Maui Travel Guide: Part 2

Are you thinking of traveling to Maui? If the answer to that question is yes, then you’re in the right place. This post will be the last of my Hawaiian honeymoon travel guide and recap. We started our trip on Oahu and ended in Maui. Although Hawaiian honeymoons sound a bit cliche at the start, I assure you that ours did not feel that way and was nothing short of amazing. We ended our trip at the Andaz Hotel for a few days of pure relaxation.

After leaving Paia, we headed to Wailea where we stayed at the Andaz Hotel. From the moment we arrived at the resort we were amazed with its beauty and all it had to offer. The hospitality of the staff at the Andaz was top notch. The resort provides free shuttle service {most of which are luxury SUVs} to all guests traveling in the Wailea area. Although we rented a car, we did not need it while in Wailea thanks to this service. When we were ready for dinner, we walked outside the lobby and told the bell hops which restaurant we were going to. After a short wait, we would be driven to dinner. When we were ready to be picked up, we just called the bell hops and they came to get us. It was really such a wonderful service. The men working during our stay were terrific. All the staff was very friendly and provided tons of restaurant recommendations. Although we did not sign-up for any tours while in Wailea, the hotel does provide tour guide services for its guests as well.

The grounds of the Andaz are beautiful. The main lobby overlooks the beach and a three tiered deck each featuring an infinity edge pool. Around the corner, guests can find an adult-only pool in close proximity to the spa. We spent most of our time at this pool partly because it was closer to our room. Throughout the all pool areas the Andaz provided towel carts for fresh towels throughout the day. On these carts they also offered a variety of complementary flavored ice water {lemon, cucumber, mint, cantaloupe and strawberry, just to name a few} and Sun Bum SPF. In the afternoon, Andaz staff would walk around the pools offering a complementary refreshing treat such as a mochi or and ice pop. All of these small touches really made our stay feel extra special.

I booked our stay at the Andaz directly through their website because it was a better price than through third party sites. I was really happy I was able to get us an ocean view room. When we were escorted to our room, the hallways reminded us of the 90s show Legends of the Hidden Temple. The room was spacious, included a balcony, modern furnishings and a spacious bathroom. The bathroom included a large rain shower with a window that actually allowed you to overlook the room and balcony. Any drinks or snacks in the bar area were also complementary and were replenished daily. My favorite touch may have been the speciality Maui Lays’ chips. During our stay we also ordered lunch and snacks poolside. The bar menu had a decent amount of GF options, but as with everything in Hawaii, the poolside menus were very pricey.

For breakfast and snacks we went to the Mokapu Market on the grounds of the Andaz. I was overly happy when we realized the market had a gluten-free section including homemade baked goods and our favorite GF pretzels. We would grab breakfast, coffee and head to the adult pool early or take it back up to our room to be enjoyed on the balcony. I love having a balcony with a great view on vacation. I think it’s so relaxing.

My husband made us a reservation at Monkey Pod based on a recommendation he caught by an ESPN news anchor; Monkey Pod is known for its Mai Tais! While we were on Oahu I tried a Mai Tai, but it definitely was thought it would be a drink I would order again. That being said, I am not much of a liquor drinker. My experience was a totally different story at Monkey Pod. Their Mai Tais were delicious! As I type this, I am wondering why we haven’t tried to recreate these at home. To make our experience at Monkey Pod even more enjoyable, the food at this restaurant was as good as the drinks. I had no problem finding a gluten-free options. I went with the Organic Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi. Our server was super knowledgeable of the menu and provided helpful recommends. I highly recommend adding MP to your list of ‘musts’ while visiting Maui.

Monkey Pod Mai Tai

On our last night in Maui, we went to Matteo’s for another memorable evening. Many of the staff at Andaz recommended Matteos as the best Italian food in the area. We were totally on board when we looked through the menu and saw plenty of gluten-free options. For starters, we shared gluten-free turkey meatballs in red sauce with a side of fresh garlic bread. Naturally, I ordered a second round of bread (#twoplease). I tend to over analyze my dinner selections. My husband will vouch for me when I say, I am not always good at ordering food for dinner, but at Matteo’s my choice was a winner. I had the Fettuccine {sub GF penne} Frutti di Mare. For me personally, seafood dishes can be a real hit or miss, but this one was a home run my friends. Matteo’s is another restaurant I highly recommend while on your visit to Maui.

We also had dinner at Gannon’s in Wailea. It is known for its view and atmosphere. We caught the tail end of happy hour and got to chatting with a local semi-retired couple. These types of encounters are always our favorite. They were originally from California and decided to move to Maui after making frequent visits. The husband’s name was also Mike and he was a physical therapist. I cannot remember the wife’s name, but she was the cutest and a bit of a Jane Fonda look alike. They were so sweet. Talking with them at the bar was the highlight of the night. As for our meal, I can’t say either of us were blown away, but Gannon’s got brownie points in my book for having my favorite Prosecco, La Marca.

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 friendly, 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 too!

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 also 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.