Paddle boarding is easy (even standing up)
In addition to surfboard rentals and surfing lessons, you can rent stand-up paddle boards and take lessons at the south end of Kalama Park, just a few blocks from our Maui Vista condo. Go in the morning when the wave action and wind are down. There are several trucks from which you can rent equipment, or you rent from Maui Wave Riders located across the street. Maui Wave Riders also provides lessons.
Lots of turtles off Kalama Park
I’m not sure if it’s really necessary to take a lesson to learn to paddle board. I did and didn’t regret it, but it cost $65 for the board rental plus a “lesson” that lasted all of five minutes. On the other hand, the instructor was always with us and he took us to a great spot over turtle reef. Lots of turtles there. They’ll surface right next to you and swim under your board.
Lots of turtles at Turtle Reef
The commercial snorkeling boats don’t stop at Turtle Reef located 300-400 yards off Kalama Park in Kihei. Perhaps the water is too shallow or there is too much going on in the vicinity – like surfing and stand-up paddle boarding. Maybe it’s too “urban.” (We’re talking south/central Kihei here, not pristine Makena landing.) For whatever reason the big boats don’t go, don’t let it stop you from visiting Turtle Reef.
There are several great ways to get there. (Unless you are a VERY strong swimmer, swimming from shore isn’t one of them.) We’ve been there by stand-up paddle board and kayak. Others use a surf board. You can rent any of these from Maui Wave Riders (across the street from the south end of Kalama Park) or other nearby outfits.
The reef is large and there are turtles everywhere – especially in the morning when the turtles like to feed and the water is calm. As you can see from the map, Turtle Reef is close to our condo at Maui Vista. We launched our kayak at Charley Young Beach and paddled over.
If at first you don’t see turtles, keep looking. When you get in the right spot you’ll see them everywhere. I’ve counted as many at 12 turtle heads out of the water near my stand-up paddle board at a time. They get so close they may bump into you.
Despite the temptation, please don’t touch the turtles – bad karma. If you like, bring snorkel gear to get an even better view!
Two youngsters and a baby turtle
While Turtle Reef is terrific, Turtle Town is great as well. click here to see our post on Turtle Town.
Kihei Caffe from the south
The Kihei Caffe, located across the street from Kalama Park on South Kihei Road, is a ten minute walk from Maui Vista. We rarely go out for breakfast. We usually sip our coffee and have a light meal on the lanai while listening to the birds and gazing at the ocean through the canopy of monkey pod trees. (See why we stay at home?) However, if we do go out, the Kihei Caffe is our destination of choice. In fact, every time we fly to Maui we ALWAYS go to the Kihei Caffe the first morning. We usually haven’t been to the grocery store (Emergency! No coffee!) and we’re still on west coast time so we’re up early.
Getting up early for breakfast at the Kihei Caffe is important. They are EXTREMELY popular in the morning. They open at 5 AM and are generally crowded not long after 7:00. If you want to avoid a long line, get there early or plan to eat late.
To be generous, from the outside the Kihei Caffe does not look upscale. (Ok – it looks like a hole in the wall.) If you want white table cloths in a romantic hand-holding setting, go to Wailea. You can still hold hands at the Kihei Caffe, but you’ll have to bring your own romance.
All seating is outdoors at the Kihei Caffe
You order inside where the line often snakes through a (short) stanchioned pathway like a ride at Disneyland. There is no inside seating. You order and pay then find a table outdoors. We suggest you buy pastries and/or coffee you can take to your table for something to munch/drink while you wait for the rest of your order to arrive. When it’s ready, one of the waitstaff will shout out your name as they carry your breakfast from the kitchen. The portions are large and the food is excellent. We usually split an order (ask for an extra plate) and have a big macademia nut cinnamon roll while we sip our coffee and wait for the main course. Enjoy!
NOTE: Cash only…as in NO credit cards or checks. They do provide an ATM machine, but we assume that carries a fee.