Perfect Day

In South Maui, sun and sand are always within reach.

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Story by Lehia Apana | Illustration by C.M. Butzer

Bird’s the word
8–10 a.m. At the Keālia Coastal Boardwalk, where you can spot the area’s feathered residents, including two of Hawai‘i’s endangered water birds: the Hawaiian coot and Hawaiian stilt. Spanning an easy .4 of a mile, the boardwalk is dotted with interpretive signs that share the area’s history and explain which birds to look for. It’s also adjacent to one of the island’s best seaside walks: Sugar Beach, which runs from Mā‘alaea to Kīhei’s north end.

Under the sea
10:15 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Explore the ocean depths at Maui Ocean Center. This harbor-front aquarium celebrates our underwater neighbors and is home to one of the largest collections of live Pacific corals in the world. Marine experts share their mana‘o (knowledge) during interactive talks; twice a day, a diver answers questions from inside the aquarium’s 750,000-gallon Open Ocean exhibit tank.

The Seascape Restaurant has expansive harbor views and aquarium admission isn’t required to dine here. Bonus: The Surfrider Foundation lists the Seascape as an ocean-friendly restaurant that reduces plastic waste and uses sustainable practices. Aquarium hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (last admission 4:30 p.m.). Seascape is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily for lunch and 3 to 5 p.m. daily for happy hour; dinners are from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. 192 Mā‘alaea Rd., Mā‘alaea; 808-270-7000; MauiOceanCenter.com

Toes in the sand
2 p.m. Time for an intermission? Relax at the beach — my pick is Oneloa at Mākena State Park, a.k.a. “Big Beach” — or head home to rest before the evening activities.

Who needs ice?
6–7:30 p.m. It’s easy to feel like a kid again. Simply lace up a pair of rollerskates or rollerblades and make the rounds at Maui’s only public skating rink. What the rink lacks in size and frills, it more than makes up for with its Kalama Park oceanfront setting and sunset views. Maui Inline Hockey Association volunteers run the rental station and concessions; monies raised help with rink upkeep. Public skating is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays; 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays. Rental skates are $5/pair. 1900 S. Kīhei Road, Kīhei; MauiHockey.com

Keep it sporty
8 p.m. Keep it sporty and head to The Pint and Cork at The Shops at Wailea, where you can catch the latest televised game, cold brew in hand. Sports bars aren’t known for dishing up gourmet fare, but this spot serves up favorites like daily fish specials and a decadent mac and cheese. Food goes until midnight, the bar until 2 a.m. 3750 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea; 808-727-2038; ThePintAndCork.com

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