Kamaole Beach Park II in Kihei, Maui (©Ivan Sabo/Shutterstock)
This unpretentious South Maui town draws locals and visitors to its beaches. Some of north Kihei’s beaches are not ideal for swimming, but the brisk winds off Mai Poina Oe lau Beach nevertheless draws windsurfers and kiteboarders. Charley Young Beach all the way down to Keawakapu Beach is superb, and the snorkeling is especially great along the reef between Kamaole Beach Parks II and III. Other Kihei attractions include the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Marine Resource Center and whale-watching in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. You can get here from Maalaea by heading south along Highway 31 into Kihei but we recommend taking the South Kihei Road, which closely follows the shoreline.