Best Beaches in Maui, Hawaii – Our Ultimate Maui Beach Guide

If thinking about Maui, Hawaii conjures up images of beautiful golden beaches and drinking cocktails while the warm waves lap your feet then you are in luck as that is EXACTLY what you can expect. If you hit the RIGHT beaches. Maui’s shoreline is teeming with beaches, some peaceful and remote, some busier tourist beaches, and some truly out of this world. You would be hard pushed to find a bad one, and our Guide to the best beaches in Maui, Hawaii will definitely find the right beach for you.

We don’t intend to rate or order the beaches as it’s so objective. Just guide you on what the beach is really like, and what it is suited for. The Best Beach on Maui is a very subjective topic. Be warned Maui has ALOT of beaches this list is LONG. as such we have broken it down into areas and attempted to cluster a few beaches together to help keep things concise. This isn’t a Snorkelling guide but we can’t help but briefly mention if a beach has good or bad snorkeling either.

Best Beaches in Maui, Hawaii

We have provided handy Google Maps links so you can see exactly where all the beaches are! Just click the heading.


West Maui Beaches

South Maui Beaches

Hana Beaches

North Shore Beaches

Map of Maui’s Beaches

West Maui Beaches

West Maui is the Jewel in Maui’s crown and home to some fantastic beaches. Stunningly beautiful with crystal clear warm water and incredible underwater life. The area really hosts a great number of truly special beaches.

We start at the south end of West Maui and work our way around Highway 30 to the last beaches as the tourist resorts peter out and the wilderness takes over around the backside of West Maui. After Honolua, there is very little in the way of good beaches.

Olowalu Beach – Mile Marker 14

  • Good for – Families and relaxing
  • Amenities – porta-potties, sometimes
Olowalu Beach Maui
Olowalu Beach Maui by Allie Caulfield on cc2.0

The first stretch of sand you will find as you head towards West Maui. Olowalu Beach has a huge reputation as a snorkeling site, known as Mile Marker 14. This reputation is a bit unfounded, and we rarely have enjoyed great snorkeling here. While the reef is undoubtedly extensive, it is a bit maze-like and is hard to navigate with the best snorkeling unreachable for the average snorkeler. Conditions often ruin any real chance of good snorkeling anyway and there is a popular surf break here, two things that don’t mix!

The beach itself is ok, however, it is fairly narrow with minimal amenities and a rocky ocean entry. However, it is often very quiet and the views down the coastline can be breathtaking. When the ocean is calm and the sun shining, Olowalu beach is a real paradise, but it is often nothing like this!

Lahaina – Baby Beach

  • Good for – Families and relaxing
  • Amenities – Showers, Restrooms

Lahaina is not known for its beaches and really there is a lot more to do in the town apart from relaxing on the beach, but if you do fancy grabbing some beach time when visiting the Town this is the place to head. The beach is shallow and calm and protected by a reef just offshore so it’s perfect for families with young children.

It is not particularly special though and the stunning Lahaina Mountain backdrop is lost a little, you can do better.

Kaanapali Beach

  • Good for – Most things
  • Amenities – Restrooms, Showers, Bars, and restaurants.
  • Map
Kaanapali Beach

A Big Wide beach with tons of clean golden sand set with a backdrop of 5-star resorts. Kaanapali Beach is great for doing just about anything, The sea is fairly shallow with gentle drop-offs and fairly calm most of the time, the Sand is clean and perfect for lounging on, and the array of bars and restaurants behind gives you a place to retreat to out of the midday sun. Black Rock, on the right-hand side of the beach, offers Great Snorkelling with tons of fish and turtles. And a favorite pastime of the thrill-seeking generation is leaping off the rock into the ocean.

The only real downside to this incredible strip of sand is its excellence is not exactly secret. The many residents of the many hotels that border it, all head out for their days of relaxation. Yep, Kaanapali will be busy MOST days. Don’t expect a remote island getaway feel, you will have a LOT of company. The beach is big so handles these crowds well and you will easily find space to build your camp. But if you feel uncomfortable with people in close quarters this isn’t the best choice.

If Crowds don’t bother you much then Kaanapali has a lot to offer, and a visit to West Maui should always include a day or afternoon at Kaanapali Beach. Unless you’re staying in Kaanapali then you’ll be here almost every day…lucky you.

Remember to check out the nightly Cliff Diving ceremonies on Black rock provided by the Sheraton at sunset. It’s not a big show but a lovely, authentic-feeling way to see the day out.

Full Kaanapali Beach Guide

Kahekili / Airport Beach

  • Good for – Snorkelling And Relaxing
  • Amenities – Restrooms, showers, Picnic Tables BBQ’s
  • Map

Over on the other side Of Black Rock to Kaanapali is Airport Beach or Kahekili Beach. The beach is oddly nowhere near an Airport. Instead, it derives its name from its history. This beach was once used as a runway serving West Maui before the Airport up the road was built.

The beach is similar to Kaanapali Beach. Wide clean sand with beautiful calm waters. The Difference is, as you head further Away from Black Rock Areas of Reef begin to form nearshore leading to some excellent Snorkelling. The whole area and beach have a slightly more relaxed feel to it, less resort, and more residential. It can be less crowded and more suited to a really nice relaxing day.

With fewer crowds, great snorkeling, and its more chilled vibe Airport beach is a real favorite of ours.

Full Airport Beach Guide

Honokowai Beach Park

  • Good for – Snorkelling and bbq’s and family
  • Amenities – Showers, Restrooms, Picnic Tables, BBQ’s, and playground.
  • Map
Honokowai Beach Park Guide

The actual beach at Honokowai isn’t really the best. It’s pretty narrow and the water entry can be very tricky. But the beach is attached to a fantastic park area, with communal BBQ areas, a child’s playground, and areas to play and sit. It makes a great place for families and groups to spend time.

The grassy areas near to the shore also make a great place for sunbathing for those who prefer to avoid the sand. Great if one-half of you loves to snorkel. Speaking of which the snorkeling here is really interesting. There are ridges of coral-encrusted rock just offshore that are fantastic for exploring with all sorts of critters and hiding in the nooks and crannies.

Overall we love the Park, while it’s not a conventional picture-perfect beach It makes for a really fun day.

Full Honokowai Beach Guide

Napili Bay

  • Good for – Playing in the surf
  • Amenities – Showers, Restrooms (in Resorts)
  • Map
Napili Bay Beach

First, a Confession, When we stay in Maui this is where we favor. We have stayed here far more than any other area of the Island and we quite simply love it. So we will try and be as impartial as possible.  The beach here is made of deep soft coral sand, You literally sink up to your ankles in the sand. The shape of the bay concentrates any surf to the center of the beach and it washes up the shore making a perfect shoot to ride up on a boogie board or even without. It’s great to get used to the concept of surfing or just generally playing around in the waves that are usually only moderate. There will be plenty of people already riding so just follow the others.

With the surf being funneled to the center it leaves the edges of the bay calm and flat most of the time this makes it the ideal spot for SUP or Snorkelling. The rocky outcrops at both sides offer great Snorkelling with abundant sea life. Honokeana Bay next door is home to a large collection of sea turtles who regularly swim around to Napili Bay to feed. You will see huge turtles just hanging out in the shallows nibbling on the algae and seaweed.

There are a number of bars and restaurants dotted around the bay. So there is somewhere to head to when you have had enough frolicking. Also home to the famous Gazebo Restaurant, where people queue for hours for the chance to have breakfast with the best view on the Island. If you don’t fancy the queue, they offer takeaway which you can eat on the beach. The Seahouse restaurant also offers great cocktails which are even greater at its happy hour prices with cut-price Pupu’s to boot.

Downsides? Well, there is very little parking and this can definitely be an issue. Also, the beach is not huge and it can quickly appear very crowded, somewhat detracting from the picture-perfect view. Still, if you can get a parking spot and somewhere on the beach it doesn’t get a lot better than this.

Full Napili Bay Guide

Kapalua Bay

  • Good for – Swimming and sunset drinks
  • Amenities – Showers and Restrooms
  • Map
Kapalua bay

Next door to Napili Bay and very similar in appearance this bay feels a little more upmarket. hotels lining the cove are a little fancier and the clientele is more likely to be soaking up the rays than splashing around in the surf. That’s a good thing as the bay is overall much calmer.

The soft sand is a little wider than Napili and overall it seems to be less crowded. The water is calm and clear and good for snorkeling at both ends of the beach amongst the rocky outcrops. Although the clarity is sometimes less than perfect, the reef extends right up t the shoreline making it great for beginner snorkelers.

Parking is still limited as the two beaches are so close they share facilities. The main parking lot is at the Kapalua Coastal Trail Head. Merriman’s restaurant sits proudly on the Headland offering upscale dining and cocktails on its breathtaking terrace. Happy hour is highly recommended.

Full Guide to Kapalua Bay Beach

DT Flemming Park & Oneloa Beach

  • Good for – Surf
  • Amenities – Restrooms, showers, Picnic Tables BBQ’s
  • LifeGuards – DT Flemming(08:00-16:45)
  • Map
DT Flemming beach Guide

DT Flemming is a large beach that has the feel of being a bit more remote and windswept however the proximity to a number of large resorts makes it actually quite busy at times. The beach is beginning to get around the top of the island and as such can have more vigorous swells and currents. This can make the beach a little bit dangerous at times but as the beach is Lifeguarded you should have no issues as long as you obey instructions and flags. When the Swells are right it makes for a very popular surf spot.

The Rougher Nature of the beach means we don’t really recommend it as a snorkel spot. You would be much better off at another destination. The more exposed nature also means it can be a little cooler than elsewhere which can either be a good or bad thing!

Oneloa or Ironwood Beach Sits next door to DT Fleming and is even further isolated. Here you can on occasion get the beach to yourself, a very rare thing in Maui. The water is often rough and the water line is riddled with rocks making this a poor bathing beach, but fr isolated strolls or just getting away from the crowd we love Oneloa.

Full DT Flemming Beach Guide

Slaughterhouse Beach

  • Good for – Snorkelling and Relaxing
  • Amenities – None
  • Map
slaughterhouse beach

Don’t let the rather unappealing name put you off, the Bay is named after a slaughterhouse that has long gone from the hillside above. All that’s left is a car park and a beach, with some great snorkeling. The perfect getaway for those looking for a more remote beach away from the crowds. Snorkeling on the right-hand side of the bay is excellent and very strong swimmers can even head around the headland into Honolua Bay (see below) for some of the best snorkeling on the island.

Great if one person loves snorkeling and the other prefers lounging on a beautiful Quiet beach.

Full Slaughterhouse Beach Guide

Honolua Bay

  • Good for – Snorkelling
  • Amenities – None
  • Map

The worst beach in the area. Zero Facilities, crowded, and the “beach” is made up of large rocks and uncomfortable boulders. Really nothing at all to recommend about this as a beach. Of course, if your intention is to come here for the snorkeling then you would be hard-pressed to find a better location on the island*

The crowd draw here is the incredible reef and abundant sea life. It is a fabulous location…just not a good beach. It also houses a great surf break in the right conditions.

* the Caveat here is the water has a horrible habit of clouding up. Rain high up in the hills runs into the bay and ruins visibility until really quite far out. Our advice is as you head through the jungle path if you get to a flowing stream, turn round, the water will be bad. If it’s a mere trickle you are good to go. It won’t make the rocks any comfier though.

Honolua is one of our favorite spots on Maui when the Water is right so don’t let our poor beach review put you off, once in the water it is magical. Read more about Honolua here.

South Maui Beaches

Lying on the Leeward side of Haleakala directly in the rain shadow of the volcano, South Maui’s Beaches see the sun almost every day of the year. So it’s not hard to see why they are popular. With many high-class hotels along with cheaper alternatives and many restaurants and bars catering to beachgoers, it seems the perfect place for a beach day or even to base your whole vacation.

But what the actual Beaches themselves are like as is the true make-or-break factor. Spoiler, they are incredible.

Sugar Beach

  • Good for – Sunbathing
  • Amenities – Showers, BBQs, Picnic Areas, Restrooms, Ample Parking, and Shops, and Restaurants.
Kihei Beach

The very long stretch of golden sand that runs in front of Northern Kihei is the picture-perfect idyllic beach on the surface. This makes it perfect for those seeking golden sands to sunbathe and relax on. Long walks along the beautiful coastline again are perfect as the beach runs on and on. In parts, it gets busy others are near-deserted. This is what Hawaiian dreams are made of.

The issue we have with Kihei Beach is the quality of the water. It’s just a bit murky and stinky. At least compared to other beaches on Maui. If all you want is a paddle and cool off from the sun then it’s fine. For more serious watersports such as snorkeling, it is just not up to scratch. How important that is to you is a personal thing.

For many, it makes no difference at all. For others, it’s a show-stopper. We would certainly travel to this beach for a day, there are just better. If we were staying in the vicinity it would be a fine place to relax, but we like to have great snorkeling right on our doorstep.

Being exposed to the Valley can lead to some fairly strong winds too, these can be cooling, but at times too cooling. On the plus side, there are loads of amenities and bars and restaurants to retreat to in Kihei. Overall it’s not a brilliant start to South Maui’s beaches, however, we feel we are underselling it, and don’t worry, it gets a lot better.

This is Kihei/Sugar Beach’s biggest issue, there are just better beaches close by.

Kamaole One, Two, and Three

  • Good for – Fun Beach Days.
  • Amenities – Showers, BBQ’s, Picnic Areas, Restrooms, Ample Parking
  • LifeGuards (08:00-16:45)
  • More Info…
Kamaole i Beach

These 3 adjacent beach coves are where things start really getting better for South Maui. Large Clean stretches of sand with clear water with excellent snorkeling at the rocky outcrops separating the bays. The beaches are very popular and can get busy especially considering the proximity of large hotels and condo complexes. But with 3 large beaches to choose from they accommodate people quite well and never appear overly busy, apart from very busy periods times of the year.

The beach parks connected to the bays offer everything you could want for a beach day and there are plenty of nearby shops and restaurants you can retreat to get out the midday sun. The Lifeguards on the beach make these a very popular choice for families who want some added protection while bathing. There are many parking lots in and around Kihei so you should have no issue finding somewhere to park.

The Rocky outcrops make excellent refuges for fish coral and turtles and as such, there is great snorkeling to be had especially for a busy tourist beach area. Really the toughest part is choosing which of the three beaches to choose. We recommend you try them all and pick your favorite.

More Info on the Kamaole Beach Parks

Keawakapu Beach to Ulua Beach

  • Good for – Sun Bathing and General Beach days.
  • Amenities – Showers, BBQ’s, Picnic Areas, Restrooms, Ample Parking
Keawakapu beach

Heading down from the Kamaole’s the Shore becomes an almost endless stretch of beautiful golden sands running in front of the upmarket Hotels of Wailea. The different Stretches all go by varying names, from Keawakapu, Wailea-Akahi, Mokapu, and Ulua. But really they are one long expanse of beautiful uncrowded beach. Of course, when we say uncrowded there will be a lot of people, just the beach is large so you can usually find a little peace and quiet.

Snorkeling is so-so and concentrated around the edges and anywhere you can make it out to a reef, but it’s not where we would head for snorkeling if in the area. But we might take a dip if sunbathing becomes a chore, Hawaii life is hard!

Amenities are centered around the many beach parks and entrances along the way and the fantastic Wailea Beach Bath terminates at the south end of the beach and leads to the exclusive Wailea Beach.

Full Guide to Keawakapu Beach

Full Guide to Ulua Beach

Wailea Beach

  • Good for – Being Seen
  • Amenities – Showers, BBQ’s, Picnic Areas, Restrooms, Ample Parking
Wailea Beach

Wailea beach is the Hang-out for the residents of Wailea’s ultra-high-end hotels and where any celebs or high flyers would take their beach days. Of course, Maui’s beaches are ALL open to the public by law so there is nothing stopping us mortals from rocking up to enjoy the splendid beach that fronts up the hotels. Even if we can’t hope to stay there.

Snorkeling is excellent around the rocky headlands on both sides of the beach, and especially good if you head out around Wailea Point on the left-hand side of the beach. Here large rocks are encrusted in coral and large pelagic fish hunt in the channels between the boulders.

Full Guide to Wailea Beach

Po’olenalena Beach Area

  • Good for – Snorkelling and Peace
  • Amenities – Showers, BBQ’s, Picnic Areas, Restrooms
  • in order – Polo Beach, Paluea Beach, Po’olenalena Beach, Makena Snorkelling Beach, Maluaka Beach and Oneuli Beach
Polo Beach area

After Wailea beach, the Shore turns more into lava rock with smaller sandy coves dotted along. This can lead to finding a bit more seclusion and maybe even a beach to yourself or just a few others. The endless rocky outcrops also lead to some exceptional snorkeling. Many of the Snorkelling Boats and catamarans have stops along here at what they call “turtle town”, this magical place doesn’t technically exist it’s just where they moor up where they know there will be turtles. Which are most places along part of this part of the coast.

Big Beach and Little Beach (Makena Beach)

  • Good for – Taco’s and Taking your clothes off (Little Beach ONLY)
  • Amenities – Restrooms, Showers, Picnic Tables, Food Trucks
  • LifeGuards – Big Beach (08:00-16:45)
Big Beach Makena State Park

Big Beach is as close to a perfect Hawaiian paradise as you are likely to find. The long wide beach with unbelievable blue-green water with almost zero buildings is the stuff of fantasy. Little Beach is just as pretty and even more remote, however, it has a reputation for being a clothes-optional beach so you need to decide if that’s for you or not. We tend to stick to Big Beach. Photography is particularly unwelcome at Little Beach!

The swell can get a little rough here and there is potential for strong currents, but the lifeguards present will warn of any dangerous conditions so you should be perfectly safe as long as you abide by any instructions or flags given. If in doubt ask away. The guards are there for your safety. The biggest risk is the Shore Break.

This is particularly savage at Big Beach and many Tourists end up in ER after the waves pound them against the sandy floor. If Red flags are flying it’s for a reason!

Snorkeling is decent around any rocky outcrops but as the main part of the beach is a long shallow sandbank snorkeling for the main part is pretty uneventful when calm the water is beautifully clear there just isn’t a lot to see other than sand.

At the large parking lot for the beaches is Jaws Tacos Food truck. This legendary Food truck is an absolute must-try when visiting the beach, hell we recommend you come here for tacos even if you have no interest in the beach whatsoever. But Jaws Taco’s while sitting on Big Beach is an absolute winner.

From here onwards the Sand runs out and all that is left is rocky coves and rugged lava rock. This makes for some incredible Snorkelling sites, some of the best on the Island, but as far as the Beaches there is nothing really to recommend.

Big Beach Guide

Little Beach Guide

Hana Beaches

Hana lacks any golden sand beaches but it makes up for that with some incredibly exotic-looking beaches with varying colors of sand. The sea is a bit cooler on this side of the Island as the deep Ocean is closer to shore, but they are still excellent beaches with a really exotic feel.

Waianapananapa State Park Beach – Black Sand

  • Good for – Selfies / Photoshoots
  • Amenities – Restrooms, Showers, Picnic Tables, Camping.
  • Map

The Black Sand at Waianapanapa State Park is a striking phenomenon. Unlike most Black sand beaches that are more dirty grey than Black. This is a true Black Sand, actually made up of billions of teeny tiny shiny black pebbles. Like a billion tiny black marbles.

Along with the Black Cliffs and rocks, the beach contrasts strikingly with the deep blue ocean and the lush greenery adorning the cliff tops. It is a very special place to visit.

The State park is top of anyone’s Must stop list on a Hana Roadtrip and the Beach is a Big Draw. Along with hiking, Fishing, Bird watching, ancient temples, and burial sites, or visiting the sacred Princess pool. It’s a great place to stop. But the incredible beach is the Star of the show for us. We have just never seen anything like it before. Often used for lingerie or Glamour shoots including being a regular Victoria’s Secret location. It is the perfect place to get the Ultimate Exotic Selfie for Instagram.

The Beach is more of a Vista point than a true beach most people only linger for an hour top. The Sea is a lot cooler than much of the island and it drops off quickly with big swells and strong currents. We don’t advise anyone but the strongest swimmers to venture out further than wading distance. It’s more of a splash-about-in-the-waves kind of place. But as most people are on a whistle-stop tour of Hana this is all most people want. Just a place to escape the road, relax and cool off, in the most incredible setting imaginable.

Full Black Sand Beach Guide

Hana Beach

  • Good for – Breakfast
  • Amenities – Restrooms, Showers, Picnic Tables, Restaurant.
Hana Bay - barefoot cafe

Really the beach at Hana is a pretty poor offering. Its black sand is the dirty grey we have mentioned before and is not particularly pleasant to walk on. The sea is often pretty cold and it generally is a bit uninspiring. At least compared to Maui’s other offerings. We Love Hana but it’s not our go-to for beach days even when staying in the town (definitely not if not). We find the best use of Hana’s beach is for breakfast from the Barefoot Cafe before spending the day exploring Hana’s other delights, Like…

Red Sand Beach

  • Good for – Staring in AWE
  • Amenities – None, we are not even sure you are meant to be here.
  • Map
Hana Red Sand Beach

Hana’s hidden red sand beach is a must-see for anyone staying in Hana and worth hunting out even on a day trip. Probably Maui’s hardest-to-find beaches it does mean hiking a cliff trail that leaves very little between you and a trip to the hospital or worse. Take care and you will have no issues, however.

Once there It is a truly incredible place. It feels completely cut off from civilization, and it kind of is, which really adds to the magic. The red sand comes from the eroding cliffs and piles up on the beach contrasting with the deep blue ocean. The sea can be really rough here and swimming is not always a very good idea. But the rocks form a natural pool which can be calm and beautiful if the sea is not in full swing. and even then wear water shoes as the bottom is rocky. Expect it to be cool as well.

In the past, this has been a nudist hippie hotspot but the influx of families and tourists seems to be keeping them away. The beach is a sacred area and you are strongly advised to leave shells, coral, lava rock, and sand where it is and try elsewhere if you wish to take a souvenir back from the island.

The trail getting there is only for people well-versed in navigating uneven loose and slippery terrain. It’s not a hard trail and well within the means of any fit and active person but for those with unsure footing it can be deadly. Every year people are needed to be rescued from the trail after getting into difficulties. Know your limitations and don’t take risks. Below is the trail map from Google. You need to cross the field in front of the community center onto the trailhead which should be obvious, follow the trail but don’t take the old trail unless you are very confident on your feet (I am a mountain runner who happily Parcours through very severe terrain but I won’t take this trial) instead, head down towards the first beach and head left over the lava until you pick up the old trail to the red sand beach.

Trickey but well worth it. Here is Our Guide to Finding Hana’s Red Sand Beach

Koki Red Beach

  • Good for – People who can’t find the Red Sand Beach
  • Amenities – Toilets and awesome Chicken!
Koki Beach Hana

Koki beach is the Often recommended beach for those unable to locate the real Red Sand Beach above. While Koki is a nice beach with a wild and lost world feel about it, it’s a far cry from the real Red Sand Beach. Not least as the sand if not RED!

Really though the beach just doesn’t make the standard, The seafloor is littered with rocks and the shore break can be severe with strong currents. In fact, the only thing the beach has going for it is the HuliHuli Chicken Stand! This is a must-try and a perfect example of how some of the best foods are so simple!

After trying the chicken we don’t advise hanging around. Not least because Hamoa Beach is just around the corner!

Hamoa Beach

  • Good for – Playing in the Surf
  • Amenities – Restrooms and Showers
Hamoa Beach hana

Almost all of the teachers in the Hana Area are stunning to look at but offer little in way of regular beach fun. The ocean is cool and fierce and on the whole, swimming is poor. Finally at Hamoa Beach that changes. This is a classic Beach with Wide and deep sand, that has a salt-and-pepper look about it. The surf can be wild but the beach allows bathers a Wave pool-type break rather than the more savage waves typical of the lost coastline.

There is little in the way of snorkeling but that is true of the whole Hana Coastline, but the rolling waves are great fun for beginners to pro surfers alike. You don’t even need a board to enjoy surfing here as the surging waves will carry your body along just fine!

This is not just one of the best beaches in Hana but one of the best on the island, Make that the State…Christ, we can even say country…we can’t think of a better beach on the mainland!

Oheo Gulch

  • Good for – Hiking
  • Amenities – Restrooms, Shared Grills, Picnic Tables, Free Camping. $20 Entry Fee
Oheo Gulch Maui

Oheo Gulch was never really a Beach area but it’s often mentioned as good for swimming as the area has a number (supposedly 7) of Pools (that may be Sacred) Known as the 7 Sacred Pools. However, these are now closed due to Landslides in the area. Really only head to Oheo Gulch if you intend to do some hiking, Which we highly recommend. For Beach activities, it’s a no, unfortunately. The closure is temporary but indefinite.

North Shore Beaches

At first impression, the beaches of the north shore are a little underwhelming. Typically windier and exposed they don’t seem to offer the tropical beauty the tourist beaches do. But on closer inspection, they are typically far less busy and almost completely unbuilt (due to strict building regs). The North actually offers something quite special and very different from the beaches found elsewhere on the island

Kanaha Beach / Kiteboarding School Beach

  • Good for – The first and Last Stops (and Kiteboarding)
  • Amenities – Kiteboarding school.

The more exposed and windier north shore makes it the perfect place for watersports. Kitesurfing is big in Maui and this area is almost dedicated to it. As such bathing isn’t particularly safe. Just sitting and watching others can be engrossing. However, there are better beached further along if you are looking for more traditional beaches.

One of the best features of the Beach is its proximity to Kahului Airport. The beach is utterly seconds away from the Car hire centers and you can be at this beach in no time after arrival if you just can’t wait to get your toes in Hawaiian sand. Or if you are whiling away the final few hours of your vacation, this is the perfect spot to end it, and head to the Rental Return right at the last minute.

A much safer option than playing roulette with the Maui Traffic!

Baldwin Beach Park

  • Good for – Being the best beach on the North Shore
  • Amenities – Showers, BBQ’s, Picnic Areas, Restrooms, Ample Parking
  • LifeGuards (08:00-16:45)
Baldwin Beach

Baldwin Beach is the most popular beach in the area and with good reason. The huge beautiful golden beach runs for well over a mile offering everything from protected bathing in the Baby Beach area through good surf in the center during large swells to a nudist area at the far end (east).

With great amenities and lifeguard cover, it’s the perfect place to spend a day on the beach in the North of the island.

Ho’okipa Beach Park

  • Good for – Turtles
  • Amenities – Restrooms, Picnic Tables, Showers, Water, Lifeguards (8 am – 4:30 pm) Food Trucks at the lookout car park.
  • LifeGuards (08:00-16:45)
  • More Details…
Turtle Hookipa Beach

The beach at Ho’okipa is rocky with tough water entry, there really isn’t much going for this beach for beachgoers. The main attractions are surfing, Wind-surfing, and the local Hawaiian Green Sea turtles that can be seen frolicking in the water or pulled up onto the beach, that’s the turtle, not the surfers.

On the right-hand side of the beach, hundreds of turtles can be hauled out on the beach relaxing in the sun. While Turtles are now prolific across the Hawaiian islands nowhere else can you see so many just laying around the beach soaking in the sun!

With abundant Turtles and a really dramatic coastline, Ho’okipa is quite unlike most Beaches of Maui’s Tourist resorts. It is also a great spot to come when the Surf is high and watch the experts ply their trade. Be warned though this is not a beginner’s surf spot!

Read more about Ho’okipa here

Have your Say

We said at the beginning this was going to be a long article! Let us know your Favourite beach. Have you been to any beaches on our list? Are you planning on going to Maui and want any more info? Just drop us a comment below. We would love to hear from you. Talking about Maui Beaches is one of our favorite things to do…you know apart from sitting on them.

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30 thoughts on “Best Beaches in Maui, Hawaii – Our Ultimate Maui Beach Guide”

  1. I am headed to Hawaii in a month. The timing of finding this information is exquisite! We will not be there long enough to find the best beaches on our own, so your tips are amazing! We are definitely interested in great beach experiences while there. We are thinking of going to Kauaii while there. Do you have recommendations for that island?

    • Hi Annie,

      Hope you have a fantastic time in Hawaii, Feel free to check out the rest of our site for many tips and advice for your trip. Glad you found our guide before heading out.

      Hope the beach guide serves you well. There are so many beaches on the island and most of them are pretty special. 

      We are currently writing out Kauai guide now but it is unlikely to be finished before your trip to Hawaii. Kauai is much less developed than the other islands so finding a beautiful remote paradise beach should be no problem. Try Hanalei Bay Beach which many consider to be the best on the island.

  2. You really took me back to an exciting time of my life with this post, Steve. My wife and I enjoyed a great honeymoon in Maui – it feels like WAY too long ago. I remember we were also disappointed in the Hana beach…but loved the drive on the Hana Highway.

    We also made it to the Waianapananapa State Park Beach, and your article is spot on…the Black Sand there is impressive.

    A restaurant we really enjoyed after hitting the beaches was Mama’s Fish House. Is it still open?

    Thanks again for the great post. I really hope we can go back to Maui again someday…

    • Hi Jason,

      Thanks for reading, Glad the article took you back to your honeymoon. We too spent our honeymoon on and it was utterly fantastic. Sounds like you too had a great trip. Mama’s fish house has been on the island since 1973 and we doubt very much it will be going anywhere soon. If you have eaten there you will know exactly why. 

      Hop you both get back to Maui soon and get to relive your honeymoon in paradise again.

  3. Wow these all look like Heaven! Amazing!
    I especially like Kapalua Bay! Sooo beautiful! Hawaii is my dream place to go, I have been planning this for a while, so maybe this year. I just wish tickets weren’t so expensive… I also really like the picture of Honolua Bay, it’s so unfortunate there are no amenities there

    • Kapalua Bay is one of favourites, along with the neighbouring Napili Bay. True Paradise. While the lack of amenities at Honolua is regrettable it’s part of it’s charm and keep it remote and wild. It’s a great place to snorkel.

      Cheap airfares do come up from time to time to the islands but really cheap tickets are unpredictable. The hotel costs don’t help either. We hope you get there soon though we are sure you will have a fantastic time!

      Thanks for reading. 

  4. Wow This is awesome! loving the look of the beaches over on Maui. I need to take a trip there soon.

    The USA Road Trip Guide page is also particularly interesting for me. I love to travel but the pre-or impromptu planning that goes with it is a huge pain. It almost merits another vacation to rest and recuperate from vacationing. This makes it so much easier! I actually saved it to my favourites!

    • Hi Jenn,

      Glad you liked our website, we are building fast and adding more and more info all the time so keep checking back for more updates. Or like us on Facebook so you can be sure to see when we add / update anything.

      Thanks for reading.

  5. Hi Steve, After reading your post, I have put Maui on my bucket list. I have previously not really thought of Hawaii as I imagined it to be overrun by tourists, but you have shown me that there are many places that are not overflowing with tourists. 

    Airport beach sounds great, and so does Napili where I fancy the bit of natural shade from the trees. But then most of them sounds awesome. I do like the luxury of a beach shower to wash the sand and salt off my body when I leave the beach. Slaughterhouse beach with less people tick so many boxes for me as well. I do like going for a long walk on the beach as well. 

    Hana’s beach looks amazing with the red sand, while I might give the black sand a miss, And I would definitely want to see the turtles. Just so many choices, that one will need to spend at least a forthight to explore all the places you have mentioned.

    • Hi line, 

      we think many peoples image of Hawaii is waikiki over on Oahu, this is where the tourists throng together and while it has its own certain appeal its not the dream paradise people dream off. 

      there are still so many remote and wild spots in hawaii where you really can get away from the crowds though

      even bad beaches on maui are wonderful and the best really are mind-blowing, you picked out Napili and that really is our special place in the world 

      the only thing you have got wrong is needing a fortnight to explore all the beaches…thats not nearly enough…a lifetime is closer to the mark! But with a real drive and sense of adventure you will get a good taste in a two week vacation. 

      Hope you get to Maui soon as it sounds like you would love it just as much a we do 


  6. Hey, Steve,

    Hawaii has always been on my list, but for some reason or another, I haven’t been able to visit yet. I hope to visit soon.

    When visiting any destination, especially beaches, I try to avoid the crowds. Based solely on that, I’d like to visit Olawulu and Lahaina. 

    All of the beaches look beautiful, so it’s hard to choose just a few. However, Waianapananapa State Park Beach and Red Sand Beach look incredible! I wouldn’t mind the crowds there. Well, a little, but I’d definitely like to go.

    What time of year do you recommend visiting? I’d like to avoid the peak season.

    Thanks for putting together this amazing list. 

    • Hi Enrique, 

      Yep choosing a beach is basically impossible, they are all so utterly incredible (well most of them), Waianapnapa is a very busy beach but it is still so unique it is definitely worth a visit. Getting to the Red sand beach early really helps with the crowds.  

      The beaches at the very far side of West Maui such as slaughter hose can be a lot quieter than the tourist beaches and just as beautiful

      Anytime is a great time to be in Maui, but there are certain peak times which you may wish to avoid. December-Feb is very busy with people trying to escape the harsh winters up north and the Summer is obviously always busy. The best thing about Hawaii is the islands are actually wonderful all year round so visiting offseason has very little compromise. 

      March-May and Sept – November is quieter cheaper and the weather is wonderful! March and November will catch the Whale season too!

      Check out more here

      Thanks for reading 


  7. I am so happy that things are getting back to normal now and I need a beach trip asap. Thank for the list of the beaches and the maps helps! I like the west part of Maui, many choices for me to go. I definitely want to visit Honolua Bay it is breathtakingly beautiful! That video makes me want to go right now. Cannot wait to visit. 

    • Hi Nutanee, 

      Hope you get to hit the beach soon, we know what you mean, we are really starting to feel the itch badly now. 

      We have a Maui trip booked in October and would do anything for travel to be opened up by then! 

      Public health must come first though so stay safe and be assured these beautiful beaches are waiting for all of us when things open up again! 


  8. Wow this is indeed awesome,  so many beautiful beach here and just seeing the pictures alone I’m already feeling attached to these beaches epecially the Lahaina – Baby Beach, from the deacription I just think this will be just perfect for me and my family next summer because we already made plans and payment for another location this summer,  Thanks for sharing this.

    • Hi Jomata, 

      I hope your plans for this year go ahead, and you get to come to the wonderful beaches of Maui next year.


  9. Hi dear

    You made a nice collection of Maui’s beaches. It is a pretty paradisiac location. I like to enjoy them in the low season because the beaches are less crowded. So, spending time with the kids on the beach is less stressful.

    I am glad to discover Napili bay, it looks so beautiful. I will keep it in mind for our next vacation on the island. I tend to stay in the South, but after reading this we definitely need to explore West Maui MORE!

    Thanks for sharing! 

    • Hi, 

      Great to see you like our beach article. Maui really does have some of the best beaches in the world! We do particularly love the West Maui Beaches, the small secluded coves are our perfect idea of paradise! 

      Hope you get back to the Island soon!


  10. Adding Maui on my bucket list. This place looks amazing. Never thought of visiting Hawaii before but after reading your article it seems like a worth visiting place.

    Napili beach and Hana beach looks particularly interesting to me. With red sand at Hana beach and luxury beach shower, who would want to go anywhere else. Thank you for this detailed post. I will be bookmarking your page and review it again when we plan to visit Hawaii.

    • Hi Pranali,

      So glad we inspired you. We think many people only think of honolulu and waikiki when they think of Hawaii but there is so much more to the Island chain than that. 

      Napili is pretty much our favourite place in the world and the Red Sand Beach at Hana is out of this world. Hope you get to see them first hand soon


  11. I can’t believe I’ve stumbled across this article! Maui is number one in our bucket list and are saving as we speak to go there. We have looked at lots of destinations and best places to go and your beach guide is amazing. You’ve made us want to go even more now. Love this article, thank you so much. What a brilliant read! 

    • Hi Micheal, 

      Great to see you found our guide useful. Maui is such a wonderful place we are sure it is very deserving of being number one on your list. The Amazing beaches you see here are only a small part of the amazing Island. 

      We hope you get to visit soon, and this article has not made the wait too agonizing! 



  12. Hello Steve, I have a couple of friends who are planning to visit Maui on their honeymoon this December

    I was looking around for some ideas for them on places to visit, I have not been myself but usually pretty good at planning things and as they are busy planning the wedding offered to help out.  

    As a lover of nature, I can’t believe how amazing Maui’s beaches look, I will definitely suggest they check out West Maui, Napili, Kaanapali, and Honolua Bay, they look amazing! They are Stating in Kihei

    I might even start planning my own trip now!

    • Hi,

      We first visited Hawaii on our honeymoon years ago now, this is when we fell in love with the islands and their beautiful beaches and scenery. There are some incredible beaches in South Maui around Kihei and Wailea but er particularly love the West Maui Beaches. They are just a little more secluded and tropical feeling.

      We are sure your friends will have an awesome time, it is very quiet out there right now, as you would imagine, and maybe you get to head out there soon too! 


  13. We are so excited about our Hawaii trip next year. We were so happy to find this guide to the best beaches. We are staying in Kehei and can’t wait to exper3ice the amazing beaches in the area.

    We are also now definitely going to hed to West Maui as those beaches just look incredible too? If we only have time for one beach in West Maui which do you recommend? We definitely want to Snorkel with Turtles! 


    • Hi,

      Great to hear you are heading out to the Islands, we can’t wait to get traveling again! 

      West Maui has some really stunning beaches. If you only get to hit one then maybe Napili Bay might be a good shout. The beach is sure fun, with a great shore break in the middle of the beach. The outside edges of the bay offer great snorkeling (Turtles Galore) and there are a couple of nice restaurants to visit (Gazeebo and Seahouse)

      The other option is Kaanapali. This is a little more developed, but the beach is huge, wide, and filled with soft golden sand. The Snorkelling around Black rock is also exemplary and you will definitely find turtles, not as many as Napili, but they are definitely there.

      Have a great trip 


  14. I plan to visit Maui as soon as travel opens up again so I was very happy to come across this article in my search for information.  I always like to vacation armed with the information I need to make the most of my time.  Kaanapali Beach sounds interesting to me because it has plenty to do besides just the beach (although I won’t be jumping off any rocks!)  I think I would also stop by Kahekili / Airport Beach for a relaxing day of snorkeling.  Thank you for this great information!

    • Hi Cynthia, 

      Have a look around the Site we have a wealth of articles to help you plan your perfect Hawaii Trip, along with the best of USA’s City’s. 

      We cannot wait for things to open up, we all need to stay safe but Travel is so ingrained in our nature we just have to get back to traveling! 

      Sounds like you have a great plan for your Maui trip already


  15. Hey Steve. What a interesting article. I’ve been few times on Hawaii but I had no idea that there is so many beautiful places to visit there. I especially like quiet places, close to nature, without crowds and overwhelming commerce. I will definitely include some of your recommendations in my travel plans for 2021.


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