Best Things to do on Maui: The Maui Cookie Lady

Imagine home-baked giant gourmet artisan cookies made with Hawaiian flavors.  Delicious! The Maui Cookie Lady’s cookies are proudly featured by top hotels & resorts, and high-quality artisan markets.

Mitzi Toro began baking cookies in 2012 as a fundraiser to thank hard working nurses at the Maui Memorial Hospital for taking phenomenal care of her terminally-ill father. Mitzi was encouraged to transform her cookie fundraiser into a business by her regular customers who came to love her delicious product.

After building her own commercial kitchen and officially starting her made-on-Maui cookie production line, the company quickly garnered fans around the world from as far away as the UK, Japan and even Dubai!

The Maui Cookie Lady aims to get a new line of Cookie Butters to the happy bellies near and far by Spring of 2018. The company’s motto is: “To make the world a smaller place one cookie at a time.”

Popular flavors include Kona Coffee Espresso using Peaberry Beans, Pineapple Lychee Passion with Hibiscus Flowers, White Tea, Lemon Chocolate, Mango and Raw Maui Sugar, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Grown-Up Samoas (made with Maui Brewing Co.'s Coconut Porter craft beer), Butterscotch Kisses (made with Sammy Hagar’s Maui Distilled Macadamia Nut Rum, Butter Toffee, Caramel, Butterscotch Chips and Raw Maui Sugar)  and the Original Butter Rum Triple Chunker, their original cookie and best seller, with three types of chocolate (White, Dark and Milk), raw sugar with a hint of butter rum. Da Half Baked (Reese's, Snickers & Oreo Stuffed in Chocolate Chip Cookie & a Dab of Malt), a giant 8 oz Chocolate Chip Cookie stuffed with Reeses, Snickers & Oreo with Malt. Elvis - Banana and PB C'ptn Crunch, Elvis' favorite sandwich made into a cookie. Raw Hawaiian sugar and Molokai sea salt adds a wonderful local flavor the unique cookie combination with Butterscotch, Vanilla Caramel, Banana and Peanut Butter C'ptn Crunch Cereal.

Best Things to Do on Maui: Special Events in August

All this month, visitors can enjoy a citrus sparkler at the Hāna Burger Food Truck with ranch-grown lemon and limes, simple syrup and Pellegrino. Perfectly refreshing! Proceeds go to support Easter Seals Hawaii and The Traveling Plate, a Statewide Culinary Tour to Benefit Easter Seals Hawaii.

The Hāna Burger Food Truck is open for lunch daily from 10 am to 4 pm. Current menu items include a fresh fish sandwich, farm salads, the signature Hāna Burger with grass-fed beef, house-made pickles, refreshing fresh fruit smoothies, lemongrass iced tea, french fries, ahi tuna salad with papaya seed dressing, and more. All items can be enjoyed at picnic tables with beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, or packed to go. Buns, sauces, salads and sides are made from scratch using the Ranch’s own organic produce. The new dining patio has more seating and shaded picnic tables.

The Island Art Party is on! Check out their events through August. Wine and Paint Nights, Family Paint Nights, and more. You don’t have to be a great painter to come home with a nice work of art. They also have space available for private parties, and individual lessons.

If you want to learn more about humpback whales, Whale Talks are free and family-friendly at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary,  726 S. Kihei Rd Kihei, every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM in the sanctuary conference room.

Don’t pass up a chance to see ‘Ulalena, a dynamic, colorful, emotional, and entertaining theatrical performance voted “Best Live Show in Hawaii” by Hawaii Magazine, Best of the Best 2015. ‘Ulalena at the Maui Theatre. Called a “stunning theatrical sensation” by National Geographic, ‘Ulalena shares the rich history of Hawaii through authentic Hawaiian music, dance and over 100 instruments played live. Experience the true essence of aloha!

Best Things to do on Maui: Spirits of Maui Private Tours

Explore the spirit of Maui through our many wineries and distilleries! Our island offers the ideal climate and farming conditions for world-class wine and spirits. We will pick you up at your resort in our luxury chauffeured transportation service, take you directly to the lineup of your choice, and return you safely to your resort. You won’t have to worry who to choose as your designated driver. Just relax and enjoy the sights, tastes, and sounds of Maui!

Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery is passionate about producing the best handcrafted vodka in the world for you and the environment; crisp, natural, clean and thoroughly enjoyable. Ocean Certified Organic Vodka has a pristine taste developed from the purest ingredients.

Hali'imaile Distilling Company produces handcrafted, locally made, authentic Hawaiian brand spirits. Located in the heart of Maui’s pineapple region, Upcountry Makawao, Maui, the Hali'imaile Distilling Company creates "Hawaii in a Bottle."

Every part of the distilling process is one of a kind and designed in house. The Hali'imaile Distilling Company works with supplies primarily procured through locally owned resources and vendors, distilled in small batches to create authentic Hawaiian spirits. Once distilled, the spirits are mixed with crystal clear Hawaiian spring water.

Maui Winery creates distinctive and boldly unique wines, including a selection of estate wines and pineapple wines. Private tours of the winery and estate are available. For something really unique, the Old Jail Tasting offers an exclusive look at grape growing and wine making on Maui. Up to ten visitors can taste Maui Winery wines in the historic “Old Jail”, a stone building that was used as a jail in the late 1800’s.

Our favorite local watering holes are the Haliimaile Distilling Company, Haliimaile, Ocean Vodka, Omaopio – Kula, Maui Winery, Ulupalakua, Maui Brewery, Kihei or Kahana, Monkeypod, Wailea, Mill House Restaurant, Waikapu, Mill House Restaurant, Waikap, The Wine Palette, Kapalua, Rock & Brews, Paia, and Charley's Restaurant & Saloon, Paia.

Best Things to do on Maui: Visit Hāna Ranch

Hana Ranch Chef Gary Johnson Farmhouse Lunch

Hana Ranch Chef Gary Johnson Farmhouse Lunch

Hāna Ranch is a working cattle ranch on 3,600 acres in Hāna, Hawaiʻi. The Hāna Ranch aims to be a responsible steward of the land, a regenerative and sustainable business, actively working to make the land and community better. The focus of the Hāna Ranch is on sustainable agriculture that enriches the land and provides healthy, fresh food for the people of Hāna, Maui, and Hawai’i.

Cattle ranching on Maui originally dates to 1830 when King Kamehameha I brought in cowboys from the mainland. Herds of cattle had been running wild since Captain George Vancouver gifted them in 1793. Many of those original ranches, including Hāna Ranch, are still in operation. The ranch and hotel, originally part of the same property, were sold several times, and eventually the hotel was renamed Travaasa Hāna.

The centerpiece of Hāna Ranch is a grass-fed herd with 1,500 cattle. Their presence helps control invasive species, improves soil fertility, and keeps the grasslands healthy. Hāna Ranch grass-fed beef is available locally under the Maui Cattle Company label, a local co-op with five other Maui ranches.

Hana Ranch Farmhouse Lunch

Looking for a private dining experience at the ranch? Hāna Ranch offers meals prepared using local ingredients at the Hāna Ranch farmhouse. These delicious meals include access to the farmhouse, a full-service meal by a their private chef, non-alcoholic drinks, tip and a private farm tour at the ranch. Alcohol is not included, though guests are able to bring their own.

The Hāna Burger Food Truck

The Hāna Burger Food Truck is open for lunch daily from 10 am to 4 pm. Current menu items include a fresh fish sandwich, farm salads, the signature Hāna Burger with grass-fed beef, house-made pickles, refreshing fresh fruit smoothies and more. All items can be enjoyed at picnic tables with beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, or packed to go. Buns, sauces, salads and sides are made from scratch using the Ranch’s own organic produce.

Best Way to Explore Maui: With One of Our World-Class Guides

Maui is full of secrets – hidden places, incredible flora and fauna, and stories as old as the island itself. Most tours miss many of these gems, but not PT Maui Tours, thanks to our highly experienced local tour guides. As a PT Maui tours guest, you can rest assured that you are learning about Maui from a highly trained local expert. Our guides will help you see the deeper side of Maui, and know when to step back when necessary, letting you experience the magic of Maui as if you are the only person here.

William was born and raised on the island of Molokai, just North West Maui island. He traveled the world during his service in the military, where he acquired partial fluency in German, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. His interests include woodworking and various ocean sports. He has built a one-man sailing canoe, which he takes out on the ocean when weather conditions are right.

David grew up in Napili on the West side of Maui. His hobbies include going to the beach, camping and enjoying the simple pleasures of Maui island life. He enjoys engaging younger guests, keeping them well entertained throughout our full-day tours. David enjoys touring with Maui guests, as that provides an opportunity to rediscover Maui's treasured sights, and allows him to share the unique history and culture of Hawaii with Maui's visitors.

Napua's family spans seven generations, descending from the Koolau region of the island of Maui. Her grandparents operate a small family farm and fruit stand at the half-way point along the Road to Hana. Her grandma, 'Aunty Sandy' is famous for baking fresh banana bread for Hana Highway explorers since 1983. A tour along the Road to Hana with Napua can often turn into a family reunion as members of her extended family and friends can be found in the townships throughout the route. 

Best Way to Explore Maui: In Our Luxury Fleet

Mercedes Benz Sprinter

Mercedes Benz Sprinter

Too many people take Maui tours in vehicles that make economy class airline seats seem roomy and comfortable. PT Maui prides itself on not just going above and beyond that reality, but in having the best fleet of tour and airport transfer vehicles on the island. On the twisting, winding roads of Maui, you need not only room, but comfort, and our luxury vehicles have it all.

Enjoy true luxury in our custom-designed Mercedes Benz Sprinters, with hardwood floors, leather captain’s chairs, panoramic tinted windows, a glass roof, wet bar, USB plugs and charging stations, personal refrigerators, snack bars and more. There is no other tour vehicle like this on Maui. 

Our line of Toyota sport utility vehicles enhances guest safety and provides an authentic luxury appeal. Each vehicle is equipped with all-terrain grade tires to enhance capability and comfortability. We specialize in off-road needs with 4x4 capability, complimenting the unique accesses we maintain with the various ranches on island.

Toyota Tacoma, 4WD Truck; A compact vehicle to move up to 4 passengers. Includes a truck bed for any large, bulky cargo, equipment or luggage in tow.

Toyota Tundra, XL 4WD Truck; An XL cabin to comfortably accommodate up to 4 passengers. Includes a truck bed for any large, bulky cargo, equipment or luggage in tow.

Toyota Sequoia, SUV; An XL cabin with third row to comfortably accommodate up to 7 passengers. Includes cargo space at back for small cargo or luggage in tow.

Best Things to do on Maui: The Road to Hana

Waterfall on the Road to Hana

Waterfall on the Road to Hana

The Hana Highway is the famous serpentine coastal highway that we explore together on our adventure to the pristine region of East Maui. On one side of the Road to Hana, verdant rainforests and waterfalls bring Maui’s fresh water mountain to sea. On the other side of the Road to Hana, the crystal breakers from Hawaii’s matchless blue ocean smash into the jagged black volcanic rock of North Maui. 

We will arrive at your resort in our custom luxury transports, and take you for breakfast at Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon in the historic town of Pa’ia.  A former sugar-plantation town that serves as the crossroads to the North Shore of Maui, Paia offers numerous shops, galleries and Hawaiian culture.

As we explore the Road to Hana, we will take some time to explore the unworldly vistas of the Haleakala volcano, the source of the lava flow that created the Ke’anae Peninsula, stop for photos at the Hanawi waterfall, and visit the black sand beach at Wai’anapanapa.

The Road to Hana is known for it’s food! The open-air restaurant at the Travaasa Hana Hotel has a relaxed atmosphere reflecting Hana’s low-key lifestyle. With the incredible abundance and inspiration of Road to Hana to draw from, the Travaasa’s Executive Chef has created a dining experience that's pure Travaasa—a celebration of life and the bounty of the earth that nourishes us body and soul. A combination of techniques from classical to innovative blends bold flavors with a focus on in-season, local ingredients.

Enjoy fresh baked banana bread at Aunty Sandy’s famous fruit stand while touring North Maui’s remote coast line views. See waterfalls, pristine valleys and spectacular seascapes. Your tour of the Road to Hana includes opportunities for swimming and short walks on scenic trails in the photographer’s paradise that is Maui. We will visit Ho’okipa beach before we return you to your Maui resort.

Best Things to do on Maui: Visit Hana Gold Plantation

Rich Cacao Beans and Powder

Rich Cacao Beans and Powder

Hana Gold Plantation

Hana Gold Plantation was founded on Maui in 1978 by Robert and Francine Frost.  Hana Gold produces chocolate from "branch to bar", which means that their high-quality luxury chocolate is produced with a commitment to the finest, naturally grown products created with the most environmentally thoughtful methods.

Rich in diverse flavors and subtle undertones, Hana Gold Plantation trees produce uniquely flavorful cacao beans.  The rugged slopes of the Hana Coast of Maui are cooled by tropical breezes and are naturally fertilized by the rich volcanic soil from the Haleakala Volcano.  All cacao from the Hana Gold Plantation is harvested with care by hand and processed under the watchful eye of a master chocolatier. 

Hana Gold cacao is cared for at the plantation and their chocolate is crafted on site. They only use the finest Hawaiian ingredients. Hana Gold is one of the only chocolates in the world made purely from Hawaii's bounty, making it the truest flavor of aloha in a chocolate bar.

Hana Gold chocolate can be found at Down to Earth and Sweet Paradise Chocolate in Wailea, or purchased online at the Hana Gold web site. Call ahead if you would like to take a plantation tour ($25 per adult, kids 14 and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult).

Best Things to do on Maui: Hawaiian Ranch Adventures

 

The verdant slopes known as Maui’s Upcountry region are dominated by the dormant Haleakala Volcano. Touring the scenic pasture land of the Upcountry region offers an unparalleled, unique perspective of the island of Maui. The Upcountry region is the cornerstone of Maui’s rich agricultural heritage and ranching history.

Platinum Tours of Maui’s luxury Hawaiian Ranch Adventure starts at your resort. We will pick you up in one of our luxury vehicles for a brief ground tour of Central Maui before your transfer to Kahului heliport for your aerial tour of the island. We have many private properties available upcountry for your luxury ranch experience. Each landing zone offers a unique perspective of Maui, varied activities, and a delicious lunch with your choice of caterer. We will return to your resort by luxury ground tour. Available in reverse with ground tour to activity sight and helicopter departure with aerial tour, landing at Kahului Heliport followed by ground transfer back to your resort.

Become a Hawaiian Cowboy for a Day

If you would rather remain on the ground, you can experience the wonders of Maui’s interior on horseback with an exclusive Upcountry Ranch Adventure at the Piiholo Ranch. You will experience a private horseback ride guided by a professional paniolo (cowboy/cowgirl). A gourmet picnic lunch catered by renowned chef Bev Gannon of the Hali’imaile General Store will be provided.

 

Best Things To Do On Maui: Taste a Maui Onion!

Maui burger perfection!

Maui burger perfection!

Maui onions or "Kula-grown" onions are sweet, smaller onions that are grown on Maui. Their low sulfur and high-water content make them juicier, but less pungent and much sweeter than other yellow onions. Considered a local delicacy, Maui onions are so sweet, many eat them raw, like apples, but they are excellent in cooked recipes where you want a sweet onion taste, but don’t want the onion flavor to overwhelm the rest of the dish.

Many local markets carry Maui onions in season, along with other sweet varieties. They can be found year-round, but are more available in early April through June. Maui onions will keep for up to a month, if you keep them cool and dry.

Hawaiian farmers claim that a true Maui onion must be grown on Maui. The Maui onion grows best in the warm climate and rich red volcanic soil of Maui’s Mount Haleakala.

Many enjoy eating Maui onions raw, while others cook them, which makes them even sweeter. Maui onions are delicious with other vegetables for grilled kebabs, fried rings, used in soups and dips, sautéed, on hamburgers, and puréed into sauces.

Thousands of visitors each year come to the annual Maui Onion Festival to get a taste of this unique sweet onion and learn new recipes and taste new dishes. Chefs from Kā‘anapali restaurants compete to see who can create the best Maui Onion dish. The Maui Onion Festival takes place annually in Whaler's Village in Kaanapali, Maui.