I’m thrilled to share some of our new discoveries on our recent trip to Maui, Hawai’i. For years, the island of Maui has been our escape to soak up some much needed sun during the gray days of winter in Seattle. Our first stop this trip was the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, to explore and hike the Kapalua Coastal Trail and tide pools as part of the Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program. Our guide Ray (who has three kids of his own) was great about adapting our tour to meet the needs of our three-year-old in tow, and helpful in pointing out neighboring islands, viewpoints and history of this side of the island.

I was impressed with the organization of the Ambassadors of the Environment program. The Ritz Kapalua has dedicated itself to not only hosting and entertaining in style, but also educating the guests and families who visit this beautiful Kapalua resort with impeccable detail. Our tour began with a walk through one of the largest maps of Hawai’i, complete with a life-size painting of a humpback whale mom and baby who are so abundantly visible during the winter season. The kids island hopped while we talked about the Hawaiian islands, and the kids were able to play leapfrog and physically connect to the vastness of the ocean and the topography of the islands of Hawai’i. While our kids are still a bit young to do many of the activities, guests can also hike through the Hawaiian rainforest, snorkel among Maui’s beautiful coral reefs and participate in underwater photography sessions, exploring the relevance of Hawaiian culture.

The Kapalua Coastal Trail Hike – Easy Maui Hike With Small Kids

We meandered down the Kapalua trail for a while, running into familiar faces from home and arrived at the tide pools. My oldest was entranced by all of the little sea creatures and plants living among the rocks and I was grateful to have Ray there so he could point out the names of each of these creatures and plants and their purpose in the ocean.


Sustainable Living and the Ocean Futures Society

Unless you live by the sea, the ocean is not something that we spend much time thinking about, except when we see it on vacation, watch waves crash on the beach and play in the surf. But the more we spend time near and in the ocean, the more we realize it’s immense power and beauty. I believe this is something we all inherently know, but have yet to fully understand. On my morning runs down the beach, I would see people just sitting with a cup of coffee, staring out at the ocean. We pay more for ocean view hotel rooms on vacation. We have music for relaxation dedicated to ocean sounds. There is something about the sight and sound of the ocean that soothes our soul, but we still know little about it’s vastness or purpose. The Ambassadors of the Environment program is a  partnership between the Ritz Carlton and Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society in carefully selected Ritz-Carlton locations worldwide. Their mission is to inspire guests to live a more sustainable life and to gain a greater understanding of the relationships between land to sea, humans to nature, people to people and present to future.  According to Jean-Michel Cousteau, “We expect everyone, by learning more about our natural world and their places within it, to return to their communities as environmental stewards – ambassadors of the environment.”

Not only is the Ritz Carlton Kapalua a gorgeous resort, but it offers rich opportunities for learning and exploring the environment, a priceless opportunity to share this experience with our children who will inherit the earth. We look forward to our return trip to Maui and the opportunity to stay on property and spend more time exploring this wonderful program!


Exploring the tide pools on the Kapalua Coastal Trail

abundant sea life in the tide pools on the kapalua coastal trail.

Note: The Ritz Carlton Ambassadors of the Environment program hosted our tour, but we were not guests of the hotel during this stay.

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