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Enjoy the top beaches on Maui

Maui’s 120-mile coastline is home to a number of spectacular beaches. Whether you are searching for white-sand beaches or rugged sea cliffs, Maui has the perfect beach destination for you. Choosing the right beach for your vacation can sometimes be difficult. One beach may be great for surfers and water-sport enthusiasts while others may be better for families or vacationers looking to relax on the shore.

Top Maui Beaches

Top Maui Beaches - Wailea Beach
1. Wailea Beach

Located on the southwestern coast of Maui, Wailea Beach is a protected sugary gold-sand beach that gently slopes into iridescent crystal clear calm waters. Water here is perfect for swimming, and the views across the ocean are mesmerizing, particularly at sunset and you’ll find several cocktail bars along this beach. Enjoy the stunning views over the Molokini Crater and the islands of Lanai and Kahoolawe. Crowded at times being close to several high-end resorts including the famous Four Seasons and Grand Wailea Resort. The beach is also a great vantage point for watching whales during their annual migration in the winter months.

Sandy public beach with activities such as sunbathing, swimming & snorkeling, plus public restrooms.

Location: Wailea, HI
Type: Crowded at Times, Beach Resorts & Condos
Facilities: Public Restrooms
Best For: Sun Bathing, Swimming, Snorkeling, Whale Watching

Top Maui Beaches - Makena Beach
2. Makena Beach State Park

Makena State Park comprises 165 acres in Makena, south of Wailea. The coastline is comprised of two distinct beaches; The main “Big Beach” and “Little Beach” which is more secluded and attracts nude sunbathers (whose activity is not sanctioned). Big Beach, also known as “Oneloa Beach” and “Makena Beach”, is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Maui stretching 1.5 miles long and more than 100 feet wide sheltered by low black lava cliffs. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in south Maui with a mixture of white and orange sand, cool turquoise waters, and spectacular views of Kahoolawe and Molokini. It’s a popular spot for sunbathing, body surfing, skim boarding, and bodyboarding by both tourists and locals. There isn’t much reef here for snorkeling and Inexperienced swimmers and children are advised to be careful because of the powerful waves. There are three entrances to the beach, one with a large parking area, and two with only dirt parking.

Backed by the lush, 165-acre Makena State Park and sheltered by low black lava cliffs, Big Beach is one of the prettiest beaches in all of Maui

Location: Makena, HI
Type: Undeveloped and Serene
Facilities: Toilets, Picnic Tables, Parking
Best For: Sun Bathing, Body Surfing, Skim Boarding, Body Boarding

Top Maui - Kaanapali Beach
3. Ka’anapali Beach

Often called one of the best beaches on Maui stretching 1.5 miles and situated close to the famous Ka’anapali resort area. With its powdery white sands and crystalline calm waters, it’s no wonder that Ka’anapali is the most popular beaches in West Maui and most beautiful in Hawaii. Whether you want to relax and sunbathe or enjoy activities such as swimming, snorkeling, jet skiing, windsurfing, parasailing, surfing, volleyball, and sailing, you won’t be disappointed. Another popular activity is jumping off Black Rock, a 16-foot cliff on Ka’anapali’s northern end. There is a paved beach walk which leads to a number of hotels, luxurious condos for rent, and the Whalers Village shopping center.

Beach featuring resorts, eateries & shopping, plus scenic beach walks, swimming & snorkeling

Location: Lahaina, HI
Type: Can Be crowded, Resorts & Codos, Shopping
Facilities: None
Best For: Sun Bathing, Swimming, Snorkeling, Surfing, Jet Skiing, Windsurfing, Sailing, Parasailing, Cliff Diving, Volleyball

Top Maui Beaches - Hamoa Beach
4. Hamoa Beach

Situated at the base of tall rugged black-lava cliffs, this beach feels somewhat secluded even though it stretches out in a long, half-moon-shape for 900-feet. Its grey sands, formulated from lava and coral, give it a unique character. It’s a beach that attracts many body surfers, snorkelers, and sunbathers. Famous for its lush vegetation, this 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. The surf is most gentle during the summer, but swimming is enjoyable year-round.

Famous for its lush vegetation, this half-moon-shaped beach is perfect for a variety of water activities.

Location: Hana, HI
Type: Secluded
Facilities: N/A
Best For: Sun Bathing, Swimming, Snorkeling, Surfing, Body Surfing

Top Maui Snorkeling - Kapalua Bay
5. Kapalua Beach

Sheltered from powerful currents by two reefs that extend out on either end allows swimmers to relax in gentle waters. Lined by palm trees and lava rock, Kapalua Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Hawaii. Lifeguards are generally on duty, and you’ll also find showers and restrooms on the grounds. Snacks and drinks are available at the nearby Kapalua Bay Hotel making this a favorite beach for many families with young children. The calm waters offer great swimming, and natural tide pools give children the opportunity to see sea creatures up close. During the winter months, it is common to see whales migrating in the deeper waters. Kapalua is one of Maui’s best beaches for snorkeling and 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. The nearby Shopping Village and hotels also offer ample shopping, dining and entertainment options. There is a small parking area close to the Napili Kai Beach Resort where you can access the beach down a paved pathway.

Tranquil sand beach in a protected cove where snorkelers can often spot sea turtles & eels

Location: Kapalua, HI
Type: Favorite Beach For Families With Young Children, Can Be Crowded
Facilities: Lifeguards, Showers, Restrooms, Snacks and Drinks, Dining, Shopping, Entertainment, Parking
Best For: Sun Bathing, Swimming, Snorkeling, Boogie Boarding, Scuba Diving, Whale Watching

Top Maui Beaches - Honokalani Beach / Black Sand Beach
6. Honokalani Beach / Black Sand Beach

With its black shore, aquamarine waters, and thick, jungle-like foliage, Honokalani Beach is located in Waianapanapa State Park, three miles north of the town of Hana. The park itself comprises of 122 acres, encompassing the beach, lava caves, wind-twisted foliage, Hawaii’s largest known heiau (temple), stone arches, and blow holes. The park is very interesting to hike through, and there are even a few wet, spring-fed sea caves and lava tubes. Historically this place is deemed as sacred by the Hawaiian people with various Hawaiian legends associated. It’s wild, unspoiled Hawaii at its best, and a necessary stop on the road to Hana. Swimming is dangerous here and should be mostly avoided, unless the ocean is calm, which is a rare event only in the summertime. Caution should be taken at all times as fierce rip currents can sweep through the bay, and the ocean bottom drops off quite close to shore.

With its black shore, aquamarine waters, and thick, jungle-like foliage, Honokalani Beach in Hana is a photographer’s dream.

Location: Waianapanapa State Park, HI
Type: Secluded
Facilities: N/A
Best For: Photography

Top Maui Beaches - Kaihalulu Beach / Red Sand Beach
7. Kaihalulu Beach / Red Sand Beach

One of the best-kept secrets in Maui is located on the far side of Ka’uiki hill and south of Hana Bay. Although the beach is spectacular, getting to it is somewhat perilous. Kaihalulu Beach is only accessible through private property and you need to get permission to go down this road. The beach itself is set in a small, isolated cove, and the red sands aren’t actually sand but cinders from long-past volcanic activity. This sheltered bay is great for Swimming and snorkeling with cliff jumping on either side. if you are looking for a secluded beach that isn’t crowded, Kaihalulu Beach should definitely be included on your list of beaches to visit. Just bring proper footwear as the trail to the beach can be quite steep and slippery.

One of the best-kept secrets in Maui

Location: Hana, HI
Type: Secluded
Facilities: N/A
Best For: Sun Bathing, Swimming, Snorkeling, Cliff Jumping, Photography

Top Maui Beaches - Keawakapu Beach
8. Keawakapu Beach

Located between Wailea and Kihei, Keawakapu is a great alternative to South Maui’s larger and more crowded beaches. This secret south Maui paradise is an ideal getaway from the crowds of the islands’ more populated beaches. Its soft white sand makes it an excellent place for sunbathing, walking, stand-up paddleboarding and sunrise yoga (which is a morning ritual here). This small beach has calm waters and offers great swimming conditions throughout the year. There is an underwater reef on the right side that makes for great snorkeling opportunities and Scuba divers can swim out to explore a man-made reef about a half-mile offshore, which attracts lots of fish and sea turtles. For the best view of the beach, head over to the Five Palms Restaurant for lunch or dinner. Parking is available, showers and bathrooms are available.

A great alternative to South Maui’s larger and more touristed beaches.

Location: Wailea-Kihei, HI
Type: Getaway From Crowds of Tourists
Facilities: Showers, Restrooms, Parking, Five Palms Restaurant
Best For: Sun Bathing, Swimming, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Walking,

Top Maui Beaches - Baldwin Beach
9. Baldwin Beach

Located near Historic Paia Town on Maui’s North Shore with 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. It’s also one of the island’s most family-friendly beaches, equipped with bathrooms, showers, barbecues, picnic tables, a covered pavilion, and lifeguard stations. The easiest way to access the beach is from the nearby Kahana Beach.

One of the island’s most family-friendly beaches

Location: Paia, HI
Type: Getaway From Crowds of Tourists, Family-Friendly
Facilities: Lifeguard, Showers, Restrooms, Barbecues, Picnic Tables, A Covered Pavilion
Best For: Sun Bathing, Swimming

Top Maui Beaches
10. Kahekili Beach

An extension of Ka’anapali Beach, Kahekili Beach is Boardwalk-lined public beach with barbecue grills, showers, restrooms, and a picnic pavilion. It’s separated from the bigger Ka’anapali by lava rock and a hotel. Named after the last king of Maui, Kahekili Beach is an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Hidden rocks and strong currents, however, make this a dangerous spot for swimmers. The expansive, well-groomed sand beach also makes this a nice picnicking area.

Boardwalk-lined public beach with a covered picnic pavilion, barbecue grills, showers & restrooms.

Location: Lahaina, HI
Type: Getaway From Crowds
Facilities: Showers, Restrooms, Barbecues, Picnic Tables, A Covered Picnic Pavilion
Best For: Sun Bathing, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Picnics

Top Maui Snorkeling - Napili Bay
11. Napili Beach

Napili Bay is well known for its picture-perfect sunsets, golden sand, gentle surf, great snorkeling, and one of the best in the area for swimming and sunbathing. Great for families looking to spend an entire day at the beach. There is a chance that you will see monk seals in the area, but it is advised to keep your distance. 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.

Calm waters and golden sands make this beach one of the best in the area for swimming and sunbathing.

Location: Lahaina, HI
Type: Family Day, Resorts & Condos
Facilities: Showers, Parking
Best For: Sun Bathing, Swimming, Snorkeling

Top Maui Beaches
12. Kamaole Park III

There are three beaches here with long stretches of white sand with the third being the favorite. A great swimming spot and Voted as one of the best places to watch the sunset on Maui. Here you will find lifeguards, picnic areas and a children’s playground.

Voted as one of the best places to watch the sunset on Maui.

Location: KIHEI, HI
Type: Great Swimming & Sunsets
Facilities: Lifeguards, Restrooms, Picnic Areas, Playground
Best For: Sun Bathing, Swimming

Top Maui Beaches
13. 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. Glistening with white sand, this expansive beach offers a great place for sunbathing. Lots of shelter from the sun because there are many Ironwood trees scattered around the sands. Swimming is ideal, although the surf can be a bit rough during winter months 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. You’ll find on-duty lifeguards, picnic tables with barbecue grills, a playground, restrooms, and a parking lot close by.

Sandy public beach offering on-duty lifeguards, picnic areas with grills, a playground & restrooms.

Location: Honokahuah, HI
Type: Family- Friendly
Facilities: Lifeguards, Showers, Restrooms, Picnic Areas, Barbecues, Playground, Parking
Best For: Sun Bathing, Swimming, Surfing, Body Boarding

Top Maui Beaches - HO’OKIPA BEACH
14. Ho’okipa Beach

Located in a large state park with white sand beaches, this is one of the best beaches for windsurfing and internationally known by surfing enthusiasts. Not recommended for swimming but a great spot for watching amazing surfers negotiate waves up to 15 feet high. You’ll find restrooms, showers, picnic areas & pavilions, barbecue grills, and plenty of parking spots.

Spacious state park & surfing spot filled with a white sand beach, picnic areas & pavilions.

Location: PAIA, HI
Type: For Surfing Enthusiasts
Facilities: Showers, Restrooms, Barbecues, Picnic Areas & pavilions, Parking
Best For: Sun Bathing, Surfing, Wind-Surfing

Top Maui Beaches
15. Olowalu Beach

known as “Turtle Reef” due to a large number of Green sea turtles found here. Olowalu Beach is a brown-sand beach that features one of the most diverse reef systems in Hawaii. Conditions are optimal year round, even for inexperienced snorkelers. The waters are usually clear and calm, but there are no facilities or lifeguards in the area.

There are more than 20 species of marine life for snorkelers!

Location: –, HI
Type: Secluded, Marine Life
Facilities: None
Best For: Swimming, Snorkeling

Honolua Bay Beach - Maui
16. Honolua Bay Beach

Favored by both snorkelers and surfers, Honolua Bay Beach is a rocky beach that can be best described as a protected marine area that offers a great opportunity for vacationers who love exploring underwater life. Take a short walk to the lookout point for terrific views of the bay. You won’t find any lifeguards here but portable toilets are provided and there is easy parking.

A paradise for both snorkelers and surfers!

Location: –, HI
Type: Secluded, Marine Life
Facilities: Portable Toilets, Parking
Best For: Snorkeling, Surfing

Top Maui Beaches - Charley Young Beach
17. Charley Young Beach

Located on the north end of Kamaole I Beach, Charley Young Beach offers golden sand and amazing views of the surrounding area. It’s in a small park with excellent swimming conditions. You’ll find showers and portable toilets but no lifeguards.

Small park & beach for swimming & sunbathing, plus kid-friendly tide pools with turtle sightings.

Location: –, HI
Type: Secluded
Facilities: Showers, Portable Toilets, Parking
Best For: Sun Bathing, Swimming

Top Maui Beaches - Honomanu Beach
18. Honomanu Beach

One of Maui’s most scenic beaches, Honomanu Beach is a thousand foot black-sand beach backed by a thick forest of Hala trees between Paia and Hana. Surfing is one of the most popular activities at Honomanu Beach but not many tourists go due to the difficulty of getting there, you’ll need a 4-wheel drive vehicle. The left side of the bay features very dangerous waves and swimming can be hazardous due to the shallow and sharp rocky bottom.

Surfing is one of the most popular activities.

Location: Hana, HI
Type: Secluded
Facilities: None
Best For: Sun Bathing, Surfing

Wailea Beach

The water here is perfect for swimming, and the views across the ocean are mesmerizing, particularly at sunset and you’ll find several cocktail bars along this beach.

Makena Beach State Park

Makena State Park comprises 165 acres in Makena, south of Wailea. The coastline is comprised of two distinct beaches; The main “Big Beach” and “Little Beach” .

Ka’anapali Beach

Often called one of the best beaches on Maui stretching 1.5 miles and situated close to the famous Ka’anapali resort area.

Hamoa Beach

Situated at the base of tall rugged black-lava cliffs, this beach feels somewhat secluded even though it stretches out in a long, half-moon-shape for 900-feet.

Kapalua Beach

Sheltered from powerful currents by two reefs that extend out on either end allows swimmers to relax in gentle waters.

Honokalani Beach

With its black shore, aquamarine waters, and thick, jungle-like foliage, Honokalani Beach is located in Waianapanapa State Park, three miles north of the town of Hana.

Kaihalulu Beach

One of the best-kept secrets in Maui is located on the far side of Ka’uiki hill and south of Hana Bay.

Keawakapu Beach

Located between Wailea and Kihei, Keawakapu is a great alternative to South Maui’s larger and more crowded beaches.

Baldwin Beach

Located near Historic Paia Town on Maui’s North Shore with a long stretch of golden sand and palm trees.

Kahekili Beach

An extension of Ka’anapali Beach, Kahekili Beach is Boardwalk-lined public beach with barbecue grills, showers, restrooms, and a picnic pavilion.

Napili Beach

Napili Bay is well known for its picture-perfect sunsets, golden sand, gentle surf, great snorkeling, and one of the best in the area for swimming and sunbathing.

Kamaole Park III

There are three beaches here with long stretches of white sand with the third being the favorite.

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.

Ho’okipa Beach

Located in a large state park with white sand beaches, this is one of the best beaches for windsurfing and internationally known by surfing enthusiasts.

Olowalu Beach

known as “Turtle Reef” due to a large number of Green sea turtles found here.

Honolua Bay Beach

Favored by both snorkelers and surfers, Honolua Bay Beach is a rocky beach that can be best described as a protected marine area.

Charley Young Beach

Located on the north end of Kamaole I Beach, Charley Young Beach offers golden sand and amazing views of the surrounding area.

Honomanu Beach

One of Maui’s most scenic beaches, Honomanu Beach is a thousand-foot black-sand beach backed by a thick forest of Hala trees.