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Awesome Beaches in and around Wailea

The island of Maui is known for its beaches.  Below are some of the best beaches in and around Wailea.

Wailea Beach  
Situated between Four Seasons Resort and Grand Wailea Resort, Wailea Beach is only 1/3 of a mile from Maui Breeze Retreat at Ho’olei.  It is a wide beach with plenty of sandy area.  The beach is sometimes crowded, but the sand and ocean are inviting.  There is a paved path that strolls along the beach and free public parking right next to Four Seasons Resorts that gives you close access.  Vendors rent beach items that include beach chairs, umbrellas, chase lounges, kayaks, boogie boards, paddle boards and snorkel gear.  Shopping and restaurants are also nearby.  
Distance from Maui Breeze Retreat at Ho’olei:  0.3 mile

Ulua Beach
Ulua Beach is a quarter mile long pocket of sandy beach.  It is popular with dive instructors, as there is a good beginner level dive at the outer reef.  Great area to snorkel and boogie board.  Look for sea turtles swimming in the water.  Beach parking available.
Distance from Maui Breeze Retreat at Ho’olei:  0.8 mile

Po'olenalena Beach Park
Also known as Paipu Beach, Po’olenalena is a beautiful, long sandy beach, that until recent years was mostly known only by locals. Because it has spectacular sunset views, and often becomes uncrowded late in the day, it is a favorite location for wedding photographers and ceremonies.
Distance from Maui Breeze Retreat at Ho’olei:  1.5 miles

Keawakapu Beach
Keawakapu is another beach available when it comes to Maui portrait photography.  Vacationers tend to get great pictures of the rocks and sunset here.  It is a long beach that is in front of private residences.  With some parking and a shower area, this is also a local favorite.  
Distance from Maui Breeze Retreat at Ho’olei:  2.0 miles

Maluaka Beach
Maluaka is one of Makena's gems. This beach has great snorkeling and swimming.  Areas around here are often referred to as Turtle Town Maui.  With picnic areas, restrooms, and showers, Maluaka is one of the best beaches in southwestern Maui and is ideal for families.
Distance from Maui Breeze Retreat at Ho’olei:  2.7 miles

Big Beach (Makena State Park)   
Located on the southwestern portion of Maui, Big Beach lives up to its name as a very large beach.  You will find approximately a mile of perfect orange and white sand, cliffy dramatic landscape and water that is brilliant blue and green.  There is little reef around here, which makes the sand bottom shine up through the water to give it a tropical brightness. Over the cliffs from Big Beach is Little Beach. 
Distance from Maui Breeze Retreat at Ho’olei:  4.0 miles

Little Beach
This is Maui’s most popular clothing-optional beach.  The waves here are perfect for bodysurfing and surfing.  It offers a reef break off the South side of the beach.  At sunset on Sundays, everyone celebrates by swimming and cheering as a large drum circle beats away with imaginative fire-twirling.  This is an eclectic adventure!  Bring a flashlight to get back over the rocky cliffs at night. 
Distance from Maui Breeze Retreat at Ho’olei:  4.0 miles 

Charley Young Beach
On the north end of Kamaole Beach Park 1, you will find an area known as Charley Young Beach.   With great views and perfect sand, Charley Young Beach is a great spot to spend with family and friends.  There are port-a-potties and showers but no lifeguards.  The parking for this beach is limited to what you can find on the side of South Kihei Road.  This is a swimming beach that offers visitors one of the best beaches in Kihei.
Distance from Maui Breeze Retreat at Ho’olei:  4.3 miles

Kalama Beach Park
Possessing a large amount of land but not much sandy beach, Kalama Beach Park has great facilities and plenty of room for large gatherings.  For those who like to play volleyball, Kalama is a dream come true.  The volleyball courts are well lit late into the night.  There is also a small skate park.
Distance from Maui Breeze Retreat at Ho’olei:  4.8 miles

MAUI WHALE WATCHING

by Matthew Morris - Each year the humpback whales migrate to Hawaii to give birth, mate, and enjoy the tropical waters that surround the Hawaiian islands. Though the whale season is technically from December 15th to May 15th each year, the best months to enjoy this activity are from January through March with peak months in February and March.  The first sightings often occur in late fall, though it is not as common to see pods of whales and playful activity until the peak season when the whales begin to be more aggressive to court and mate.

Whale sightings can vary depending on the time of year.  A suggestion is to enjoy whale sightings on other trips such as sunset sails or snorkeling trips.  We find that most guests already want to do these activities and it is great to schedule two activities on the same trip!  Current law requires boats to turn off their engines in the event a whale is approaching within a certain distance.  It is not uncommon for captains to stop and observe the whales during a sunset sail or snorket trip.

There are many options to consider for whale watching tours here on Maui and we typically recommend taking advantage of this fun activity during your stay.  Below we have included some of our top recommendations to consider and we encourage guests to reach out to our private concierge with questions or to consider customized options such as a private charter:

 

LUXURY CATAMARAN WHALE WATCHING TOUR
  • Offered: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday
  • Tour Times: 2:00pm
  • Trip Duration: 2 Hours from start to finish
  • Highlights: Includes captain, crew, restrooms, upgraded appetizers and premium open bar (age 21+)
  • Location: Ma’alaea Harbor
  • Approximate Distance Away from Maui Breeze Retreat: 20 – 25 minutes

Departing from central Maui, this luxury catamaran offers ample space for guests to move around the boat to see whales.  The catamaran features ample seating around the boat as well for those guests who wish to enjoy the viewings while seated.  The crew will discuss various topics during the trip and assist in answering questions from guests. Enjoy amenities such as food, beverage, and bar (age 21+ to consume). Restrooms are available on board. All reservations should be booked in advance and require a 72 hour cancellation policy.  Learn more or request a booking online here: Luxury Catamaran Whale Watching Tour.


 

MA’ALAEA HARBOR WHALE WATCHING CATAMARAN
  • Offered: Daily Upon Availability
  • Tour Times: 1:30pm
  • Trip Duration: 2 Hours from start to finish
  • Highlights: Includes captain, crew, restrooms, light snacks/appetizers, and 2 cocktails (age 21+)
  • Location: Ma’alaea Harbor
  • Approximate Distance Away from Maui Breeze Retreat: 20 – 25 minutes

Departing from central Maui, this catamaran offers guests ample space to move around the boat to observe the humpback whales.  All of the crew are certified marine biologists that assist in providing questions about whales and to create discussions with guests about the whales. The boat features seating outside as well as down below, though the best place to view the whales is from the outside deck space.  The boat features restrooms, bar area, light snacks, and ample seating.  All reservations should be booked in advance and require a 72 hour cancellation policy. Learn more or request a booking online here: Ma’alaea Harbor Catamaran.


 

OCEAN RAFT WHALE WATCHING TOUR
  • Offered: Daily Upon Availability
  • Tour Times: 8:00am, 10:00am, 12:00pm
  • Trip Duration: 1.5 Hours from start to finish
  • Highlights: Includes captain, crew. Age 4+ Only! Please note that this is a high speed raft that covers more water than a catamaran
  • Location: Kihei (South Maui)
  • Approximate Distance Away from Maui Breeze Retreat: 10 minutes or less

Departing from Kihei, this exciting rafting trip is a unique experience that adds thrills to your trip! The boat is much smaller and faster than the larger catamarans. The tour can hold around 20 guests.  This excursion does not include any food or beverage amenities, though the trip is a little shorter in duration compared to the catamarans.  All reservations should be booked in advance and require a 72 hour cancellation policy.  Learn more or request a booking online here: Kihei Ocean Raft Tour.

We hope that this information has been helpful to you and your guests.  For additional questions or to book your next Maui whale watching tour or other items, please contact Maui Breeze Retreat’s Concierge at 808-868-0253 or by email at info@MauiActivityConcierge.com.

WAILEA & KIHEI DINING RECOMMENDATIONS

by Matthew Morris - The island of Maui has many great places to dine. While some guests prefer more casual dining establishments, other guests prefer to be wined & dining at some of the best island restaurants. South Maui (Kihei & Wailea areas) has many great places to dine out for any occasion. We highly recommend that guests plan ahead of time for making reservations at any of the fine dining restaurants.  Some of the casual dining options below may accept reservations while others do not accept advance reservations. Other restaurants such as Mama’s Fish House are very popular, though we always encourage guests to consider other options for their stay. Here are some of our favorite places to dine in Kihei and Wailea:

Casual Local Restaurants
– Nalu’s South Shore Grill: Casual atmosphere with fresh sandwiches and breakfast items
– Paia Fish Market: casual sandwiches, always have fresh fish options on the menu
– Cafe O’Lei excellent modern local items, great lunch specials too
– Sansei Japanese / Sushi located in Kihei, quite popular restaurant
– Coconut’s Fish Cafe: variety of locally sourced fish, try their fish tacos!
– Fork & Salad: A brand new restaurant with many fresh salads and healthy eats

Fine Dining Recommendations
– Wolfgang Puck Spago: Locally inspired cuisine at the Four Seasons Resort
– Kō Restaurant: Modern, locally inspired dishes at the Fairmont Resort
– Ka’ana Kitchen: Modern dishes with a changing menu, at the Andaz Resort
– Duo Steak & Seafood: Located at the Four Seasons Maui
– Restaurant Hotel Wailea: this restaurant serves French/American/Italian menu
– Morimoto Maui: located at the Andaz resort, serves mostly items from the sea
– Mill House Restaurant: Modern, locally inspired, farm to table concept (about 20 min. Away from Kihei)

Local / Hole-In-The-Wall
– Monsoon India: ocean view in North Kihei with live music on weekends (usually)
– Blue Moon Cafe: great for casual lunch. Mom & Pops feel with ample menu choices
– Kihei Cafe: open for breakfast & lunch only. Get there early! (cash only)
– Da Kitchen: variety of local items, very busy & popular!
– La Tienda Del Sol: mexican restaurant (cash only)

Food Trucks (locations change often)
– Outrigger Pizza Company: Brick oven pizza (usually at Kukui Mall)
– Azeka Food Truck Park: variety of different styles and food trucks
– Horitos Mexican Food Truck (near 76 Gas Station in Kihei)

Happy Hour & Bar Recommendations
– Maui Brewing Company: great local beers & and brand new restaurant
– Sarento’s on the Beach: located on Keawakapu Beach, beautiful ocean views
– Pint & Cork: casual yet still upscale feel located in Shops of Wailea
– Kō Restaurant: nice for happy hour with flatbreads and other appetizers
– Sansei: they are quite popular and known for their late night happy hour (weekends)

Local Grocery Stores / Liquor Stores
– Times Supermarket: 1310 South Kihei Road, Kihei HI 96753
– Safeway Grocery Store: 277 Piikea Avenue, Kihei HI 96753
– Foodland Grocery Store: 1881 South Kihei Road, Kihei HI 96753
– Hawaiian Moon Natural Foods: 2411 South Kihei Road, Kihei HI 96753
– Wailea Wine: 161 Wailea Ike Pl, Kihei, HI 96753
– Tamara’s Liquor Store: 91 E Lipoa St, Kihei, HI 96753

Are you looking for a custom dinner for a special event? Contact us today at 808-868-0253 or by email to learn more about this service and one of our dedicated concierge agents will be able to assist in providing more details about catering and Private Chef services for your stay. We hope that this information has been helpful to you and your guests and we are looking forward to assisting you for your next dining experience on Maui!

HOW TO PICK THE BEST LUAU ON MAUI

by Matthew Morris – Maui offers a variety of luaus and it can get a little overwhelming to find the best fit for you and your guests.  While reviews are helpful, keep in mind that just because something has good reviews does not mean it is the experience you are looking for.  With so many luau options offered on Maui, how you do you know which one to book?

Everyone has their idea of what luau option works best for them. Some guests will be traveling with a group while other guests will be traveling with their significant other or a smaller family. Group luaus can easily be arranged as single family options through advance notification. Below are more details about our top luau recommendations. Space is often limited and some luau options are reserved months ahead of time depending on the time of year.

The first step step in deciding which luau is right for you is to be aware that there are 2 styles of luaus offered on Maui:  (1) traditional luaus which include hula dancing only; and (2) Polynesian luaus that combine hula and traditional hula dancing in one show.  While you may read reviews online that say a particular option is the “best” or “the worst”, please keep in mind that particular luau may not be the right fit for what you are looking to experience.  We often find that guests are disappointed in some luaus because they thought it was good because of all of the great reviews, only to find out it was not the style of luau they wanted to attend.

The next step is to plan ahead and reserve your ticket early and to decide what type of seating you prefer.  Most luaus offer seating in “standard” or “premium” seats and essentially this is like most airlines in that they have economy class and first-class seating. Some luaus will book you in seats based on the time you book, i.e. the sooner you book the better the seats while other luaus have guests seated on a first come first serve basis.  While most luaus offered table and chair style seating, some luaus offer cushioned ground seating. With so many options and factors to consider, we can help you plan your preferred luau activities.

AFTERNOON MAUI ACTIVITIES

by Matthew Morris - For those guests looking to sleep in and avoid the early morning tours, there are a few great choices to consider going on during your time on Maui. Though the morning trips are usually a little more popular, the afternoon trips are usually a little less crowded and not to mention, less in price too. Some guests just find afternoon trips to work better in their schedule.  Here are our top recommendations for afternoon trips on Maui:

Molokini Express
This fun ocean raft will depart from the Kihei Boat ramp and take guests on a 2 hour Molokini snorkeling tour. The boat is designed to scoot along the water at higher speeds so it only takes about 20 minutes or less to get to the Molokini crater compared to a forty-five minute trip by catamaran. The Molokini Crater is a pretty well-known snorkeling spot and one of the nice things about this time of day is that some of the boats will start to leave to return back to the harbor by the time this trip arrives. Your trip will depart at 11:30am and will return back by 1:30pm and will include all of the snorkeling gear for guests. Another reason to love this trip is that it is usually less crowded even though it only holds 20 guests or so. This trip is $57+taxes per guest and departs daily from Kihei. Due to the nature of this trip, guests with previous neck or back injuries may not participate. You can see more about this trip online here: 2 Hour Molokini Ocean Rafting

Luxury Afternoon Catamaran
Departing the Ma’alea Harbor in central Maui, this catamaran offers guests a first class experience from the moment they board the boat to the time they return back to the dock. This trip will take guests to the Olowalu Reef area between Ma’alaea and Lahaina, this afternoon snorkeling trip will be three hours total from 1:00pm to 4:00pm and will include top-of-the-line amenities such as snorkeling gear, fresh water showers, premium bar, and a vast assortment of snacks such as hot & cold appetizers. Another great feature of this boat is that they do include a shuttle service from your accommodation in South or West Maui to the harbor and is a great feature to most guests who do not wish to drive or do not have cars. Please contact us with questions or request your reservation online today: Luxury Afternoon Catamaran.

Casual Afternoon Sailing Catamaran
For those guest who enjoy sailing, this afternoon trip is great for you! Departing from the Ma’alaea Harbor is central Maui, this trip will take guests to Coral Gardens to snorkeling, relax, and enjoy the afternoon. On the way to and from the snorkeling location, the captain will often raise the sail if the afternoon trade winds are present. Your trip will be a total of three hours from 1:30pm – 4:30pm and will include all of the snorkeling gear needed for that part of the trip. This trip will also include light appetizers and beverages (adult / non-alcoholic). Please contact us with questions or request your reservation online today: Casual Afternoon Sailing Catamaran.

Afternoon Helicopter Flight
Another great trip to consider taking in the afternoon is on board this helicopter tour. There are three primary flights offered during the day time and each will take guests to a different location around the island of Maui. Another reason to consider taking an afternoon flight is it is about $50 less per guest vs. the mid-morning and early afternoon flights. Their “early bird rates” are offered before 8am or after 2pm. Perhaps one of my top recommendations for trips is the West Maui & Moloka’i Flight which will take you around the western portion of Maui to see beautiful waterfalls, scenic coastal regions and fly past Lahaina Town. The next part of the trip takes you to Moloka’i to see the world’s tallest sea cliffs and more stunning waterfalls. You can learn more about this trip online here: West Maui & Moloka’i Flight. The last flight I would recommend in the afternoon is the Full Circle Island Tour which will take your around the entire island of Maui to see all aspects of the island from above. This trip is a little longer since it covers more territory and you can learn more about this trip online here: Full Circle Island Tour. The last flight is the Hana & Haleakala tour which is recommended usually in the morning time due to the building cloud coverage in the later afternoon hours.

We hope that this information has been helpful to you and you are welcome to reach out to us with any questions by email at info@mauiactivityconcierge.com or by phone at 808-868-0253.  We are happy to help find the right options for you and your guests during your stay on Maui. We are looking forward to providing any further assistance to you!