The Pacific Ocean washes up on Maui’s shores, forming picturesque spots for sunbathing as well as amazing surf breaks and snorkeling grounds.
With 120 miles of breathtaking coastline around the island, you’ll find more than 80 incredible beaches to visit. They feature sand in a variety
of colors ranging from gold, red and white to black and green. No matter which beach you spread your towel on, you’ll probably want to sit and
stare into the ocean forever because it’s so tranquil and relaxing. The sunsets are also magical. Really, you’ll be in paradise!
The condo is located on Keawakapu Beach, which is in Kihei, South Maui. The sand is soft and fine here, and the water is perfect for swimmers.
It’s also a favorite beach among surfers and dog walkers.
Here are some other unforgettable beaches to explore:
South MauiCharley Young Beach – Volleyball is played here, and the snorkeling is great. It’s also a fabulous beach for picnics and swimming.
Kamaole I, II and III – These are three popular family-oriented beaches. They feature white sand and have good swimming and boogie
Mokapu Beach – The Wailea Beach Walk begins here and will take you past five white sand beaches and eight world-class resorts. There’s
abundant marine life in the bay and humpback whales can be regularly spotted.
Polo Beach – Its clear waters are excellent for swimming and snorkeling. There are numerous picnic tables and barbecues.
Ulua Beach – Body surfing is the main attraction here. A good snorkeling area can also be found near the lava outcropping that sits between
this beach and Mokapu Beach.
Makena State Park – Home to Big Beach and Little Beach (which has a reputation for being “clothing optional”). These are two undeveloped
stretches of pristine sand that are perfect if seclusion is your goal. Bodysurfing, fishing, snorkeling, surfing and swimming are all
Poolenalena Beach – With a sandy bottom and a gentle slope, this is a wonderful place for children and novice swimmers.
Baldwin Beach Park – This is a beautiful, long white sand beach that is popular among locals. It’s fully equipped with lifeguards,
barbecues, picnic tables and a covered pavilion.
Kanaha Beach Park – This is one of the premier windsurfing beaches in the world, and kiteboarding has been gaining popularity here as well.
Papalaua Beach Park – There’s a snorkeling area called Coral Gardens toward one end of this beach, and at the other end is a surfing area
known as Thousand Peaks.
Ukumehame Beach Park – This is a small beach with few facilities, but it makes for a charming place to swim and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Puunoa Beach (Baby Beach) – Like the name suggests, this is a baby-friendly beach. It’s also protected from winds and rarely crowded.
Kaanapali Beach – Luxury resorts line this beach, which is dotted with chaise lounge chairs and cabanas. Along with shops and restaurants,
there’s a surf school and scuba company just steps away.
Hanakaoo Beach Park (Canoe Beach) – This beach gets its name from the many outrigger canoes on shore. It’s a launching point for many
local canoe clubs as well as for kayaks and sailboats.
Black Sand Beach – Located at Waianapanapa State Park, its beautiful black sand comes from volcanic rock. Camping is popular here, but due
to the high surf, few water activities are advised.
Hamoa Beach – Remote and lovely, this spectacular beach is surrounded by lush vegetation. It also tends to have high surf, so swimming and
water sports take place seasonally.
You can’t visit Hawaii without going to at least one luau. It would be like traveling to England and not having afternoon tea! Luaus are feasts
of both food and fun. Served buffet style, you can expect delicacies like poi (a paste made from taro root), mahi-mahi, kalua pig, poke (a raw
fish salad), huli-huli chicken, lomi salmon, sweet potatoes and haupia (coconut pudding). Beer and tropical drinks tend to flow freely at luaus.
You’ll also be treated to the sounds of Polynesian music and the sights of hulas and fire dancing out under the stars. .
The best one in Maui is held at a hotel located near the condo. The Makena Beach & Golf Resort’s luau is presented by Tahu Productions. You’ll
enjoy the secluded oceanfront garden setting and spectacular sunset views. This luau boasts an island-style buffet and a celebration of Polynesian
culture – including the multiple fire knife dance finale.
Another highly recommended luau can be found in Lahaina, West Maui. Hyatt Regency Maui’s “Drums of the Pacific” is held at Kaanapali Beach nightly
on the resort’s Sunset Terrace. The evening begins with a lei greeting, cocktails and demonstrations of native crafts and customs. There are
even hula lessons. Visitors also get to see a pig unearthed from the underground oven, eat their fill at a lavish buffet and then be entertained
by a full-fledged Polynesian production show.
Thanks to locally grown fruit and vegetables along with the world’s freshest seafood, dining on Maui is a true pleasure. In fact, the island attracts top chefs who are enthusiastic about utilizing these wonderful ingredients. They’ve opened fabulous restaurants in every corner of the island that offer something for all tastes and budgets.
In Kihei, South Maui – which is located near the condo – you’ll discover three palate-pleasing choices. Aroma D'Italia Ristorante has won numerous awards for its unique fusion of Hawaiian flavors with Old World Sicilian cooking. Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar serves “new wave” sushi. And Sarento’s on the Beach features multi-regional Mediterranean Rim cuisine.
Listed below are a few more popular restaurants that dish up cuisines from all around the world. Travel-oriented visitors’ websites like visitmaui.com can also help guide you to the best in Maui dining.
AmericanCharley’s Restaurant & Saloon in Paia, North Maui – A favorite hangout among surfers thanks to its hearty comfort food.
Cool Cat Café in Lahaina, West Maui – This place is known for having the best hamburgers in paradise.
Makawoa Steak House in Makawoa, East Maui – Steaks are grilled over local kiawe wood.
Da Kitchen Café in Kahului, Central Maui – This restaurant is famous for its BIG portions.
Mama’s Fish House in Paia, North Maui – Seeing and hearing the waves crash on the shore from this open-air eatery truly makes the setting
as memorable as the food.
Casanova Italian Restaurant & Deli in Makawoa, East Maui – A family-owned restaurant, it has a history in Maui dating back more than 20 years.
Tokyo Tei in Wailuku, Central Maui – Be sure to try the shrimp tempura.
Pacific’o Restaurant in Lahaina, West Maui – The oceanfront dining here is perfect for romantic occasions.
Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina, West Maui – It recently was selected as a 2010 Diners’ Choice Winner.
Although it doesn’t have the retail reputation of Honolulu on the nearby island of Oahu, Maui does boast shopping opportunities galore – ranging
from prestigious designer labels to handmade local crafts. There’s something that will appeal to all tastes, and prices run the gamut from
expensive to downright cheap.
In the vicinity of the condo, you’ll find The Shops at Wailea. This elegant mall is fun and full of surprises. Not only will you discover luxury
brands like Bottega Veneta, Tiffany & Co., Gucci and Louis Vuitton, but you’ll also come across locally inspired boutiques such as CY Maui, Blue
Ginger and the Aloha Shirt Museum. Other nearby shopping centers include Kihei Kalama Village, which offers more than 40 craft and souvenir stores
in a tropical setting, and the Kukui Mall, which is best known for having a bakery where you can get moist pineapple muffins.
If you’re looking for unique mementos to take home to friends and family, then check out Hilo Hattie, which has locations in Kihei and Lahaina.
It’s an iconic Hawaiian souvenir and aloha wear store. Sweet Paradise Chocolatier in Wailea and Lahaina offers artisan confections made with the
island’s fruits and nuts. You’ll stumble upon specialty stores selling everything from coffee to the best in surf wear as well.
There are also numerous galleries on Maui that are always a source of fascination. Some are small and independently owned featuring the work of
local artists, while others, especially those housed in the resorts, are affiliated with major art institutions in Europe and Asia. In Wailea
visit David Lee Galleries, Elephant Walk, NaPua Gallery and Seaside Fine Art. Some other popular art galleries around the island include Coast
Gallery Hana in Hana (North Maui), Gallerie Hawaii in Kahana (West Maui) and Schaefer International Gallery in Kahului (Central Maui).
MAUI GOLF COURSES
Attention novice and professional golfers! Maui boasts 15 courses that suit all skill levels. Some offer easygoing layouts, whiles others were
created by renowned designers and rank among the best in the world. No matter where you play, it will be difficult not to be distracted by the
gorgeous ocean views and lush surroundings. That’s why golfing on Maui is a truly unique and incomparable experience you won’t want to miss.
Listed below are two courses in South Maui that are situated near the condo, followed by a few others that are farther away. Tee times are readily
available. Just call to make reservations.
South MauiMakena Golf Course in Makena (808-891-4000) – Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed this award-winning course. It
plays for up to 6,914 yards and offers captivating ocean and mountain views as well as natural rolling fairways. The Hawaii State Open is held
Wailea Golf Club in Wailea (808-875-7450) – There are three sets of greens to choose from: the Emerald, Blue and Gold
Courses. The Emerald Course is the newest one. It plays for 6,825 yards and has a backdrop resembling a tropical garden. The elegantly laid out Blue
Course has been dubbed the “Grand Lady” of Maui. And the rugged Gold Course stretches out for 7,070 yards across the lower slopes of Mount Haleakala.
The Dunes at Maui Lani in Kahului (808-873-7911) – Frequently compared to a British Open course, it
features clever hole designs among the rugged terrain of the Kahului isthmus, which rests between two volcanic mountain ranges.
Kahili Golf Course in Wailuku (808-242-4653) ¬– With panoramic coast-to-coast views, this is one of the most
beautiful golf courses on the island. Located about 30 minutes from the Wailea resort area, it was constructed in 1991 and plays for 6,570
Kaanapali Kai Golf Course in Lahaina, West Maui (808-661-3691) – Recently redesigned by Robin Nelson, this course has
four sets of tees to accommodate players of all levels. It combines narrow fairways with subtle greens.
The Plantation Course in Lahaina, West Maui (808-669-8044) ¬– This 7,411-yard, par 73 course is meant for champions.
The large-scale mountain terrain features deep valleys, expansive fairways and breathtaking views. It’s the site of the PGA Tour’s SBS Championship.
Maui is a playground for visitors thanks to sunny, warm weather year round and a wide variety of recreational activities. From hiking to sightseeing
and whale watching, the island has something for everyone. Water enthusiasts can explore the area’s underwater wonders on an unforgettable snorkel or
scuba diving trip. And thrillseekers can rent the latest in sea gadgetry or soar through the air on a zipline. Indeed, the possibilities for fun on
Maui are endless!
There are a variety of hikes and nature walks that range from easy to difficult on Maui. Go into the rainforest or trek to beautiful waterfalls with plunge pools for swimming. Plus, the Haleakala Crater has amazing trails through grounds that resemble the landscape on the moon.
Visit nostalgic plantation towns like Paia and Makawao. Stop at old Hawaiian churches. Tour the historic preservation district of Lahaina, the former capital of Hawaii and a busy whaling port since the 1800s. See the biggest Buddha outside of Asia. Walk through an aquarium at the Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea. Marvel at the beauty of the Iao Needle, a natural rock pinnacle. Drive to the pools of Oheo Gulch under a canopy of giant redwood trees in Olinda. Or wander through a bamboo forest on the way to picturesque Hana. These are just a few of your choices!
One of the world’s most scenic drives is located on Maui – the Hana Highway. About 56 miles long, it passes 54 bridges, a winding lava shore, the old plantation town of Paia, countless beaches and a towering forest. To do this drive, allow yourself the entire day and make an early start. Also, be sure to bring your camera. A black sand beach and the Seven Sacred Pools make excellent stops for a picnic.
A drive to the top of the dormant Haleakala volcano is another must. Its crater looks like the surface of some alien planet, and the views of Maui from the summit are amazing. Go at sunrise and, if you’re lucky, you may be able to see several islands when you get to the top. Don’t forget to wear warm clothes, as temperatures can be in the low 40s and it gets windy up there.
Another great excursion is the Ulupalakua Ranch. It’s home to fields of lavender along with the Tedeschi Winery, where you can sample wines made from locally grown pineapple and grapes.
From November through April, Maui welcomes the arrival of the massive humpback whales – Hawaii's largest group of seasonal visitors. Between 1,000 to 2,000 of these amazing creatures come to the warm waters of Hawaii annually to mate and give birth after a 3,500-mile journey from their summer feeding grounds in Alaska.
Maui's south and west coastlines provide opportunities for spotting this endangered species, and various companies offer whale watching excursions. The Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea is also a wonderful place to learn more about these gentle giants.
Visitors of all ages enjoy snorkeling. Even if you’ve never done it before, it’s easy to learn. In Maui you can rent flippers, a mask and a snorkel from any dive shop or beach kiosk. They will provide you with the minimal instruction needed and direct you to popular snorkeling locations. Young children and less experienced swimmers can opt to use a floatation device in combination with their snorkeling gear. Plus, you should always snorkel with a buddy or group – it’s safer and more fun.
Numerous boat companies offer snorkeling, scuba diving and snuba (which uses a combination of snorkeling and scuba gear) tours. For serious visitors, dive certification programs are also available.
One popular destination for many of the snorkeling tours is the Molokini Crater. They generally depart from Maalaea Harbor. It’s best to go on one of the morning trips. Usually the afternoon trips are rough, in terms of wind – which is why they tend to be cheaper.
There are a few good snorkeling tips to keep in mind. For example, never enter rough waters. In fact, don’t bother going out if there are high waves as this usually makes the water murky and visibility poor. Fish are never seen sandy areas. They’re usually found along rocky outcroppings or in reef areas like those in Ahihi Bay or Olowalu.
Here are some of the best places for snorkeling in South Maui:
Kamaole Parks I, II & IIIThese are good beaches for beginners. There are showers, bathrooms and lifeguards. Simply snorkel around the rocky points at the ends of each beach to see the fish.
The condo is actually located here. For the best snorkeling, swim near the rocks to the right of the beach.
Ulua & Mokapu Beaches
Both of these beaches are accessed from the same path. Enter the water directly from the shore and snorkel around the outcroppings of rocks on each end. Sometimes there are big waves – if so, don't snorkel.
Located between the Grand Wailea and Four Seasons resorts, a good snorkeling area awaits on the left side of the beach.
Five Graves (a.k.a., Five Caves and Turtle Town)
Go just past the Makena Surf condos. This area is located to the right. Walk by the old graves on the left to the water. Five Graves is not recommended for beginners because the entry can be tricky. There’s a very narrow and long cove that creates a surprisingly large wave surge when conditions aren’t calm. However, this is the best place to see turtles.
This is located just past the Five Graves spot, after the 90-degree turn in the road. Go to the left of the bay for the best snorkeling. Enter at the beach and swim to the right.
It’s located about two miles past the Maui Prince Hotel in a small bay on the right. This protected marine preserve is popular with snorkelers because there is a great number of fish and coral in the area.
La Perouse Bay
Another protected marine preserve, this is situated about two miles past Ahihi Bay. It’s not recommended for beginners due to the rocky shoreline.
Visitors seeking adventure should look to the air. Ziplines have become all the rage in Maui as they allow you to soar high above the island’s spectacular landscape. You’ll get panoramic views of streams, waterfalls, lush valleys and plunging cliffs. Skyline Eco-Adventures owns several tour facilities in Maui including the Ka’anapali Skyline Adventure and Haleakala Skyline Tour.