Aloha, lovebirds, and a huge congratulations on your upcoming big day! Asher and I call Maui, Hawaii, our home; but before we lived here, it was where we honeymooned in 2015.
Maui is one of the most romantic places on earth — with sea, sand, and sun abound. Here are my Top Romantic Things to Do & See for Your Hawaiian Honeymoon — plus some invaluable tips on how to make it the most enjoyable experience for you and yours.
7 Things to Do & See on Maui for your Honeymoon With Packing Tips
1. Swim in a Waterfall at Twin Falls
Twin Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls on Maui and it’s one of our favorites. (It’s actually where my kiddos learned to swim.) Twin Falls is considered the “first stop” off the road to Hana, and besides parking — which can be a bit squishy and has a small fee — it is conveniently accessed from Hana Highway and doesn’t require a long drive on winding roads to get there.
TIP #1 – Don’t pack in bulky beach towels — Although the waterfall is easily accessible, it does require a short walk over slippery rocks to reach the first waterfall — and about a 10-15 minute walk to reach the more secluded romantic spot.
Either way, don’t just grab your hotel’s bulky beach towels that are awkward, heavy, and take forever to dry. Instead, pack quick dry travel towels which are super compact. They can be easily thrown in your backpack or carried in your hands. Remember, feeling like a pack mule, and juggling all your stuff is never sexy!
TIP #2 – Bring a Backpack, not a Beach Bag — Beach bags are an awesome asset on Maui, however, they aren’t the best choice when traversing the wet, often steep, rocks nearby Maui’s many waterfalls.
I like to bring a collapsible travel backpack, with a dry bag inside to put wet swimsuits or towels. The dry stuff stays dry, the wet stuff is contained, and my hands are free to hold onto branches or roots while I climb down to the waterfall.
TIP #3 – Waterfalls can be slippery! — No matter how athletic you are, it’s easy to slip when wading into the pools. The rocks are slimy and very slick. (The slime is called biofilm and is a very important natural occurrence in all waterfalls.) I suggest wearing water shoes to add extra grip and toe protection.
TIP #4 – Waterfalls are chilly! — Laugh if you will, but my family wears wetsuits when we go swimming in waterfalls; and unlike most of the people who jump in and out in about 2 minutes — we enjoy a nice long swim! The comments we get from tourists are usually about how smart we are. So, I feel we are onto something.
Especially if you plan to do multiple waterfalls on your trip, try one of these very packable and affordable “Springsuits.” They make a HUGE difference. Then, you and your love can spend time cuddling under the falls, rather than jumping in and out feeling like a popsicle. They are also excellent for snorkeling adventures (but more on that below).
2. Enjoy a Snorkeling Adventure off Lanai
Snorkeling off Lanai’s pristine coast is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Pair it with a romantic boat ride on a luxury catamaran and you have a true honeymoon excursion. Our whole family loves these boat rides as you will often catch whales, spinner dolphins, and tons of fish both while on the boat and in the water.
We recommend this particular snorkel tour because the boat is smaller and more intimate. It also leaves from Lahaina, which is an easily accessible port. The larger boats might be cheaper but your fellow sailors can get a bit intoxicated on the way home… How intoxicated you might ask? I once had an inebriated woman unknowingly dump an entire beer in my face. Yikes!
Tip #1 – Bring Natural Sea Sickness Patches — The waves off Maui and Lanai can be unpredictable and often choppy. Don’t risk getting sick when you can naturally prevent it. I’m prone to seasickness and have done these trips many times. The times I remembered my patch I spent my day relaxing, chatting with family, and enjoying. The one time I forgot to bring my motion sickness patches, I stayed glued to one place with my eyes on the horizon, praying! Don’t miss out on the romance by skipping these.
Tip #2 – Capture the Moment! (Cheaply!) — Most boat tours will try to upsell you on an overpriced waterproof camera that takes average pictures. Our suggestion is to bring a waterproof cell phone case so that you can take photos and videos (with sound) both underwater and above the waves.
We also love these cases because they protect your very expensive phone from the elements like sand or dirt, even on simple beach or waterfall outings — which you are bound to do.
Tip #3 – Sail Prepared — Almost all snorkel tours offer lunch, snorkel gear, and drinks. However, they don’t offer towels and sunscreen. We always bring a beach bag, stocked with quick dry towels, rash guards, reef-safe sunscreen, waterproof cell phone cases, and a dry bag. If you plan on doing a long snorkel, wetsuits or spring suits are a great asset. Surprisingly, the Maui waters can feel a bit chilly after about 20 minutes of snorkeling. Some tours offer wetsuits for rent. We always bring our own spring suit as it’s more hygienic!
Tip #4 – Electrolytes and Natural Hangover Relief — Even if you aren’t a big drinker, Maui Honeymoons can be full of champagne and Pina Coladas! When you combine that with long days in the sun it can wear you out. That’s why we recommend staying well hydrated with electrolytes and this natural hangover relief. Both are important ways to help your body detox and recover.
3. Hang out with Turtles on Mama’s Beach
Mama’s Beach is one of our favorites on the North Shore. It’s small, secluded, and never gets very busy. The best part? It feels like a sea life sanctuary and you are almost guaranteed to see a turtle or 10! The beach is protected by a reef so the waves never get too big and if you go early in the morning before Mama’s Fish House opens, you can use their parking lot which is the closest entry point.
Tip #1 – Splurge on a Meal at Mama’s — Mama’s Fish House is a Maui North Shore staple. But don’t let the name fool you, it isn’t a small fish house — it’s a very elegant and pricey restaurant. However, Asher and I find the vibe and the views extremely romantic and the small intimate beach sprinkled with 200lb turtles is extremely unique!
Tip #2 – Bring a Beach Bag — Whether you choose to have a meal at Mama’s or just stop by for an early morning swim, Mama’s Beach parking is a bit of a walk to the beach. The best way to carry everything easily is a beach bag. We use this one with a built-in cooler because it is not only easy to pack in my suitcase, but it holds all our gear plus keeps our snacks and drinks cold for several hours.
There are also no showers or changing areas, so be sure to wear your suit under your clothes or swimsuit cover-up.
4. Ride in A Helicopter
Even after living here for 6 years, Asher and I are still amazed by the diversity of the climates on our beautiful island. From lush waterfalls to lava fields, to dry Mars-like Haleakala, Maui is full of gems and surprises. Helicopter Tours are one of the most spectacular ways to take in the beauty of Maui.
Tip #1 – Wear dark clothing — White, or light-colored clothing, reflects off of the window of the helicopter and will impair your ability to see out. It will also cause an unfortunate reflection if you want to take pictures or videos.
Tip #2 – Wear closed-toed shoes — Flip flops or Crocs are awesome for the beach but will not be allowed on the chopper. If your tour takes you to Hana, your landing area might also be rocky and somewhat unstable. Our solution is to wear these reef-safe water shoes. They are great for hiking small distances, water-friendly, and won’t fall off which is something the pilot will be looking for. This may seem obvious but… don’t wear heels!
Tip #3 – Be sure to layer — Temperatures can drop quite dramatically once you are high in the air, so it’s best to bring along a sweater. Flowing outfits are amazing for the beach but not ideal for getting in and out of a chopper. Loose-fitting jewelry and accessories are also not allowed
5. Watch the sunrise (or sunset) from the peak of a dormant Volcano
Mount Haleakala is called “The House of the Sun.” And for good reason, its peak sits 10,023 feet above sea level and offers unobstructed ocean views for as far as the eye can see.
Haleakala is the tallest mountain on earth when you count the depths below the surface. 19,680 feet are hidden below sea level making it taller than Everest or Kilimanjaro. The stars are night are unlike anything you have ever seen. When the skies are clear you feel almost like you are on another planet and at one with the sky. It’s incredibly romantic.
This said, it can also be extremely chilly with temps dropping below freezing at night and in the early mornings, which can be quite romantic as you snuggle in close. And, if you prepare properly, you will have the experience of a lifetime. Below find our tips!
TIP #1 – Join a Tour — One of the easiest ways to feel prepared is to join a tour. They pick you up (around 3 am!) before sunrise, do the driving, and — if it’s a credible tour company — they bring you down coats and even provide a warm breakfast. We recommend Haleakala National Park Sunrise Tour because they reliably do all those things, and some.
TIP #2 – Pick Sunset over Sunrise — If waking up at 3 am to make sunrise isn’t your jam, choose to watch the sunset instead. It’s incredibly romantic as long as you bring a down coat, close-toed shoes — and even a blanket from your hotel! — you will have an incredible time. Just pick a clear night. You can use your Weather App to choose “Kula, Hawaii,” and usually that is pretty accurate.
TIP #3 – Dress for Success — I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I can’t emphasize it enough — Haleakala is COLD at sunrise or sunset. It gets snow up there in the winter. I even bring some cheap hand warmers and toe warmers. Do not wear flip flops or t-shirts and shorts or you will freeze your bottom off.
TIP #4 – Enjoy the Best Coffee on Maui! — Crema is our favorite! Located in an adorable trolly-like food truck in The Kulamalu Plaza, it’s right on the way up — or down — from Haleakala. Don’t miss out on their Lavender Latte or yummy pastries. Literally THE BEST COFFEE ON MAUI.
6. Traverse the Road to Hana
The road to Hana will make you feel like you have been transported to another world. One that is both secluded and yet so easily accessible. Its long-range views and winding roads are one of the most memorable on Maui. Our family does a trip to Hana at least twice a year. Enjoy these tips to make sure it’s the most enjoyable part of your honeymoon adventure.
Tip #1 – Motion Sickness Patches — Do not skimp on these! Even the most hearty traveler is known to get sick on Hana’s winding roads. The only thing that has helped me is these natural motion sickness patches. They save the day!
Tip #2 – Start Early — If you plan on doing the full loop or stopping at several waterfalls/scenic locations, please be sure to leave early. The road to Hana can be quite dangerous in places and it is not something you want to do at night.
Tip #3 – Bring Reef Safe Shoes — Since you will be going in and out of waterfalls with slippery rocks (see my tips on Twin Falls above) and possibly hiking a bamboo forest or two these are the best shoes option to bring. They give you just enough support and grip where you need it, are very comfortable, and will prevent slipping on rocks both in and out of the falls.
Tip #4 – Consider Staying Overnight — Our family loves heading to Hana, but doesn’t love rushing through the experience. If you have the flexibility, the best thing to do is split the trip into a 2-day adventure. There are a lot of great options from camping to BnBs, to a 4-Star hotel. The hotel restaurant is quite yummy and we definitely recommend it for lunch or dinner!
7. Splurge on a Meal with a View!
Merriman’s Restaurant has one of the most epic ocean views right off Kaanapali’s turquoise waters. Asher took me here for our first anniversary and it was extremely romantic. Merriman’s makes any foodie’s heart flutter because of the delicious farm-to-table gourmet vibe.
Tip #1 – Make a day of it! — We love heading to the beach in the morning, swimming, snorkeling, and then changing in one of the available restrooms for dinner. Just be sure to bring a rash guard, beach bag, sunscreen, lots of water, and a hat — as the sun can get very strong mid-day.
Tip #2 – Wear a gorgeous outfit — Merriman’s is a fine dining experience and they expect you to show up wearing the proper attire. Ok, proper attire for Maui at least! That means a nice button-down Hawaiian or polo shirt for men and a beautiful outfit for ladies. I love this dress because it packs well and won’t wrinkle in your suitcase. It’s also extremely flattering on almost every figure.
Tip #3 – Take a stroll on the beach after dinner — Most of the tourists clear out at sunset, so the beach in front of Merriman’s is almost empty after the sun goes down. This was one of my favorite moments of the evening. We held hands and enjoyed star gazing, sitting on the empty beach before heading home.
Asher and I hope that your Hawaiian honeymoon is everything you expected and more! If you have any more questions on what to pack or what to wear be sure to check out this article. Mahalo!
Lyric is an accomplished poet, best-selling author, award-winning screenwriter (studied at NYU film school), amazing chef, singer/songwriter, and mommy of two amazing little kids! After growing up in Hollywood she decided to delve into a profound spiritual journey and became a yogi-monk for almost a decade. She enjoys helping Asher conduct research, writing for our blog, and loves traveling the world (Paris is her favorite city), and sharing her experiences with you!