Beaches and Coastlines, Maui
I beaches were beautiful. The weather was always nice. Never to hot and cool at night. I loved to open our windows at night and just listen to the sound of the ocean.
The road to Hana was "a must do" for Maui. It takes about a day to see and stop at certain places. I would recommend buy the CD that gives you step by step, by mile marker. With out this CD, you will for sure miss something. Make sure you pack a lunch. There is really no where to eat.
Fondest memory: We spent a week in Maui for our honeymoon. I do not regret any of it. Very romantic!
Fondest memory: Every year on Halloween Lahaina turns into a giant party full of people dressed in the craziest costumes you have ever seen! This annual celebration, which dates back to the 1970's, has become a tradition of sorts on Maui, with thousands of people, both locals as well as tourists participating in the festivities. The party gets started just before sunset near Banyan Tree Park on Front Street, starting with a parade, generally geared towards fun for families with kids. As the night goes on, Front Street becomes packed full of people having a great time & enjoying the many unusual costumes. Most of the restaurants and bars get really crowded as well, so if you are looking for a romantic meal for 2 at sunset in Lahaina, forget about it on Halloween! Even if you don't have a costume, it is fun just to be an observer to all of the craziness here. Halloween in Lahaina is without a doubt a one-of-a-kind event on Maui!
I would highly recommend many things for a visit or move to Maui, but one of my favorite things to do is to drive Upcountry on the slopes of Haleakala, viewing the azure sea and green of West Maui. Sunset, sunrise, morning, noon, or night; it's all a good time to go for a drive up the highway and all the way to the crater.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory is of taking my hours-old son to the beach at Kamaole Beach Park, #2 and watching the whales play off shore. It was a magical time I'll never forget. What I miss most are my Maui Friends, the best people on the planet!
This is one of my all-time favorite snorkeling beaches in Hawaii. Kapalua is located in northwest Maui and is known for its world class golf. It's got several beaches and bays but the one shown has public parking and is a favorite for snorkelers. Waters are protected by a reef and a large population of tropical fish inhabit the area. It's a great place for children to learn to snorkel since access into the water is easy and fish can be observed in a few feet of water. The beach is sandy and crescent shaped and has a lovely view of Molokai.
Lower Honoapiilani Rd inbetween Napili Kai Beach Resort and Kapalua Bay Hotel. The small public parking lot fills up early. Can also park along the road or try the beach late in the afternoon.
Fondest memory: Snorkeling and seeing whales breeching in the distance.
This is one of the best beaches on Maui. In most areas it's wide and sandy with good swimming except for periods of time in winter months when surf can be high. There is also excellent snorkeling at Black Rock and a reef off the Marriott.
The busy Ka'anapali Resort area runs the length of this beach with world class high rise hotels and condos. A concrete walkway next to the beach links all the resorts south of Black Rock and continues to the Hyatt.
-high surf in winter
We stayed at the Marriott (now Marriott Ocean Club) many years ago, but the area is too built up and crowded for my taste. Nevertheless, the beach is great, it has wonderful views of Molokai, and sunsets are spectacular.
Well known hotels and condos include the Westin, Sheraton, Marriott & Hyatt.
Two golf courses are behind the hotel area.
Fondest memory: Snorkeling near the Whaler Condos with sea turtles swimming by.
The beach fronting the beautiful Sheraton Resort is referred to "Black Rock", due to the lava rock protruding into the ocean. It is located in the heart of the Ka'anapali Beach Resort area and is one of the best snorkeling beaches on the island. The black rock is encrusted with coral and is home to a variety of reef fish. Sea turtle are often seen here. Conditions are calm close to shore but currents can be dangerous out by the point. Exercise caution when swimming or snorkeling around the point.
-Liveguards are on duty
-No public restrooms
-Wide sandy beach
Fondest memory: Snorkeling around the point on a calm, sunny day.
Watching cliff divers during sunset.
Check out Wailea Beach. It is a public beach sandwiched between the Four Seasons and the Grand Wailea.
Fondest memory: Go to the cabana run by Four Seasons and ask "how much to rent" beach chairs and sun shade canopy. They will ask if you are a Four Seasons guest. I told them "no". For a $20 gratuity, they set us up with chairs, sun shade and towels. Then they offered us fresh ice water the rest of the afternoon. Spend $20 and be pampered lie a Four Seasons' guest.
Walk down the beach a block to the Grand Wailea. There you will find a bar amidst the pool area to order a pina colada. They aren't cheap, but it's a nice little luxury on a hot day.
This trip to Maui was our second and this time we visited about the only part of the island we missed the first time. This was the stretch of Maui known as South Maui and comprises of Kihei, Wailea and Makena. Our stay was in Wailea at a resort on Mokapu beach. It is definitely the nicest part of Maui to stay in, but also the most expensive. If there is one downside to this part of the island it is that it is awfully quiet at night. Kihei has a bit going on, but not as much as Lahaina on West Maui. It's a trade off really and considering what I needed was some rest and relaxation, Wailea was perfect!
Fondest memory: Our stay was in Wailea at a resort on Mokapu beach. I remember after we headed out of the patio doors of our room and walked down to the beach, I could see this tree at the end hanging over the beach almost into the sea. It was one of those pictures I just had to capture and sure enough, I had to go sit on the tree. It wasn't comfortable unfortunately, but task accomplished!
Beyond all else, what stood out the most to me was the marvelous coastlines of Maui. From white sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, to black sand beaches. This tiny island had such a diverse and extensive coastline. It seemed that every view out there was just more beautiful then the next. When visiting Maui, pay special attention to how the ocean has shaped the coast in various places. It's as if the ocean where a sculptor itself.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Maui was standing at the shore at the Ke'anae Peninsula. The contrast of the rough pebble beach against the powerful ocean and lush foliage was just breathaking. Don't forget the deep blue sky. It's the type of spot you want to come back to again and again to reflect on everything in the world. Definitely one of this world's greatest spots.
Favorite thing: Of course a black beach sounds appealing for a nice swim. But don't be fooled, this isn't sand, it's lava rock. Walking and bathing on this stuff isn't a joke. Trying to walk in the water against the strong current on the lava rock can really tear up your feet. Be sure to bring aqua shoes (there was no such thing when I went...) Personally, I don' t recommend black beaches for bathing. Nice to look at though... This one is located in Waianapanapa State Park (hope I spelled that right!)
Maui—Noi Ka Oi—You’ll see this a lot in Maui. It means “Maui’s the best.” To a lot of people this is absolutely true.
A little about geography. Maui is actually an island formed by two volcanos and looks something like a figure eight. The eastern half is the younger and larger part of the island with Mount Haleakala as it’s volcano.
This side of Maui is both wetter and drier than the western side of the island. It is wetter on the Northern shore and drier on the Southern shore. The North side of the island is not the tourist section, but the road to Hana is famous. This is a tropical drive that you need to take at least once. With all the rain you get on this part of the island, you will see numerous waterfalls and will be on a road that has over 500 hairpin turns and 50 one lane bridges. The trip is 52 miles long, but will take from 2 to 4 hours to make on highway 360 (Hana Highway). There are a number of beautiful sights to see and going to Hana is not to be missed. In addition to the crazy drive, once you get there, you will find a state park (Waianapanapa) with a black beach, a “sacred” pool with small red shrimp that are supposed to symbolize the blood of a Hawaiian queen (Popualaea) who died there, and the seven sacred springs (Ohe’o gulch) that cascade down to the sea. You are only supposed to go to Hana and then you need to go back the same way you came, but “some people” continue to ride around the island. If you do, you violate your rental car contract, but there is only about 8 miles of absolutely terrible roads. It takes about an hour to drive this and then you get on paved roads again. The landscape is almost eerie as you move from the wet to the bone dry part of the island.
The western part of the island is the more heavily populated by tourists and tourism. On this half of the island you will find Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapulua (plus numerous other areas).
Fondest memory: The pluses and minuses of the two halves. The Western half has more restaurants, high end hotels, shopping, etc. than does the eastern half. It is also smaller, so its attractions are closer together. It also has smaller beaches for more people and bigger crowds. The Eastern half has seen a big building boom in the past few years and is getting more shopping, hotels, etc. It has bigger beaches, more room and because as you get farther east, you get drier, you have more landscaping and absolutely beautiful planned grounds. You actually will find cacti growing wild in unwatered sections.
When we first went to Maui we stayed in Kaanapali on the western half. Through the years we have moved to the eastern half and now find Wailea to be our place of choice. Part of this is because we have grown more crowd adverse as we have gotten older. We also now go to Maui primarily to rest and relax (we’ve already seen all the sights).
This is Molikini were I snorkled, I got this picture from the web site http://www.hawaiifunplanner.com/maui.html
This is a great site to help plan your trip, but I wouldn't pay the prices they are asking you can get the same thing at other sites for cheaper. Also it is cheaper to buy tickets before you go, that way you get reservations and a cheaper price.