Story and video by Lehia Apana
6:45 a.m. Locals and savvy travelers know that the ocean is calmest at daybreak, making this early-morning adventure worth getting out of bed for. Skip the crowds and join Hawaiian Paddle Sports for a private three-hour kayak tour along the Olowalu coastline. Acrobatic humpbacks are a star attraction during whale season (November to May, peaking in February and March). Or grab a snorkel and mask and slip below the surface to discover a labyrinth of coral reefs, some as much as 500 years old. HawaiianPaddleSports.com
10:45 a.m. Arrive before the lunch rush at Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop, where lines are known to flow out the door. Everything here is baked fresh and many ingredients are local; don’t leave without the deservedly famous banana cream pie. Order a sandwich or a savory pie to-go for a picturesque picnic lunch at your next destination. While you’re at it, stop in at Olowalu General Store, located next to Leoda’s, and stock up on beverages and snacks for the afternoon. 820 Olowalu Village Road, Olowalu; Leodas.com
1 p.m. See for yourself why D.T. Fleming Beach tops several “best beaches” lists. This well-appointed stretch of sand includes a lifeguard station, picnic tables, barbecue grills and showers; restrooms are wheelchair accessible and a ramp leads to the beach. Relax the afternoon away, or. . . .
The Kapalua Coastal Walk is bookended by D.T. Fleming Beach to the north and Kapalua Beach to the south. In between, you’ll pass crescent bays and coastlines carved by nature. Don’t be fooled by its length—the easy 1.76-mile walk packs in enough scenery to fill your camera’s memory card. A highlight of this trail is Hāwea Point (near Kapalua Beach), where you’ll find resident ‘ua‘u kani, or wedge-tailed shearwaters. These pelagic seabirds spend most of their life on the ocean, and retreat to the shore to nest.
5:45 p.m. Reserve a spot at Fleetwood’s on Front St.’s rooftop bar in time for the sunset ceremony led by a Hawaiian kumu (teacher) or Scottish bagpiper — depending on the day — followed by dinner and cocktails or wine from Mick Fleetwood’s Private Cellar. Later, head downstairs for nightly live music, including appearances by the restaurant’s namesake rock legend and Maui resident. 744 Front St., Lahaina; FleetwoodsOnFrontSt.com
Born and raised on Maui, Lehia Apana has explored the island from every angle — and she’s still at it. Each issue, we’ll highlight some of her favorite spots and new discoveries. Read more at Everyday Maui.