One of West Maui’s most popular and best Beaches. DT Flemming is quite unique in West Maui as it offers relatively safe bathing with moderate surf breaking directly onto a soft sandy beach. DT Flemming is the perfect beach for long, fun-filled days by the beach, playing in the surf, in relative safety, with plenty of on-hand amenities.
Our DT Flemming Beach Guide takes a close look at the Beach Park, how to get there, where to park, what to do at the beach, and how to get the best out of your visit to a real gem high up on the West Maui Coastline.
- Location – West Maui – Mile Marker 31 (Hwy 30)
- Amenities – Showers, Restrooms, Picnic Tables and BBQ Grills
- Beach Type – Large exposed sandy beach with high surf.
- Life Guards – Present 08.00-16:45
- Best For – Beach Days playing in the Surf
DT Flemming Beach is often overlooked by Visitors but highly prized by locals and Islanders as one of the best beaches on the Island. It is largely undeveloped and still has a wonderful wild feel to it. The Large strip of Golden Sand is backed by trees and natural scenery rather than the familiar towering hotels of Many Hawaiian Beaches.
Things to Know
While the beach definitely gets Busy, it is large and can handle a lot of people without feeling crowded. The Park area has Picnic Tables, Restrooms, and Showers. It really is a great place to come and spend a day or afternoon.
The Bay sits quite far around the West Maui Coastline and as such is more susceptible to larger swells. However, at DT Flemming, this is the point of the beach. When it’s flat calm which does happen the beach is pretty dull. The Snorkeling is so so and far better just up the coast at Honolua. DT Flemming comes alive with a little swell as unlike other beaches the waves break onto the soft golden sandy shore. This is perfect for playing around in the waves, trying a little boogie boarding, or even trying your hand at a bit of surfing.
DT Fleming is basically a big beautiful beach of fun!
Getting there and Parking at Dt Flemming Beach Park
The Junction for DT Flemming beach is one of the last Junctions on the Honoapiilani Hwy From here on the Road Narrows and is dominated by pull-outs as opposed to actual junctions. Just after Miler Marker 31 is the Junction Signposted Lower Honoapiilani Rd, there is a small sign for the beach park and a larger sign just after you have made the turn.
Follow the Short portion of the Lower Honoapiilani Rd down to a dead end. Here you will find two large Parking lots, both free and with over 100 Spaces, although these do fill up when the beach is busy. If full we prefer to circle the lots waiting for a space to open up rather than taking the riskier approach of parking on the narrow streets or pullouts. People do, but that does not mean you should!
While the highlight of the Beach Park is the awesome shore break there is a lot to do besides at the beach park.
It is a fantastic spot for a Beachside Picnic or BBQ (Bring your own Charcoal), the Picnic tables offer the chance to sit and eat without getting Sand in your food like more Beach Picnics. The Treeline offers plenty of places to relax off the sand and in the shade. It really has all the trimmings of a great Park that just happens to be beside the beach.
The Parking lots are also at the trailheads of two of Maui’s best trails… the Dragons Teeth/Kapalua Coastal Trail and the Mahana Ridge Trail. These offer some great hikes for all abilities. Either hike high into the West Maui Mountain Wilderness on the Mahana Ridge or simply take a scenic coastline walk over to Kapalua while taking in the majestic Dragons Teeth headland. One of the most beautiful and accessible parts of West Maui to Explore.
In the water is where things get fun however, The Shore break here is tremendous. Whether you are looking for Beginner to Moderate Surfing, trying your hand at Bodyboarding or Bodysurfing, or just messing about in the sea the beach has it all. The 1500 ft of golden sand is almost all rock-free and you can frolic in the waves to your heart’s content.
The Break is almost tailor-made for Bodyboarding and is one of the most popular sites on the Island, If you have a bodyboard catching a wave here is easy and even if not, Bodysurfing requires no equipment at all just wait for the right wave and swim like mad for the shore.
The Beach is lifeguard controlled and they are present from 8 am to 4:45 every day. They operate and Flag system and this will be enforced should you ignore it. Don’t be “that” Guy. The beach is usually divided into Surfing and Bathing sections (Batng on the left, Surfing on the right) so always follow those rules or expect to be landed on by an irate surfer, you are probably ok to try out boogie boarding in the bathing section though.
The Beach is also a very popular swimming location. Despite the surf, once out past the breakers, the bay is pretty calm and the added reassurance of Life Guard cover makes the bay perfect for open water swimmers.
When the Surf is up DT Flemming is a very poor beach for Snorkeling. The best Areas are at the right-hand side of the bay where some pretty extensive Reef Systems are fund, however, in high surf, this is practically suicidal. There is also a stream that enters on the right-hand side and while this is often no more than a trickle if the River is in flow then it muddies up what snorkeling there is.
When it is calm then the snorkeling is quite good. The reef is pretty extensive and a good amount of sea life is present, but just around the corner is Honolua and if DT is calm Honolua will be too and this offers some of the best snorkeling on the Island.
Really DT Flemming is a very poor choice for Snorkelling, but if you must at least it offers something unique, and you will probably be alone.
What to Eat?
Food Options are pretty limited. There is a new Burger Shack down by the park, which has been getting pretty great reviews (we haven’t made it there yet sorry), however, it might not be what you expect, and that’s a good thing. It’s a Burger shack in Name only. This is more of a gourmet burger restaurant. Great Burgers, Amazing Milkshakes, and even some nice cocktail options. The outdoor terrace offering great views out over the Beach. Don’t expect Burger shack prices either though, the basic burger option costs $19, Milkshakes are $11-13, and Cocktails are $17-18. Expensive for a burger shack, but for a high-end burger restaurant with jaw-dropping views the prices are pretty good for Maui.
That is about the only choice for food unless you wander over to the Ritz-Carlton which has a few different restaurants catering for guests, expensive and you won’t be overly welcome in beach attire!
For us, DT Flemming has always been about picnics or BBQs pop into Safeway n the way there and stock up on snacks and drinks. If you pick up a disposable BBQ there are Grilling areas where you can fire it up and whip up your own burgers, steaks, chicken, whatever!
After a long session playing in the surf, it’s great to retire to the grass and kick back with a picnic lunch and just enjoy the area!
With so many amenities the beauty of DT is you can easily visit for the day, as such you can explore this part of the island while staying in another. However, the area is utterly magical, and Staying in the Kapalua district is a solid bet regardless.
The front of the Ritz-Carlton opens right out onto DT Flemming Beach. If you are staying at the Ritz-Carlton DT Flemming will be your playground. The Hotel is an ultra-high-end resort. It is a real breathtaking property with prices to match! If you can afford it this is what Hawaiian Dreams are made of. We do find DT Flemmings Vibe does not fit that well with the Ritz-Carlton Brand/Crowd. Dt is a really laid-back beach, often filled with locals and islanders. It’s an odd mix but seems to work!
The Other large hotel in the Area is the Montage Kapalua Bay. However this a fair trek and carrying beach gear is arguably too far, still, you can always drive over and the hotel offers free shuttles, you also have the pick of Kapalua Bay, Napili Bay, and Oneloa Beaches too.
Outside these Ultra Resorts, the next option is one of the many rental Villas in the area. These lack some of the amenities of the resorts but offer more affordable prices and your own space.
You can always stay over in Napili if you are looking for some more down-to-earth options that are still only a short walk from both Napili Bay and Kapalua Bay Beach.
Conditions change massively between Summer and Winter, but if the trade winds are blowing there is likely to be some surf at the beach even in Summer. In Winter, large storms can bring huge swells to the beach. If this is the case then it is a watch from the sidelines-only gig. Always obey the Lifeguards as even if the waves look reasonable in places, this is likely due to strong Rip-Currents.
If you see surfers out during the big storms, trust they “probably” know what they are doing and just watch from afar, don’t be tempted to join in without significant local knowledge, or you may just end up as Life Guard Rescue Practice, and to be honest they won’t be grateful!
Have Your Say
Let us know about your Visit to DT Flemming Beach? How was the Surf? What did you get up to at the beach? How was the parking situation? Did you hike any of the trails? Let us know in the comments below about your visit and if you have any questions just fire away.