Hawaii Beach & Ocean

Attractions

Historic Lahaina. A 19th-century whaling port, this seaside village today features boutiques, art galleries, gourmet eateries and historic sites.

Oheo Gulch. Featuring a series of waterfalls and freshwater pools at the shoreline, Oheo Gulch is the most popular attraction in east Maui. The swimming is great and the setting sublime.

Maui Ocean Center. This 5-acre facility houses the largest aquarium in Hawaii and features one of Hawaii's largest predators: the tiger shark. As you walk past three dozen tanks and numerous exhibits, you'll slowly descend from the beach to the deepest part of the ocean. The 100-foot-long, 750,000-gallon main tank features tiger, gray and white-tip sharks, as well as tuna, surgeonfish, triggerfish and many other tropical varieties.

Hana Highway. Maui's most famous road, the Hana Highway is a Maui vacation resort destination in itself. Hugging the windy, rocky coastline, this 50-mile road traverses awe-inspiring seascapes, tumbling waterfalls, and lush rainforests. The drive takes at least 3 hours, but plan to spend all day because going to Hana is more about the journey than the destination.

Molokini. The remains of the crater of Molokini, about halfway between Maui and the uninhabited island of Kahoolawe, is a dream destination for snorkel and dive enthusiasts. Tilted so that only the thin rim of its southern side shows above water in a perfect crescent, Molokini protects against the tide on one side and on the other creates a natural sanctuary for tropical fish.

Iao Needle. The Iao Needle, an eroded remnant of a basaltic core, jets up at an impressive 2,250 feet above sea level in the Iao Valley State Park. The park also features the Iao Valley Nature Center and a paved trail where you can enjoy lovely views of the Iao Needle and lush vegetation.

Oneloa Beach. Also known as "Big Beach," this white-sand beach is 3,300 feet long and 100 feet wide. One of Maui's most popular, this picture-perfect beach offers great swimming, fishing and surfing - and terrific snorkeling at the north end around Puu Olai, a 360-foot cinder cone.

Haleakala. Driving, hiking or biking through the other-worldly landscape of Haleakala National Park is an experience not to be missed. Here you can hike the 10,000-foot Haleakala, a dormant volcano, and peer down into its massive crater, which is big enough to swallow Manhattan.

Kahakuloa. Nestled in a crevice between two steep hills, along the very narrow Kahekili Highway, is the picturesque village of Kahakuloa, composed of a few weather-worn houses, a church with a red-tile roof and vivid green taro patches. The village gets its name from the 636-foot high "Kahakuloa" (or tall lord) Head rising at the edge of the bay.

Wailea Beach Walk. A paved 1.5-mile pedestrian path that links Wailea's five white-sand beaches, its oceanfront luxury hotels and several condominium villages, such as Destination Resorts Hawaii's Wailea Elua Village, Wailea Beach Villas and Wailea Point. The Wailea Beach Walk is lots of fun. Here you'll see families exploring tidepools and swimmers headed for the sea, joggers, power-walkers, baby strollers and sun worshippers.

Wailea Beach. This gold-sand, crescent-shaped beach is big, wide and protected on both sides by black-lava points. The clear waters tumble to shore in waves just the right size for gentle gliding, with or without a board. From the beach, the view out to sea is magnificent, framed by neighboring Kahoolawe, Lanai and Molokini. From shore, you can often spot whales from December to April.

Makena Landing. A beach park with boat-launching facilities, showers, toilets, and picnic tables, Makena Landing is great for snorkeling and for launching kayaks bound for Perouse Bay and Ahihi-Kinau preserve.

Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. Located roughly 4 miles south of Makena, this nature reserve encompasses over 2,000 ocean acres that have been set aside to preserve the habitat of a wide variety of coastal marine creatures. Snorkel the Ahihi Cove to see a dazzling array of fish among the brightly colored corals.

For assistance in planning your island activities or trips to Maui, Hawaii attractions, please contact the Ho'okipa Desk at 874-0811.  Resort guests on the mainland can reach the Ho'okipa Desk by calling toll free:  1 800-880-1883.  Download our Activity Tour Guide.




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