Falling in Love with Maui

January 21, 2013 ||
Gemini Charters

Our recent adventure trip to Maui was my fourth time and Scott’s second time visiting the island. I don’t feel like I got to know the real Maui during my first three visits because I stayed in tourist traps and didn’t do much besides go to the beach. I feel like I rediscovered Maui this trip and I can safely say this time I fell madly in love.

The sunrise view as we left San Diego made getting up early more than worth it. As we left the mainland, the clouds parted above a tiny island — giving us a glimpse of all the beauty we were about to feast our eyes on in Maui.


We started our trip off right with a two hour surf session with Maui Wave Riders near Lahaina Harbor. Even though the waves were small, our guide Sonny made it fun and pushed me to get past my fears of surfing in shallow reef. After our session, we were exhausted, but completely stoked on finally surfing in Maui.

Lahaina Harbor - Maui

Cliff Diving Ceremony

We weren’t sure what to expect from the cliff diving ceremony at Sheraton Maui on our first evening. It turns out we loved it. The rock didn’t look very high from where we were standing, but after jumping from it the next day, we realized these Hawaiians are brave for leaping head first into the water.

Sheraton Maui Cliff Diving Ceremony

Ocean Views & Lazy Days

The three days we spent at the Sheraton Maui were like a dream. I love the layout of this resort with the numerous pools, lazy river and ocean views at every turn.

Sheraton Maui Relax Time
Sheraton Maui
Sheraton Maui Ocean ViewSheraton Maui

Romantic Sunset Cruises

Scott and I usually don’t schedule in many romantic activities while traveling, but romance just beckons you in this part of the world. We were extremely happy to have some down time on a sunset cruise with Gemini Charters where we tried Bikini Blonde — a local brew —for the first time.

Gemini Charters

Ho’okipa Beach

Right after our amazing paragliding adventure, we headed to Ho’okipa Beach — a well-known surf spot — before we stopped for a healthy lunch in Paia (one of my favorite towns in Maui). The waves were perfect and it killed us that we didn’t have time to surf — but the view made up for it.

Hookipa Maui
Ho'okipa Beach - MauiHo'okipa Beach - Maui


We ate breakfast outdoors each morning, joined by colorful — and often fat — birds. The bird with the red feathers in the photo below is known as the Hawaiian Cardinal.

Hawaiian Cardinal

Rainbows & Sunsets

If you want to see rainbows, then go to Maui! We saw rainbows around every corner. I’m sure we missed dozens of them, but we did manage to capture a few.

West Maui Rainbow
West Maui Rainbow

We took a drive along west Maui’s rugged north shore and stopped at this gorgeous view of Honolua Bay where you could see all the way through the water to the sand and reef. There were only a few masked humans swimming around that day — who were most likely brushing up against groups of playful Hawaiian green sea turtles (Honu).

Honolua Bay

And.. the sunsets.

Humuhumu Restaurant - Grand Wailea

Underwater Adventures

We snorkeled, tried Snuba and swam with the fish, sea turtles and sharks at both Black Rock and Wailea Beach. Our underwater camera broke, (we have seriously bad luck with these) which means we didn’t get any good underwater footage. So, instead I’ll share a close up of Scott’s face and a turtle picture, courtesy of Snuba.

Snuba Maui
Snuba with Turtles

Have you been to Maui? If so, what are your favorite things to do on the island?

Many thanks to the Maui Visitors Bureau for hosting our trip to Maui. As always, all views expressed here are our own.

By Christy Woodrow

Christy Woodrow is a travel photographer and professional blogger based in San Diego. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Scott, since 2006. Join them in their quest to find off-the-beaten-path destinations by signing up for weekly emails and following her on

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Who is Ordinary Traveler?


Hi! We are Christy and Scott and we've been traveling the world together since 2006 -- surfing and taking photos along the way.

Our goal is to inspire others to live an adventurous life, as well as provide trip ideas and helpful travel tips for people with limited vacation time.

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