Hi Stephanie! I was in a wedding in Maui over the summer, what a great location! I stayed mostly raw while I was there, but I did eat some cooked food in restaurants at night. I don’t know what part of the island you will be on, but we were near Wailea. There is a store there called “natural moons” that is basically just a health food store but they have many raw items and sprouted products as well. There is also a really cool herbalist downtown. I’m not much help on finding good deals, but I would definitely say you must go scuba diving and take advantage of the tropical produce!
Hi StephanieWithOpenEyes. We were just at Hawaii! We were in Oahu, Big Island, and Maui. Maui is better. Kauai is the romantic island (we were told), but what we wanted to do was on the other islands and we only had one week.
We rented our cars from priceline. At Maui we got $13/day by using the name-your-own-price. If you bid too low, they may return an email saying your offer is too low, but would you consider this other offer… and it’s still a good deal. Be aware that Maui & Big Island don’t have gas stations near the airport’s car-rental-return. So, fill-up before you get near there. We rented from 4 different companies on the different islands and found that Avis let’s the spouse drive for no additional cost. Take your marriage certificates! Also, you can’t drive the rental cars through certain roads… around the island. But that’s okay, it’s easy enough to drive around.
We stayed in a B&B in Maui. But, we checked travel.yahoo.com for affordable 3-star-and-up hotels with good reviews. Although we stayed in Aqua Bamboo, I recommend something ‘better’. We stayed at the Sheraton in Kona (Big Island) and that was very nice. I highly recommend that one. We also got a rental car as a package deal. Breakfast buffet for 2 is $40. But you can order from the menu raw fruit if you prefer.
Things to do? Well, are you beach people? There are some performances too…but since we didn’t do either, I can’t help with that. Raw places to eat? They are supposed to be in Maui… and we searched and searched and didn’t find a single one! They are all GONE! Yup… GONE!
Here’s what we did and what I thought of the islands:
Oahu: Waikiki is too much of a city… this is not paradise. It’s the city. IMHO. Northeast Oahu is a very nice part of the island. Oh yeah, and you have to try the Puka Dog but that’s not raw. On the north shore you can find Paradise Found (vegan cooked and some raw). Excellent BBQ burger. They are inside a natural health store. We parked across the street in the community center. I did enjoy the Dole pineapple tour and did the USS Arizona tour (Pearl Harbor). Not my favorite island, but lots to see and do there.
Big Island: Mauna Kea (observatory) sunset tour and star gazing. We went with Mauna Kea Summit Adventures because they have the bigger telescope. Places to eat? We can’t remember because we searched for a raw place and never found it so we ate somewhere else.
Definitely go to the Volcano NP if you are into hiking. The volcano has been spewing volcanic smoke (vog) for months! ...so not all trails are open. And it obscures views. The locals are tired of it. By far, Volcano NP was the highlight of my trip (I love hiking). There are falls north of Hilo that we never made it to… but someone who used to live there recommended. We also did the macadamia nut tour and stocked up on nuts! They have ‘raw’ ones too. But, go through the self-guided tour to learn how they prepare them.
Maui: We went to Iao Peak which was a short, short hike on paved trail. Nice. We liked the food in the city Paia, Maui. Again, this was where the raw restaurants were supposed to be. Instead we ate at an Indian-Mediterranean restaurant that served the most excellent crepes for lunch & dinner (Avocado-Apple was amazing). Then had the vegan gelato, Ono, down the road. We were hoping for the raw restaurants …but after not finding them, we didn’t go out of our way to try and find the farmer’s market. That would probably be the best thing to do. I did have coconut from a farmer’s market. The best I’ve ever had. Loved them. And I want more!
We cycled down the mountain Haleakala after watching the sunrise at Haleakala NP. They don’t tell you this, but you can get insurance for the bikes… because my husband saw reviews that bikes were getting stolen and people weren’t insured so they were charged $700! We bought the insurance (for $4) just to be safe. It was a nice ride down… and lots of cyclist visited Kona Lodge which sells a few touristy-type-things. We took the tour that let’s you go down the mountain at your own pace. Nice. And you can eat along the way… but nothing vegan-friendly.
Oh my goodness, so much to take in! Thank you so much for all of the information. I really hope it works out, just got word from my sister she doesn’t think she can afford it and I can’t go without her. We’ll see what happens!
Well, maybe she will find good deals and can make it. Personally, my husband and I think that there are more beautiful places than Hawaii. Well, at least that is what we thought when we arrived (in Waikiki). (Of course, we didn’t make it to Kauai and the other islands). But we love the mountains more than the beach… and you may find you love Hawaii.