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"With the magnificent Pacific views and elegant Maui condos along the beach, our stay here was magical."
When you’re surrounded by water, it’s easy to beat summer boredom and the quickest, easiest and cheapest way is to head to the beach! With more than a dozen of Maui’s most beautiful beaches located on the sunny, southern shores from Kihei through Wailea and into Makena, there isn’t far to go.
Beat Summer Boredom by Sea:
Sandy beaches span the entire southern coastline starting with Kamaole I, II and III (known locally as Kam I, Kam II and Kam III). Kam III has a cool, grassy area with picnic tables, BBQ grills and lots of shade trees and offers a protected cove at its southern edge. If you plan to picnic, get there early on the weekends as this beach is popular with local families celebrating birthdays and family gatherings and in Hawaii, there is no such thing as a small family!
Continuing south toward the upscale resort of Wailea, idyllic beaches are strung along the shore like pearls in a necklace. One after another, beginning with the sprawling sandy stretch of Keawakapu Beach with its postcard views of Molokini and Kaho’olawe. For guests staying at Wailea Ekahi Village, the warm sands of this beach are just steps away.
The 1 ½ mile Wailea Beach Walk begins at Ulua Beach at Wailea Elua Village and winds along the shoreline past Wailea Beach, famous luxury resorts and picturesque shorelines all the way Polo Beach - the tranquil stretch of beach fronting Destination Resorts Hawaii’s Polo Beach Club.
In contrast to the style and sophistication of Wailea, Makena is a nature-lover’s utopia with its unspoiled landscape and rugged beauty. Shaded pathways through quiet woods and ancient lava flows lead sun worshipers to the azure seas of Palauea (White Rock), Poolenalena and the grand-daddy of them all – Oneloa, known locally as Big Beach, with its roaring waves and massive, sandy beach.
Kalama Park, in the heart of Kihei, is the starting point for anyone ready to experience the true Hawaiian adventure of riding the waves. Maui Wave Riders and Action Sports Maui, among other surf schools in the area, offer surf lessons for all ages in prices that range from around $60 for a 2-hour group lesson upward to $275 for a surfari for that once-in-a-lifetime Hawaii surfing expedition for intermediate to advanced surfers. If you’re one of those people that can’t help but hear the theme song from Jaws when you’re more than 10 feet from shore, you can catch a wave across the street at Maui Big Wave surf simulator, where you can ride the waves without ever even touching the sand.
SNORKELING, SCUBA and SNUBA
You can hop aboard a Snorkel, SCUBA or SNUBA trip and skim across the water to Molokini Crater on a catamaran with water slide, glass bottom port and hot fresh water showers or enjoy a sunset cocktail cruise with open bar, pupus, live music and dancing. But, especially for guests staying at Wailea Elua Village, you're only steps away from snorkeling with the honu (Hawaiian sea turtles). Ulua beach offers some of the best snorkeling around and there's no need to catch a boat!
Make some time for the unique Hawaiian cultural experience of paddling! You'll become instantly hooked on one of Hawaii's most popular pastimes!
The experienced paddlers at local canoe clubs offer vacationers and first-timers a chance to try this exhilarating sport while learning about Hawaiian culture. Keep your eye out for honu, dolphins or rays.
Beat Summer Boredom by Land:
A distinctly Hawaiian experience, the luau features unlimited local food (some prepared in a traditional imu) and highlighted with a captivating hula show accompanied by the steady beat of hypnotic, Hawaiian drums. Set against a spectacular ocean backdrop with tiki torches dancing in the tropical breeze, here’s your chance to enjoy a variety of local delicacies while watching the sun dip into the deep blue Pacific.
Rated among the best courses in the world, the Wailea Gold, Emerald and Blue courses meander throughout the Wailea and Makena resorts offering challenging holes, excellent pro shops, golf schools and on-site, upscale restaurants and lounges with uncompromised views of the Pacific Ocean.
Horseback riding is always a favorite for the kids and Makena Stables offers both morning and sunset tours lasting 2 ½ hours and boasting panoramic views of Haleakala, Molokini and Kaho’olawe.
OCEANSIDE YOGA OR MASSAGE
Maybe yoga is part of your everyday routine and you don’t want to miss a day while on vacation, or perhaps you just want to see what all the fuss is about. Either way, a yoga session on one of Maui’s pristine beaches can only make a great vacation even better! Maui Beach Yoga is one of many yoga studios that will meet you on the sand and set you straight!
MAUI OCEAN CENTER, PACIFIC WHALE FOUNDATION AND NOAA HUMPBACK WHALE NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
Get Smart! While the humpback whales only come around during the winter months, the Maui Ocean Center has a great display of sea turtles, sharks and other sea-dwelling creatures all year long at their facility in Ma’alaea. Kids are invited to a Shark Sleepover where they can peek into the nocturnal lives of marine animals and give their parents a night on their own! The Pacific Whale Foundation, also in Ma’alaea, offers the Volunteer on Vacation program as well as Moonlight Tide Pool Explorations, Ocean Camp and an on-site Naturalist program. In Kihei, the NOAA Humpback Whale Sanctuary invites visitors to their facility that includes a living, ancient fishpond.
KEALIA POND AND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
After dinner, how does a sunset stroll on the Kealia Pond boardwalk sound? This natural wetland is a coastal salt marsh that is home to 30 species of waterfowl, shorebirds and migratory ducks and a haven for the endangered ae’o (Hawaiian stilt) and ‘alae ke oke’o (Hawaiian coot). From late summer to early spring, the Kealia pond supports an assemblage of migratory birds. There are a few places along the boardwalk where you can access the nearly deserted Kealia Beach, also a nesting ground for the endangered hawskbills turtle.
Modern civilization mingles with ancient Hawaiian culture throughout the island as exemplified at Makena Surf, part of the Destination Resorts Hawaii collection, where the resort was built around an ancient heiau. From the lively sounds of the ukulele to the fluid storytelling of hula, the culture of Hawaii thrives. Visit the Oluwalu Petroglyphs for a haunting look into the ancient past or enjoy one of the many festivals that take place on the island.
Beat Summer Boredom by Air:
If you just have to see it all, there’s no more complete picture of Maui than what you see when you’re looking at it from a helicopter! See the entire reef through the turquoise waters from high above, fly face-to-face with a towering waterfall, follow the famous, winding “Road to Hana” from above or look back at the island as the waves crash into the rocky, northern shores. If you’re lucky, you may even fly through a rainbow!
Ho’okipa means hospitality, and the Ho’okipa Desk at Destination Resorts Hawaii is on-hand to assist you with whatever cures your summer boredom!