Secret Beach – AKA Makena Cove

Makena Cove

Secret Beach as seen from the west

About a 20 minute drive south from Maui Vista is a small (and not very secret) beach that is a popular site for weddings. While small, it’s never crowded. There are usually lots of turtles off the rocks to the right and left of the beach. Not a great place to swim, but wonderful for relaxing in a beautiful spot. A word to the wise: there are  no facilities at Secret Beach (no water, no showers, not even a porta-potty).

To get there, drive south through Wailea and past the two entrances to Big Beach at Makena State Park. A low lava rock wall starts near the east end of Big Beach. The wall quickly grows in height so you can’t see over it to the presumably lavish residences on the other side. When you see a small break in the wall (see picture below), you have arrived.

Entrance to Secret Beach

Entrance to Secret Beach

When is the best time of year to come to Maui?

There is no best time of year to come to Maui, but different times of year have different opportunities, costs, and somewhat different weather. Let your preferences be your guide.

One of the great attractions on Maui is whale watching. The whales start arriving in late October and November and are present in their thousands sometime in December. The most spectacular displays are usually in January, February and March. You can see impressive sights from shore, and even more amazing views on a whale watching cruise.

Whale calendar with dates

High Low SeasonThe HIGH season runs from a few days before Christmas until spring vacations for schools and universities. Most accommodations, including ours, are more expensive during high season. An even higher premium is charged for the days around Christmas.

The spring and fall tend to be quieter times. There is more room on the beaches, in restaurants, and at tourist destinations. There are more families with children in the summer.

Avg Rain and Temp on MauiThe average high and low temperatures near sea level vary by less than 10 degrees over the course of the year, but the extremes in summer are hotter than those in winter. You’ll see local school kids waiting at the bus stop bundled up for the “winter” weather when morning temperatures are in the 60s. Water temperatures change even less: the average low water temperature is in February and March at 74 degrees Fahrenheit; the average high (in August/September/October) is 79/80 degrees.

Rainfall is a different matter – both by time of year and location. Every month the average number of days of rainfall is less on the south coast of Maui (Kihei, Wailea, Makena) than in the northwest by Kaanapali and Kapalua.

South Kihei Beach Walk

South Kihei Beach Walk MapSouth Kihei has some great beaches where you can walk for miles. This 90 minute walk starts and ends at Charley Young Beach, across the street from our condo at Maui Vista. The round trip is about 3 miles – so the pace is leisurely.

 

Most of the walk is on sand but there are a few places where you’ll want sandals.

 

Don’t forget the sunscreen and be sure to carry water.

 

 

Charley Young Beach

Charley Young Beach

 

 

Start at the north end of Charley Young Beach near these rocks.

About halfway down the beach, Charley Young becomes Kamaole Beach Park I.

Note that all three Kamaole parks have lifeguards, restrooms and showers.

Kamaole Beach II

Kamaole Beach II

 

 

Take the sandy path at the south end of the beach and use the short public access pathway on the makai (water) side of the Royal Mauian Condos to get to Kamaole Beach II.

Check the water as you pass the Royal Mauian. You can often see turtles swimming and feeding off the point.

 

Kamaole Beach III

Kamaole Beach III

You may want your sandals at the south end of Kamaole II as you climb the short slope to the large grassy park of Kamaole III.

On the weekends, this park is a favorite place for local families to host children’s birthday parties.

You can walk through the park on the grass or return to the beach.

 

 

6 - Kihei boat ramp

Kihei Boat Ramp

The south end of Kamaole III is about a mile from the start of this walk. You can turn around here or put on your sandals for an entirely different experience.

If you continue on, stay on the paths that crisscross this natural area – it’s a nesting habitat for the Wedge-tailed Shearwater. You’ll soon see the jetty at the Kihei Boat Ramp.

 

7 - south of boat ramp

Path from the boat ramp to the Kihei Surfside

Walk under the shade trees on the makai side of the boat ramp parking lot. Cross the boat ramp and look for the path just to the right of the paved driveway with the “Do Not Enter” sign.

As you round the corner of this short delightful path you’ll come to the grounds of the Kihei Surfside resort. The public access pathway is next to the water.

Keawakapu Beach

Keawakapu Beach

 

Continue on the boardwalk past the tall Mana Kai Maui Resort and the 5 Palms Restaurant to the north end of Keawakapu Beach.

Turn around here or, if you’re really ambitious, stroll down Keawakapu Beach. It’s another mile to Ulua Beach – just past the last bit of sandy beach in the distance.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding at Kalama Park

Paddle boarding is easy

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

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.

Maui Vista Building 2 gets a new coat of paint

Painting Building 2 - Spring 2013

Painting Building 2 – Spring 2013

Friends and guests who have enjoyed our Maui Vista condo will be pleased to know that Building 2 is getting a new coat of paint. Yes, that’s our unit (Maui Vista 2418) with the painter at the top of the tall ladder.

Remember how there’s no helmet law for motorcycles in Hawaii and how people ride around in the back of pickup trucks sitting on lawn chairs? Well, apparently, there’s no safety enforcement for people working on tall ladders either. Most of the time, the painters get from one unit to another by climbing over the railing, straddling the wall between lanais, and climbing over the railing in the adjacent unit – no safety harness required.

Last year Building 1 was repainted. Next year it’s Building 3’s turn. Everything is looking fresh.

Dale Zarrella discovers mermaid in tree trunk

Mermaid 1Maui artist and Maui Vista neighbor, Dale Zarrella, finished his Damien sculpture last winter. (Click here to learn more about Zarrella’s life-size koa wood sculpture of Father/Saint Damien.)

After carving a green sea turtle out of a koa remnant from the Damien statue, Zarella decided to turn his hand to something a little larger…

This five thousand pound stump from an old monkey pod tree sat in his outdoor studio at the north end of Charley Young Beach when we arrived in early April.

The outline emerges

The outline emerges

By the middle of the month, the outlines of Zarrella’s latest work began to emerge. This is the chainsaw and power tool stage. Progressively finer carving tools – and ultimately – 2000 grit sandpaper are used later.

By the end of April the mermaid’s form was readily apparent. In addition, large sea turtles began to appear below her body and tail.

This large sculpture is the latest in a series of Mermaids Zarrella has carved. Two of his life-sized mermaids can be seen in the lobby of the Makena Golf and Beach Resort. Click here to learn about Zarrella’s artist tour that takes place every Wednesday evening at the resort.

Mermaid 2Notice the void in the stump above the mermaid’s left arm and hand. The three rocks holding down papers on the scaffold were lodged in the crevice and the tree grew around them. They must have been placed there a long time ago!

Stay tuned for more.

Maui Brewing Has BIG plans for Kihei

Entrance to the Research and Technology Park

The new brewery and pub will be here – at the Research and Technology Park mauka (uphill from) the Piilani Highway at Lipoa.

Maui Brewing, whose brew pub is located in Kahana, several miles north of Kaanapali, has announced plans to build a new and much larger brewery and brew pub at the Kihei Research and Technology park off the Piilani Highway. Located on a five acre site, the brewery will be about 33,000 square feet and the brew pub another 8,000 square feet. It’s staff is expected to eventually double in size to about 130. Once the new brewery is finished, Maui Brewing will vacate their current leased space in Lahaina and do all their brewing in Kihei. Don’t worry – the Kahana brew pub will continue to quench the thirst of west Maui locals and tourists.

We, at Maui Vista 2418, are pretty darn excited about having Maui Brewing in Kihei. Unfortunately, with the site about 2.5 miles from Maui Vista, it’s probably too far to walk for lunch. Also, since new construction takes time, it will be well into 2014 before the new pub is open. So, in the meantime, I guess we’ll keep driving to Kahana because they truly have the best beers, ciders and root beer on Maui.

For more on Maui Brewing, click here.