right there.
Ryan: you go. Well, other tips for visiting Maui besides make those reservations early and, and map all that out.
Tom: Fabulous place to kind of just get your feet wet at various different things. The scuba diving there is outstanding. There’s a lot of different places you can go to do all sorts of different water fun there. Sail boating is something that you can learn to do there. Surf surfing is something you can learn to do there.
It’s a place to kind of get out of your, your, your shallow
little bit. And try something completely different and completely new. There’s a restaurant area in that two and a half, three miles worth of hotels, that has a giant rock that you can actually jump off into the ocean. I did not do that.
Ryan: Not you didn’t have enough my ties for that. to
Tom: I didn’t miss not enough my
ties for that.
Ryan: All right.
Tom: But you could see people who were not unlike me. you know, taking that as their big chance,
Ryan: there you go. There you
Tom: out in is phenomenal. There you’ll see stuff that the kids see anywhere else.
Ryan: And again, it’s a good place for not only the beginner, but the, but the expert as well.
Tom: Absolutely. And I’ll walk you through and they are great about, Hey, how many times? Okay, we’re going to bring you here. The last time we went to diving was kind of just coming back into business again.
Ryan: Uh, huh?
Tom: And so the, the cruises were definitely more toward, towards the beginner side than the more experienced side.
And still we saw stuff that was just like, wow, this
Ryan: Very cool. Well, this sounds like an amazing island to visit. Absolutely.
Tom: Yeah, the shopping is phenomenal. This is more, absolutely more vacation. The stuff, that island is, they have things set up for your vacation to do vacation things.
Tom: One of the
things was a cocktail Creech, and it was with this, sailboat company. And I do like my, sunset cruises and their idea behind their cruise was it was slightly less expensive to get on the boat, but then they charged you for drinks and for food.
Ryan: So it costs more to get off the boat than it did to get on the boat.
Tom: And so we weren’t, we weren’t like, I’m like, well, I don’t know if I want to do that because I’d rather have the open bar. And then we talked to somebody that we had met there and they were like, no, you have to do hula girl because it’s the best cruise. Cause everybody’s not on that boat just to get slosh.
Tom: And the people who run that cruise run a great cruise. You’ll be out for three and a half hours. And you’ll actually be on a sailboat that sailing, not a sailboat with a motor.
Ryan: Uh huh.
Tom: And they’ll talk to you about what they’re doing. They’ll let you help. And the drinks are reasonable. The food is unbelievably reasonable.
And so you’ll end up paying just a little bit more
Ryan: Uh, huh,
Tom: than you did on the all you can drink all you can eat boat, but you’re going to get really good food and you’re going to get really good drinks
Ryan: that’s a great tip. Remind us of that company. And you said Hula girl, Hula Girl.
Ryan: and. where do they sail out?
Ryan: Okay, great. Great. Well, Tom, thank You so much for joining us again and making us jealous about all of your, Hawaiian adventures, man. I, I want to get over to the Hawaiian island. ASAP after hearing about all these things, what is your next vacation on the books?
Tom: We are heading to Greece,
Tom: Cruise to the Greek Isles.
Ryan: Very good. Very good. Well, maybe the, episodes that Mike and I shared a few episodes ago might help you out.
Tom: Those were wonderful. And I can’t wait to try to re step some of your staff.
Ryan: Well, Hey, too tall, Tom. If people want to reach out to you and talk about Hawaii and talk about their vacation plans, how can they do that?
Tom: And all of the same places that we had before, again, travelwith2talltom.com, as a website, www.travelwith2talltom.com. It’s the number two, not the word two. And, that’s a good place to find out about what I’m up to. And my, my, all my blogs on the various trips we take and other stuff that interests me and then also tom AT CreatingMagicVacations.com is another way to get in touch with me. And, I love the islands of Hawaii, so I would love to help folks have, the vacation of their dreams.
Ryan: That’s awesome. Thank you so much, Tom.
Tom: Oh, absolutely. Oh yeah. One thing I have to say before we go
Ryan: Sure. Absolutely.
Tom: to shave ice
Ryan: Oh, ah, oh yeah.
Tom: is to die for.
Ryan: you’re thinking snowcones, you’re thinking.
Tom: There’s a place shave ice that’s right by mick Fleetwood’s restaurant and it is the best advice that you will ever have and you have to get it spiked with ice cream
Tom: and they put a little piece of ice cream in it and you will never eat anything else. Again, you go to sleep and you’re like, I need to have more of that.
I just, I just think of that.
Shayne: That sounds great. I’ll be sure. And put a link to your contact information and to your blog because your blog’s really good. I highly recommend you read Tom’s blog. And we would love to help you plan your next amazing Hawaiian or Greek vacation. Ryan and I are both travel advisors with Creating Magic Vacations.
And you can reach out to Ryan at Ryan R Y A N AT CreatingMagicVacations.com or. At Shayne S H A Y N E AT CreatingMagicVacations.com And remember it is our job to make you the vacation planning superhero.