15 Best Beaches in Maui

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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One of the most visited islands in Hawaii, Maui is home to a number of spectacular beaches. Whether you are searching for white-sand beaches or rugged sea cliffs, Maui has the perfect destination for you.

Water activities such as snorkeling and swimming are popular at these great locations. Of course, choosing the right beach for your vacation can sometimes be a difficult task, so we decided to narrow things down for you and pick the 15 best beaches in Maui.

1. Hamoa Beach

Hamoa BeachSource: Steve Heap / shutterstock
Hamoa Beach

Surrounded by rugged black-lava cliffs, Hamoa Beach is a 900-feet long gray-sand beach that attracts many body surfers, snorkelers, and sunbathers. Famous for its lush vegetation, this half-moon-shaped beach is perfect for a variety of water activities.

The best snorkeling can be found on the calm left side of the beach, while surfing is popular in the winter months when the surf breaks offshore. Hamoa Beach is unprotected which means it is open to the ocean and features powerful currents, especially during the winter season.

2. Kapalua Beach

Kapalua BeachSource: Marc van der Chijs / Flickr
Kapalua Beach

Situated in a protected bay and lined with palm trees, Kapalua Beach is probably one of the best beaches in Maui. In fact, this beautiful beach is ranked high in dozens of travel publications and it’s no wonder that it attracts large crowds of visitors, especially families with children.

The waters are calm and offer great swimming, while several natural pools are perfect for children who wish to find sea creatures. If you are visiting Kapalua Beach during winter, you will have the chance to see whales migrating to deeper waters. There is a small parking area close to the Napili Kai Beach Resort where you can access the beach down a paved pathway from there.

You will find facilities like restrooms and showers which are available for public use. Activities such as boogie boarding and scuba diving are quite popular, but It is advised to come early in the morning since the beach can get overcrowded by noon.

Travelers who love hiking can take the 1.75-mile long Kapalua Coastal Trail.

3. Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach, MauiSource: Eddy Galeotti / shutterstock
Kaanapali Beach, Maui

A four-mile-long stretch of sand, Kaanapali Beach is situated close to the famous Kaanapali resort area and offers great swimming conditions. There is a paved beach walk which leads to a number of hotels, luxurious condos for rent, and the Whalers Village shopping center.

The best snorkeling spot is in front of the Sheraton Hotel, around Black Rock, where waters are calm and clear. In case you are interested in water sports, activities like jet skiing, windsurfing, and parasailing are popular.

The beach is quite large in size so it is relatively easy to find a spot for the day.

4. Olowalu Beach

Olowalu BeachSource: Allie_Caulfield / Flickr
Olowalu Beach

Also known as the “Turtle Reef” because of the large number of Green sea turtles that call here home, Olowalu Beach is a brown-sand beach that features one of the most diverse reef systems in the state.

There are more than 20 species of marine life and snorkelers will have the chance to see them all including tangs and wrasse. The great thing about Olowalu Beach is that the conditions are optimal year round, even for inexperienced snorkelers.

The waters are usually clear and calm, but unfortunately, there are no facilities and lifeguards in the area.

5. Makena Beach

Makena BeachSource: tropicdreams / shutterstock
Makena Beach

Makena Beach, or as some like to call it, the Big Beach, is well-known for its large shore break and dramatic cliff landscape. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in south Maui with a mixture of white and orange sand and spectacular views of Kahoolawe and Molokini.

Activities such as body surfing, skim boarding, and body boarding are quite popular here because of the inclined shoreline. Inexperienced swimmers and children are advised to be careful because of the powerful waves and snorkeling is not recommended since there is little reef around here.

Vacationers have access to basic amenities including toilets and picnic tables. There are three entrances to the beach, one with a large parking area, and two with only dirt parking.

6. Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach, MauiSource: TomKli / shutterstock
Wailea Beach, Maui

Located on the southwestern coast of Maui, Wailea Beach is a gold-sand beach that is close to several high-end resorts including the famous Four Seasons and Grand Wailea Resort. Expect to find crystal clear waters and several cocktail bars that serve refreshing drinks.

You can sometimes even spot whales from the beach and a paved path offers easy access to the sands and sea. It’s definitely a good place for a vacation if you are staying at one of the nearby resorts, but keep in mind that there are no public facilities and lifeguards here.

Wailea Beach also offers magnificent views of neighboring Kahoolawe and Lanai.

7. Keawakapu Beach

Keawakapu BeachSource: Photo Image / shutterstock
Keawakapu Beach

Located right between Kihei and Wailea, Keawakapu Beach is a picturesque place and a perfect getaway from crowds of tourists. This tiny beach offers great swimming conditions throughout the year and there is an underwater reef on the right side that makes for great snorkeling opportunities.

For a spectacular view of the beach, head out to the Five Palms Restaurant for lunch or dinner. Here you can get half-priced sushi every day after 3 pm.

Parking is available and visitors will find facilities like showers and bathrooms. If water activities is your thing, Keawakapu Beach is ideal for stand-up paddleboarding and swimming.

8. D.T. Fleming Beach Park

D.T. Fleming Beach ParkSource: Joe West / shutterstock
D.T. Fleming Beach Park

Situated just north of the Ritz-Carlton hotel, D.T. Fleming Beach Park attracts many vacationers who love swimming and snorkeling. It’s easy to find shade here because there are many Ironwood trees scattered around the sands.

This public beach also features a number of facilities including bathrooms, barbecue grills, and picnic tables. There are lifeguards on-site and a good-sized parking lot is located just minutes away.

Keep in mind that D.T. Fleming Beach Park can get windy during the winter season and it’s dangerous to snorkel because of big waves breaking close to the sea cliffs. Surfers and bodyboarders are frequent visitors at D.T. Fleming Beach Park in winter.

9. Napili Bay

Napili BaySource: Eugene Kalenkovich / shutterstock
Napili Bay

Napili Bay is located right next to the Napili Kai Resort and offers amazing swimming conditions. It is well-known for its perfect sunsets and golden sands and features a steep incline into the waters.

There is a chance that you will see monk seals in the area, but it is advised to keep your distance. Both sides of the bay are great for snorkeling, but the beach facilities are only reserved for guests and residents of the nearby resorts.

Public access to the beach is located on Hui Drive where you will find a sandy pathway. Keep in mind that unless you are staying at some of the resorts, it may be difficult to find free parking spots, especially in high season and over the weekends.

10. Honolua Bay Beach

Honolua Bay Source: Ivan_Sabo / shutterstock
Honolua Bay

A paradise for both snorkelers and surfers, Honolua Bay Beach can be best described as a protected marine area that offers a great opportunity for vacationers who love exploring underwater life.

For spectacular views of the bay, head out to the lookout point which is located a short walk away. Honolua Bay Beach is quite rocky, so be careful when entering the water.

The good news is that you can always find free parking spots along the main road and portable toilets are provided. However, there are no lifeguards present here.

11. Baldwin Beach Park

Baldwin Beach ParkSource: C. Raye / shutterstock
Baldwin Beach Park

Featuring a long stretch of golden sand and palm trees, Baldwin Beach Park is a perfect beach for vacationers who are looking for some peace and quiet away from the overcrowded beaches of Maui.

The swimming conditions are not perfect because the beach can get very windy, but there is a small cove on the east end of the beach which offers wind protection by the rocks. In case you are traveling with kids, go to the west end of Baldwin Beach Park where you will find a protected saltwater lagoon.

The easiest way to access the beach is from the nearby Kahana Beach. There are restrooms and showers available here.

12. Charley Young Beach

Charley Young BeachSource: Tim Roberts Photography / shutterstock
Charley Young Beach

Located on the north end of Kamaole I Beach, Charley Young Beach offers amazing views of the surrounding area and bright golden sand. There are no resorts here to ruin the rustic vibe and the swimming conditions are fantastic.

Some basic facilities can be found on the beach such as showers and port-a-potties. However, you won’t find lifeguards here and the parking is a bit tight during the summer season. If you feel hungry, go for lunch or dinner to Kihei which is a local favorite.

13. Ho’okipa Beach Park

Ho’okipa Beach ParkSource: mese.berg / shutterstock
Ho’okipa Beach Park

With sweeping views of the coastline, Ho’okipa Beach Park is one of the most attractive beaches for surfers. The surfing conditions are usually best in the afternoon when the waves are large and powerful.

There are plenty of green sea turtles in the area and the beach offers two narrow entrances to the water. Keep in mind that Ho’okipa Beach Park is dangerous for swimming because of the strong currents.

If you are looking for a beach that has a wide range of facilities, you’ve come to the right place. There are bathrooms, showers, picnic areas, and plenty of parking spots.

14. Honomanu Beach

Honomanu Beach MauiSource: Starr Environmental / Flickr
Honomanu Park

Located between Paia and Hana, Honomanu Beach is a black-sand beach that offers privacy for its visitors due to the fewer number of tourists. This is most likely because the beach is not very easy to get to, you’ll need a four-wheel-drive vehicle!

Surfing is one of the most popular activities here at Honomanu Beach, but the left side of the bay features very dangerous waves and swimming can be hazardous due to the shallow and sharp rocky bottom.

There are plenty of parking options, but visitors are advised to keep their vehicles close by as thefts have been known to occur here? This is one of the reasons why visitors prefer to sunbathe rather than swim on Honomanu Beach.

15. Kaihalulu

Kaihalulu BeachSource: MrLis / shutterstock

One of the best-kept secrets in Maui is located on the far side of Ka’uiki hill and south of Hana Bay. Kaihalulu Beach is only accessible through a private property and you need to get permission to go down this road.

The trail is quite slippery and travelers are advised to be cautious and bring proper footwear. Once you get down to the beach, expect to see a red-cliff bay with red sand.

There are no facilities or lifeguards here, but if you are looking for a secluded beach that is practically never crowded, Kaihalulu Beach should definitely be included on your list of places to visit while on vacation in Maui.

15 Best Beaches in Maui:

  • Hamoa Beach
  • Kapalua Beach
  • Kaanapali Beach
  • Olowalu Beach
  • Makena Beach
  • Wailea Beach
  • Keawakapu Beach
  • D.T. Fleming Beach Park
  • Napili Bay
  • Honolua Bay Beach
  • Baldwin Beach Park
  • Charley Young Beach
  • Ho’okipa Beach Park
  • Honomanu Beach
  • Kaihalulu