The long, lovely stretch of shoreline that occupies a significant amount of Kihei is broken into three beaches, cleverly named Kama’ole Beach Park 1 (also known as Charley Young Beach), Kama’ole Beach Park 2 and Kama’ole Beach Park 3. You’ll commonly hear them referred to their nicknames, Kam 1, 2 and 3. Each of the three is known for snorkeling and beach lounging, and while Kama’ole Beach Park 1 is the largest and the best for swimming, Kama’ole 3 is the most popular with the locals. After mere minutes during your first visit, you’ll understand why.
Upon first glance, you’ll notice that this beach is distinct from its two neighbors to the north. The rock promontories that bookend the small beach add interesting topography to the otherwise flat, white sand. And, when lounging nearby, the waves crashing against the submerged and partially-submerged lava rock gives the beach the appearance of being much rowdier and rougher than the other two.
Even so, snorkeling at Kam 3 rivals the other two. Swimming out a bit and sticking near the rocks on either side of the beach earn access to the best fish hangouts, but be aware that when the current picks up, it’s easy to get pushed back into the rocks. Exercise caution when the waves look particularly big. When in doubt, ask a lifeguard.
Because the waves at Kam 3 tend to be more consistent than those at Kam 1 or Kam 2, you’ll find the highest concentration of boogie boarders here. Mid-morning to afternoon are best here for “spongers,” or boogie boarders, though in the later afternoon the wind can start to pick up and make it unpleasant for those who choose to stay on the beach.
Part of Kama’ole 3’s popularity (probably more so than its beach) is the large grassy area in the middle. There are both shady and sunny spots all day, and it’s unusual to see it without kite flyers, frisbee-throwers, football-tossers or young kids playing tag. Dotted throughout the area are picnic tables and barbecues, and there is a restroom with showers nearby. If you’re considering visiting on a weekend, you’ll likely be out of luck finding a picnic table to occupy unless you arrive in the early morning.