Kamaole Beach Parks—there are three of them side-by-side—have safe swimming and snorkeling, and plenty of sand and shaded picnic tables: The perfect combination for families looking to spend a relaxing Hawaiian vacation. The beach parks front Kihei on Maui's "Gold Coast," the arid southwest side. Though not exactly quaint, Kihei does have a number of mid-range condos and resorts, plus restaurants that are easy on the budget.
From Kihei Boat Harbor families can also hop a boat for a three-mile ride to the tiny crescent island of Molokini, which has some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii. A coastal path (the Eddie Pu Trail) goes south from Kihei to Keawakpu Beach and then on to the paved path that runs along the shoreline of the swank resorts of Wailea.