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! 

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 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.

Alohilani Resort & Spa Waikiki

Hi friends! Welcome back to the my little blog. I am excited to share our recent trip to Hawaii for our honeymoon! We got married in October, but delayed out honeymoon until this summer due to work schedules. Although I think it is probably exciting to jet off to a honeymoon destination right after the big day, it was nice having something to look forward to. We also did not start planning our trip until well after our wedding was over, so it was one less “to do” I had to worry about prior to our wedding day.

It took us a while to decide on a destination. We considered Italy, Paris, London, Greece, Napa Valley and Bermuda, but Hawaii was the winner.  Hawaii has a good mix of adventure, relaxation and history. Once the trip was booked I could not be more excited! Within the next few blog posts I will share details of our time on Oahu and Maui, and of course tons of gluten-free recommendations.


I found planning a gluten-free trip to Hawaii to be a bit difficult. When I was doing my research I struggled to find restaurants that offered GF options. At some point during my search I stumbled on a helpful blog and the wonderful blogger behind the site responded to my email with a lot of suggestions. Unfortunately, I lost that email and cannot find the link to her site again. I hope my blog helps to fill the current void of gluten-free Hawaii tips.

We flew direct from JFK to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines. It was an 11 hour flight and to our surprise it did not seem that bad! I can’t say either of us were overly impressed with this airline. There were no complementary movies or TV shows and limited snack and beverage services. Although the flight attendants were friendly, they were not as attentive as those on some other airlines we have used. Just something to keep in mind.

We started off our honeymoon and my birthday weekend on Oahu at the Alohilani Resort & Spa, which was recently renovated. A complementary bottle of champagne was left in our room which made our arrival even more exciting. The resort is on Kalakaua Avenue and no other hotels are obstructing its views to the ocean. This was a key criteria in my hotel search because there are many hotels in the city. We had a partial ocean view room with a king bed in the Beachside tower {the tower closest to the ocean}. I think the view from our room was excellent, especially for the sunset. The only disadvantage of this area is the city noise when siting on your balcony. We thought our room was perfect; very clean, sleek modern decor and a comfy bed. The only minor flaw I can think of is that the bathroom was a little blah. All white everything {literally}.


When you walk into the hotel you enter a grand, yet modern lobby with views of the O-Bar floor to ceiling aquarium. On the 5th floor there is an inviting infinity pool overlooking Waikiki beach, a kids pool and the Swell bar area. We loved the pool area and the pool bar staff were very attentive. It’s not a huge space, but we lucked out with only having one overly crowded day. You can also pay extra reserve a cabana or lounge chairs in the pool. We considered renting a cabana, but once we realized they were not alongside the pool, we passed. The resort also has a gym and on-site parking for a fee.


If you are considering renting a car, I highly recommend booking through Costco if you are a member. The Costco site compares about 5 major car rental companies; all of which were much lower than booking through any other sight. I also liked that through Costco, I only made reservations and did not make a payment until we picked up the car. When we arrived in Honolulu, the line for Avis was very long and slow moving. I was quickly able to change out reservation through Costco on my phone then popped over to one of the rental places with no line. To my surprise, I was able to save another $15 and the car rental person upgraded us to a Mustang because she thought, “we needed something nicer for our honeymoon.”


We ate at two restaurants at the Alohiliani; Morimoto’s Asia and Momosan’s. Morimoto’s Asia has gluten-free options identified on the menu, knowledgeable waitstaff and outdoor seating. Although it is not overly fancy, I would say the dress code is a step up from casual. As usual, Mike enjoyed his dinner, but I was a bit taken by surprise when mine was placed in front of me. {Side note: he always teases that I don’t order well}  I ordered the garlic shrimp expecting something along the lines of what I order at PF Chang’s. That is NOT what garlic shrimp is in Hawaii. A classic garlic shrimp dish consists of jumbo shrimp {shells and legs included} in a garlic broth. Be prepared to work and get messy to enjoy this meal. Although the shrimp and garlic broth were very tasty, this style dinner was just not for me. Not to mention, jumbo shrimp give me the heebie jeebies.

Momosan’s has a casual atmosphere and also offers outdoor seating. Their menu doesn’t indicate gluten-free, but all grilled skewers can be make gluten-free (without the sauces and just with salt). We actually ate here twice and all of the waitstaff who helped us were very knowledgeable of GF options. I tried the chicken and beef skewers with a side of edamame. I highly recommend the beef skewers and a glass of rosé.

Head over to my Instagram to see more photos from our trip and stay tuned for my next Hawaii blog!

Drop you email in the box welcome to subscribe to Red Rose & Honey, so you never miss a new post!