Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's Free to Be, Under the Sea, On Maui

Maui has the most swimming beaches of all the Hawaiian Islands, ranging from places to take the family for outings with the sand buckets to full-on scuba excursions. Among the excellent snorkeling spots are several where independent people can easily swim from shore to places that tour companies charge a pretty penny to take people.

Check out: Oneuli (Black Sand) Beach, which is part of Makena State Park; Turtle Town, or Chang's, which is not far away via a Shoreline Public Access; Olowalu, in West Maui, where the pros anchor just off shore; and Coral Gardens, near Olowalu, which requires a little swim and the right conditions but is fabulous. Maui Trailblazer has more specifics.

One place you will want to hop a ride—and it is totally worth it—is Molokini Island, a marine sanctuary that is several miles offshore. Gin-clear, fish-filled waters are protected by the tiny crescent-shaped island that was once a volcanic cone.