Haley and I recently returned from an incredible week in West Maui, capturing this Olowalu Plantation House wedding. When we weren’t shooting, we spent our time exploring beaches, eating sushi, hiking, and snorkeling! After stumbling across so many hidden gems that would be perfect for a chill, island honeymoon, we just had to share it on the blog. If you’re planning, here’s some West Maui honeymoon inspo!
Driving around West Maui
The road to Hana was 100% on our list, but the weather on that side of the island was awful so we bailed and decided to drive around West Maui instead. We’re soooo glad we did because it led us to our favorite hidden beach (more on that below), epic cliff views, and a pretty wild blowhole.
PSA: Rental car companies will push renting a Jeep on you. You’ll be tempted, they’re trendy af, instagrammable, and fun to drive… but rent at your own risk. The roads around West Maui (and the road to Hana) turn into narrow, one-lane drives on the edge of a cliff at various points. You’ll have to navigate cars coming in the opposite direction on these teensy roads, and sometimes you’ll pass another car with a fraction of an inch to spare! Our little compact could barely do it at times, and we saw a Jeep that had to drive backward on this cliff-hanging road for about ¼ of a mile so they could get to a wide enough point for another car to pass them. It’s totally worth renting a smaller car to have a little wiggle room on these tiny roads because they are worth the drive! This drive is perfect if you’re looking for an adventurous aspect to your honeymoon. If you’re afraid of edges or fight over who’s a better driver, you may wanna skip this.
Swim with Sea Turtles in West Maui
Haley’s one and only dream for our trip was to swim with sea turtles. We asked around and got a recommendation for a beach that turned out to be insanely crowded with not a turtle in sight. We were pretty bummed but figured it wasn’t meant to be until we accidentally discovered Pohaku Park in Lahina–sooo many beautiful turtles! We ended up chilling at Pohaku Park two days in a row because being around the sea turtles was so incredible. Both days, we easily saw around 8ish turtles, both in the water and napping in the sand. Bring snorkel gear, you’ll be so happy you did!
Just a note, sea turtles are protected by a public law that states you cannot get closer than 10 feet. Don’t be a jerk, help Hawaii protect these beautiful creatures and respect their personal space.
One of the highlights of our trip was booking a Lanai snorkeling trip through Airbnb. (If you don’t know, Airbnb now offers experiences hosted by locals! Highly recommend booking one, they’re always a great time.) We booked this trip and spent a half day out at sea. The crew was super hospitable and fun to hang with as they took us out to the island of Lanai and found two super secluded coves with beautiful reefs. On the way back, we came across a pod of dolphins, too. Haley and I would both do this tour again in a heartbeat!
Yummy Sushi in West Maui
Whenever I travel, I always blow my budget on food. It’s sooo worth it and some of my best travel memories have been from culinary experiences. That being said, if you’re looking for some yummy sushi in West Maui, you can’t go wrong with Miso Phat. If you’re a review reader and don’t just want to take my word for it, these guys kill it on Yelp! Be aware that a single roll will run you at least $20 so you can easily blow $100 on a lunch for two but it’s worth every bite. It has a bit of a hole-in-the-wall vibe which I actually really enjoyed because it felt less touristy and more chill. The owner was amazing, he was walking around cracking jokes and refilling everyone’s drinks which endeared him to me SO much. FYI it’s BYOB but there’s a liquor store right next door if you’re craving a chilled bevy to pair with that sashimi.
Hikes with Epic Views in West Maui
Both Haley and I are bigggg hikers so we sought out as many trails as we could! Waihee’e Ridge Trail was super stunning, with sweeping valley views and a million waterfalls. It’s about 4 miles out and back with some steep climbs but very worth it. It was super muddy when we hiked it so leave the white sneakers at home. Always craving a booty burn, we also did the Lahina Pali Trail up to the wind turbines. The views were UNREAL. It really blows my mind how clear the water is.
Explore a Jungle in West Maui
If you’re driving around West Maui like we did, you’ll come across this beautiful jungle along the road, from which you can walk into Honolua Bay, a marine life conservation area with incredible snorkeling. Even if you don’t want to snorkel, stop and talk a stroll through the surrounding little trails! Bonus, there are wild chickens everywhere which is super cute. (If you do want to snorkel in the bay, bring reef shoes! The shore is pretty rocky and would hurt bare feet.)
Best Hidden Beach in West Maui
Looking for a beach that’s a little out of the way, has amazing views, and less people? Slaughterhouse Beach is where it’s at. We stumbled across it during our drive and promptly abandoned ship, (I mean, car) in favor of chilling in the silky soft sand and swimming in the pristine water. This beach is protected by cliffs so it’s perfectly calm when it’s windy elsewhere.
That’s a wrap! We’re honestly dying to shoot in Maui again so please get married there and book us. If you end up planning a West Maui honeymoon, let us know! We’ll give you even more recommendations and probably try to stowaway in your suitcase.