Airport Beach (Kahekili Beach Park)

Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii
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Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Airport Beach (Kahekili Beach Park)

Kahekili Beach Park is the park that includes Airport Beach Maui. It’s sometimes called North Beach because it is the north half of Kaanapali Beach. Airport Beach Maui in Kahekili Beach Park is one of Maui’s best beaches for several reasons. It is adjacent to Kaanapali Beach, the most famous beach in Maui, but it is not nearly as crowded as the main section of Kaanapali Beach, because it does not have any of the major resort hotels found in that nearby area (the Hyatt, Marriott, Westin, and Sheraton). It has a long wide stretch of smooth light sand. The ocean near shore is shallow. The waves are usually not too big for swimming. It’s a great snorkeling spot with plenty of fish to see, including the Hawaii state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa. Kahekili Beach Park has a large free parking lot. There is a pavilion with benches and picnic tables. Additional picnic tables are on the grassy areas. There are real bathrooms. The boardwalk through the park provides a paved path for walking several miles along the beach. Airport Beach Maui is within a ten minute walk of several large condos, including Maui Kaanapali Villas, Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, Nanea Ocean Villas, Honua Kai, and Mahana. Why is this called Airport Beach? From 1961 to 1986 there was a small airport here called Kaanapali Airport (HKP). Royal Hawaiian Air Service was the airline that flew small twin-engine Cessna propeller planes here from Oahu. The 2615-foot runway was surrounded by sugar cane. The small A-frame terminal had an upstairs bar called the Windsock Lounge. Who was Kahekili that this park is named after? He lived from 1737 to 1794 and was the last king of Maui from 1766 to 1793, before King Kamehameha came from the Big Island of Hawaii to conquer Maui and unite the Hawaiian islands into the Kingdom of Hawaii.
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Al Mialkovsky
Al Mialkovsky
May 18, 2003, 12:00 AM
A large swell died down about a week ago but all the southern shore dives are still very murky. We were very surprised to see the fantastic visibility that exists here right now. At 40 feet the vis is 50-60 feet and when we went out past 70 feet the vis was close to 100 feet. The first reef has tons of life with some healthy turtles and tons of eels. We took some fantastic photos of all the creatures.