Category: 'Beaches | West Maui' by rating

West Maui – Quick Summary

Last updated 28. Sep, 2009 by .

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General Geographic Area: West Maui

General Geographic Area: West Maui

In a nutshell: West Maui is home to loads of beautiful beaches, and the towns of Lahaina and Ka’anapali. To the north of this region, Ka’anapali and Kapalua boast plenty of higher-end condos and resort hotels, plus four world-class golf courses. Lahaina, the most-visited spot on Maui, is midway around the head and where you’ll find lower and mid-range lodging options.
Minuses: Only one narrow two-lane road in and out makes for the most congested traffic in Maui.
Sound-bite: “Today: Golf lessons, shopping, then some

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Snorkeling Basics & Snorkeling Map

Last updated 27. Jul, 2013 by .

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Fish Like Reef!
The first thing you learn snorkeling is that fish like the reef. Good news: Maui is surrounded with reef! Some areas have more reef than others, but all an experienced snorkeler needs is spotting from the shore with polarized sunglasses and maybe a closeup peek through the ocean surface using Google satellite maps.

View MauiGuidebook.com West/South Maui Snorkel Map in a larger map

Maps
The maps that can be found at rental shops, guidebooks and the one above are really just meant for beginning snorkelers and newcomers …

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Kahekili Beach Park

Last updated 15. Jul, 2009 by .

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The reef is right there, visible from the beach.

The reef is right there, visible from the beach.

Rating: ★★★★½

In a nutshell: Drive-up snorkeling convenience on a wonderful, less-than-crowded resort beach.
Minuses: The plus is the minus: ocean entry directly onto reef.
Sound-bite: “Welcome to McSnorkels, may I take your order?”

DETAILS:
This beach is the Northern most beach in the Ka’anapali Beach Resort, but is less crowded and commercialized than its sister to the South, Ka’anapali Beach. Kahekili Beach is long, there are ample facilities – and like most Ka’anapali beaches, Kahekili does not disappoint.

King Kahekili

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Black Rock (Pu'u Keka'a)

Last updated 23. Jun, 2009 by .

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Black Rock is great fun to jump from!

Black Rock is great fun to jump from!

Rating: ★★★★½

In a nutshell: Black Rock is at the north end of Ka’anapali Beach, and is a great place to cliff-jump into the ocean, and snorkel.
Minuses: The uncoordinated may experience an up-close once-in-a-lifetime lava experience.
Sound-bite: “Wooohoooo!” [SPLASH!]

DETAILS:
Black Rock was formed from one of the last-gasp lava flows on this side of the island. It is a rocky outcrop at the far North end of Ka’anapali Beach and blocks off access (from the beach) to the lesser-known Ka’anapali Resort …

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D.T. Fleming Beach Park

Last updated 02. May, 2010 by .

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D.T. Fleming Beach Park

D.T. Fleming Beach Park

Rating: ★★★★½

In a nutshell: Long, sandy sometimes crowded beach backed by ironwoods.
Minuses: Crowded on weekends. Afternoons can be very windy.
Sound-bite: “…fantastic place to just set up some chairs and watch…”

QUICK SUMMARY:
Long, sandy sometimes crowded beach backed by ironwoods (read: shade) and full facilities. Next to Kapalua resort and the Ritz Carlton.

This world-class beach is much less developed far less touristy than Ka’anapali Beach, however conditions can become dangerous during high surf with strong rip currents and powerful waves common.

For experienced …

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Ka'anapali Beach

Last updated 23. Jun, 2009 by .

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Ka'anapali Beach at the Ka'anapali Ali'i

Ka’anapali Beach at the Ka’anapali Ali’i

Rating: ★★★★½

In a nutshell: Ka’anapali Beach is a mile-long, spectacularly perfect beach that is home to seven resorts, high-end shopping, various restaurants and activities.
Minuses: The true Hawai’i here has been replaced by a highly profitable replica.
Sound-bite: “What-ever. Louis Vuitton snorkel gear is so last-year.”

DETAILS:
Ka’anapali Beach runs from Black Rock to Canoe Beach, fronted by seven resorts, Whalers Village Mall, and many fine shops & restaurants. The beach itself is perfection. Long, wide and sandy, the water entry and swimming …

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Ocean Conditions

Last updated 04. Aug, 2010 by .

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In normal conditions, on beaches where there are lifeguards, the ocean is relatively safe to play. But conditions can change, and the surf can get big, rip currents form, and swimming can become dangerous at even what appear to be the tamest of beaches.

At beaches with lifeguards, look out for orange high-surf flags in the sand. If they are present, visit the lifeguard stand to read or talk to a lifeguard about the conditions.

Keep in mind that the county almost never closes beaches during dangerous conditions. Flags and …

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Napili Bay

Last updated 07. Oct, 2010 by .

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Napili Beach is postcard perfect

Napili Beach is postcard perfect

Rating: ★★★★☆

In a nutshell: A less crowded, low-key resort beach with a much more family feel than many in West Maui.
Minuses: Parking can be difficult.
Sound-bite: “What is the definition of resort, anyway?”

DETAILS:
Napili Bay has a sandy cove nestled in mid-range resort which is itself nestled in a residential neighborhood.

This “resort” is reminiscent of an older mainland beach town; multiple low-rise condos make up the resort area. Much more basic than the high-end Ka’anapali resorts, and also less expensive and less …

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Oneloa Beach (aka Ironwoods Beach)

Last updated 03. May, 2012 by .

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Ironwoods Beach & Oneloa Bay

Oneloa Beach

Rating: ★★★★☆

In a nutshell: 1/4 Mile long, sandy and uncrowded beach next to Kapalua resort.
Minuses: Can become very windy in afternoons.
Sound-bite: “Where is everyone?”

QUICK SUMMARY:
This is a beautiful 1/4 Mile long, sandy and uncrowded beach next to the Ritz Carlton and Kapalua Resort. It lies roughly midway along a 1.76 mile boardwalk/trail called the Kapalua Coastal Trail that starts at D.T. Fleming Beach and continues to Kapalua Bay. Oneloa means…

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Honolua Bay

Last updated 09. Oct, 2010 by .

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Honolua Bay, view towards beach

Honolua Bay, view towards beach

Rating: ★★★★☆

In a nutshell: Honolua Bay is a spectacular place to snorkel or dive, if you know where to go.
Minuses: Beach uses are mediocre.
Sound-bite: “Honey, your back is really red…”

DETAILS:
Honolua Bay is part of a Marine Life Conservation District, so there is no fishing (or taking of any natural resources, including marine life and even rocks.) We could take a lesson from the early Hawaiians, who were superb stewards of the land and carefully managed all of their important fishing grounds …

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