For those interested in Hawaiian culture or who are staying nearby, this particular beach and cultural site will be of high interest.
In a nutshell: Kalepolepo Beach Park is a historically significant Hawaiian fishpond and a quiet beach for those staying in the area.
Minuses: Out of the way for the bulk of visitors staying further South.
Sound-bite: “It’s nice to have what feels like your own private beach.”
A small but lovely beach in North Kihei. This was the historical site of a thriving Hawaiian village, and is an important cultural archeological site for native Hawaiians. In fact, this is among the most accessible fishponds open to the public today.
The ancient Hawaiian fish pond (Ko’ie’ie fishpond, one of three in the area) fronts the beach and walls the water off creating a calm shallow pool that is also perfect for keiki.
The beach here is small, and uncrowded. With a dozen beaches that are the definition of perfection just minutes away, few visitors from the resorts further south will wind up coming here. From that perspective, this is more in the class of a “convenience beach” left for residents and visitors staying in the area (yeah, we’re that spoiled here!) For those looking to get away from crowds, Kalepolepo is also a nice escape for a BBQ (there are several in the park) or to simply enjoy a glorious sunset in peace.
An interesting fact is that the water in the fishpond is fed by natural springs just under the surface – ancient Hawaiians understood this, and it is one of the reasons this fishpond was among the highest class reserved only for the use of Hawaiian royalty.
One reason that you will rarely see visitors here is that the most popular print guidebook for Maui marginalizes the entire northern area of Kihei, and over the years since first publication, his opinions have been repeated as fact throughout much popular tourist information; I mention this here because so many will rely on this misinformation as fact, and the author appears to have carelessly discarded many miles of shoreline with one inaccurate (and self-serving) paragraph. In reality these beaches have much to offer visitors seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences, and this small beach in particular has had many volunteers pour heart, soul, and sweat over many years and countless hours. (If you’re interested in learning more facts about this fishpond, NOAA has a very informative article here.)
Location: South Kihei Rd, (Turn off after mi 5 from Hwy 31 aka Piilani Hwy)
GPS Coordinates: 20.763696,-156.459147
Facilities: BBQs & Picnic Tables, Port-a-potty. No lifeguards.
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