15 Beaches In Maui That Will Redefine Your Hawaiian Vacation

By Dhruvalakshmi Paithankar on Feb 04, 2020
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The island of Maui is synonymous with breathtakingly beautiful beaches, surf-worthy waves, spectacular sunsets, and everything that describes Hawaiian vibes. Be it the hidden gem of Kaihalulu Beach or the popular beaches at Mākena State Park, Maui beaches are a treat for everyone. And even though some of these beaches are located a stone’s throw away from one another, each place has something unique to offer. This blog about the best beaches in Maui has every little detail you need to know while creating your itinerary. So, read on and tell us which ones you are planning to visit.

1. Hamoa Beach - For surfers and families

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A mile-long beach where waves are strong and the shore is sandy - that’s how you can define Hamoa Beach on Maui island. 

This is one of the family-friendly beaches in Maui where its half-moon-shaped area is often dotted with kids building sandcastles. It is a perfect destination for surfers and also welcomes swimmers. But, you have to be careful while enjoying the beauty of Hamoa as lifeguards are not on duty here.

Even though the current is strong, a part of the beach is usually calm. If you are interested in snorkeling or scuba diving, then this part is ideal for you. Amenities like beach chairs and shuttle service are available at Hamoa.

2. Kaihalulu Beach - Secret beach in Maui

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Kaihalulu Beach is a beauty that redefines your sun n’ sand vacation. This pocket beach is a little hard to reach and you need permission to pass through private property, making it one of the secret beaches in Maui.

The deep red sand, lined with lush greenery creates a striking contrast against dark blue waves that greet you here. Keep in mind that hiking to Kaihalulu Beach, though short, is slippery and a little unsafe in some parts. But, it will be worth all the efforts as the reward is this surreal and peaceful Kaihalulu Beach. 

There are no lifeguards and other amenities here. Even though Kaihalulu is not a nudist beach, many consider it to be a clothing-optional one as it is never too crowded, giving enough privacy to its visitors.

3. Mākena State Park - Home to three different beaches

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Mākena State Park is known to have one of the most popular beaches in Maui along with 2 smaller ones. So, when you visit Mākena, you will always have options to suit your mood.

Looking for a bustling area where you can sunbathe or bodysurf? Then, Big Beach is the place to be. It is also known as Oneloa Beach and Mākena Beach. Looking for a smaller shore where nudity, though not allowed, is sometimes tolerated? Then Little Beach, which is also known as Puʻu Ōlaʻi Beach, is your destination.

It also has a smaller gem hidden away from many. Oneʻuli Beach or Naupaka Beach will give you a chance to escape the touristy hustle and bustle that Mākena State Park welcomes.

4. Kapalua Beach - Maui’s snorkeling treat 

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Kapalua Beach is a lovely crescent-shaped area that has gained fame as America’s best beach in the last few years.

Though smaller than its sister beach at D.T. Fleming, it offers equally exciting beach activities. The water here is rich with marine life and corals are plenty, transforming a simple beach into top snorkeling spots in Maui. But it also means that you have to be careful while getting into the water to avoid coral cuts and sharp rocks.

If you are not in the mood to get in the water, soft white sand lined with trees at Kapalua Beach will invite you for a relaxing sunbath.

5. D.T. Fleming Beach - Where amenities are plenty

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Usually ranked amongst some of the best beaches in Maui, D.T. Fleming Beach has everything a beach lover would want.

This long, sandy stretch is lined with ironwood trees that provide plenty of shade for leisure seekers. Whereas, the waves ensure surfers and bodyboarders will have an exciting time at D.T. Fleming Beach. You can end the day here on a perfect note as sunsets are a spectacular affair at this Maui beach.

And when it comes to amenities, D.T. Fleming Beach has everything including picnic tables, grills, outdoor showers, restrooms, wheelchair ramps, parking area, a comfort station, and lifeguards.

6. Wailea Beach - An urban vacation spot 

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Urban and beach actually sound like antonyms, but when you visit Wailea Beach, these two are the only words that perfectly describe this place.

This beach is where golden sand and clear water meet to create a postcard-perfect beauty. Boogie boarding, body surfing, and snorkeling will add to the fun when you are at Wailea Beach. In winters, you can even spot whales from here. It is backed by several luxury resorts like the Grand Wailea resorts and The Four Seasons and has different restaurants and bars nearby.

As it is one of the famous Maui beaches, it gets crowded pretty quickly. So, if you want to catch a spot on the sand, try to reach Wailea Beach early in the morning.

7. Honokalani Beach - Black sand beach in Maui

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Remote, unique, and wild are a few words that are often used when talking about Honokalani Beach in Waiʻanapanapa State Park. 

The state park covers more than 120 acres of low-cliffed volcanic land and has several natural attractions like sea stacks, lava tubes, blowholes, and a legendary cave. But, Honokalani Beach steals the spotlight here with its striking black sand. There are a couple of hiking trails around that will take you to nearby cliffs. You will be welcomed with breath-taking views of the black beach with a backdrop of greenery and endless blue water in the front. 

If you want to spend a night amidst all this beauty, then camping facilities are also available nearby. Check if the permit is needed before planning your stay.

8. Olowalu Beach - For the best surfing in Maui 

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The narrow beach and shallow reef make Olowalu Beach an exciting place to be! Also known as Turtle Reef, it has something for everyone.

The water here is clear, allowing clean visibility and the reef that spans for miles are some of the oldest in the Hawaiian Islands. This combination has turned Olowalu Beach into one of the best snorkeling beaches in Maui. Get in the water and Green Sea Turtles will definitely come to welcome you.

As the shore is safe for kids, you will find many families coming here to spend some quality time. But, be alert about ocean conditions as lifeguards are usually not present on Olowalu Beach.

9. Baldwin Beach Park - A wide sandy shore for you 

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When you are interested in a wide sandy shore that offers thrilling water sports along with relaxation, then Baldwin Beach Park is ready with the combination. 

Bodyboarding, as well as bodysurfing, are popular amongst visitors. The soft sand attracts many who simply want to take a relaxing stroll. Swimming can also be enjoyed at Baldwin Beach, but it is mostly preferred around the west end. A shallow, sand-bottomed pool formed by beach rocks is perfect here when you want to get in the water.

Lifeguards are present on Baldwin Beach and it is recommended to consult them before taking a dip in the ocean.

10. Black Rock Beach - For cliff jumping in Maui 

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Black Rock Beach is located to the north end of Ka'anapali Beach and is named after the huge lava rock that rises from the ocean near the beach. 

Shrouded in mythology, locals believe that the warrior souls jumped off this rock and left the earth to meet their ancestors. Today, it has become a popular spot for cliff jumping. Some parts around the rock are good for snorkeling as fish, turtles, and corals can be found here. But, the current is usually strong. So, be cautious while visiting Black Rock Beach.

If not for activities, you can visit this beach for a popular resort-sponsored sunset torch lighting and diving ceremony in the evening.

11. Kaanapali Beach - Where sunsets are picturesque

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Kaanapali Beach is known for surreal sunsets that paint the urban sky in vibrant shades of red and golden.

The combination of affluent resorts, high-end shopping, and chic restaurants located right off the shore unquestionably make Kaanapali Beach one of the nicest beaches in Maui. Man-made luxury effortlessly meets natural beauty here and gives you a chance to enjoy the best of both worlds. So, spend a fun-filled day here and wait for the postcard-perfect sunset before packing your beach bag.

Its extended Black Rock Beach is usually quieter whereas Kaanapali Beach attracts more locals and tourists.

12. Ho'okipa Beach Park - Popular for windsurfing

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Ho'okipa Beach Park is undoubtedly one of the top-rated beaches in Maui. It has a perfect balance of activities and leisure for every type of tourist.

For those interested in watersports, Ho'okipa Beach Park is the place for windsurfing, surfing, bodysurfing, snorkeling, and parasailing. Waves are good throughout the year and can reach up to 30 feet in winters. If you are a marine-life enthusiast, then visiting Ho'okipa Beach is a must. Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles come to the shore around sunset as if to enjoy it with beach visitors.

Ho'okipa Beach Park has several facilities including the parking area, showers, picnic tables, restrooms, and lifeguards.

13. Napili Bay - A lesser-known Maui beach

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Napili Bay is one of the lesser-known beaches in Maui that is usually frequented by locals rather than travelers. 

Napili is nestled in a residential area between Kahana and Kapalua. It is usually frequented by sea turtles and many come here for snorkeling. Even though not commercialized, Napili Bay has basic amenities to ensure you have a hassle-free visit. 

The sandy Napili Bay is also good for those who simply want to laze around and catch some tan. So, whatever you are interested in, add Napili Bay in your itinerary for a perfect Hawaiian experience.

14. Honomanu Beach - A gem hidden away from the touristy crowd 

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Honomanu Beach, even though located along the popular Hana Highway, has managed to stay under the tourist radar.

A steep dirt road leading to the beach is not accessible by a car, making it hard to reach for many. This has contributed to keeping it one of the secret Maui beaches. Along with its location, pebbly beach, rocky shore, and strong currents keep tourists away. But, take some efforts to go to Honomanu Beach and you will be welcomed with virgin beauty.

Take a stroll, click photos, and simply soak in the peaceful vibes of Honomanu Beach. But remember that it does not have any facilities and surfing is done only by seasoned surfers here.

15. Kanaha Beach Park - For surfing enthusiasts 

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Kanaha Beach Park has become one of the famous destinations in Maui when it comes to watersports.

Ideal windsurfing conditions, excellent visibility for diving, and good for swimming entice adventure lovers from around the world. The beach is frequented with people who enjoy picnicking whereas the water is dotted with windsurfers or kiteboarders. Sandy shore and grassy areas are loved by those who look forward to some peaceful time on the beach.

Visiting Kanaha Beach Park is a hassle-free experience as it has picnic tables, volleyball courts,  showers, lifeguards, restrooms, and a parking lot.

So, next time you are planning a trip to Maui, you know which places to explore for the perfect beach-y vacation in Maui!