Thursday, June 11, 2009

Best of Wailuku, Maui

I love Maui and know it like the back of my hand. It's the one place in the U.S. that I actually don't need a GPS system...and where I never get lost. Perhaps the only place.

One favorite way to spend a relaxing day in Maui is to take a stroll through Wailuku. Wailuku offers a taste of the Old Town mom-and-pop feel before Kahului and Kihei got commercialized. It's quaint, and has a nice small town suburban feel.

I start of by taking a morning Restorative Yoga class at my favorite studio: Body Of Light on Main Street. This type of yoga allows you to rest in different poses...almost to the point of sleeping. Now that's what I call "exercise." Nah. The idea is that the body is centering itself and that the poses offer blood flow and interal organ massages.
I usually then walk across the street to Cafe Marc Aurel, a bohemian cafe and wine bar, that offers oraganic, vegetarian healthy eats. Been here many times where changing art exhibits and and live music happens weekly. I like to sit outside and have a nice breakfast to start my day. It's much easier to be vegetarian on Maui than Oahu--perhaps the hippie revolution from Paia and Makawao still leaves its marks on Maui. Cafe Marc Aurel also has flights of wine to try.

From there I walk the streets to check out the up and coming shops and places to eat on Market street. Check out Gallerie Ha for live demonstrations on conteporary art in process or Sig Zane Designs for some local fashion wear. For lunch or afternoon tea, I do recommend Cafe O Lei. Spacious, clean and quite modern change for the area (love their Kihei joint too). Then head to Green Ti Boutique for one of the best deep tissues massages by Deborah.
I'll then drive to the Iao Mountains sometimes to walk around the valley. Other times I to drive to the nice suburban track that sits high up there overlooking the valley. I love sitting at the neighborhood park and enjoying the view and moment. Could live up there.

There's the smallest Farmer's Market I've even seen on Vineyard Street. The best place for manju is at Sam Sato's. Call in your order the day before or be prepared to wait long or be turned away. There's a donut place called Dad's Donuts that has donuts with Hawaii styled fillings (mango, lilikoi, guava)
For dinner try Tokyo Tei hidden under apartments or the famous landmark, Tasty Crust for some local food. Spam and eggs. Fried rice. Shoyu spare ribs. The food there was surprisingly okay! I tried their famous banana nut pancakes. And best of all--you must must must stop by Tasaka Guri Guri (in Kahului) for the best iced treat dessert of all time!

Green Ti Boutique
40 N Market St
Wailuku, HI 96793

Cafe O Lei
62 N. Market Street

Sam Sato’s, Inc.
1750 Wili Pa Loop
Manju pick-up: 7am-4pm

Dad's Donuts
1910 E Vineyard St/Central
Body of Light
1995 Main Street, Stuite 2

Cafe Marc Aurel
28 North Market Street/Main

Tasaka Guri Guri
70 E Kaahumanu Ave
Kahului, HI 96732

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