IDK who needs to hear this, but you need to add Maui to your travel bucket list, like, asap. Upon touching down here, you’ll feel as if you’ve been plucked straight into a White Lotus season one episode. (Yes, it’s well worth the jet lag and the pain-in-the-ass flight from the East Coast, tyvm.)
Here’s my official guide to the idyllic Hawaiian island so you can cosplay as goddess Tanya McQuoid (may she rest in peace).
Where to Stay in Maui
The swanky resort area of Wailea offers top-notch shopping and dining, beautiful beaches, and, ofc, luxe resorts where you can pretend to be a White Lotus guest.
The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is the IRL property featured in season one of The White Lotus—and it’s an absolute dream honeymoon hotel (speaking from experience here, ppl). For a cool $29,000 per night (no big deal, right?), you, too, can stay in the (in)famous Pineapple Suite (aka the Lokelani Presidential Suite IRL). If you’re not looking to dump your entire life savings on a one-week trip, you’ll also be totally fine in one of the standard guest rooms (cue the world’s smallest violin), which have top-notch soaking tubs and private lanais where you can snap pics of the sunset to upload to your IG story and make everyone jelly. Two things not to miss: The papaya bowls at breakfast and the adults-only pool area, which has plush lounge chairs (and private cabanas if you’re feeling extra bougie), a swim-up bar, and some of the most gorgeous island views I’ve ever seen.
This adults-only boutique hotel is perched 300 feet above the ocean, which means you can expect ‘gram-worthy views from all angles. The property—which spans 15 acres of tropical gardens, waterfalls, and scenic pathways—offers all-suite accommodations, complete with amenities like soaking tubs, spacious lanais, and stylish interiors. Hotel Wailea is famous for its on-site restaurant, which serves up island-inspired fare in a romantic AF alfresco setting. The only caveat: It’s a 15-minute ride away to the beach (though, TBH, I wouldn’t blame you if you just chilled by the pool).
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
The trendy Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is located along one of Maui’s most gorgeous stretches of sand, Mokapu Beach. After basking in the sun by one of the five (!) pools while sipping one too many tropical cocktails (been there, done that), retreat to your sleek, design-forward room, suite, or villa, and get ready to do it all again the next day. Even if you don’t end up staying here, it’s worth visiting alone for the oceanfront luau feast.
Where to Eat & Drink in Maui
Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman
Come to Monkeypod for the Mai Tais and stay for the good vibes, live music, and hand-tossed ‘zas. Sure, it doesn’t hit quite like a $1 slice back home in NYC, but the eatery’s Kalua Pork and Pineapple pie is *chef’s kiss* — and yes, sue me, I like pineapple on my pizza: I dare you to do something about it. Monkeypod also offers incredible happy hour deals from 3:30-5:00pm. (Think: half-off apps, $12 pizzas, and $4 off cocktails), but you’ll want to arrive as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
Fleetwood’s on Front St.
Should you find yourself in the resort town of Lahaina, make your way to Fleetwood’s on Front St. The local haunt—owned by none other than *the* Fleetwood Mac superstar Mick Fleetwood—is best known for its happy hour specials and rooftop bar. You can’t go wrong with an order of oysters or tuna poke, best enjoyed with a round (or three) of rum-based bevs.
Try saying that three times (I kid, I kid). But in all seriousness, this restaurant—set along a beachfront lagoon in the massive Grand Wailea resort complex—dishes out mouthwatering Polynesian cuisine with a side of jaw-dropping Pacific Ocean views. Start with the coconut shrimp before moving on to the main entree. (Our pick? The Huli Huli Chicken served with pineapple fried rice.) Split a lava cake with your bae while finishing up your spritz, marg, or ‘tini.
Mama’s Fish House
Did you actually go to Maui without posting a pic at Mama’s Fish House? (Asking for a friend.) This oceanfront seafood restaurant truly lives up to the hype—and extravagant price point—with menu staples like shrimp wontons and locally caught, sesame-crusted mahi mahi. It’s pretty much impossible to score a res here, so be sure to book as far in advance as possible or take your chances as a walk-in (praying 4 u).
What to See & Do in Maui
Road to Hana
This 64-mile-long scenic drive is a must when in Maui—though it’s not for the faint of heart due to its narrow, winding roads, which can be stressful (which is why we recommend signing up for a tour). The trek takes a full day with stops at magnificent waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and scenery that feels like it’s been plucked straight from Jurassic Park. Stop for some banana bread along the way at popular spots like Aunt Sandy’s and Halfway to Hana.
Hitch a Ride on a Heli
For a birds-eye view of Maui’s vast landscape, hop aboard a helicopter and thank me later. The island’s lush valleys and rainforests, rugged mountains, towering sea cliffs, black-sand beaches, and cascading waterfalls, are somehow even more stunning from up above. You’ll also catch 10/10 views of Haleakala Crater.
Spanning 10,000-plus feet above the Pacific, Maui’s magnificent Haleakala Crater takes up three-quarters of the island. Its namesake national park spans over 33,000 acres, and its summit is one of the world’s best spots for stargazing and watching the sunrise (that is, if you can drag yourself out of bed early enough).
Hit the Beach (Duh)
Maui is home to 120 miles of coastline, which means travelers can take their pick of 30-plus miles of beaches, including beautiful black-sand beaches that you legit have to see to believe. In between sunbathing and napping, be sure to take a dip in the water to swim or snorkel—and if you’re lucky, you may even spot a sea turtle or two.