This guest post was written by Sally Tinker Smith, a vegetable gardener who is very much in love with her husband and the sweet simplicity of their life. She blogs about her garden, vegan food and her travels at Home Sweet Orange.

As soon as I breathe in the moist, rich smell of fresh air, my body begins to unfold and adjust to island-time.  I live in San Diego, so beautiful beaches are not the main draw, it’s the amazing tropical fruit that brings me back to the Hawaiian islands.

Having been to Kauai, one of Hawaii’s islands, many times, we decided to explore Maui this time around.  A comedy of errors surrounding our condo reservation led us away from the pavement of Kihei, and up to the rainy and gorgeous north side of Maui.  There’s a lot to love about Haiku, one of Maui’s most beautiful communities.

Our bed-and-breakfast was right next door to the Temple of Peace, a spa and retreat center, and down the street from The Studio Maui, where Saul David Raye was in from Los Angeles to teach yoga. We worked in a nice, long Saturday afternoon workshop with Saul. Ram Dass, now a Maui resident, lead a pilgrimage to Maui’s sacred sites the week we were on the island.  On Halloween, we sat in community with a very content Ram Dass and the people of Maui for a lovely Indian dinner event at The Studio Maui.  We were celebrating the 30th birthday of “Be Here Now” and the release of Ram Dass’s new book “Be Love Now.”

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Strawberry Papaya

Every morning, we started our day with strawberry papaya. Yes, you read that right, strawberry papaya, not strawberries and papaya. Strawberry papayas are considered to be the sweetest, most flavorful of all papayas, the flesh of these papayas ranges from pink to red and is fragrant and juicy. It’s delicious with a squeeze of fresh lime.

There is so much wonderful tropical fruit in Haiku. We stayed at the Haiku Plantation Inn, which had a loaded avocado tree on the grounds, and a grapefruit tree too.  Though ripe island fruit abounds, you might find yourself  wanting something sweeter.  I recommend the freshly baked vegan chocolate chip cookies at Mana Foods in Paia (49 Baldwin Avenue, Paia, Maui, Hawaii).

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Fantastic sandwiches and wraps at Veg Out in Haiku

Walking to the Haiku Marketplace, we discovered Veg Out (810 Kokomo Road, Haiku, Hawaii), where all the soups are vegan, and the sandwiches and wraps are fantastic!

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Fellow Maui travelers swear by the curries at Café Pranau Nui in Haiku

During our stay, we came across an old school bus turned takeout restaurant called Café Prana Nui (810 Haiku Road, Haiku, Hawaii). It looked wonderful but we didn’t have a chance to sample their curry on this trip.

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Pad Thai and Noodle Dish from Fresh Mint

We made the short trip from Haiku to another Maui community called Paia, which was about a 20 minute drive away.  While in Paia, we celebrated our wedding anniversary at Fresh Mint (115 Baldwin Avenue, Paia, Hawaii), our favorite restaurant on the island.  Everything is totally veg, so no worries about hidden fish sauce! We had Pho noodle soup, salad rolls, mushrooms, and green beans with brown rice.  It was fresh, delicate and so good. It was gone before I even thought about taking pictures. It was so delicious, my husband and I went back for Vietnamese lunch the next day.  We had Pad Thai and another well-composed noodle dish. I was sure to take a pictures the second time.

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Joy's Place - I forgot my bamboo spork, but my husband brought his!

Down in Kihei, which is almost an hour from Haiku, the vegan choice is Joy’s Place (1993 South Kihei Road, Kihei, Hawaii) for “Foods that Nourish.”  A hummus wrap, veggie chili and Thai mushroom soup were just the thing we need after a morning of yoga at Kamaole and swimming at Big Beach. While Jimmy served up our lunch with a smile, I spotted a cool green Anole lizard perched on a branch outside Joy’s. It’s too bad I didn’t get him on video!

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Coconut Glen's - The friendliest little shack on the Hana Highway


Joei serves up Lilikoi coconut milk ice cream in a natural bowl

On the road to Hana, which is on the east side of the island, you have to stop at Coconut Glen’s (Mile Marker 27 1/2 Hana Highway, Hana, Hawaii) for coconut milk ice-cream in adventurous flavors like “chocolate chili chipotle.” Be sure to say hello to Glen and Joei at their roadside shack.  The Hana Highway is magical, and a couple of scoops at Coconut Glen’s made the day complete!