5 Things to Do When You Land on Maui
No need to rush off the plane. You have just arrived in Paradise. Sit back and enjoy being on island time. To help you get adjusted to being on the islands here are 5 Things to Do When You Land on Maui.
Take Your Time
It’s going to take a while to get off the plane. Embrace the aloha of the islands and let others go ahead of you. It’s not like getting off the plane first is going to make your luggage come up any faster. You’ll be moving slower during your time on Maui and this is the perfect place to start that transition. You’ve got plenty to take care of once you land on Maui, don’t rush it.
Pre-order fresh orchid leis for an aloha greeting at the gates
I surprised Drew with leis on our very first trip to Maui. He loved it. I loved it. It gets you into the aloha spirit as soon as you see the Welcome to Maui sign and then walk through the sliding glass doors to outside. We now do it every time. It makes you feel special to have someone waiting for you with such a big welcome to Maui. The lei greeters are also a wealth of information and will help you get to the right carousal to pick up your luggage, point you in the right direction for picking up your rental vehicle or getting on a shuttle bus and even help you with directions.
You can order lei greetings through Diamond Head Vacations, who are partnered with Hawaiian Airlines. 877-589-5568 All of our Maui lei greetings have been done through Diamond Head Vacations and they have done a wonderful job each time. If you do go with them, look for the the wahine (woman) and/or kane (man) wearing blue and white aloha shirts holding orchid leis. It’s the perfect way to welcome yourself or another once you land on Maui.
Pick-up Some Island Grindz at Geste Shrimp Truck
Once we have our rental car this is always the first place that we head to. You will be hungry when you land on Maui and Geste’s is just down the road from the airport. Make sure to call ahead before you drive over there. 808-298-7109 Sometimes they run out of shrimp early. Other times you land too close to their closing time and want to give them a heads up that you are on your way. They will wait for you, if they haven’t run out of shrimp.
The Shrimp Scampi is our absolute favorite. It’s full of flavor with butter and garlic deliciousness. If you want something sweet and spicy, go for the Spicy Pineapple Shrimp. The Pineapple Shrimp’s sweetness is a nice contrast to the slight heat from the spice. Both are served Hawaiian plate lunch style on a bed of cabbage with a scoop each of rice and crab potato mac salad. All shrimp plates are served with a dozen large shrimp. The servings are huge and you could very easily share it with another. However, they are so good, you will want your own. The shrimp are cut open to make it super easy to peel the shells off. Make sure to grab plenty of napkins and something to wash off your hands with.
A word to the wise, there is no seating. It is a food truck parked between the water and the road on a dirt lot. All food is to go. We always eat it in our car, right on the spot, because we can’t wait to take it anywhere. You will find Geste Shrimp Truck on Kahului Rd in Kahuhui. If there is one thing you do on this list, make sure it’s going to Geste Shrimp Truck for Shrimp Scampi.
Go Shopping at Maui Costco
No, seriously. Have you ever been to a Hawaii Costco? They are the best Costcos in the world. We always head there right after we finish eating our shrimp. The fish and seafood selection is incredible with a plentiful variety of seafood; ahi tuna, mahi mahi, ono, squid, wahoo and so much more. Everything we have gotten here, including poke kits, have all been fresher than anything we’ve gotten at home. The liquor section is equally impressive with a wide range of prices, quality, flavors and local distilleries that will be a welcome stock up item for your visit. They’ve got tons of produce that comes from local Hawaii farms, as well as meats for grilling, kalua pork all made up in buckets and packets of Hawaiian sweet rolls. They have all the ono treats from macadamia nut kisses to Hawaiian shortbread to chocolate covered coconut candies. All perfect to stock up on to bring home for yourself, as well as to others. Even if you aren’t staying at a place with a kitchen, it’s still worth the stop for snacks, drinks and souvenir foods. On the way back to the airport, make sure to stop here for gas to fill up your rental vehicle.
Get to the Beach
Of course, this comes after you get to where you are staying, have unloaded your vehicle and put away your food. Now get out to the beach. Isn’t this why you came to Maui in the first place? This should be the very first thought on your mind once you land on Maui. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Put your toes in the sand the day you arrive. You’ll thank yourself for doing it.
Have you been to Maui before? What tips do you have for once you land on Maui?
All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013, unless otherwise noted.