I'm very late on writing this, but as many of you saw that follow me on Instagram, I spent a week of the cold, dark San Diego winter (down to 63 degrees some days!) in gorgeous, 100 degree, Kona and Maui. I'd never visited before, but I'm hoping that this visit will not be the last. Hawaii was everything that I expected it to be, and more, to use a cliche.
Our first stop was Maui, where upon recommendations from a friend, we had breakfast at the Kula Lodge -- inexpensive and kid-friendly, this one is a must-stop for families visiting. Their delicious pancakes are served with coconut syrup. I could not get enough of this stuff during our visit to the Islands!
The big, rather odd finding about Maui: the Foodland poke and sushi. For those who have never heard of poke, it's basically a Hawaiian specialty of yellowfin tuna marinated in a soy sauce mixture, then topped with onion or other accoutrements, and served over rice. The result is a cheap and cooling meal, that's light and perfect for Hawaiian weather. We tried the poke at a few places, and kept coming back to Foodland for the cheapest and best.
Another highlight from Maui was the road to Hana, which is probably the most famous tourist attraction. I don't need to state that it was beautiful and enchanting, but I will state that I had some of the best Thai in my life from a humble food truck in Hana called Thai Food by Pranee. We were so busy stuffing our faces that we didn't take pictures, but believe me, it was incredible!
On to Kona on the Big Island, and volcanic rock everywhere!
Another great find in Kona? The Kona Brewing Company! The beers were very tasty and incorporated the flavors of Hawaii. Who could pass up a passionfruit beer?
The food was pretty good as well! Simple bar food, but prepared well, and matched to the beers perfectly!
The best food that we had besides the poke was anything from a tiny Hawaiian food spot called Broke da Mouth Grindz. A family-owned local spot, we feasted on giant butterflied shrimp, kalua pork, and delicious sides of rice and fries. The portions were generous and the price was very reasonable. Highly recommended!
Best breakfast in Kona? Island Lava Java -- great food (more of that delicious coconut syrup!) and beautiful view of the beach! Just beware of the birds that will try to steal your breakfast, since it is an outdoor cafe.
Another thing to check out while in Kona? Kona coffee. Although we found that most of the coffee tasting rooms were closed, we were able to partake of a coffee tour at Old Hawaiian Coffee. The farm is a working farm, so it's not pretty or fancy, but it was cool to see all of the hard work that goes into our morning java! And the coffee was some of the best that I've ever tasted. Click the link above to order online, if you are interested.
After a failed attempt to visit Volcanoes National Park (the air from the volcano is very bad for babies!), we went to Place of Refuge, which was incredibly beautiful. A must-see when on the Big Island!
Other than some really delicious food, here's some of our trip!