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Best Tide Pools on Maui - HOP to it

Where to go to explore tide pools on Maui
October 05, 2017

Maui is blessed with miles and miles of sandy beaches. Not all beaches, though, have tide pools. In fact, most don't have them. But when you come across a great tide pool, you can use it as an ecological teaching moment for children or just enjoy the sea life being presented to you. You will find fish, crabs and even turtles in and around tide pools. The tide pools listed below are mostly safe for people of all ages, though we end with one of the most dangerous places in all of Hawai'i.

  1. Baldwin Beach (Paia)
    While the parking lot, bathrooms and lifeguards are all on the east side of the beach, if you walk west down the beach, you will come to "baby beach," a large, calm tide pool that is blocked by a massive reef. The pool is safe for all ages, though bear in mind, the life guards are on the other side of the beach so keep an eye out on your children. The pool is large enough that you will often see people swimming laps in the calm waters. There is very little shade here, so be sure to pack a hat!

  2. Napili Bay (Napili)
    The south side of the ever-popular Napili Bay features some outstanding tide pools. Here you'll find a wide variety of marine life in a protected little area. While Napili Bay doesn't really have any amenities to speak of (no parking, bathrooms, showers of lifeguards,) the beach itself is always rated as one of the best on Maui. If you're staying at one of the resorts or condos that line the bay, checking out the tide pools is a no-brainer.

  3. Keawakapu Beach (Kihei/Wailea)
    The north end of the beach (the Kihei side) has nice tide pools for exploring. You will probably see turtles in and around the tide pools. This beach is around a mile long with three separate parking lots and entries. For the tide pool, though, you can park at the 5 Palms public lot. There are showers, though there are no public restrooms or life guards. During a full moon, the tide pools are exceptionally vibrant.

  4. Kuau Cove (Paia)
    Though tiny, this little beach is perfect for children, as a natural reef blocks it from waves, creating a calm, near wave-free atmosphere. There are lots of tide pools to explore and soft, white sand to build castles. Because of the shallow reefs and smooth waters, it's a fantastic place to teach children how to snorkel. The beach is located under Mama's Fish House, so it's sometime's referred to as Mama's Fish House Beach.

  5. Olivine Pools (Kapalua)
    Before we start in, a word of caution. It can be VERY dangerous here. There have been MANY deaths at these pools. (Read the comments at the bottom of this excellent online guide book post about Olivine Pools.) One rogue wave can send visitors, even when standing above the pools, out to sea. This is no joke, just Google (or Bing) "olivine pools maui death". OK, do you still want to visit? What you'll find here are stunningly beautiful tide pools teeming with sea life. Where the other tide pools on this list are great for children, this one is pretty much adults only. To get to them, you need to scramble down about a half-mile of lava rocks. Kids can make it, but they might scrape some knees in the process.

Where are your favorite tide pools on Maui? Hit us up on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Instagram @hawaiioceanproject

Blogs for October 2017

Best Malasadas on Maui - HOP To It

Posted on October 17, 2017

There are so many good malasadas on Maui, it's hard to narrow the list down to just five, but after weeks of agonizing research, we think we've come up with the definitive list. But first, the ground rules. We're sticking with bakeries and shops that serve malasadas "to… Continue Reading

Best Farmers Markets on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on October 16, 2017

The state of Hawai'i imports roughly 85% - 90% (by most estimates) of its food. This leaves Maui in a somewhat precarious situation. First, if for some reason we were cut off from the mainland, it wouldn't take long for there to be massive food shortages. Second,… Continue Reading

Safe Snorkeling in Maui

Posted on October 14, 2017

Known for the warm, clear waters and colorful marine life, it would be a shame if you missed the unique opportunity of snorkeling in Maui. Enjoyable for all ages, snorkeling offers the chance to glimpse at a whole other world built just under the water’s surface! Whether… Continue Reading

Classic Hawaiian Cookbooks - HOP to it

Posted on October 12, 2017

Sam Choy, Beverly Gannon, Peter Merriman, Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi, five of the original 12 members of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, all have signature cookbooks. Like their restaurants, the books still hold up today. For many people, it isn't a trip to Hawai'i without visiting… Continue Reading

Best Food Trucks on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on October 11, 2017

Food trucks keep sprouting up on Maui and we couldn't be happier. The quality of food at the trucks listed below rival anything you'll eat at high end restaurants. While you'll find classic Hawai'ian dishes like poke, you can also find ethnic foods that are generally underserved… Continue Reading

Fun Facts About the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa

Posted on October 08, 2017

We are sure that you have heard of Hawaii’s state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, and have been challenged to sound out this seemingly complicated set of letters. Lucky for you, we won’t make you do that and will often refer to this fish as “humuhumu” like the locals do.… Continue Reading

The Harmful Effects of Sunscreen on our Oceans

Posted on October 07, 2017

Sunscreens have been making headlines lately due to their contribution to coral bleaching and ocean acidification. Coral bleaching is the phenomenon whereby coral loses its color and rejects symbiotic organisms, essentially killing the coral. While rising sea temperatures are the main culprit behind coral bleaching, researchers believe… Continue Reading

Best Asian Noodle Joints on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on October 06, 2017

Noodle dishes and bowls come in all shapes and sizes. While Oahu may have some of the best ramen restaurants in the world, Maui definitely doesn't. But ramen isn't the only noodle dish in town. Maui does have excellent saimin, a local noodle soup, a bit like ramen,… Continue Reading

Best Tide Pools on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on October 05, 2017

Maui is blessed with miles and miles of sandy beaches. Not all beaches, though, have tide pools. In fact, most don't have them. But when you come across a great tide pool, you can use it as an ecological teaching moment for children or just enjoy the… Continue Reading

Best Golf Courses on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on October 04, 2017

Maui is home to many fine golf courses, far more than the five listed here. With the exception of one, all of the courses here are public. The one club that is private offers one-day guest memberships for visitors. From courses that double as PGA stops to municipal courses with… Continue Reading

Best Tropical Gardens on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on October 03, 2017

While it seems odd to spend money to see plants and flowers on Maui when they are so prevalent for free, sometimes it's helpful to see all the different types of flora in one location. For you Instagrammers, tropical gardens present excellent flower photo and selfie opportunities.… Continue Reading

Best Coffee Shop on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on October 02, 2017

A good coffee shop is somewhere you want to nest, a place where you can do anything from check your email to chat with friends. For this list, we aren't talking about the best coffee. Instead, we are talking about are the best places to enjoy coffee.… Continue Reading


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Best Malasadas on Maui - HOP To It
  (Posted: October 17, 2017)

Best Farmers Markets on Maui - HOP to it
  (Posted: October 16, 2017)

Safe Snorkeling in Maui
  (Posted: October 14, 2017)

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