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Posted On 06/01/2018 18:21:49
Trip Date 08/16/2017
Destinations | Hawaii | Maui | Snorkeling | Wailea Beach | Big Beach | Turtle Town | Secret Cove | Sugar Museum
Whatever we did, we knew that we wanted to make the most of our last day on Maui. Scott had found a museum that he was interested in touring and we both wanted to snorkel again before leaving the island, so we started our day by heading to the
southwestern Maui coastline.
If you are interested in spending the better part of a day enjoying Maui's beach scene, read on to learn a bit about our experiences at some of the most recommended beaches (with no entrance fees) on the island. Whether you are interested in
snorkeling, swimming or just soaking up the sun, you are sure to find that a visit to one or more of these beaches will make for an enjoyable day.
Turtle Town, located at the southern edge of Wailea Beach, was our first destination. After relaxing and people watching on our beach chairs courtesy of our Airbnb
host, it was time to get in the water.
People Watching at Turtle Town
Turtle Town at Wailea Beach
Scott was quicker than me, so before I had my snorkel gear on, he was already following a turtle.
Turtle at Turtle Town
Although I was not fast enough to see the turtle, I did swim out near him and enjoyed seeing the various other water creatures.
Water Creatures at Turtle Town
I'm not sure how I realized it, but all of a sudden I began swimming to shore as fast as I could as I had forgotten to remove my FitBit before getting into the water. (It has not been a good couple of days for me and my electronics.) As expected, my FitBit
had drowned (the display was blank), and I was upset over my stupid mistake so I punished myself by not getting back in the water! Fortunately Scott continued to snorkel while I was pouting, and had great luck spotting (and photographing) several
more turtles, including one extremely large turtle who Scott believed was the mayor - I guess it's called Turtle Town for a reason! (While waiting for Scott, I overheard several people talking about turtles swimming close to shore, so I walked up near the
water ... without my camera or my FitBit ... and I was able to see a turtle swimming nearby.)
The Community at Turtle Town
Once Scott returned to shore, we enjoyed drying off on our chairs until the waves started getting higher and the water began creeping up much closer to our resting spot. As our goal was to get dry - not wet - we decided to pack up and check out some
of the other nearby beaches.
Our second stop was Makena Beach State Park, better known as Big Beach, just a few miles down the coast. Both the parking lot and beach were
quite crowded as compared to Turtle Town, so we decided to move on after taking a quick peak at the beach.
Maui's Big Beach
I was intrigued by the comments about one of the beaches that appeared on several of the "best beaches in Maui" lists, so we next drove a little further south to find Pa'ako Beach, also known as Secret Cove. While it is a public beach, access to the beach is via a narrow path with black lava rock walls between two rather nice homes, hence the nickname "secret".
Entrance to Secret Cove
We were quite lucky as there were only a handful of people in the small cove which is not a good beach for swimming or snorkeling, but is apparently a destination for many weddings. The peaceful beach with golden sand coupled with the stark black
lava rocks made for a relaxing stop to listen to the waves crashing against the rocks, watch the hermit crabs crawling in the sand and enjoy the view of beautiful blue water.
Hermit Crab at Secret Cove
Tips for Enjoying Maui's Beaches
If you plan to spend a day visiting one or more of Maui's picturesque beaches, here are a few suggestions to help you make the most of your day:
If you enjoy snorkeling, pack your snorkel gear for your trip to Hawaii. Also, before leaving your home, find out whether your hotel, AirBnb or other lodging will have beach chairs, towels or blankets available for use during your stay. If so, find out
where and how you can borrow them when you check-in. Of course, before heading out toward the beach, make sure to bring them along!
Bring your underwater camera along with you. If you enjoy snorkeling (or any other beach activities) and don't currently own one, shop around and buy an inexpensive one. You won't regret your purchase - especially when you are reminiscing about
your vacation by looking at either your photos or digital memories. (Our relatively inexpensive underwater camera is still working great after more than five years.)
Alexander&Baldwin Sugar Museum
Before dinner and a quick stop at Walmart to buy some rice (which will hopefully help extract any remaining water in my FitBit), we made our final Maui sightseeing stop at the Alexander&Baldwin Sugar Museum (GPS: 20.869384, -156.455035). The museum sat next to Hawaiian Commercial&Sugar Company, Hawaii's last operating sugar mill which closed just under a year ago in December 2016. The $7.00 per adult charge included
admission to a self-guided tour of six museum rooms (geography, water, human resources, plantation, field work and mill) which incorporated a variety of displays including photos, models, personal quotes and audiovisual presentations. In addition to
the exhibits inside the 1,800 square foot museum and small gift shop, there were a variety of outdoor exhibits as well.
Not surprisingly, I started my morning by testing my camera. After leaving the battery compartment open overnight, I hoped that any moisture remaining inside would escape, however, I got the same "lens error" message when I attempted to turn it on.
Needless to say, my camera stayed behind for the day, and we departed with only Scott's camera plus our underwater camera in tow.
After returning to our Airbnb at the end of the day, I put my Fitbit into the bag of rice. My plan is to leave it for at least 24 hours after which I think there is a chance that my FitBit can be brought back to life. I then did my obligatory camera test by
reinserting the battery into the camera, crossing my fingers, and pushing the power button. Unfortunately there was no change - I got the same "lens error" message once again, and have now lost hope that my camera will recover.
Swimming Holes along the Road to Hana
If you have more of an interest in swimming than snorkeling and enjoy hiking with a little bit of adventure, check out our post titled "Hikes Along the Maui Hana Highway" for some off the beaten path swimming holes.
What is your favorite beach on the island of Maui, and why is it at the top of your list?
Total FitBit steps today: 258 (before accidental drowning)
Total Health App steps today: 5,659
Weather:82F Partly Cloudy
Created On 05/28/2018 12:58:01
Updated On 06/25/2018 16:06:34
Scheduled On 06/01/2018 18:21:49
Posted On 06/01/2018 18:21:49
Last Editor Stacy
Location Pa'ako Beach (Secret Cove), Wailea-Makena, HI, United States