Travel With Photographers: Jennifer Gentry

Travel With Photographers: Jennifer Gentry

We recently visited Maui, my favorite Hawaiian Island. It offers the perfect mix of people, city life, and the natural outdoors. We flew, of course, and it takes just about a full day of travel, from almost anywhere in the continental states. Hawaii has a big time difference so it’s smart to plan to avoid jet lag. I like to set my arrival time in Maui to around 9:00 p.m. island time, that way it’s easier to fall asleep when you get to your hotel.

We stayed in Kaanapali – at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas.  It’s an amazing resort, but really, most resorts in Maui are fantastic. It has a few pools, a fun pirate ship water playground for kids, a beach front location, of course, and fun waterslides at the pool. That is where our son spent most of his time, up and down, up and down!

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Maui has so much to offer, but I recommend picking about 5 your favorite outings and then spend some time at that fancy resort you are paying for! This makes for an exciting, yet relaxing trip. My favorite day trip is combining the Nakalele Blowhole & Honolua Bay – leave after breakfast, pack a picnic lunch and snacks, and you’ll get to travel around the island a little too! The blowhole isn’t a long hike, but definitely wear tennis shoes, there is some rough terrain climbing. Our son, 9, loved all the rocks to climb and all the creatures around the blowhole. After hiking back up, you can take in the view, and then head to Honolua Bay. The Bay has great snorkeling and the walk there is on a beaten path through a tropical jungle. A warning though, the path leads right to the water where there isn’t a beach, just various shaded rock areas. We snorkeled the entire time we were there in the nice gentle water, which is great for kids, or first time snorkelers.  

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Road to Hana
– everyone has heard of it, right? It’s definitely famous, and it’s quite a drive! If you want to make it all the way to the end (seven sacred pools, and bamboo forest) you’ll want to plan a full day, and make plenty of stops. There are hidden gems all along the Road to Hana- if you see a pack of cars pulled over, add one more to the makeshift parking lot and stretch your legs while exploring. Try not to hold your breath over the scary bridges and through the very narrow streets; honk that horn if you’re going around a blind corner. Getting to the end is so worth it, the seven sacred pools are marvelous and the hike through the area is simply gorgeous. Bring car snacks, a packed lunch, and all your hiking/swimming gear for this trip.

Another wonderful day trip is Black Rock. A free trolley runs along all the resorts in Ka’anapali so it’s easy to hop on anywhere along it’s path at almost anytime. Black Rock is the spot for cliff jumping along a perfect, soft sand beach with excellent snorkeling. Whalers Village is perfect to add to that day as well – Hula Grill has feet in the sand seating, live music for happy hour, and a top notch Mai Tai! Another must is Front Street in Lahaina! The street is filled with people, lights, lots of music, fun, shopping and pretty sunsets!

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Maui is also a hiker’s paradise. I recommend taking a day to choose one you would enjoy. An easy hike is
Iao Valley State Park and if you’re looking for a more difficult experience, check out Waihee Ridge.

Lastly, I would suggest a sunset Luau. We chose the Luau at the Sheraton, but they are offered at most resorts. Included is a delicious buffet, great drinks, traditional Hawaiian games, a pig roast, black rock cliff jumpers, and fun Hawaiian music and dance with fire.

Eats: Slappy Cakes is such a fun breakfast spot for every age, uh-mazing pizza at Flatbread Company in Paia, and delish Mexican at Fred’s!  And you can’t leave the island without getting a little dressed up for Duke’s Beach House and Hula Pie!

Aloha, and happy traveling!

___

JENNIFER-GENTRY-BIOAloha!  My name is Jen and I run Mesmerizing Moments – Photography & Design. I live in (and love!) Austin, Texas, and I have been a photographer for 9 years now! I am horrible at keeping up with my blog, I always promise to be better, but you can find me posting often on Instagram - @jen_gen_  I’m a mom, a wife, a lover of swimming, and all things design, and I use “haha” way too often, you’ll see…

To view more of Jen's work, visit her here.

 




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