After a slow start, this pretty little shopping center seems to have finally attracted some notice among the tourist ... More
Ma'alaea Harbor Village
After a slow start, this pretty little shopping center seems to have finally attracted some notice among the tourist contingent. The main attraction is the Maui Ocean Center, the only thing the island has that even remotely resembles a zoo or aquarium. However, plenty of other shops and restaurants are filling up the other spaces, albeit not rapidly.You can now find Maui Dive Shop, Hula Cookies and Ice Cream, and Moonbow Tropics in the center. There are several dynamite restaurants, including newbie Capische!, sophisticated Bamboo Bistro and old favorite Buzz's. Credit card acceptance varies by merchant.
After reading one of the other reviews (from Chicago), I thought, "were they at the same place?" We stayed just down the beach for 10 days during August and September 2006. Every few days we went to the Maalaea Harbor's restaurants for either breakfast, lunch and also a few dinners. It was close by, the views were amazing from most of the time, the food was really good. That person must have been there at 11:00 pm because there are at least 5 or 6 nice places to eat at: Buzz's Wharf, the Blue Marlin, the Maalaea Grill, the Seascape, the Waterfront and a surprising Maalaea "Mexican". In the evenings we enjoyed live music while sipping drinks at the restaurant's bars and were so sad to leave. The shops had really good prices and we didn't see any vacancies. From his review, he sounded pretty angry. Maybe he was pissed off, he had to leave Maui and go home to freezing Chicago. Oh Well. If you don't trust me, there are books that list the restaurants in Maalaea, and how good they are. That's how we learned about them, and decided to check it out. I'm glad we did. The shops, restaurants and harbor are worth visiting.
We had 4-5 hours before our flight left so the taxi recommended we come here for the shops and food. Several shops have closed, as have the restaurants. We ate at the only one open, I can't remember the name. It's downstairs right across from the harbor. We could see the boats and it was pretty, but the food and service was terrible. Waitress with an attitude, very mediocre food and was overall disapointing. Don't waste your time if you have a choice. At least the plumeria trees and boats were pretty.
No problem with parking here, and several exceptional restaurants. And there are some nice surprises. I loved the jewelry store and its creative designs (better value than Lahaina, for sure), and Moonbow Tropics, which has more Tommy Bahama than Nordstom in Seattle. Our favorite is the Maalaea Grill restaurant. You can spend a whole day here. Go snorkel or whale watch in the morning, see the aquarium and find dinner after.
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