Kapalua Beach

Maui offers some incredibly beautiful beach areas for families, including such areas as Wailea, Kaanapali, and Kapalua. Each has its own attractions, and it's hard to choose between the three. For sheer beauty, however, we've chosen Kapalua. Here you'll find some of the softest sand and warmest waters of any beach in Hawaii -- or in all of the United States. Snorkeling is great here, and the winds tend to be mild.

Kapalua Beach is a small, crescent of shoreline that offers soft sand and warm water. And, phenomenal scenic vistas. While all of the beaches are wonderful in their own right, Kapalua Bay Beach is your best bet for kids. It is protected by two lava points which makes for very calm waters. Snorkeling is very good, as there are many small coral colonies which host a number of tropical fish. Bodysurfing and kayaking are also popular. There are showers, restrooms, and a lifeguard on duty. There's also an activities center where you can rent watersports gear. Snorkeling is also particularly excellent at nearby Honolua Bay, another gorgeous spot.

For those coming to Kapalua, there are a number of accommodation options from which to choose. They include:

Ritz-Carlton Kapalua: This 550-room luxury hotel offers guests every possible amenity, including extraordinary views overlooking Honokahua Bay. The hotel chain's Ritz Kids program runs during the summer and holiday periods. For more information, call (808) 669-6200 or visit their website at: www.ritzcarlton.com/resorts/kapalua/.

Kapalua Bay Hotel and Villas: This luxury beachfront resort offers room, suites, villas and private home accommodations. For more information, call (808) 669-5656 or visit their website at:

Napili Kai Beach Club: This somewhat less expensive ten-acre resort property is set on a beautiful beach. Accommodations range from studios to three-bedroom units. For more information, call (800) 367-5030 or (808) 669-6271 or visit their website at: www.napilikai.com.

Classic Aloha Vacations: This agency specializes in Hawaii vacations, and can offer discounts on condominiums and properties on Maui. For more information, call (877) 571-0105 or visit their website at: www.classic-aloha.com.

Families visiting Maui will enjoy all of the many attractions the island has to offer. Visit Haleakala National Park early in the morning to watch the sun rise over this dormant volcano. If your children are 12 or older, consider taking the bicycle tour down the mountain as well. You can go horseback riding on Haleakala's slopes; drive the road to Hana; take a snorkeling cruise to Molokini crater or Lanai's Hulopoe Beach; pose with the Birdman and go shopping in Lahaina; or take a ride aboard the Sugar Cane Train.

For more information on accommodations, sporting and dining in Kapalua and other parts of Maui, visit www.visitmaui.com.

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