Discover the 15 Best Beaches in Maui, Hawaii for Your Ultimate Vacation

by | Dec 14, 2023

Looking for the best beaches in Maui? With its stunning collection of over 30 miles of beautiful Hawaiian Island beaches, choosing the best to visit on your Maui trip can be challenging.

This guide will outline the best Maui beaches, highlighting their unique features and stating what sets them apart on a trip to Maui.

Come along and let’s dip our toes into the sandy shores of paradise and discover the best beaches on Maui!

What are the Best Beaches in Maui?

The best beaches in Maui are:

  1. Ka’anapali Beach
  2. Kapalua Bay Beach
  3. Napili Bay
  4. Wailea Beach
  5. Ulua Beach
  6. Keawakapu Beach
  7. Maluaka Beach
  8. Makena Beach
  9. Baldwin Beach
  10. Wai’anapanapa State Park
  11. Hamoa Beach
  12. Ho’okipa Beach Park
  13. D.T. Fleming Beach Park
  14. Kamaole Beach Park
  15. La Perouse Bay
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Overview of the Best Beaches on Maui

Maui, often called the “Valley Isle,” is a paradise for beach lovers. With over 30 miles of heavenly beaches on this Hawaiian island. Each beach has its own unique charm and appeal. There’s a beach perfect for every kind of visitor on their trip to Maui!

West Maui boasts Ka’anapali Beach, which offers more than just sunbathing—it’s also buzzing with shopping opportunities, restaurants and nightlife at Whaler’s Village.

Meanwhile, on Maui’s North shore, Baldwin Beach Park provides essential facilities like parking spaces, restrooms, and showers, making it an ideal stop for a comfortable day at one of Maui’s best beaches.

Venture eastward to Wai’anapanapa State Park, where rental cabins offer overnight stays, or perhaps enjoy a picnic amidst nature’s beauty.

Regardless of your choice—swimming in crystal clear waters off Makena ‘Big’ Beach; sunset watching at Kihei & Wailea Region, scuba diving near Black Rock, surfing waves on Ho’okipa Beach Park on the north shore of Maui, or getting acquainted with Hawaiian culture—the options are endless on your trip to Maui when exploring Maui’s most incredible beaches.

Key Takeaways for the Best Maui Beaches

  • West Maui boasts popular beaches like Ka’anapali Beach, Kapalua Bay Beach, and Napili Bay. These beaches offer a range of activities such as shopping, dining, nightlife, the best snorkeling spots, and sunbathing.
  • On your trip to Maui, the South Maui and Wailea Beaches are known as the best places for their crystal-clear waters and soft sandy shores.
  • You can enjoy swimming, the best snorkeling, kayaking, and exploring vibrant underwater worlds at the beaches to visit like Wailea Beach, Ulua Beach, Keawakapu Beach, Maluaka Beach, and Makena Beach State Park.
  • The North shore of Maui offers Baldwin Beach with its mile-long stretch of golden sand and great surf conditions.
  • East Maui, towards the end of the Road to Hana, is home to the renowned Wai’anapanapa State Park with its unique black sand beach created by volcanic activity.
  • Hamoa Beach is another must-visit destination in this region known for its picturesque crescent shape and various water activities like swimming, surfing, body-surfing, and snorkeling.

West Maui Beaches

West Maui is home to some of the most stunning beaches on the island, including Ka’anapali Beach, Kapalua Bay Beach, and Napili Bay.

1. Ka’anapali Beach

best beaches in maui - Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach is a hot spot for visitors in West Maui. This bustling beach offers more than just golden sands and shimmering seas; it’s the perfect location for an activity-filled day.

From shopping at unique local boutiques to dining at world-class restaurants, there’s never a dull moment on Ka’anapali Beach.

As evening falls over Ka’anapali Beach, the vibrant Hawaiian culture comes alive through lively music and dance performances right by the ocean.

So whether you want to learn how to surf, sunbathe, or enjoy beautiful sunset views by the shore, Ka’anapali Beach has it all waiting for you.

2. Kapalua Bay Beach

best beaches in maui - Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay Beach boasts a tranquil atmosphere perfect for relaxation and water activities. This stunning beach forms part of the upscale Kapalua Resort, known worldwide for its luxury accommodations and amenities.

Visitors love exploring the underwater world at this west Maui gem due to its excellent snorkeling opportunities.

Its strategic location places it near other popular beaches, such as Napili Beach and Ka’anapali Beach, allowing beach-hopping convenience on any Maui vacation.

Whether you’re sunbathing or snorkeling, Kapalua Bay offers a unique Hawaiian experience that accentuates natural beauty and an immersion in rich Maui culture.

3. Napili Bay

best beaches in maui - Napili Bay

Napili Bay, located in West Maui, is a must-visit beach for its stunning beauty. With its white-sloping sand and turquoise waters, it offers a picture-perfect setting.

In the morning, the snorkeling conditions at Napili Bay are ideal, making it a favorite spot for exploring the underwater world.

This beach is often included in lists of the best beaches in Maui due to its pristine beauty and calm atmosphere. Surrounded by beautiful scenic views, Napili Bay will surely captivate you by its natural charm.

RELATED PODCAT: Top 5 Beaches in Hawaii

South Maui and Wailea Beaches

South Maui and Wailea Beaches offer a paradise of crystal-clear waters, soft sandy shores, and stunning coastal views. From the popular Wailea Beach to the hidden gem of Keawakapu Beach, there’s something for everyone in this tropical oasis.

Don’t miss out on these pristine beaches during your visit to Maui!

4. Wailea Beach

best beaches in maui - Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach is one of the top beaches in Maui, known for its breathtaking beauty and tranquil atmosphere. With its crystal-clear blue waters and gentle waves, it’s a paradise for swimmers and water enthusiasts.

The beach is perfect for snorkeling, allowing visitors to explore the vibrant underwater world teeming with tropical fish and graceful sea turtles.

Surrounding Wailea Beach are luxury resorts, restaurants, and shops, providing convenient amenities for those looking to relax or indulge in some retail therapy.

Whether you want to soak up the sun on the soft golden sand or take a leisurely swim in the warm waters, Wailea Beach offers an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

5. Ulua Beach

best beaches in maui - Ulua Beach

Ulua Beach, located in the resort area of Wailea in South Maui, is a must-visit destination for beach lovers. This picturesque beach offers crystal-clear turquoise waters and soft sandy shores, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

But that’s not all – Ulua Beach is also known for its excellent snorkeling opportunities. You can explore the underwater world right off the shore with vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try boogie boarding or body surfing in the gentle waves. Conveniently accessible with nearby parking and amenities like restrooms and showers, Ulua Beach has everything you need for a day of fun in the sun.

6. Keawakapu Beach

best beaches in maui - Keawakapu Beach

Keawakapu Beach, located in South Maui and part of the Wailea Beaches, offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean along with beautiful white sand and crystal clear water.

This beach is known for its calm and gentle waves, making it an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling.

With ample parking available and convenient facilities such as restrooms and showers, Keawakapu Beach provides a hassle-free experience for beachgoers.

Unlike some of the more crowded nearby beaches, Keawakapu offers a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere to enjoy your time in paradise.

7. Maluaka Beach

best beaches in maui - Maluaka Beach

Maluaka Beach, located in South Maui, is a popular destination for visitors seeking a calm and relaxing swim. This beach offers amenities such as parking, restrooms, and showers, making it convenient for families and beachgoers to spend the day here.

Known for its tranquil waters, Maluaka Beach is perfect for swimming and wading. In addition to swimming, visitors can also enjoy various water sports and activities like kayaking, snorkeling, and paddleboarding.

As an added bonus, this beach is often referred to as “Turtle Town” due to frequent sightings of sea turtles in the area. So get ready to relax on the warm sand or take a dip in the crystal-clear water at Maluaka Beach!

8. Makena Beach (Big Beach and Little Beach)

best beaches in maui - Makena Beach

Makena Beach State Park offers not one but two stunning beaches: Big Beach and Little Beach. Big Beach is a popular spot for swimming, bodyboarding, and sun tanning. With its pristine white sand and crystal-clear turquoise water, it’s no wonder why this beach attracts so many visitors.

However, caution is advised as rogue waves can occur here from time to time.

Little Beach is just a short walk away, known for being one of Maui’s few nude beaches. (be advised!) Whether you choose to soak up the sun or take a dip in the ocean, Makena Beach State Park has something for everyone looking to enjoy the beauty of Maui’s coast.

North Maui Beaches

Some of the stunning beaches in North Maui include Baldwin Beach, known for its long stretch of golden sand and great surf conditions. Interested to find out more? Keep reading!

9. Baldwin Beach

best beaches in maui - Baldwin Beach

Baldwin Beach, located in North Maui, is a popular destination for beachgoers. This beach offers amenities such as a large parking lot, public restrooms, and showers to make your visit more comfortable.

One of the highlights of Baldwin Beach is its designated area called “Baby Beach”, which features a protective sea wall and is perfect for little kids and babies.

Read our post about the best beaches on Maui for families for more options!

With its stunning views and breathtaking sunsets, it’s no wonder why Baldwin Beach is a favorite among visitors.

Whether you want to go swimming, try bodyboarding, or simply soak up the sun on the golden sand, this beach has something for everyone.

East Maui Beaches

Explore the stunning beauty of East Maui’s beaches, including the renowned Wai’anapanapa State Park and the picturesque Hamoa Beach.

10. Wai’anapanapa State Park

best beaches in maui - Waianapanapa State Park

Wai’anapanapa State Park is a must-visit destination in East Maui. This 120-acre protected area offers a unique and breathtaking experience for visitors.

Along the road to Hana, the park features a stunning black sand beach, created by volcanic activity, that contrasts beautifully with the deep blue ocean.

Along with its natural beauty, the park also provides amenities such as picnic pavilions, rental cabins, and tent camping areas for those who want to stay and soak up the peaceful atmosphere.

With its popular swimming and snorkeling spots, Wai’anapanapa State Park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the wonders of Maui’s coastline.

11. Hamoa Beach

best beaches in maui - Hamoa Beach

Located in East Maui, Hamoa Beach is known for its stunning crescent shape. This popular beach is a haven for water activities such as swimming, body-surfing, snorkeling, and surfing.

With its salt-and-pepper sand and crystal-clear water, Hamoa Beach offers a picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature. In addition to the beach itself, there are shaded areas perfect for picnics or simply relaxing under the sun.

Whether you’re looking to make a splash in the ocean or unwind on the shore, Hamoa Beach is definitely worth a visit during your time in Maui.

12. Ho’okipa Beach Park

best beaches in maui - Ho'okipa Beach Park

Located within the town of Paia, Ho’okipa Beach Park is renowned for its incredible windsurfing and surfing opportunities.

With its large waves, experienced surfers flock to this beach to catch a thrilling ride. Don’t be surprised if you come across Hawaiian green sea turtles during your visit, as they often make appearances here.

The park offers stunning views of the ocean and surrounding landscape, providing a picturesque backdrop for your beach day. Facilities including public restrooms, parking areas, and picnic tables are available for visitors to enjoy their time at Ho’okipa Beach Park.

13. D.T. Fleming Beach Park

best beaches in maui - D.T. Fleming Beach Park

D.T. Fleming Beach Park is known as one of the best beaches in Maui. This beach park offers unique features and attractions that make it stand out from the rest.

Visitors can explore tunnels and natural arches formed by lava rocks, adding an adventurous touch to their beach experience.

The large waves at D.T. Fleming Beach Park make it a popular spot for bodyboarding and body surfing, providing plenty of excitement for water sports enthusiasts.

Additionally, this beach park is family-friendly and suitable for all ages, making it a great place for everyone to enjoy a day by the ocean.

14. Kamaole Beach Park

best beaches in maui - Kamaole Beach Park

Kamaole Beach Park, located in South Maui, is a popular beach destination known for its clear blue waters and sandy shores. Situated along the beautiful coastline of South Maui, Kamaole Beach Park offers three sections: Kamaole Beach Park I, II, and III.

Among these sections, Kamaole Beach Park I is the largest and most frequented area with soft sand and gentle waves. Visitors can enjoy amenities such as picnic tables, restrooms, and showers while taking in the stunning views of the ocean.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or take a dip in the inviting waters, Kamaole Beach Park has something for everyone to enjoy.

15. La Perouse Bay

best beaches in maui - La Perouse Bay

La Perouse Bay is located in the Kihei & Wailea region of Maui and is known for its breathtaking beauty and unique landscape. This bay offers a secluded and peaceful setting, making it the perfect escape from the crowds.

With no lifeguard on duty and no facilities available, La Perouse Bay is best suited for short hikes along the rugged coastline or simply enjoying a quiet day at the beach. Families with children will appreciate the calm waters and safe swimming conditions here.

Soak in the stunning views, explore the volcanic rocks, or have a relaxing picnic by the shore. La Perouse Bay truly showcases the natural wonders of Maui.

Maui Travel Tips for Visiting its Beaches

  • Plan your visit during the early mornings or late afternoons to avoid crowds and enjoy a more peaceful beach experience.
  • Always pay attention to ocean safety signage and follow any warnings or advisories issued by lifeguards.
  • Don’t forget to bring essentials like sunscreen, towels, water bottles, hats, and snacks for a comfortable day at the beach.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially under the sun.
  • Bring appropriate footwear like sandals or water shoes as some beaches may have rocky areas or hot sand.
  • Be cautious of rogue waves and strong currents when swimming or participating in water activities; it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Never turn your back on the ocean…ever!
  • Respect the marine life and avoid touching or harassing any sea creatures, especially Hawaiian green sea turtles which are protected by law.
  • If you’re interested in snorkeling or scuba diving, consider taking lessons from professional instructors who can guide you through Maui’s beautiful underwater world.

Best times to visit

The best time to visit Maui’s beaches is from April to September, during the dry season with less rain and more sunshine. This period offers ideal conditions for swimming, sunbathing, and participating in water activities like snorkeling and surfing.

However, it’s important to note that June to August are the busiest months on the island, so arriving early is recommended to avoid large crowds. Before heading out to the beaches, always check the weather and surf conditions for safe swimming conditions.

Safety tips

To ensure a safe experience when visiting Maui’s beaches, it is important to follow these safety tips.

First, be aware of the ocean conditions before entering the water. Pay attention to any warning signs or flags indicating dangerous currents or undertows. It is always best to swim in areas where there are lifeguards present.

Second, remember to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen regularly to protect yourself from the strong Hawaiian sun.

Third, never turn your back on the ocean and be cautious of rogue waves that can unexpectedly sweep you off your feet.

Finally, respect and appreciate the marine life by not touching or disturbing any wildlife you may encounter while snorkeling or swimming.

Essential items to bring

Don’t forget to pack these essential items for your beach vacation in Maui. Bring plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin from the strong Hawaiian sun. Don’t leave out a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield your eyes and face from UV rays.

A beach towel or mat is a must-have for lounging on the sand, and don’t forget your swimsuit so you can take a refreshing dip in the ocean. Pack some snacks and water to stay hydrated during your beach outing.

And finally, bring a waterproof bag or case for your phone and other valuables to keep them safe from sand and water damage.

Best Beaches in Maui FAQs

1. What is the calmest beach on Maui?

Puunoa Beach, also known as Baby Beach, is considered the calmest beach on Maui. This beautiful beach is protected by an offshore reef, which helps minimize the presence of large waves and strong currents.

The calm waters make it an ideal spot for swimming and relaxation. Families especially love Puunoa Beach because of its gentle waves, making it suitable for children to enjoy safely in the water.

If you’re looking for a serene and peaceful environment during your visit to Maui, this is definitely the place to go.

2. What is the prettiest beach on Maui?

Makena Beach State Park is often considered the prettiest beach on Maui. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine white sand, and stunning backdrop of lush vegetation and lava rocks, it’s no wonder this beach attracts visitors from all over the world.

Makena Beach State Park offers a wide range of activities like swimming, bodyboarding, and sun tanning. It’s also known as one of the most photographed beaches in Hawaii, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to soak up the beauty of Maui’s coastline.

3. Which side of Maui has the best beaches?

Maui is known for its stunning beaches, but if you’re wondering which side of the island has the best ones, look no further than the west side. Ka’anapali Beach is a popular choice with its clear turquoise waters and convenient amenities.

And don’t miss out on Kapalua Bay, which has been named the “Best Beach in the World” by Conde Nast. With these beautiful options on Maui’s west side, you’ll be sure to find paradise during your beach getaway.

4. Which beach in Maui is best for snorkeling and scuba diving?

If you’re interested in snorkeling and scuba diving, head to Molokini Crater, which is a crescent-shaped, partially submerged volcanic crater located near the island of Maui. It’s a renowned spot for underwater exploration.

5. What is the best time to visit the beaches in Maui?

The best time to visit the beaches in Maui is during the drier months, which are typically from April to October. During these months, you can enjoy the sunny weather and calm ocean conditions, perfect for swimming and beach activities.

6. Are there any secluded beaches on Maui for a peaceful retreat?

Yes, there are several secluded beaches on Maui that offer a peaceful retreat away from the crowds. Some options include Secret Beach, Pa’ako Beach, and Oneloa Beach, also known as Ironwoods Beach.

7. Which Maui beaches are suitable for families with children?

If you’re traveling with children, consider visiting Kamaole Beach Park, Baby Beach, or Baldwin Beach Park. These family-friendly beaches offer gentle waves and ample space for kids to play and explore.

8. What are the must-see attractions near the beaches in Maui?

Near the beaches in Maui, make sure to explore the Road to Hana, visit the Haleakalā National Park, discover the Waianapanapa State Park, and experience the vibrant marine life at Maui Ocean Center.

9. Can I find resorts near the beaches in Maui?

Yes, Maui offers a range of beachfront resorts that provide easy access to the beautiful beaches. Some popular resort areas in Maui include Kaanapali, Wailea, and Kapalua, offering luxurious accommodations and stunning ocean views.

10. Are there opportunities to spot sea turtles while visiting the beaches in Maui?

Yes, several beaches in Maui, such as Ho’okipa Beach Park and Maluaka Beach, are known for frequent sea turtle sightings, providing a chance to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

11. What are the best west Maui beaches?

The west side of Maui is home to picturesque beaches like Kaanapali Beach, Napili Bay Beach, Kapalua Bay Beach, and Honolua Bay, known for their stunning sunsets, crystal-clear waters, and excellent snorkeling opportunities.

12. How can I find the best spots for swimming and sunbathing on Maui’s beaches?

To find the best spots for swimming and sunbathing, explore the south Maui beaches such as Wailea Beach, Makena Beach, and Keawakapu Beach. These beaches offer beautiful sandy shores and calm waters for relaxation and enjoyment.

Best Beaches in Maui, Hawaii Wrap-Up

Maui offers some of the most stunning and diverse beaches in all of Hawaii.

Whether you prefer the convenience and amenities of West Maui, the pristine beauty of South Maui, the ruggedness of North Maui, or the unique experiences found on East Maui, there is a beach for everyone to enjoy.

From swimming and snorkeling to sunbathing and exploring hidden gems, a visit to Maui’s beaches is an essential part of any Hawaiian vacation. So grab your sunscreen and get ready for an unforgettable beach experience in paradise!

Traveling to Maui as a family? Check out our best beaches guide for families!

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.