By in Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition
Hike Views on the Lahaina Trail – Photo By Jeff Williams – JJW Photography

 

If you’re heading to Hawaii there is no better island than Maui. I might be biased because I’ve only been there and Oahu a few times.

This year, we took 14 days to explore the island and chill out. I was supposed to be mid-prep for a June show and was stressing out over how to balance hard work and play – then I pushed off competing until winter (has it even left us yet?) so I could relax more about my food.

We are lucky to have a close friend with a condo in Kihei (thanks Mark & Vanessa) so we scored a great ground level, ocean view 2 bedroom unit right on S. Kihei road at The Maui Banyan.

Fully equipped kitchen & outdoor BBQ facilities – YES. As well as 2 pools, 2 hot tubs and the sound of the ocean to put you to sleep – pinch me.

Though I wasn’t on prep for a show I still wanted to make sure that I stayed (mostly) on track so, as usual I found a gym to train at while away as well. The Maui Powerhouse is the only gym I would go to on this part of the island. It was biking/driving distance away from us and amazing. There are more details & links below.

Have a great time on the island ~ do your best to enjoy all the fresh food & drinks. Practice Aloha!

Here we go!

First stop ~ Fork & Salad

Refreshing, light & full of options. They have tofu as an adder so you can create pretty much whatever you like. This place is owned by the people at Three’s (see below).

Second stop – Maui Powerhouse Gym

SUCH a great gym. I cannot say enough about this spot. We trained all but 1 day while here, every morning and it was perfect. Kind of sad to be leaving this one behind because there wasn’t too much fighting over equipment and the ownership is great. Good location with lots of parking and right next to Fork & Salad as well as a coffee shop and a bunch of other infrastructure.

How to eat like a Vegan on Maui

If you want to eat, you’re going to need to stop by these places to at least try something out. As a vegan it can be tough to eat anywhere on the island if you’re not in the know.

I hit up Vegan on Maui on Facebook to ask the group for ideas before I left as the last trip to the island a few years back wasn’t as successful.

Kihei: 

Three’s 

They have tofu first of all, so this will make it easier on you to add some protein to dishes and modify. I had the Kale salad, sans cheese. Jeff had a rice/curry dish and added tofu as well. WIN. The space is nice, we sat outside and their Lime & Coconut drink is TDF (to die for).

Hawaiian Moons

Most of our trip we prepared our own meals at the condo. This is the BEST place for all things vegan and healthy. This is NOT the best place for saving cash on foodstuffs so beware. They also have a food bar where they make smoothies, açai bowls, pitaya bowls, sandwiches and salads etc… expensive but nutritious and clean.

Freds

Ugh, this place is THE WORST but I’m mentioning it because they did accommodate us UNLIKE upstairs at Moose McGillicuddy’s where the staff is aloof and the menu options are next to none. 

We shared vegetarian fajitas and the beach view which was really the only reason we went back here – we were there in 2014 and disliked it then as well.

Rice & refried beans are NOT cruelty free but they do have black beans and white riced which are. Found out after that the vegetables were cooked in butter (not oil) and felt ILL – I’m not sure they have a non-butter option.

Other: 

Mentioned by my non-vegan folks: Tiki Bar {Pizza} – my parents noted that the menu said vegan options available but weren’t sure exactly what the options were.

Lahaina: 

Baya Bowls

Great little Food Truck located just a couple of blocks off of Front Street. They appear on Yelp as well as google searches.

Captain Jacks

We only had a couple of drinks on the lanai and people watched from this spot BUT the waitress did let us know that all of the sauces were vegan & that they had Beyond Burgers.

Kaanapali: 

A’a Roots

This was a suggestion from the Vegan on Maui FB group (closed group). It was sort of worth the drive from Kihei (under 20 miles) but, it was pretty outrageously priced (as is everything in Hawaii). Service was quick and they had a lot of “to go” options as well. Lots of Raw vegan, juices, desserts etc…

Kula:

O’o Farm

This was a return trip for us this year. They added tofu to their luncheon menu which was not the case a few years back. Imagine traveling up country into the clouds, eating unripened coffee fruit, touring beautiful gardens and foraging for your own lunch with the  rest of the guests!!

It’s a great way to spend a few hours & to support a sustainable practice. The owners are from Quebec City and Montreal (didn’t know that before) and they also own a restaurant in Lahaina as well as a Luau which is always packed. It’s the “Feast at Lele” and was booked for weeks in advance. Call ahead to pick the luau you really want to attend.

Paia:

Mana Foods

Grocery store with a hot/cold food buffet section. Very hippie, very organic, very GMO free…lots of choices. Not entirely vegan but you cannot find any crappy food here. It’s a great pit stop on the way to Ho’okipa beach to see the turtles sunning themselves and catch some surf.

Cafe Mambo

Meh. They had tofu & lettuce and it wasn’t over the top priced or entirely disgusting however, the service was aloof at best. I’d rather pack a picnic lunch from Mana and skip the crowded streets of Paia all together.

Activities: 

Kihei/Wailea/Anywhere: 

Luau ~ we went to the Grand Luau in Wailea and were almost tricked into it because the name had changed! I think this one is “ok” and hosted by the Waldorf Astoria. I really wish I would’ve gotten to the Feast at Lele (see above). They had about 4 vegan options there which was ok….but it’s a lot of salads at best. Vegetarians & pescatarians would do better here.

Boogie Boarding ~ nearly free if your room comes equipped with one! We picked up a used board at a garage sale in Lahaina as well. Stores sell these things everywhere but they’re a bit over the top (sensing a theme here??). Most beaches are naturally equipped with shore break however, the lifeguards will advise when it’s not safe to swim. Places like Big Beach in Makena State Park have neck breaking shore break that have killed – be careful.

Surfing ~ again, you can rent or get lessons. I’ve surfed in Kaanapali and Kihei where there are rentals and lessons abounding. Best times are early morning but the water is FULL of people – be prepared that at smaller breaks there are beginners and a lot of traffic.

Walks ~ sidewalks in Maui are all in great repair. You can walk the beaches (which have lava rock pouring out to sea), sidewalks and ocean front paths in front of most hotels and resorts.

Beaches ~ no limits here. Makena State Park has a tonne – even nude ones! Imagine the shoreline as your oyster, bring a typical “Tommy Bahama Beach Chair & Umbrella” and hunker down pretty much anywhere for the day. There are many pullouts along the highways that allow for picnics, surfing, boogey boarding etc…even camping!

Bike ~There are a lot of cool places to ride bikes by the seaside and bike paths are plentiful. There are sweet Electra cruisers and more!

Snorkel ~ with $10 per day rentals on all the gear you need you must snorkel and see all the beautiful fish. Just be sure you do not wear too much of your sunblock (opt for a shirt) which damages reefs/fish habitat. We rented from Boss Frogs in Kihei. Also, be sure to check for shark closures – real & can throw a wrench in your day if you pull up to a beach that’s closed.

Hike ~ We completed one HOT hike between Kihei and Lahaina The Lahaina Pali Trail with a goal for reaching the wind turbines and the views. The return trip is about 10 miles. We drove to the trailhead on Lahaina-side and did 50% of the hike to the Turbines and back. Great views – bring good shoes!

Lahaina: 

Walk ~ Front street is the typical spot to walk and look in all the shops. There are a few other side streets you could hit for Shave Ice, surfboard rentals and even Harley bikes!

Art~ Peter Lik & more have claimed a storefront here now. Hawaii has been taken over by photo prints placed on metal. It’s kind of nauseating after a while and Front street is definitely a tourist trap for Cruise goers let out on their usual 2 hours from the ship (sad sad sad)….I’d really do it once and forget about it. There is also glass blowing and if you head to the big Banyan Tree, you might see some handcrafted pieces by the artists themselves.

Food trucks ~ Vegan, tacos, fish and more. You need to try some of this and get away from the VERY over priced commercial mess of front street OR go enjoy the views from Cheeseburger in Paradise…just skip the meat!

Paia:

Walk ~ the crowded streets looking at overpriced nicknacks.

Ho’okipa Beach ~ beautiful turtles, washrooms, showers, big surf. It’s a great place to catch some rays and relax next to some seriously big waves at times.

Roadtrips: 

Road to Hana – First of all if you’re going to do this one you need to download Shaka Guides . 

This $7 app will take you all the way around the trip pointing out everything you’ll want to know and allowing you to skip things you don’t want to see. We chose to do the road in a full circle and I think that you should too.

To be honest, there are some great sites but we were moving in a car so I didn’t get many shots at all hence these poorly uploaded blurry images of what could be water AND some power lines.

If you’ve ever seen massive waterfalls in other countries/places you might be underwhelmed. Being from Vancouver, not one of the sites was epic – sorry to ruin your day. Also, IMHO, spending 8 hours on this trip is kind of a waste. If you’re around at a particularly dry time, you will not see much water at all. Plan to check up on this.

Black sand beaches are just that. Black sand. They are a limited edition so its a good idea to see them before they are gone however, do not be expecting to have your boobs knocked off by them. Sorry. You can see them at the Waianapanapa State Park.

7 pools is a TOTAL BUST. Do NOT do this, honestly. Unless you are going to go up to the Haleakala Crater for sunrise or sunset, then you can use the $25 admission twice – within a 72 hour period.

My FAVE stop was Coconut Glen’s on the Road to Hana. VEGAN ice cream stop with wild chickens, kittens and really groovy, colourful decor. Totally off plan, totally worth it at just past the halfway mark! Bring cash on this journey because there are a lot of food stops that are cash only. Fruit stands, banana bread stands, coconut water etc….don’t miss out because you relied on plastic!



Hana~ Meh, we were here on a Sunday and there was literally nothing to see ~ sorry I cannot be help. There is a red sand beach that can be hunted down but we didn’t do it. If you’ve got bank, fly into the Hana airport from Kapalui and stay the night at the Travaasa Hotel for a night or two.

Kaupo ~ Desert land appears and so do the cliffs! There is one token stop at an old shop here. The Kaupo Store. If you cannot afford to take a chopper around the island (I’ve done it once with Blue Hawaiian and it’s worth EVERY penny) you can see some cool Lava Tubes & cliffs here for FREE.

Maui Winery ~ stop here. Do a tasting or three and play a round of cornhole under some seriously huge trees. Such a nice treat at the end of a long drive. We did one flight of wine and enjoyed the grounds. There are washrooms here as well – you’ll need them!

O’o Farm ~ I cannot brag more than I have already. Enjoy this place & learn about coffee roasting in their roastary. BYO bottle of wine to have with lunch as well as some warmer clothes in case the clouds roll in – which they do. You will need reservations so call ahead!

Wrapping it up

There are SO many more things that I have done on this island but just cannot remember so, if you have any questions, feel free to post them here and I’ll do my best to answer them all.

My greatest joy this trip (almost) was finally committing to playing the Ukulele ~ got my very own!

Happy (cruelty free) travels.

xx

S

Photography by Jeff Williams ~ check out his instagram page/work here: @PIXBURGHER

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