Almost 2 months ago I went to Maui and it was basically the best trip of my life. I seriously still daydream about how pretty the islands of Hawaii are. If you’re going to Maui soon, I’m jealous and please take me with you. Also, here are five things you should check out while you’re there!
Baby Beach rocks. I mean, it’s kind of lame if you’re looking to get tossed around in big waves or maybe do some deep-sea snorkeling. I, however, am not into either of those things, so I think Baby Beach rocks. The beach gets its name because it’s pretty shallow and has super mellow waves, meaning that you can plop your baby down at the water’s edge and not have to worry that the lil guy will get swept out to sea. While it’s a really good place for babies, it’s also a really good place for teenage/adult people who want a relaxing place to lay in the warm water and snorkel around some coral.
The waves break at some rocks about 100 yards from shore and the water is only like waist deep until you get all the way out there. There’s a TON of coral about a foot underwater which makes for an interesting snorkeling maze. Once you get far enough offshore there’s tropical fish that swim all around. It wasn’t the best snorkeling we found, but it was unique because of how shallow the water is and how close you get to the coral and the fish. Here’s where it is and where to park:
Parking was super easy and free. You park along Kenui Street and then walk in through Kai Pali Place. The trail to enter the beach will be on your left. Happy beachin’ ☺️
The second time we visited we came equipped with pool floaties from Target. They were like 3$ each and PERFECT for this beach. Since there’s no waves, Baby Beach is the ideal place to float around on the ocean. We floated at sunset after eating tacos and I think that’s when I reached maximum happiness. If you’re going to Maui, you can’t miss a relaxing sunset float here!
A Haleakala Sunrise
Another thing that was absolutely unforgettable was watching the sun come up from the summit of Mt. Haleakala. At 10,023ft up, you’re above the clouds and can see the entire island. We had to get up really early (like, middle of the night early) to do the 1.5 hour drive there from Kihei all before 5:50AM.
Advice! When you google map the distance to see how long it will take you to get there, make sure to factor in traffic. Tyler and I barely gave ourselves 10 minutes extra, but it turns out that getting up before dawn even cracks isn’t that uncommon of a thing to do. We almost missed sunrise because the entrance to the park gets kind of traffic-y! Give yourself an extra 20-30 minutes to make sure you’re parked and ready to go when the sun first begins to peek over the horizon.
The park fee is $15 dollars and they only take cash at the booth so make sure you’re ready. The ticket is good for 3 days after you enter, which is good because you’ll need it when you do the Road to Hana later!
Do Some Sneakin’
Maui is a tropical place and it will probably rain while you’re there. Everything is better in Hawaii, though, so the rain is warm, the air is warm, and it will still probably be sunny-ish. Don’t let the rain ruin your beach day! It stormed our last day on the island but instead of packing up and heading back to our place, we threw our snorkel gear in the rental car and played in the rain. We ran all the way down the beach before realizing that some beaches have hotel entrances. So, we dusted off our best “act natural” walk and strutted right on in to a resort. It had pools, hot tubs, plenty of towels, and outdoor showers.
Tip: If there are other guests out and about, check their wrists to make sure they aren’t wearing pool access wristbands. If the hotel doesn’t give out pool wristbands or check room keys at the entrance, there’s no way to know that you’re not a guest! Except obviously, don’t do anything stupid or rude when “borrowing” a hotel’s pool and hot tub. Play it cool.
Snorkel Your Brains Out
Ugh, guys. Snorkeling is so great. Hawaii has clear, warm waters and SEA TURTLES. Need I say more?! You should definitely snorkel while you’re in Maui. Don’t even worry about not being a good swimmer because I’m not a good swimmer either and I did it multiple times in different places and saw like 6 huge turtles. I would probably put myself in the ‘fraidy-cat category of oceangoers because I don’t know how to handle myself in waves so they kind of scare me even though I love them. It’s a mixed relationship. The ocean and I are registered as “it’s complicated” on Facebook.
BUT Tyler brought me a life jacket to wear while we were snorkeling and it eased my drowning anxiety even though I looked like a huge tourist noob. If you’re not a confident ocean swimmer but you still want to see some underwater Finding Nemo action, bring something floaty! A boogie board or regular pool noodle will work just as well as the life vest, and probably also make you look like less of a noob. I just embrace my floatation device by telling myself that it’s less embarrassing to just wear a life vest than to accidentally semi-drown and have to be water rescued/taken to the hospital or something.
You don’t need to pay for a snorkel tour to snorkel. Actually, it might even be better to not pay for the snorkel tour. Snorkeling gear is like $15-$30 at Target/Wal-mart and that’s waaaaay cheaper than the $100-$150 you would pay to do the same thing. Just find a beach that has some offshore rocks and walk on in the water and swim on out. I guarantee you’ll have just as good of a time, for a fraction of the cost.
We snorkeled at pretty much every beach we went to and there were plenty of things to see at all of them. My favorite was a place called “Makena Landing Park”. It’s a bay type of area so the waves won’t toss you around. I saw the most awesome sea turtle here, and I felt safe enough to snorkel life jacket free. There were no other tourists there besides us, pretty much only locals which made me feel like a legit Hawaiian. Definitely check it out! This picture is from that beach but we had already finished snorkeling. Look closely & you’ll see Tyler’s super awesome goggle lines 😉 That’s how you know you snorkeled hard!
Go to a Secluded Beach: Poolenalena Park!
Forget the schoolyard playground, this beach is definitely not what us mainlanders traditionally think of as a “park”. It’s more like gorgeous golden sand and less than 5 other people on the entire beach. We found this beach kind of on accident simply by opening google maps and scoping for a beach with a parking lot around it. When you pull into the lot, there’s a little trail to the right that leads to the “secret” beach. Take that! When we arrived around 9AM on our first morning there we were the first ones there and had literally the entire beach to ourselves. That would never happen here in California. Ugh, Hawaii is magic. A few other groups of people arrived as the day went on, but the beach is huge and it still felt secluded. I highly recommend checking out this beach if you’re in South Maui and want a beach that’s off the beaten path.
Here’s an idea of what the little trail looks like:
If you’re planning your Maui excursion, I hope I helped you brainstorm some cool and affordable ideas! If you’re not planning a Maui excursion, I hope you’re inspired to now plan a Maui excursion. If you’re thinking, “Ugh, I wish I could go on a Maui excursion but I’m just a poor college student and can’t make it happen”, I feel you, homie. Read my post here about how Tyler and I sent ourselves on this trip sans-parental financial help with just our college student budget.
That’s all for me today! Talk to you guys soon 😘