It seems that on a monthly basis Gentry and I get friends, family, co-workers you name it that ask us questions about their upcoming vaca to Maui. Having lived on the island for 2 years and having done some pretty spectacular things we definitely feel that we know the island well and have some advice we can offer to vacationers. We love talking about our experience on the island and love that we can help people have the greatest vacation possible. That being said I am going to start a series all about MAUI! I’ll cover our favorite beaches, favorite places to stay, ways to save money, fun hikes and excursions and much more.
I’m going to start the series by going over some of my favorite beaches in Kihei. While on island Gentry and I lived at Maui Vista Condominiums in central Kihei. We were within walking distance of some of the best beaches on the entire island so naturally we made sure to take advantage. At the end of a long day out on the water there was nothing we wanted to do more then just sit in the sand and relax so we’d head to the beach! On the weekend when we wanted to hang out with friends, what did we do…head to the beach!
Here is a list of some of my favorite Kihei beaches
Gentry and I love this beach and went it most often since it was right across the street from our condo complex. This beach has multiple parking lots so if you’re not within walking distances that’s not a problem. If your bringing kiddos this is a great option. Waves here are minimal and there are lifeguards on duty to help keep an extra eye out. This beach is within walking distance of some great spots for lunch including our favorite, 808 Deli, our favorite place to grab a sandwich before heading to the beach…YUM!! Up on S. Kihei road at the east parking lot you will find showers and bathrooms which is really awesome should you choose to spend all day at the beach. Not all beaches offer these amenities so this is a real plus! Some of the drawbacks of Charley Young are the lack of shade trees and how popular and busy it can get at times. This is by far one of the largest beaches on island so even on it’s busiest days you can still manage to steal a spot on the sand. If you’re looking to do some snorkeling or boogie boarding this is not the beach for you. The water here although it is beautiful and blue does not have a good reef system so if you choose to put on your mask and snorkel you’ll most likely just be searching for seashells.
Ok, so it’s kind of a tie I guess when it comes to my absolute favorite beache in Kihei. While I love Charley Young and how convenient it was to have a beach within walking distance of our condo, there is SOOO much that I love about Keawakapu. This beach has a huge parking lot so parking usually isn’t an issue unless it’s a super busy day, it has showers and bathrooms near by and my favorite part, it’s right next to the 5 Palms. If you’re one with little kiddos and want to find shade this is a great spot for you. There is a big grass area close to the parking lot that’s the perfect spot to set up camp without having to schlep all of your stuff across the sand. The grass is close to the beach and waters edge but not so close that you have to worry about your kids running straight into the water. During the day you can purchase ice cream, beer, and snacks at the snack shack at the 5 Palms. If you don’t want to hang on the grass this beach is tremendously wide so even on the busiest day you shouldn’t have a problem finding a spot. But the thing that makes this beach extra special is the convenience to the 5 Palms HAPPY HOUR! In the heat of the day there’s nothing you want more then a nice cold mai tai, beer, margarita or glass of wine. Every day at 3:00 the 5 Palms opens up their happy hour. Easily one of my absolutely favorite happy hour spots on the island…that’s saying a lot! You can get drinks from $5.00-$8.00, an awesome sushi menu and all appetizers are half off. They have great food and the open air bar is situated close to the waters edge. If you’re lucky enough to get a table near sunset this is a great spot to grab a drink and watch the sun go down. There really aren’t many drawbacks to this beach…overall I give it 2 thumbs up, definitely go check it out!
So this beach doesn’t exactly make the list for it’s white sand and room to lounge on the beach and get a sun tan but it is a great spot if you want to try your hand at a little surfing or stand up paddle boarding. There is a spot right along Kihei Rd. that has a nice beach to set up your towels for the day, however, my favorite spot is a tiny beach just off of Lliili Rd. If you walk past the parking lot on the corner of Kihei Rd you’ll pass the first set of condos and there is a clearing (pictured below) right before the Punahoa Beach condos that will lead you to a beautiful grassy area, to the right you’ll find another clearing in the brush that will lead you to what I like to call “Tiny Beach” (HAHA…I have no idea what this beach is actually called…sorry). Gentry and I always loved this spot and is super secluded. With usually nobody there Tiny’s beach is perfect if you don’t want to deal with the crowds at the Cove but still want to take advantage of the little waves that come into the bay. There is a small reef system that creates a perfect little rolling wave, a great spot for beginners. If you prefer taking your SUP board out for a little ride without having to deal with the waves this beach is a good place to start. Along the south side of the beach you’ll find a little outcropping of rocks that often attracts turtles which makes a fun spot to paddle around. The one draw back to this beach is because it is so small if the tide is high a good majority of the beach can be washed out, be sure to check it out before you grab all of your stuff from the car or you may end up having to pack everything back up and find another beach.
Whether your a couple on your honeymoon looking to do some sun bathing and have an afternoon drink or a family looking for a fun and safe beach Kihei certainly has some of the best beaches on the island. I absolutely love that I get to share about these beaches. Gentry and I have great memories at them all and every time we get back we try to hit up all of our favorite spots. Hopefully you and your family will find these great beaches to rest and relax on your next vacation!!
Continue to follow along as I share more about my top island restaurants, best happy hour spots, where to stay with you family and much more.