Picnicking on Maui can be tricky. Though tradewinds are often a blessing, when it comes to picnics, they can be downright wicked. If you’re picnicking on a beach, for example, then the winds will flat out ruin your meal. But thankfully, there are plenty of places on Maui to picnic, regardless of the weather. Here are our five favorite picnic locations, listed alphabetically.
Harold Rice Park (Kula)
This little park, located upcountry in Kula, is a wonderful place for a picnic with a view. Unlike the other parks on the list, the park is nowhere near the water, but it’s also the only one with gorgeous views of the mountains and the ocean. The town of Kula has numerous bistros and delis, including Kula Bistro and La Provence. We recommend walking around Kula, picking up a snack and headed to the park. The park has nine picnic tables and a bathroom. Beyond that, there’s room to stretch your legs if you coming down from Haleakala or driving back from the Hana.
Hookipa Beach Park (Paia)
Not only is Hookipa Beach Park one of the best places to view action sports like surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing, it’s also the best place on the island to view green sea turtles outside of the water. They hit the beach around sunset every day. But beyond all of this, they also have covered picnic tables overlooking the bay. A great day can be had by picking up lunch in Paia and eating it here. Most of the year the water is too rough, really, to simply jump in the ocean, but the views are spectacular.
Kahekili Beach Park (Kaanapali)
On the west side, we really like Kahekili Beach Park. we find the beach itself far less crowded than Kaanapali Beach. Beyond the beach, there’s an excellent pavilion for a large gathering. The pavilion is first-come-first-serve, so plan accordingly. If you miss out on the pavilion, though, there are numerous picnic tables. The park also has ample shade in a nice grass setting. It’s also one of the best places on the island for beginning snorkelers as the reef begins just offshore.
Kalama Park (Kihei)
Kalama Park has a little of something for everyone. With baseball, softball and soccer fields, plus basketball and tennis courts, and both a skating rink and skateboard park, Kalama Park is a popular picnic spot for after-sports events. At over 35 acres, it’s one of the larger parks on Maui and is serviced by four different parking lots. As for the picnic areas, there’s one gazebo, plus two large picnic pavilions. While it has a mostly rocky shore, there are a couple of sandy outlets that are perfect for entering the water and sunbathing. The surf in front of park is ideal for small-wave surfing and stand-up paddle boarding.
Kepaniwai Park Heritage Gardens(Wailuku)
Prior to arriving at Iao Valley State Monument, you’ll pass the Kepaniwai Park Heritage Gardens. With an abundance of covered picnic tables and lands to wander, the park also memorializes Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese cultures with landmarks, buildings and gardens. The park sits along the refreshing Iao Stream, which is always nice for a quick dip.
Tell us your favorite places to picnic in the comments below…