Maui, Hawaii’s second largest island, is the perfect destination for all types of travellers. Maui provides an excellent combination of relaxation and adventure. For the sun-seekers looking to spend most of the time on the beach this island is ideal. There are several beaches to choose from, ranging from large surfing beaches to less crowded and more secluded options. Also, for those that get a little too anxious laying around on the beach all day there are plenty of activities to do around the island.
Typically, most tourists tend to reside along the coast in the western and southern most parts of the island. I stayed in Kihei, the perfect surfside location that is basically in the middle of everywhere you’re going to want to be. We chose to try out a few different beaches throughout the trip and rarely stayed at the beach closest to our condominium. Renting a car is pretty essential in Maui, nothing is ever too far away but the convenience of having a car at your disposal is great. Driving distance to all of the beaches was minimal; the most being about thirty minutes to Makena, but the drive was well worth it.
The Kamaole Beaches are the most popular beaches in Kihei, they are right across the main strip of restaurants and shops. I prefer beaches that are a little less crowded, so we often chose to drive a little farther down the road until we hit Keawakapu. Keawakapu is right at the end of Kihei Rd., right before entering the next town of Wailea. The beach is somewhat unmarked so it’s a lot less busy. It is a super relaxing beach with exceptionally soft sand and great water for swimming.
A little farther into Wailea is Ulua Beach, a perfect beach for leisurely snorkeling. It’s little more crowded than Keawakapu but there is plenty of coral surrounding the beach that make it ideal for snorkelers. Starting at Ulua there is a nice paved walkway that connects it to the major resorts and beaches further into Wailea. When you start getting a little restless after being at the beach all day, follow this path for a while! The entire walk over looks the ocean and you can check out some of the fancy hotels of Wailea.
One of the last beaches we tried out on our trip was “Big Beach”, a part of Makena State Park. Makena is the next town over from Wailea. If you couldn’t already tell by the name…”Big Beach” is one of the largest beaches in Maui. For some reason, the water at this beach was noticeably more blue and clearer than all the others we visited. However, the waves are much larger at this beach than the rest. I’d recommend going fairly early in the morning to swim a bit before the waves really pick up in the early afternoon. Visitors of Maui should check out Makena at least once.
Maui cuisine is simply delicious. Fresh seafood everywhere you go is hard to resist! Two of the most exceptional meals that stood out to me were the Swordfish Eggs Benedict from Kihei Caffe and the Ahi Tuna dish from Café O’lei in Kihei. They are both reasonably priced restaurants with some amazing dishes.
There are endless beaches to visit, day trips to do, and great meals to be had in Maui, making it the absolute perfect getaway. Drive around the island, go scuba diving, rent a paddleboard; there is not a shortage of things to do on this island. But be prepared to be on “Maui time”, everything tends to move at more relaxed pace over there. Whatever your lifestyle and interests, Maui is the perfect tropical escape.