My criteria for the perfect keiki beach: mellow water for the baby, lots of sand, entertaining enough for the big brother, not too far of a walk to and from the car.
I’m often asked where I am always beaching it, so I thought I’d make a compilation of my favorite ways to spend a day off.
Keiki Beach, aka Baby Beach, aka Mala
The ocean on the West Side of Maui is protected by Molokai and Lanai, making the waters postcard perfect. This little spot has additional protection from an unexposed coral reef. Shallow depths stretch out far offshore. Perfect for babies, toddlers learning to swim, big kids snorkeling and a mellow mommy sipping a Perrier in the sand.
Not to mention a dozen excellent restaurants in the area, a great excuse to play tourist.
Disclaimer: Just because a beach is named for it’s awesome baby appeal doesn’t mean you don’t have to supervise your children closely. Always be with your child near the water as tides and waves can be unpredictable.
Driving towards Lahaina, there is a stunning stretch of shoreline just before Oluwalu Store. The waters are calmed by miles of reef, (unless there is a swell) and typical wind direction is blocked by beautiful Pu’u Kukui, or West Maui Mountains. Great for snorkeling and having a spiritual moment in the warm waters. Don’t forget to stop for a delicious lunch at Leoda’s Pie Shop just down the road.
NOTE: Don’t wear light colored kinis or you’ll be picking fine black sand out of your suit for days.
Baby Beach, Sprecklesville
Not to be confused with Baby Park, which is closer to Paia Town, this beautiful swim spot goes from shallow to medium depth and is protected by a nice strip of reef rock. Babies can be seen splashing at the shoreline. This beach is no secret and its well known as the most popular beach for the kiddos. Your baby will always make a friend for the day.
Fun Fact: this area, now known as Sprecklesbille, is rich in history. The battle in which the two sons of a Maui’s King Kekaulike battled for the rights for Maui, took place here in the early 1700s.
Nice ocean pond created by a rock wall. Tide comes in and out, keeping the water fresh, clean and cool. Great little surf spot too for the big kids and the awesome surfing mamas and daddy’s. Oh, and showers and a working bathroom! Very popular and busy beach.
By the way: Parking is a bitch. You need to know this.
Let’s face it, you don’t always want to come home salty and sandy…
Nestled within West Maui Mountains, this amazing State Park has so much history. In addition to the cultural proponent, Iao Needle and stunning mountainsides, there is a stream that is perfect for a refreshing dip that doesn’t require a long hike.
If you skip the dip, the amazing energy from the lush green mountains will be enough to restore your spirit.
Caution: Experienced swimmers only! Check with the park employees to make sure that it is safe to swim on the day you are there, as flash floods happen with the rains up in the mountains.
Well that is that! I would be lying if I said I didn’t fail to mention some pretty epic spots. But let’s just say some places are better left unrevealed, because being somewhat unknown makes them all the more amazing.
Now get out there and seek some adventure!