Top 10 Beaches on Maui

Alexandra MitchellLast updated: June 13, 2015

top 10 maui beachesAloha, and Welcome to Pride of Maui’s Top 10 Beaches on Maui article. The most exciting thing about a vacation in Hawaii, is the beach!! Maui has over 30 miles of beaches, offering a handful of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Have you ever daydreamed for hours while staring at a beach in Hawaii on a calendar hanging in your cubicle at work? Or, how about those perfect fantasies where you can close your eyes and imagine the feeling of the glorious Hawaiian sunshine radiating against your skin? The best beaches to visit on Maui depend on what kind of vacation you’re planning. Whether it’s a honeymoon, a family vacation to Hawaii, or a surf trip to the North Shore of Maui, we can help direct you.

Eliminate the mystery of figuring out where the best beaches on Maui are. Relax, and feel confident trusting in our experienced perspective. Plan a beautiful holiday full of all the best things to do on Maui! Go snorkeling with Pride of Maui at Turtle Town with your family, or take surf lessons on Maui with your friends. Plan a delicious Hawaiian-style beach BBQ for a family celebration, go beach hopping, or just lay out in the sun and work on perfecting your well deserved Hawaiian tan. Enjoy Pride of Maui’s Top 10 Beaches on Maui article, and get ready for some fun in the sun!

top 10 maui beaches

Best Beaches on Maui’s North Shore 

#1 Baldwin Beach Park

Baldwin Beach Maui

When visiting the North Shore of Maui, do not forget to check out Baldwin Beach! This gorgeous Maui beach is located at the 6 mile marker of Hana Highway, just a couple of minutes West of the Historic Town of Paia. Sprawling over approximately 17 acres of North Shore coastline, this beach has a little something for everyone. For those traveling with small children, head down to the far left of the main parking lot to the West end of the beach, ‘Baby Beach.’ This area is protected by a barrier reef wall which allows for a calm cover for swimming, playing in the sand, and having a calm family picnic. To the far right of the parking lot is the ‘Cove,’ an area frequented by the bohemian-style Maui folks, yogis, families with kids, and sometimes fire dancers and DJ’s! This is a great place to swim in the ocean and sunbathe. Depending on the time of the year, the middle areas of Baldwin are perfect for body boarding, swimming and hunting for seashells!

  •  lifeguard on duty 8am-4pm
  • picnic tables and BBQ’s
  • public restrooms
  • showers

#2 Ho’okipa Beach Park

Hookipa Beach

Depending on the time of the day, and the time of the year you visit, Ho’okipa Beach Park is a great Maui beach to watch surfers and windsurfers, see the Green Hawaiian Sea Turtle, swim and layout. This is a popular local spot, and one of the most incredible places on the North Shore to watch a magical Maui sunset. Facing the ocean, the far right side of Ho’okipa Beach is a great place to swim and snorkel during the Spring, Summer and early Fall months. It is a very popular Maui beach for water sports, so you will literally see everyone and their mother surfing here. The middle part of the beach is a great place to layout and have a picnic, and children can easily play in the tide pools. This is a great place during the Summer for beginner surfers with experience, and those seeking a place for private surf instruction. If you visit during the Winter months, make sure to look out towards the horizon, you may see a pod of Humpback Whales. During the Winter, Ho’okipa becomes a competitive melting pot for local, professional and international water athletes. If you are going to Ho’okipa to surf, definitely mind your manners! Ho’okipa means ‘hospitality’ in the ancient Hawaiian language, and that is exactly what you can experience from the Ho’okipa community, as long as you are respectful of the land and ocean. Enjoy Ho’okipa to the fullest, it is one of the most famous beaches in the world!

  •  lifeguard on duty 8am-4pm
  • picnic tables and BBQ’s
  • public restrooms
  • showers

Best Beaches in West Maui

#3 Launiupoko Beach Park

Launiupoko Beach Park

Launiupoko Beach Park is located at the first stoplight you’ll come across when driving towards West Maui. At the intersection of Kai Hele Ku Street, visitors can either enter the beach parking lot and wait for parking, or park across the street in a dirt lot right across the road. Launiupoko is one of the best Maui beaches for learning how to surf and stand-up paddle board for the first time. It’s a wonderful location to choose for a full day at the beach with breakwall tide pools for children to play in, and plenty of shaded picnic areas too. From this seaside gem, visitors will surely enjoy awe-inspiring 360-degree island and mountain views with the outer islands of Lana’i and Moloka’i in the distance. During the Winter months, Launiupoko Beach Park is a wonderful place to watch the Humpback Whales breach, frolic and play on the ocean surface. If you’re visiting Launiupoko on a Saturday, there is a fabulous Farmer’s Market across the street from the beach. Here, you’ll find beautiful Maui grown foods including local papaya’s, coconuts, mango, avocado, root vegetables, citrus and more.

  • picnic tables
  • public restrooms

#4 Ka’anapali Beach

kaanapali beach

Ka’anapali Beach is one of the best beaches on Maui for many reasons. This area aspires to many different types of beach-goers and visitors because of all of Ka’anapali’s conveniences. To find the most central area of this beach, drive to Whalers Village Shopping Center and park your vehicle there. Walk through the shops, and you’ll find yourself just steps from the sand. The ocean here is divine! The sand is soft, and gently slopes into a calm and crystal-clear ocean. The water feels amazing, and you can always count on lots of sunshine. For those traveling with a bigger group, this area is perfect because there are many different restaurants, bars and shops easily in walking distance for those who tire of the sun easily. Many ocean activities are available from this Maui beach including parasailing, boating, surf board, boogie boards, and stand-up paddle board rentals. The far right of Ka’anapali Beach is ‘Black Rock,’ a popular place to jump off of a huge lava rock formation into the ocean, and also a great place for snorkeling.

  •  lifeguard on duty 8am-4pm
  • public restrooms
  • showers

#5 Kapalua Bay

Kapalua bay

Kapalua Bay is one of the most beautiful sheltered beaches in Hawaii. The surrounding area is mostly dominated by the Kapalua Resort and condominium communities, but the bay is still open to the public. Conde Nast publication rated Kapalua Bay as the “Best Beach in the World,” and the Travel Channel declared it was the “Best Beach in America” in 1991. Kapalua Bay is awesome because it is also one of the best places to snorkel if you’d like a chance meeting with a parrot fish, butterfly fish, wrasse, boxfish, scorpion fish, or humuhumunukunukuapuaa, (former State of Hawaii Fish). You may also see a Green Hawaiian Sea Turtle! The waves break ever so gently upon the shoreline, and the water is clear blue, with and inviting underwater playground. This Maui beach is a great location for couples on a romantic Maui beach outing, or families looking for a quieter beach day. For those interested in ocean activities, there is a beach activities desk with watersports equipment for rent, and information about local activities.

  • public restrooms
  • showers

#6 D.T. Fleming Beach Park

Flemings Beach Park

Depending on the time of the year, D.T. Fleming Beach Park is a great place for laying out, swimming, snorkeling, watching Humpback Whales during sunset, and surfing. We love this beach because it is off the beaten path in West Maui, and offers all the necessary conveniences for a beautiful Maui beach day. The best time to visit Fleming’s is on a weekday when there are less people. It is possible to have a “Blue Lagoon” kind of experience at this beach, where you can finally have a private beach moment. During the Winter, this can be a popular surfing beach, and is otherwise perfect for body boarding, body surfing, swimming, and relaxing on Maui.

  •  lifeguard on duty 8am-4pm
  • picnic areas and BBQ’s
  • public restrooms
  • showers

Best Beaches in South Maui

#7 Makena Beach State Park

Big Beach

Makena Beach State Park is South Maui’s largest beach with two distinct areas, ‘Big Beach’ and ‘Little Beach,’ with three main entry points. Whether you decide to spend a day at Makena, or are just cruising down towards La Perouse Bay, you must at the very least stop for a photo op at Makena Beach. ‘Big Beach’ is almost 2/3 of a mile long, and is approximately 100 yards wide. This is a perfect beach with swimming, bodyboarding, skimboarding, and snorkeling on Maui. When visiting Makena Beach, visitors should be extremely conscious of the ocean conditions at all times. Do not turn your back to the ocean, and watch the sets carefully. Makena Beach can be calm and flat with smooth rolling waves, and out of nowhere host one big rogue wave that will toss you on your okole! If you’re visiting Makena with small children, there is a sweet little cove at the most southern end of the beach, (third entrance). ‘Little Beach’ is located over the lava rock formations, at the far right of the beach. Once you climb over the rocks (make sure you are hands free), you get to the top and see a pretty sweet view of Big Beach, and continue down to a landing where Little Beach opens up. Little Beach is somewhat of a nude beach, one that is frequented by an open minded group of Maui visitors, residents, and the occasional drum circle crowd.

  •  lifeguard on duty 8am-4pm (Big Beach)
  • picnic areas
  • public restrooms (porta potty’s near first entrance)
  • shower (last entrance)

#8 Charlie Young Beach

charley young

Charlie Young Beach is accessed through a residential neighborhood at the most northern end of Kamaole Beach Park, (Kam 1). It is located at the cross section of Ili Ili Road and Kaiau Place. The best time to go to this beach is in the morning, when the ocean conditions are at it’s calmest, and before any trade winds pick up. This Maui beach was named after a man that owned a home above the beach for many years, a very lucky man indeed. The length of the beach is approximately 1/3 of a mile long, which makes it great for a beach run on the soft golden sand, a sunset walk, swimming, sunbathing, or day-long picnics with the family. This is also a perfect Maui beach for stand-up paddling, or snorkeling alongside the lava rock formations near the baby tide pools.

  •  lifeguard on duty 8am-4pm (Kamaole Beach 1)
  • shower

Best Beaches in East Maui

#9 Wai’anapanapa State Park


Wai’anapanapa literally means “glistening water” in the ancient Hawaiian language. En route to Hana, do not miss visiting this area. This beautiful Maui beach area is located at mile marker 32, right outside of Hana Town. This Maui beach park is infamous for its velvety smooth black sand beach, deep cobalt blue water, lava tubes, hiking trails, sea arches, a blowhole, Anchialine pools, and ancient Hawaiian birthing pools. Wai’anapanapa State Park is a 120-acre protected area with picnic pavilions, 12 rental cabins, tent camping areas, and all the necessary facilities for maximizing on a beautiful East Maui adventure. The serenity of this area is like no other, and everywhere you look is pure natural beauty, with vibrant green flora and fauna, and an essence of ‘Old Hawaii.’

  •  picnic tables, BBQ’s, campgrounds
  • public restrooms
  • showers

#10 Hamoa Beach

Hamoa Beach

Hamoa Beach is a gorgeous East Maui crescent shaped beach located about a 1/2 mile past mile marker 51 on Highway 31. Hamoa shares space with the Travaasa Hana Hotel, so some available facilities are only open to hotel guests. This Maui beach is a great place for soaking up the East Maui sunshine and calm aloha vibes. Popular Maui beach activities at this locale include swimming, bodysurfing, snorkeling and surfing. This family friendly beach has salt and pepper colored sand, clear water, and plenty of shaded areas for a family picnic. This is a fabulous Maui beach for decompressing in a lush setting with gorgeous coastline views. Take it from us, you will not want to leave Hamoa Beach…

  •  public restroom
  • shower

Mahalo for reading Pride of Maui’s Top 10 Beaches on Maui article! We hope that you make tons of cherished memories, and have the best time of your life during your next vacation to the Island of Maui. Share this article with your friends and family, and let us know about your favorite beaches on Maui. Please comment below…

Written By  Alexandra Mitchell

Alexandra is a marketing professional with a passion for writing about travel to the Hawaiian Islands, vacation rentals, and luxury real estate. She exposes readers to glimpses of 'Old Hawaii,' new destinations to explore, local events, and all the best things to do on Maui.