Top 15 Beaches on Maui

Aloha, and welcome to Pride of Maui’s Top 15 Beaches on Maui article. The most exciting thing about a vacation in Hawaii is the beach! Maui has over 30 miles of beaches, offering several of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Best Maui Hawaii Beaches Vacation

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 15 Beaches on Maui article, and get ready for some fun in the sun!

Top 15 Beaches on Maui
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Makena Beach State Park

Makena Beach State Park has three different entrances and features two beaches, “Big Beach” and “Little Beach.” No matter on which one you find yourself spending time soaking up the gorgeous Maui sunshine, you will be super pleased that you did. Did you know that Makena Beach is the most photographed beach in all of Hawaii?

That’s right, folks! Get your cameras ready, grab some eco-sunscreen and a hat, and get excited to know that you’re about to see one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii. Even if you don’t have a full afternoon to spend at Makena, you MUST at least make a stop here for a short visit.

Big Beach is the largest stretch of Baldwin Beach Park. Even if you’re heading to Little Beach, you have to access Big Beach to get there. The sand stretches about 2/3 of a mile long and is approximately 100 yards wide from sand to shoreline. This is a popular beach in Maui for weddings, swimming, body boarding, skim boarding and sun tanning. If you are planning to swim at Makena Beach, please make sure to heed all ocean safety signage and NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON THE OCEAN. Makena’s Big Beach is notorious for the frequent rogue wave situation, so make sure to always be aware of your surroundings. If you don’t feel comfortable in the ocean here, don’t go in. You might be better off climbing over the rocks on the West end of the beach to swim at Little Beach.
First of all, Little Beach is one of Maui’s very few nude beaches on island. It’s an eclectic kind of beach with colorful individuals, and great swimming opportunities. If you’re there on a late afternoon during a full moon, you may have a chance to see fire dancers and join a drum circle! The best time to swim at Makena Beach is during the mid-morning hours. This is when the ocean is at its calmest, and you’ll have the best water visibility. The water is crystal-clear here, but the sandy bottom can skew the clarity when the tide changes.


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  • Location

    South Maui
  • Lifeguard

    Big Beach (8am-4pm)
  • Facility

    Public restrooms & shower
  • Picnics

    Picnics areas
  • Size of Beach

    Big Beach & Little Beach
  • Dangerous

    Beware of rogue waves!
  • Activities

    • Swimming
    • Bodyboarding
    • Snorkeling
    • Skim boarding
    • Sunbathing
02

Ka’anapali Beach

Ka’anapali Beach is one of the best beaches on Maui for many reasons. This area appeals 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.

  • Location

    West Maui
  • Lifeguard

    8am-4pm
  • Close proximity to

    • Whalers Shopping Village
    • Shopping
    • Bars
    • Restaurants
    • Nightlife
  • Facility

    Public restrooms & shower
  • Activities

    • Swimming
    • Bodyboarding
    • Snorkeling
    • Sunbathing
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    • Sunset cruises
    • Snorkel cruises
    • Parasailing
    • Kayaking
    • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Kids

    Great for kids

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 within easy walking distance for those who tire of the sun easily. Many ocean activities are available from this Maui beach including parasailing and boating, and rentals for surfboards, boogie boards and stand-up paddle boards are readily available. 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.


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03

Baldwin Beach Park

Baldwin Beach is definitely one of the most frequented beaches in Maui’s North Shore area, not just because it’s insanely beautiful, but there are also amenities like a huge parking lot, public restrooms, showers and many different areas to throw down a towel and relax.

  • Location

    North Maui
  • Lifeguard

    8am-4pm
  • Close proximity to

    • Historic Paia Town
    • Shopping
    • Bars
    • Restaurants
    • Nightlife
  • Facility

    Public restrooms & shower
  • Picnics

    Picnics areas
  • Activities

    • Swimming
    • Snorkeling
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    • Sunset cruises
    • Snorkel cruises
    • Parasailing
    • Kayaking
    • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Kids

    great for kids

If you’re headed towards Historic Paia Town, Baldwin Beach is about 2 minutes before you reach the town, pending traffic. There are two beaches in the vicinity; first Baldwin Beach Park (marked by the Baseball diamond, field and yellow lifeguard tower), then Paia Bay (marked by a skate park and the Paia Youth and Cultural Center). Many newcomers get these two beach areas confused.

There are many things to enjoy at Baldwin Beach Park in Maui. Favorite activities include running, dog walking, swimming, skim boarding, body boarding, sunbathing, socializing and hunting for seashells. This is a great beach for the whole family. The West end of Baldwin is known as “Baby Beach,” and is where you’ll find a protective sea wall that provides a sheltered salt water pool—perfect for little kids and babies! The East end of Baldwin is referred to as “The Cove”. Here, you’ll find a great zone for swimming and laying out in the sun. The Cove is also a place you’ll find North Shore residents basking in the glory of their life with family outings, drum circles, musicians, yogis and more. The middle section of Baldwin Beach should be reserved for confident swimmers. It’s not a difficult place to swim, but if you’re not totally comfortable with ocean entry and exit, this may not be the best area for you.


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04

Wai’anapanapa State Park

  • Location

    East Maui
  • Close to Areas

    Hana town
  • Facility

    Public restrooms & shower
  • Picnics

    Picnics areas
  • Activities

    Short hikes
  • Kids

    Great for kids
  • Culture

    Hawaiian culture

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 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 an essence of “Old Hawaii.”


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05

Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay is located about a 20-minute drive North of the Historic Town of Lahaina. Not only is Honolua Bay a famous Maui surfing and snorkeling beach, but it is also one of the most beautiful, colorful and vibrant beaches within all the Hawaiian Islands.

  • Location

    West Maui
  • Lifeguard

    No Lifeguard
  • Close to Areas

    Ka’anapali & Kapalua
  • Close proximity to

    • Bars
    • Restaurants
    • Golfing
  • Facility

    No Public restrooms & shower
  • Dangerous

    Do not leave valuables in your vehicles
  • Activities

    • Surfing
    • Sunbathing
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    Snorkeling
  • Kids

    Great for kids
  • Experience

    Great for experienced surfers

During the winter months, Honolua is a popular surf spot for experienced surfers. During the calmer summer months, Honolua is one of the best places on Maui for snorkeling and scuba diving. The bluffs above the beach area provide a perfect spot for watching surfers from a safe distance, or watching an incredibly gorgeous West Maui sunset.

To snorkel at Honolua Bay, guests have a couple of options. You can book a snorkel cruise that will bring you to the bay, or you can drive to Honolua, park near the sign for the Honolua-Mokule’ia Bay Marine Life Conservation District, and take a short hike through Honolua’s forest. When snorkeling at Honolua Bay, enter the water on the right hand side of the rocky beach. Most people choose to go left to the sandy entrance, but the water is sometimes cloudy there due to a freshwater stream on that side of the bay.


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06

Palauea (White Rock)

In the ancient Hawaiian language, Palauea translates to “lazy.” Palauea Beach, also known at White Rock is seldom visited by tourists, and mostly frequented by South Maui locals. Located South of the Kea Lani Beach Hotel in Wailea, White Rock offers a medium sized sandy beach with excellent snorkeling and diving spots.

  • Location

    South Maui
  • Lifeguard

    No Lifeguard
  • Facility

    No Public restrooms & shower
  • Dangerous

    Don’t go into the ocean if the water is murky
  • Activities

    • Swimming
    • Sunbathing
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    • Surfing
    • Snorkeling
  • Kids

    Great for kids
  • Wedding

    Most popular wedding beach on Maui

This area of the coastline is well protected, so guests can enjoy calm wind conditions and clear visibility when snorkeling here.

To get to Maui’s White Rock Bay, follow Wailea Alanui Drive towards Makena. Take a right down the intersection that is after the Kea Lani Beach Hotel entrance. Drive down the paved road until you reach a dirt road. Follow a path approximately 100 feet to the beach.


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07

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.

  • Location

    West Maui
  • Lifeguard

    No Lifeguard
  • Close proximity to

    • Shopping
    • Restaurants
    • Golfing
  • Facility

    Public restrooms & shower
  • Activities

    • Swimming
    • Sunbathing
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    Snorkeling
  • Kids

    Great for kids
  • Sightseeing

    The Green Hawaiian Sea Turtles

Another reason Kapalua Bay is awesome is because it is one of the best places to snorkel if you’d like to chance a meeting with a parrot fish, butterfly fish, wrasse, boxfish, scorpion fish, or humuhumunukunukuapua’a, (the state fish of Hawaii). 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 an 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.


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08

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.

  • Location

    East Maui
  • Lifeguard

    No Lifeguard
  • Close to Areas

    Near Hana Town and Travaasa Hotel
  • Facility

    No Public restrooms & shower
  • Dangerous

    Do not leave valuables in your vehicles
  • Activities

    • Swimming
    • Sunbathing
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    • Surfing
    • Snorkeling
  • Camping

    Camping allowed

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.


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09

Olowalu

Olowalu Beach is located on the West Side of Maui, approximately 4 miles South of Lahaina when venturing down the Honoapi’ilani Highway. If you’re coming from South Maui and headed West, Olowalu is found before you reach Lahaina.

  • Location

    West Maui
  • Lifeguard

    No Lifeguard
  • Close to Areas

    Close to Historic Lahaina Town
  • Facility

    No Public restrooms & shower
  • Dangerous

    Do not leave valuables in your vehicles
  • Activities

    • Swimming
    • Sunbathing
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    • Surfing
    • Snorkeling
  • Camping

    Camping allowed

You will drive through a grove of trees and see the Olowalu General Store and Leoda’s Bakery. The beach entrance is just before, across the road at Mile Marker 14.
At Olowalu, beachgoers can find hundreds of acres of beautiful reef for snorkeling. Olowalu is perhaps best experienced on a snorkeling tour because your charter will perch right where the snorkeling is best (approximately 200-400 yards offshore). If you are a confident swimmer, snorkeling is best at 20+ yards out. The beach at Olowalu is great for families traveling with small children; the coastline is shallow and protected, and the ocean has very clear visibility.


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10

Ho’okipa Beach Park

Ho’okipa State Beach Park is one of the most famous water sports beaches in the world! When visiting Ho’okipa, look forward to awe-inspiring Pacific Ocean views and a chance to see many of Maui’s most proficient water sports athletes and professionals in action.

  • Location

    North Maui
  • Lifeguard

    Lifeguard at Ho’okipa Beach Park (8am-4pm)
  • Close to Areas

    Near Historic Paia Town
  • Close proximity to

    • Shopping
    • Bars
    • Restaurants
    • Nightlife
  • Facility

    Public restrooms & shower
  • Picnics

    Picnics areas
  • Activities

    • Swimming
    • Sunbathing
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    • Surfing
    • Snorkeling
    • Windsurfing
    • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Kids

    great for kids
  • Sightseeing

    the Green Hawaiian Sea Turtles

The most popular activities to do at Ho’okipa include surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, stand up paddleboarding, and snorkeling, all pending the season.

Ho’okipa Beach Park is an extremely popular local spot. The beautiful community of Maui residents that frequent Ho’okipa Beach does so on daily and weekly bases, most having done so their entire lives. When visiting Ho’okipa, definitely make the most of your trip. Bring only good vibes, and you might find yourself BBQing and sharing laughs with some locals. If you don’t want to head down to the beach, there is a great lookout point above the beach park. The Ho’okipa Lookout is a perfect place to tailgate and take in a sunset, get some cool surfing shots, enjoy food from local vendors or a freshly cracked coconut.

The Green Hawaiian Sea Turtles are known to frequent Ho’okipa’s shores. If you do see them, please do not touch or harass them in any way; watch from afar. They are still classified as an endangered species and protected by both the NOAA and the State of Hawaii, as well as Ho’okipa’s local families. Ho’okipa means hospitality in the ancient Hawaiian language, so definitely bring an essence of that with you when visiting. Ho’okipa Beach Park is one of the most incredible beaches in the universe. You’ll quickly see and feel why once you get there.


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11

Oneuli Beach

Located on the North edge of the Maluaka Wetlands in South Maui, Oneuli (aka Naupaka Beach) is a little bit of a “secret beach” on Maui. It is mostly frequented by locals, experienced scuba divers, and naturalists.
Naupaka Beach is actually part of the Makena State Park, but located on the Wailea side of the Pu’u Ola’i Cinder Cone.

  • Location

    South Maui
  • Lifeguard

    No Lifeguard
  • Close to Areas

    Near Hana Town and Travaasa Hotel
  • Facility

    no Public restrooms & shower
  • Dangerous

    Do not leave valuables in your vehicles
  • Activities

    • Swimming
    • Sunbathing
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    • Surfing
    • Snorkeling
  • Camping

    Camping allowed

In the ancient Hawaiian language, Oneuli means “black sands,” and that’s exactly what you’ll see at this South Maui beach. Here, you’ll find that the black sand is actually ground lava rock. Also, as you reach the shoreline, you will notice that the edge of the water is actually hardened lava.

Oneuli Black Sand Beach on Maui is not the best option to choose for a lazy day of sunbathing or taking frequent dips into the Pacific. This beach is best for experienced swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers.
To find Oneuli Black Sand Beach, drive South from Wailea towards Makena. Approximately 4 miles South of the Grand Wailea Resort, you will see a dirt access road before Makena’s Big Beach parking lot.


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12

Kamaole Beaches

Located in South Maui, and more specifically in South Kihei, you will find Kamaole I, II and III, collectively known as “Kamaole Beaches.” For those that live in Maui, these beaches are referred to as Kam 1, Kam 2, and Kam 3. They encompass the same coastline, but each has its own unique set of characteristics.

  • Location

    South Maui
  • Lifeguard

    8am-4pm daily
  • Close to Areas

    • Kihei and Wailea
    • Shopping
    • Restaurants
    • Food trucks
    • Gas stations and more
  • Facility

    ADA Accessible, parking, restrooms
  • Picnics

    BBQ, picnic tables
  • Size of Beach

    Approx. 1.5 mi total (Kamaole 1, 2, 3)
  • Activities

    • Swimming
    • Snorkeling
    • Paddling
    • Kayaking
    • Sunbathing
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    Snorkeling and swimming
  • Culture

    Hawaiian culture, family beach
  • Area Size

    Kamaole Beaches encompass over 1.5 miles of Kihei’s shoreline. They are accessed by driving South from Central Maui on Route 310 to Route 31.

When venturing to Maui’s south shore, there are so many beaches to explore and experience. For snorkeling, sunbathing, and swimming, options are plentiful. Collectively, the Kamaole beaches offer a unique experience for everyone to enjoy. With close proximity to one another, all three are situated across the road from restaurants, food trucks, shopping, gas stations, and more. Maui’s Kamaole beaches are fun-filled, yet convenient.

Kam 1 is a great location for sunbathing and a light ocean swim. Surrounded by white sandy beaches, it’s a no-brainer. Kam 2 is a beach park area with plenty of parking, and big open spaces to BBQ and celebrate with family and friends. Kam 3 has the largest recreational park, somewhere you can meet new friends, roller skate, skate, snorkel, and socialize during all times of the daylight, afternoon, and evening.

Stretching from South Kihei to Wailea, the Kamaole beaches accompany a coastal landscape like no other. It’s possible to find hidden coves, and it’s a great place to hunt for seashells. More importantly, there is a variety of places to perch for the day with family and friends.

Kams 1, 2 and 3 provide grassy lawns, BBQ areas, shady-tree-covered areas, restroom facilities, and many opportunities to enjoy some ocean activities.

Within walking distance from Kamaole beaches, visitors can book Maui snorkel trios, Maui surf lessons, and a variety of in-the-know experiences.


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13

Charley Young Beach

Charley 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 their calmest, and before any trade winds pick up.

  • Location

    South Maui
  • Lifeguard

    Lifeguard on Charley Young Beach (8am-4pm)
  • Facility

    Public restrooms & shower
  • Picnics

    Picnics areas
  • Activities

    • Swimming
    • Sunbathing
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    • Surfing
    • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Location

    Great for kids

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.


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14

La Perouse Bay

La Perouse Bay is definitely a must-see sight in South Maui! Located at the very end of Makena Alanui Road (Highway 31), all guests will be completely enthralled by this lava rock ridden bay, and the trail that opens into Maui’s historically famous Kings Hawaii.

  • Location

    South Maui
  • Lifeguard

    No Lifeguard
  • Facility

    No Public restrooms & shower
  • Activities

    Short hikes
  • Kids

    Great for kids
  • Culture

    Hawaiian culture
  • Sightseeing

    Frequent sightings of Spinner Dolphins

La Perouse Bay is named after French explorer Jean-Francois de Galup Comte de La Perouse, the first westerner to map this area of the Island of Maui.

The Bay at La Perouse is the sight of Maui’s most recent lava activity (approx. 1790), and also home to some of Maui’s most playful Spinner dolphin pods. (If you’re traveling to La Perouse to see the dolphins, make sure to arrive early at daybreak.)

This South Maui bay is not a beach for swimming, snorkeling, or too much exploring, but La Perouse does offer a beautiful vantage point for seeing the outer island of Kaho’olawe on a clear day. When at La Perouse, you will see a trail that heads towards East Maui. This trail has much Hawaiian cultural and historical significance, and is protected Hawaiian archeological land. If you do venture down this coastline trail, please do not travel off of the main path, and absolutely do not touch or move any rocks or stones. This area is part of Maui’s King’s Trail, and has many protected cultural and spiritual sights including salt pans, heiau stones (religious shrines), and fishing shrines. Look, but do not touch!


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15

Kanaha Beach Park

Located in the scenic coastal area between Kahului Bay and Spreckelsville Beach, Kanaha Beach is the birthplace of kiteboarding. This beautiful beach serves as a base for canoe clubs and fishermen and even has a campground, with a place to gather and BBQ with ohana (family.) Built around the needs of our island’s residents and not tourism, it has a great family vibe. Kanaha Beach is easy to find as it is adjacent to the airport.

  • Location

    Central Maui
  • Lifeguard

    Lifeguard on Kanaha Beach (8am-5pm)
  • Facility

    Showers & Bathrooms
  • Popular Ocean Activities

    Kitesurfing, swimming, canoeing
  • Culture

    Hawaiian Culture

Features:

  • Lifeguards (8 am – 5 pm)
  • Showers and bathrooms
  • Picnic tables (13 with grills)
  • Volleyball courts
  • Camping
  • ADA accessible

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Many thanks for taking the time to read Pride of Maui’s Top 15 Beaches on Maui! We know that you will have the most fantastic time while visiting all of Maui’s gorgeous beaches.