Travel With Photographers: Jody Atkinson

Last year my husband Travis and I traveled to Maui...  Twice! Admittedly Hawaii had never been on my list of must see places to visit. Instead, my list is full of European destinations. But after some coaxing from my husband, who has been to the islands and loves Hawaii, I finally caved. Our first visit was in January. We loved it so much that we went back in September and have a trip booked for this coming November!
We were both in need of some R&R, but still love those late and long dinners which is why we chose Maui! We stayed at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, famed for being Hawaii's most Hawaiian hotel.  This hotel is a bit older but super charming, has a great location right on Ka'anapali beach and next to Whaler's Village and in my opinion has the best piña coladas on the island (and I’ve tried MANY)! 
There’s an unlimited amount to see and do in Maui so we picked a few things and then relaxed on the beach for the rest of our time. Our favorite things we did:
  1. Old Lahaina Luau.  This luau had great entertainment, yummy food and unlimited drinks.  It's in a great location right on the shore in Lahaina.  I would definitely check this out if you are wanting a fun Luau experience! 
  1. Captain's Sunset Dinner Sail through Trilogy. This little cruise was so much fun.  The staff are funny, friendly and informative. Because we were visiting during winter, our cruise pretty much turned into a whale watching tour since all of the whales were in the area! It was an amazing experience to be eating dinner with gorgeous sunset views and giant whales jumping all around you. 
  1. The Road to Hana.  What's a trip to Maui without exploring the Road to Hana!? Our experience was a bit of a flop unfortunately. We got a late start and were not expecting the stops to be mostly hidden from view and pop out of nowhere so we missed many of them.  We stopped at Twin Falls to enjoy a short hike, dip in the water and fresh coconut water. Afterwards we made our way further up and stopped at Wai'anapanapa State Park where the black sand beach is. My tip is if you decide to make this trip on your visit, leave very early (like 7 am)! And download the Gypsy App before you go. It’s a tour app that not only tells you about the different stops, but tells you where they are! We definitely wished we had the app before going on our trip.
Now, onto food… My husband and I LOVE food so we spent quite a lot of time dining out and had some amazing experiences.
Our favorites are:
Merrimans: The location of this restaurant is unreal. It has the most beautiful views and is next to Kapalua Bay Beach, one of our favorite spots, where you can enjoy sunbathing, snorkeling, and paddle boarding.  Merrimans has a Sunday Brunch with the best Bloody Marys! 
Mama's Fish House:  We loved the vibe of this open air restaurant. Make reservations either early or late so that you can catch the sunset before or after dinner on their private beach. 
Fleetwood’s on Front St.:  Owned by Mick Fleetwood. This restaurant regularly has live entertainment and music so it is a perfect place to have dinner, watch the sunset and stay for drinks. Make sure to eat upstairs on the rooftop so you have great sunset views. 
Hula Grill: Totally a touristy restaurant in Whalers Village but we loved this little spot.  It is a great place to grab a cold beer and fish tacos in between sunbathing and swimming at Ka'anapali beach.
My Essential Maui Travel Items:
  • sunscreen!
  • hat
  • portable music box
  • beach towel
  • portable ice chest or cooler
  • inflatable raft for floating in Kapalua Bay
I can not wait for our next trip in a few months to this beautiful Island!!!!
migrated_201510192458_04_medium.jpgv1496764194Jody Atkinson is a hybrid photographer in Central California specializing in Weddings & Senior Portraits.  She and her husband share a love for travel and are always planning their next adventure!

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