The Kamaole Beach area is right in the heart of the tourist area of Kehei, South Maui, and makes up the bulk of the resort’s best beaches. The area consists of three distinct beaches Kamaole 1, Kamaole 2, and Kamaole 3. Each beach has its own character and is suited to different pursuits. But all three are great places to enjoy the best of South Maui’s ocean landscapes.
Our Kamaole Beach Park Guide shows you exactly what to expect on each beach, what to do, which to choose, and how to get there and park, and compare the three Beaches to each other, Kamaole Beach Park 1, Kamaole Beach Park 2, and Kamaole Beach Park 3.
- Location – South Maui – Kehei
- Amenities – Showers, BBQ’s, Picnic Areas, Restrooms, Ample Parking
- Beach Type – 3 Sheltered Sandy Bays with Grassy Park Areas
- Life Guards – Yes (08:00-16:45)
- Best For – Fun Beach Days and Snorkelling.
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The Kamaole Beach Parks line the Makai side (oceanside) of South Kihei Road as it passes through the main tourist district. There are some houses and large resorts, mainly on the headlands, but largely the area between the road and the sea is fairly undeveloped. The land between the road and the Ocean is just Grass, parks, Dunes, and trees. The Mauka side (Mountainside) is very developed so we are not saying the area as a whole is undeveloped, but there is a good amount of green space here where you can relax and get away from it all.
The fact it’s an ocean paradise, right in the middle of the developed tourist resort is part of its charm.
The Northernmost beach is Kamaole 1. Well, actually it’s Charley Young Beach. This is actually part of Kamaole Beach and there is no clear defining line. The Northern end of Kamaole 1 is Charly Young Beach and the rest is Kamaole 1.
The whole beach is the largest of the Kamaoles and the best suited to families and just relaxing on the beach. The water is usually calm and has a gentle shallow entry, especially at the Charley Young end. The Park area is quite small, due to the houses at the northern end and the beginnings of the Royal Mauian Hotel. There is a large grassy lawn area right in front o the Hotel that is part of the Park with shade and picnic tables for all.
The Middle Beach is Kamaole 2 and despite being quite developed at the northern end, feels quite remote and wild. At the southern end, there is no development between the road and the beach, just grassy scrub, and a small park area. The beach is narrower and short than Kamaole 1 but still retains the soft shallow drop-off into beautiful calm water.
Kamaole 3 is the smallest beach but by far the largest Park. The whole area between the road and beach is parkland and even the northern headland is kept wild with a series of short hiking trails. This Beach has the most amenities and is best suited to visitors to the area while the other beaches are mainly frequented by guests staying in the nearby hotels.
The Beach is the least friendly to swimming as the seafloor, and the beach is littered with boulders and rocks, just waiting to stub a toe and remove large amounts of skin. It is fairly safe in the middle part of the beach, away from the very obvious cluster of rocks and dips in the sea can still be enjoyed, especially with the use of water shoes!
However, the highlight of this beach is the large park space. Grassy sports fields picnic tables, shade-giving trees, BBQ Stands, walking trails, and endless nooks to sit and watch the ocean and forget everything.
It’s the perfect spot to come and experience Hawaii’s outdoor lifestyle.
How Busy Are The Kamaole Beaches?
Things are looking pretty rosy up to now, but the reality is these beaches are right in the heart of the very popular Tourist district of Kehei. This means when the weather is nice, which it normally is…It’s Maui! Then the Beaches range from packed, to absolutely rammed!
Weekends are a particularly busy time as Locals head to the parks and enjoy some outdoor time by the beach. You will see large family groups enjoying BBQs and Picnics by the beach. This means getting space can be tricky but with three beaches and parks at your disposal, you can usually find space.
But the Blissful Hawaiian Paradises shown in the pictures are usually much busier.
Getting there and Parking in Kamaole
Getting to the Kamaoles couldn’t be easier. Just drive along South Kehei Road until you get to the beaches. Keep looking left (right is coming from Wailea) until a stunning blue ocean scape reveals itself! Kamaole 1 is just opposite the Junction of Alnui Ke’ali’i. They are pretty hard to miss.
Parking is also fairly abundant and free. There is a small lot at Kamaole I with around 18 spaces, plus 4 ADA Spaces. This fills up FAST. But there is also a small amount of street parking and a large dirt lot across the road.
Kamaole II has the least parking. There is only street parking here, and while there are large lots across the road these are for the shopping centers only, and definitely don’t be tempted to park in any of the resort parking lots.
Kamaole III has a huge 88-space lot but that will still fill up easily, there is a paid lot just across the street on Keonekai Rd if you are desperate.
If all Parking lots and street parking are taken we really do not advise just winging it in any residential, resort, or shopping center lot. Or parking illegally. Enforcement officers know there are always easy and rich pickings in the Kamaole Area and will be out in force to pick on any parking infringements.
The Turnover in the lots is pretty fast so we just circle around until something opens up. Look for people loading the car up and loiter until they leave and grab their spot! Only on the busiest holidays is it really impossible to get a spot with a little patience.
Things to Know
The Kamaole Beaches are right in the heart of the Kehei district and are incredibly popular with both visitors and locals alike. When on the beach and in the parks it can feel like a lost paradise but you are actually really close to plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops.
The S Kehei road is a bustling thoroughfare through the town, and it is hard to believe such beauty is just steps away from such a busy location, the transition from bustling streets to tranquil paradise is just a few steps.
These beaches are renowned for their calm waters and lack of shore break, but like all Maui beaches at times, the surf does get up. Kamaole Beaches have the luxury of being lifeguarded so when the red flags are waving you know to stay out of the water.
The wide sandy beach and shallow seafloor make this beach perfect for bathing and playing in the sea. The very protected water of the Charley young side makes this particularly perfect for families and those wanting to introduce young kids to the ocean! The Large Grassy lawn in front of the Royal Mauian hotel is great for relaxing under the shade of a palm tree.
Snorkeling is good at the southern end.
Kamaole II is the quietest of the three beaches and feels a little more secluded than the others, it can still get really busy but this is your best shot at a bit of seclusion. The beach is slightly narrower than Kamaole I but it’s still pretty wide, with safe and easy water access.
The third beach has the largest park and this makes it the party beach. There are loads of picnic tables, several BBQ areas, and tons of open green space for you to set up camp, or just find a quiet spot to relax. Down on the beach, the water access is the least hospitable, making this most suited to snorkeling.
Kamaole I, II, III are some of the best snorkeling spots on the south coast of Maui. The beaches have large sandy bottoms that offer very poor snorkeling but the rocky outcrops that divide the beaches into their separate coves offer excellent snorkeling opportunities.
We go into detail on Kamaole’s snorkeling in our Snorkelling guide, but exploring the rocky outcrops can provide incredible marine life all within easy swimming distance of shore. Swim beyond Kamaole III and lose the sandy bottom and reef life picks up and water clarity improves.
Expect to see copious amounts of Reef Fish along with turtles galore.
It is generally a very safe beach for snorkeling but always play things safe and take a look at our Snorkeling Safety Tips to stay safe in the water. And again always listen to the Life Guards, they are here for a reason.
What to Eat?
There are plenty of options to grab a bite to eat in the area. For many, the chance to picnic or bbq down by the beach is a big draw and there are a few small stores across the road to pick up snacks or a large Safeway and Foodland in Kihei to pick up supplies.
Across the Road are several bars and restaurants where you can dine in or pick up takeout to enjoy on the beach or park.
One of our favorite take-outs in Maui. Maui Fish Taco’s down by Kamaole Beach is one of the best ways to really experience authentic Modern Island Life.
Maui Bread Company
Great place to grab some amazing breakfast items such as Almond croissants, Cinnamon Rolls, and Hawaiian Muffins. Sure you can get these anywhere but not like these!
A Nice laid-back surfer bar with a good Pub Food menu and great happy hour, perfect after a hard day doing nothing!
A bit more refined, this Casual Seafood restaurant is a great place for dinner after watching the sun dip into the ocean. A really unique location upstairs at a strip mall, it may seem understated but it’s really quite a nice space inside!
The area is home to a vast array of Condo Complexes. Some are residential, and some are Vacation. While you may get a stay in one of the residential Condos’ from sites such as Home Away and VRBO for many it’s easier to book direct at one of the Vacation Complexes.
Accommodation here is best described as homely, It is a long way from the fancy luxury Hotel Complexes just a few hundred yards up the road, but they are still really nice complexes with real lush and tropical gardens.
A Selection of large well-appointed condos set in a really lush tropical garden
Residential Condo Complex that is managed by Aston to let out the units. Pretty cheap and functional with a great location.
Seafront High Rise Condo Complex on a raised headland. Ocean Views Condos offer mind-blowing sea views and stunning sunsets. Situated between Kamaole 1 and 2.
Summer conditions are pretty much flat calm and serene most of the time. Winter can be a little more hit-and-miss with storms bringing bigger surf when the winds blow a certain way, but the bays are very sheltered and 95% of the time the sea is fairly calm. Even mild surf is no problem on Kamaole 1 and 2 as the soft sandy bottoms make playing in the waves fun. Care must be taken when the shore break is heavy.
All three beaches have Life Guards (08:00-16:45) so always heed their warnings.
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Have Your Say
What are your thoughts on the Kamaole Beach Parks? Which is your favorite? What did toy do on your visit? How was the snorkeling, or the surf conditions? How busy was it and did you get a parking spot? Whatever your thoughts on these stunning beaches let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from you and love answering your questions.