The island of Maui is synonymous with excellent beaches and a water lover’s playground. With a wide variety of sun-soaked sandy beaches tailor-made to perfect your tan and rocky outcrops where surfers love to chase the perfect wave, Maui’s beaches offer amazing experiences.
Maui has beaches for overall fun in the sun, surfing, family friendly beaches, secret beaches frequented by local Hawaiians, beaches perfect for hiking, and beaches perfect for camping. Our list is not all-inclusive, but we have highlighted a great selection of Maui’s amazing Pacific Ocean options.
Best For Overall Fun In The Sun
When you want to kick off your flip flops and soak up the Pacific sunshine, Kapalua Bay has it all.
1. Kapalua Bay – West Maui
Kapalua Bay is a gorgeous sheltered beach surrounded by oceanside residences and resorts. Located on the west side, Kapalua Bay is framed by rocky outcrops keeping the surf in check and making the water great for swimming.
Grab your snorkel gear, you will find this calm, sheltered cove is a fun spot to hunt for beautiful fish and Hawaiian green sea turtles.
Pro Tip: Kapalua Bay does not have a lifeguard but there are public restrooms and showers.
Best For Surfers
Are you an experienced surfer, surfer want-to-be, or simply just love watching these well-muscled athletes ride a huge wave? Then these beaches need to be on your Maui beach bucket list. Check out the Maui Surf Reports and Cams before you head out for the 411 on where the best waves are calling the expert surfers. Winter is the best season for surfers when the waves are bigger and more challenging. If you are a newbie, select a calmer time of year or a sheltered beach to give this sport a go.
2. Honolua Bay – West Maui
During the winter months, Honolua Bay is a wonderful spot to watch well-trained surfers attack powerful waves. However, during the summer, the surf is gentle and perfect for snorkeling. The beach is fairly rocky and not ideal for that perfect sunbathing afternoon.
Pro Tip: There are no lifeguards or restroom facilities provided at Honolua Bay.
3. Ho’okipa Beach Park – North Maui
Windsurfing is the sport of choice at Ho’okipa Beach Park. You can relax on the sandy beach and watch expert windsurfers navigate the waves, wind, and currents. Board surfers also love this spot and share the waves with their fellow water lovers.
Swimming can be tricky due to the undertow and shallow water wading should be approached with caution. Ho’okipa is a wonderful spot for sunbathing and living vicariously through the surfers.
You can also frequently spot large Hawaiian green turtles sunning on the beach. It can be startling when they move, since you will easily mistake them for giant rocks.
Pro Tip: Ho’okipa has lifeguards and restroom facilities.
4. Honomanu Bay – North Maui
The black sand and pebbly beach at Honomanu Bay is a fun adventure for picture taking. Swimming is dangerous and not recommended. The men and women that surf here have well- honed skills and knowledge of the water’s rocky base.
The views are gorgeous; while you are on the road to Hana, you should definitely take a break at the roadside lookout. If you are considering driving the northshore road to Hana, be sure to check out our travel guide.
Pro Tip: There are no lifeguards or restroom facilities provided at Honomanu Bay.
Best For Families
Vacationing in Hawaii with your family is a wonderful way to share the travel experience and make lasting memories. Maui offers several beaches with lifeguards and public facilities making them a perfect option for family friendly adventures.
5. Ka’anapali Beach – West Maui
If you are staying at a classic west Maui resort, you are most likely on or near Ka’anapali Beach. Miles of soft white sand dotted with world class resorts, private cabanas, and all the on-the-water toys you can dream up.
Perfect for swimming, snorkeling, sunning, paddle boarding, boogie boarding, and more, Ka’anapali Beach is the quintessential Hawaiian beachside vacation getaway.
Pro Tip: There are some lifeguards along with public restrooms and showers at Ka’anapali Beach.
6. Baldwin Beach – North Maui
Baldwin Beach Park is a beautiful sandy, north shore beach perfect for a morning stroll, a mid-day swim, or an evening picnic to watch the sun go down.
Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and other on-the-water activities are ready for your family friendly beach day.
Pro Tip: At Baldwin Beach you will find lifeguards along with public restrooms and showers.
7. Baby Beach – North Maui
On one end of Baldwin Beach is Baby Beach. Not to be confused with Baby Beach near Lahaina, this beach offers a calm bay area perfect for families with small children.
Grab all of your family beach toys, blankets, and umbrellas for a lovely day at Baby Beach.
Pro Tip: At Baldwin Beach you will find lifeguards along with public restrooms and showers.
8. Makena State Park Beaches – South Maui
Mākena State Park is home to three beaches: Puu Olai (Little Beach), Oneloa (Big Beach), and Oneuli (Black Sandy Beach). The beaches are popular spots for sunbathing, snorkeling, and boogie boarding.
There is a parking and entrance fee associated with Makena State Park. However, if you are looking to spend the day at a lovely beach facility with your family, this is a great spot. The state park offers picnic areas.
Worth noting, Puu Olai has been known to be frequented by clothing optional guests; something to keep in mind if you have little ones in tow.
Pro Tip: At Makena State Park there are lifeguards at Oneloa along with public restrooms and shower facilities.
9. Hamoa Beach – East Maui
A popular beach with tourists, Hamoa Beach is a wonderful option for beginning surfers and boogie boarders.
Pro Tip: There are no lifeguards at Hamoa Beach but there are public facilities.
Best For Exploring Nature
The island of Maui is a wonderful spot for exploring. Be sure to check out our favorite Hawaiian Hiking spots if you are interested in exploring the islands on foot.
10. Wai’anapanapa State Park – East Maui
Wai’anapanapa State Park is a gorgeous, remote area near Hana on the eastern side of Maui. The rugged coastline should not be attempted by the faint of heart. However, if you love a thrilling adventure into the wild, then Wai’anapanapa is the spot for your Maui beaches journey.
Hiking to blowholes past native flora and fauna drops you into the heart of ancient Hawaii. You will love the quiet solitude, stunning ocean vistas, and small black sand beaches with no footprints but your own.
Note that reservations and a fee are required.
Pro Tip: At Wai’anapanapa State Park you will find public restrooms and showers.
11. La Perouse Bay – South Maui
La Perouse Bay is part of the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve, an environmentally protected area. The rocky shoreline is a lava rock-surrounded bay. Hiking to the beautiful bay area requires good, solid shoes to trek over the often sharp rocks, but intrepid travelers will be rewarded with unique and stunning views.
Swimming is prohibited while the reserve’s ecology is recovering. Check the Ahihi Kinau website for the latest details.
Pro Tip: La Perouse Bay offers no lifeguards nor rest facilities.
Best For Camping
Photo Rocky Beach
Cooled by ocean breezes and lulled by the repetitive waves, camping along the ocean is a life experience everyone should try at least once. Whether you are roughing it in a tent or nesting in a luxurious van, sleeping under the stars will afford you a deep connection with nature.
12. Olowalu – West Maui
When you want a camping experience on Hawaii, but did not pack your gear, rent a Tentalow from Camp Olowalu and enjoy outdoor living on Maui. Campfires, water sports, and Hawaiian sunshine are some of the treasures you will discover.
Pro Tip: There are no lifeguards or public facilities at Olowalu.
13. Black Sand Beach
Black Sand Beach in Wai’anapanapa State Park is an amazing spot to explore. The volcanic sand beach is a unique beach experience.
You can rent a cabin for your Maui camping experience and commune with mother nature. The camp is a treasure trove of activities including hunting lava tubes, blowholes, caves, and rock formations.
Pro Tip: At Wai’anapanapa you will find public restrooms and showers.
Best For Hanging Out With The Locals
Some of the best beaches are the local beaches. Here you will find family and friends spending a sunny day enjoying the beautiful beaches of Maui.
14. Palauea – South Maui
Also known as White Rock Beach, Palauea Beach is a great local snorkeling spot when the ocean is calm. When the waves kick up, the visibility drops and the snorkeling is not great.
It is also a popular wedding beach since it is almost always nearly deserted.
Pro Tip: There are no lifeguards or facilities at Palauea.
15. Hana Beach Park – East Maui
Hana Beach Park is one of the best beaches for swimming on the east side of Maui. With a gorgeous sandy beach, picnic facilities, and gentle surf, Hana Bay Beach is a favorite family friendly beach.
Pro Tip: At Hana Bay Beach you will find public restrooms and showers.
When you are dreaming about soaking up the glorious Hawaiin sun on the amazing beaches on Maui, consider a few of our options. These beaches will be high on your must visit list as you plan your Maui vacation getaway.
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