Maui Travel Guide: Part 1

While on our honeymoon to Hawaii we visited Oahu and Maui {more on Oahu here and here}.  Our first stop in Maui was Paia on  the quiet north shore. This area is totally different than Waikiki. It is quiet, eclectic and filled with its own personality. Tons of small shops, restaurants and live music. We learned that Paia is the place of choice for Maui locals to visit partly because it is not as popular with tourists.

In Paia we stayed at the Paia Inn which is right in the heart of the town. Every inch of the Inn was full of character. The Inn has a spa, restaurant and private beach, which may have been my favorite beach of the entire trip. It was so quiet and peaceful. Most of the time we where there we had the beach to ourselves. We did not take advantage of the spa {although we should have on one of the rainy days}, but I can fully attest to the breakfast menu at the restaurant. Plenty of gluten-free options and creamy avocado toast! 

PaiaMaui
Maui Paia
Paia Inn

Things to Do

Although we only made only made it to the first stop of the Road to Hana, I think Paia would be a good area to stay in if traveling the Hana Highway is something you are considering. On the Road to Hana we visited the Twin River Falls. It was a really rainy afternoon when we ventured out {in our comfy Ford Edge} which made the it feel like even more of an adventure. Once we got to the park, I felt like I stepped into Jurassic Park. 

One of our favorite memories from Maui was the O’O Farm Coffee and Breakfast Tour. The coffee and vegetable farm is location in “Up Country,” about 30 minutes from Paia. I would suggest wearing sneakers, a hat, SPF and bringing water and a light sweatshirt. The weather in this area was a little different than the weather on the coast. The tour also starts pretty early, so I was happy to have my sweatshirt {I was wearing shorts} at the start of the tour. I would also recommend eating a small breakfast or snack before the tour. You will be on the tour for hours before breakfast is severed. There was  quite a bit of coffee provided for tastings, which didn’t sit so well with my tummy by the time we left. 

We were able to sample a couple different varieties of coffee to start the tour. This was the first time I was ever able to drink black coffee. Interestingly enough, we learned that all coffee should be able to be enjoyed without cream or sugar. It was really interesting to see the coffee bean life cycle from the tree to the roasting machines. We were even able to bring home a bag of freshly roasted beans that we watch roast.

On this tour we learned about the farming of coffee and organic vegetables that are sourced to the Farm’s local restaurant, Pacific’o. Our tour guide, who was actually one of the farmers, lead the group around the farm educating us on all of the vegetables and their business. We learned that the vegetables that are harvested each morning make their way to the restaurant by mid-afternoon. The veggies are only touched by a few hands before they make their way to the plate. Truly a farm-to-table business!

The tour ended with a breakfast cooked on site by one of O’O Farm’s Chefs. They have a huge outdoor brick oven where the meals are prepared. Around that area there are beautiful long, wood tables for set the guests. We had a frittata with farm fresh veggies and of course, coffee.

Where to Eat Gluten-Free

The Paia Inn

Great spot for lunch and breakfast. Loved their avocado gluten-free toast topped off with an egg.

Maui Brewing Company

Although they do not have gluten-free beer, they had plenty of other GF beverages to chose from. My husband is a big craft beer fan, so this was a must see on our visit.

Cow Pig Bun

I had THE. BEST. BURGER. of my life at Cow Pig Bun. No exaggeration! It was absolutely delicious, complete with a GF bun.

Flatbread Company

Located a few store fronts from the Paia Inn, there were many GF flatbreads to choose from. We enjoyed it so much, that we went here twice.

Paia Bay Coffee & Bar

Although it is not the most GF conscience, they do have GF options on their menu. It is a nice little spot to for happy hour, drinks and live music.

Charley’s Restaurant and Saloon

Charley’s is a large, casual bar with live music and GF french fries! Great place for bigger crowd and if you’re looking for a very easy going night.

Next up, our stay in Wailea! Check back soon. For easy access to my gluten-free travel posts and travel plans, be sure to follow me on Pinterest!

Waikiki Travel Guide Part 2 | Gluten-Free

Welcome back! In this blog I will continue to share our honeymoon to Hawaii along with all my gluten-free finds. If this is your first time here, welcome! Red Rose and Honey is a place where readers can find easy to follow gluten-free recipes and travel recommendations, along with other tidbits of my life, like wedding planning and our goldendoodle. Also, be sure to check out my previous blog posts on Hawaii {here and here}.

As I mentioned previous posts, we loved our trip to Hawaii. We felt like we were transported through time to a magical island. The weather was great and we enjoyed every second. There were plenty of gluten-free options in the areas we stayed, but not many of them were advertised on websites or online menus. Hopefully this post helps those of you looking for gluten-free while you plan a Hawaii trip!

When we go on vacation, we try to keep breakfast simple most days. If possible, we will stock up on milk, cereal and bananas if our room has a mini fridge. But, of course that can get a little dull and this was our honeymoon, so we were on the hunt for a good breakfast spot. A few of the mornings we spent in the Honolulu area we went to 24/7 Mac. It is located in the Hilton Hotel. They have a lot of gluten-free options including pancakes and english muffins. I tried their eggs, an english muffin and mochi pancakes. I recommend opting for the half stack of mochi pancakes because they’re huge and super filling!

Tiki’s Grill in Waikiki was a great casual and family friendly restaurant. It is on the larger side, so it can accommodate large groups and strollers. We chose to check out this restaurant for dinner because of the gluten-free menu options and view of Waikiki Beach. Anytime I can dine in a good outdoor seating venue, I’m in! As for the menu itself, not all choices can be prepared gluten-free, but I still felt there were plenty of options to choose from. I went with ribs, but was careful to ask about the side of fries. The fries are not gluten-free as they are cross-contaminated in the fryer. I have to give bonus points for Tiki’s because they offered my favorite prosecco, LaMarca. While we were waiting for our table we saw an actor from Breaking Bad, which quickly became a fun memory from this trip.

For my birthday dinner we made a reservation at the Tommy Bahama Restaurant. It has great rooftop seating with fire pits and a view of Kalakaua Avenue. This was probably one of my favorite meals of the entire trip. Tommy Bahama even offers a separate gluten-free menu. The staff was very aware of gluten-free options and they are able to change some of the meals to make them gluten-free. We started with {the best} guacamole and salsa. Instead of chips, it came with sliced cucumbers. I’m not kidding when I say that this was seriously the best guacamole I’ve ever had. For dinner I went with filet mignon and a mojito – my vacation drink of choice.

Check back soon for Part 3 and all about our time on Maui!

Waikiki Travel Guide Part 1 | Gluten-Free

Welcome back! In this blog, I am sharing Part 1 of my Waikiki Travel Guide: Where to eat, stay and play! If you are traveling to the Waikiki area, I would recommend keeping in mind that it is crowded, but there is a lot to do. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, we rented a car which made it much easier to explore the surrounding area. We definitely could have seen more while we were there, but our time on Oahu was a good mix of relaxation and adventure.

While on Oahu we spent one morning hiking the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. This trail features a newly paved, extra wide path which makes this hike very walkable.  However, I think I would consider it to be an intermediate hike. It was pretty long and at times it was also steep, but I saw people of all ages, shapes and sizes along the trail. Little dogs too! I would recommend bringing water, SPF, a hat and wearing comfortable sneakers. The views from this trail were amazing. The earlier you can start, the better, because the parking areas fill up and can add additional walking to your hike.

After the hike we went to Kona Brewery for lunch. The restaurant and brewery are located on a marina which offered a nice breeze after our long hike. I also love anywhere with outdoor seating on the water. Kona’s menu has great gluten-free options, so I highly recommend it if you’re looking for GF dining. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about gluten allergies and even let me know they don’t fry any of their food. I got a gluten-free beer and a GIANT platter with nachos with chicken. I wish I could go to this place every week! My non-GF husband also enjoyed his lunch and trying out new Kona beers {some of which were only available in Hawaii}.

Pearl Harbor was a must-see for us while in Hawaii. My husband is a big history buff, so he was extra excited for this tour. Unfortunately, the USS Arizona memorial was undergoing repairs while we were visiting, so we were only able to take a boat ride around the memorial. The boat ride alone was enough to bring me to tears. After touring the memorial, we make our way to the Laniakea Beach area. We stopped at the North Shore Tacos food truck which had gluten-free options and did their best to prevent cross contamination. I was definitely nervous about trying a food truck, but it was delicious and I didn’t get sick. I found this food truck through findmeglutenfree.com and looked at recent comments. The fresh salsa was one of the best I’ve ever had and we loved the chicken tacos. After lunch we headed over to a quiet beach area where we saw tons of huge sea turtles! My husband told me that we weren’t too far from the beach where scenes of the show LOST was filmed.

Kalakaua Avenue is the main street running through Waikiki along the beach. It is filled with stores, restaurants and lots of people. On Kalakaua you will find tons of high end stores and a few shopping malls. Within one of the mall-like areas, we found Flour & Barley where we stopped for lunch. This restaurant has a lot of gluten-free options on the menu. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu, gluten concerns and was overall very attentive. Mike and I both opted for pizza. I went with the gluten-free Sicilian style pizza with veggies. It was a good lunch {didn’t knock our socks off}, but in all honesty, it was very overpriced, even for Waikiki — $4 watered down ginger ale and $10 beers. Still a good options for GF eaters though.

Check back soon for Part 2!