Discover the Best Beaches in Maui: Unveiling Paradise’s Coastal Gems (updated 2023)

Maui is spectacular for beaches and there’s plenty of amazing beaches to choose from. In fact, there are over 30 miles of gorgeous beaches to explore and have a fantastic beach day in Maui. Whether you like pure white sandy beaches, places that have snorkeling and beach combos or those quiet and more scenic beaches to visit, this island has it all. Check out these 18 best beaches to visit in Maui below and I’m sure you’ll love spending a fun beach day on the island.

18 of the best beaches to visit around Maui Island

Kapalua Beach
18 of the best beaches to visit around Maui Island

1. Kapalua Beach

Located in a sheltered bay in West Maui and lined with beautiful palm trees, Kapalua beach is gorgeous and typically ranked in many publication’s best beaches. With kid friendly pool areas and calm waters you can access the beach through the parking lot close to the Napili Kai Beach Resort.

The beach park has complete bathroom and shower facilities but no lifeguard. It is popular with sport activities including SUP, kayaking, boogie boarding and snorkeling, making the perfect all around beach to go to in Maui.

Amenities at Kapalua Beach

Restroom and shower facilities

Limited parking area – get there early

No Lifeguard

Merrimans restaurant is nearby and Ritz for other amenities

Check these hotel listings in Kapalua

Makena Beach
best beaches in Maui

2. Makena Beach

One of the largest beaches in southeastern Maui, Makena has two areas one is the Big Beach and also little beach with dramatic cliff landscapes, golden sands and even more dramatic shore breaks. Not a beginners beach to swim in, but fun for surfing, boogie boarding, and body surfing. A large parking lot leads to the beach with basic toilet facilities and picnic tables. One of the most photographed beaches in all of Hawaii, Big Beach is one of the largest stretch of beaches with gorgeous white sands at Makena State Park.

Amenities at Makena Beach

Small parking area so get there early or later in the afternoon – Parking $5 for non residents

Food truck in the lot occasionally


Food concessions


Picnic tables

Check these hotel listings in Makena

Little Beach at Makena
best Maui beaches

3. Little Beach at Makena

Adjoining Makena beach is Little Beach which is more alternative in lifestyle and also clothing optional. Very popular with gay and gay friendly crowds, this beach is a small and easier to get into the ocean compared to Big Beach. You have to climb some elevated rocks on the far right side of Big Beach to access Little Beach. Sundays are popular with drumming circles and sunset tributes, dance, yoga and free for all event celebrations on the beach.


None and no lifeguard

Check these hotel listings in Makena

Kamaole beaches 1 - 3
best beaches Maui – at the Kamaole Beaches

4. Kamaole beaches 1 – 3

A string of gorgeous beach and snorkeling areas fronting the Kihei area. Kamaole beaches 1 -3 are very popular beaches to enjoy on the south side of Maui. Separated by rocky outcrop areas that separate the beaches, these spots are fun for snorkeling around the rocks for tropical fish and marine life. Kam 2 has nice wider sandy beaches and Kam 3 has grassy areas and a newer playground area to enjoy. Each beach park has parking which fills up so mornings or later afternoons are the best times to visit with an added sunset timeframe if you visit in the later parts of the day.


Parking areas

Restroom and shower areas

Picnic tables

Barbeque pits


Volleyball court

Kam 2 has a wider beach area and ADA access

Kam 3 has a playground and large grassy area.

Check these hotel listings in Kihei

Wailea Beach
best boogie boarding Maui – at Wailea Beach

5. Wailea Beach

The golden sand beaches of Wailea is located on the southern side of Maui and is close to many high end resorts like the Grand Wailea and Four Seasons resorts and three other resorts. With fantastic views of both Kahoolawe and Lanai, super fine sand and a coastal path, this pretty beach is scenic but has no public facilities and no life guards stationed on site. Rocky outcrops make is possible to snorkel and check out the tropical fish and marine life in the area.


Parking area with different entrances

Taco truck in lot

Bathroom and shower

picnic tables

Shady areas on the south side of the beach

Check these hotel listings in Wailea

Napili Bay

6. Napili Bay

Located right by the Napili Kai Resort, the beach areas of Napili Bay have golden sandy beach with fantastic swimming conditions. Public access to the bay is on Hui drive with a sandy path that leads to the beach area. Free parking spots are tough here next to the resort unless you stay there or are using the facilities or eating on site. The beach is great for snorkeling and swimming recreation.


Street parking

No lifeguard

No restrooms

Sea House restaurant fronting the beach for dining along with other restaurants

There are resorts in the area if you want to stay in the area

Check these hotel listings in Napili

Kaanapali Beach

7. Ka’anapali Beach

Located next to the Ka’anapali resort, this expansive 4 mile long beach is fantastic and offers perfect swimming conditions. A paved beach walk leads to several resorts and condos along with shopping at Whalers Village. Waters sports activities and rentals are also available for snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing or wind surfing. Since the beach is long, you can easily find a private or quiet spot to enjoy at this large beach area. There’s even a shopping center at Whalers VIllage to shop, eat and get provisions for your beach day at Ka’anapali beach.


Paid parking lot areas

Public restrooms

No lifeguards

Walking distance to many resorts, restaurants and amenities along the beach area

Night diving ceremony at Black Rock

Check these hotel listings in Ka’anapali

Keawakapu Beach

8. Keawakapu Beach

Located in South Maui between Kihei and Wailea is Keawakapu Beach is a fantastic beach and not frequented by tourists. A nice size beach, pristine with nice snorkeling areas, the underwater reef is perfect for those that want to bring their gear and see some tropical fish. There is available parking and on site facilities with showers and toilets. This is also a great beach for other water sports like Sup boarding and kayaking along the calm waters on the beach area.


Parking area

Restrooms and showers

No Lifeguard

Fun tidepools to explore

Restaurants nearby and the Mana Kai for amenities

Resorts and condos in the area if you want to stay in this area

Check these hotel listings in Kihei

Olowalu Beach
best beach in Maui – check out Olowalu Beach

9. Olowalu Beach

Famous for the green turtle honu that visit this beach and rest, Olowalu has brown sandy beaches. One of the most diverse coral and underwater reef systems on the island, the and tropical you spot is amazing in the clear and calm waters off the beach. Just note that there are no public facilities at this beach and no lifeguards stationed at the beach area.

Olowalu is located 4 miles south of Lahaina town from the Honoapi’ilani Highway.


Parking street off Mile Marker Four

No amenities on site

Check these hotel listings in Kihei

 D.T. Fleming Beach Park

10. D.T. Fleming Beach Park

Located close to the Ritz Carlton Hotel, this beach park is fantastic for both swimming and snorkeling. There are many ironwood trees scattered around the beach offering plenty of shade from the direct sun. There are also public facilities for showering and toilet services on site and a life guard stationed at the beach. Parking is located minutes away from the beach area. Later afternoon swells and winter time conditions make this a more difficult beach to swim and also dangerous for snorkeling.


parking area

Restrooms and showers

picnic tables


Barbeque stands

Check these hotel listings in Kapalua

Honolua Bay Beach

11. Honolua Bay Beach

A protected marine area that is perfect for snorkeling and also surfing further out of the beach area. Easy free parking is available on the main road and there only portable toilets with no life guards on site. There is a nice lookout point to take photographs and enjoy views of the bay and coastal areas surrounding the beach. Honolua Bay is just a 20 minute drive from downtown Lahaina and is a fun place for snorkeling and beach fun.


No facilities or lifeguards

Only street or turnout parking areas

Check these hotel listings in Kapalua

Baldwin Beach Park

12. Baldwin Beach Park

An overlooked and not so touristy beach, Baldwin beach is a long stretch of golden sand with palm trees on Maui’s North Shore area. The beach does get windy but there is a protected area to the west side where there is a salt water lagoon and perfect for kids to swim in. Access to Baldwin is through Kahana beach where there are restroom and shower facilities. Located on Maui’s North Shore, the beach park has full amenities and a huge parking lot to accommodate a lot of beach goers.


Large parking area

Bathrooms and showers


Picnic Tables


Barbeque stands


Check these hotel listings in Paia

Wai’anapanapa State Park
best beaches maui – the black sand beach at Wai’anapanapa

13. Wai’anapanapa State Park

Located in East Maui, this gorgeous crescent shaped black sand beach is a very popular beach to visit and reservations are timed and required to visit this beach to hang out, capture some photographs and explore the surrounding areas around the beach. The beach park has parking, shower and restroom facilities, picnic areas and is a convenient stop on the way to Hana town.


Parking areas

Bathrooms and showers

Picnic tables and BBQs

Shoreline trails

Camping allowed with permits


Check these hotel listings in Hana

 Palauea (White Rock)
best beaches in Maui – at Palauea beach

14. Palauea (White Rock)

Located in South Maui, Palauea beach is also known at White Rock and rarely visited by tourists and is a nice smaller beach that is fantastic for snorkeling, swimming and beach time. Located in Wailea and south of the Kea Lani Beach Hotel, you can have some fantastic alone time in this quiet beach in the Wailea area. No restroom, showers or lifeguard.

Amenities – none

Check these hotel listings in Wailea

Hamoa Beach

15. Hamoa Beach

Located in East Maui and a half mile past mile marker 51, the beach is right next to Travaasa Hana Hotel. Relatively calm and not so crowded the crescent shaped beach is lovely but does not have any beach amenities or lifeguards so you have to be prepared.


On street parking only

Bathrooms and showers

Hotel Hana Maui guest use facilities

Check these hotel listings in Hana

Charley Young Beach

16. Charley Young Beach

Located in South Maui and located north of Kamaole Beach park 1. This beautiful beach park has public restrooms, showers, lifeguards and picnic areas. There are rocky outcrop areas that are a great spot to snorkel and check out the marine life in the area.


Parking area

Porta potties

Check these hotel listings in Kihei

Honomanu Bay

17. Honomanu Bay

This East Maui beach is located in between mile markers 12 and 13 on the Hana Highway is more of a local beach and beautiful. There are no public amenities on this beach and lifeguards but is worth a stop to view the lovely beach, jungle areas and coastline views.

Check these hotel listings in Hana

Oneuli Beach aka Naupaka Beach

18. Oneuli Beach aka Naupaka Beach

Located in South east Maui next to Makena Beach but not crowded in comparison but still a part of Makena State Park . The isolated beach is more popular with locals with this secret beach area is a place for naturists, scuba divers and one off tourists visiting the area. The black sand beach backs into the gorgeous Pu’u Ola’i Cinder Cone makes a scenic viewpoint along the coastline of Oneuli beach and fantastic for photo captures.

Check these hotel listings in Makena

Safety and other tips on visiting the beaches in Maui

Beach time and the ocean is unpredictable on the island, check out this fantastic video below on some safety measures, tips and things to look out for when you are having fun at the beach with your kids and the entire family.

More inside tips to visiting the best beaches in Maui

Certainly, here are some inside tips for visiting the best beaches in Maui:

Arrive Early: To secure a good spot on popular beaches like Wailea or Kaanapali, arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds.

Snorkeling Gear: Consider renting or bringing your own snorkeling gear. Maui’s waters are teeming with marine life, and many beaches offer excellent snorkeling opportunities.

Swim Safely: Pay attention to posted signs and lifeguard instructions. Maui’s waters can have strong currents, especially in the winter months. Always prioritize safety.

Pack Essentials: Bring sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and plenty of water to stay hydrated. The Hawaiian sun can be intense.

Water Shoes: Some beaches have rocky areas or sharp coral, so water shoes can be helpful for protecting your feet.

Check Conditions: Before heading to a beach, check the surf and weather conditions. Some beaches may be better suited for certain activities depending on the conditions.

Beach Equipment: Many beaches in Maui offer rental services for beach chairs, umbrellas, and water sports equipment like paddleboards and kayaks.

Tide Pools: Explore tide pools at beaches like Waianapanapa or Kapalua. These can be fascinating microenvironments full of marine life.

Respect Nature: Keep a safe distance from wildlife, such as sea turtles or seals. It’s essential to respect their space and avoid disturbing them.

Leave No Trace: Help preserve Maui’s natural beauty by cleaning up after yourself. Always pack out all trash, and avoid walking on delicate dunes or vegetation.

Sunset Watching: Maui is known for its stunning sunsets. Head to beaches like Kihei or Lahaina for breathtaking sunset views.

Beach Etiquette: Be mindful of others on the beach. Keep noise levels down, and if you’re playing music, use headphones. Respect the tranquility of the environment.

Check Water Quality: Occasionally, water quality may be affected by runoff or other factors. Check with local authorities or online resources for updates on beach water quality.

Explore Off-the-Beaten-Path Beaches: While popular beaches are famous for a reason, consider exploring some of Maui’s less crowded, hidden gems for a more tranquil experience.

Local Recommendations: Don’t hesitate to ask locals or fellow travelers for their favorite beach recommendations. You might discover some lesser-known but incredible spots.

Remember that conditions at beaches can change, so always exercise caution and prioritize safety during your beach outings in Maui. Enjoy the natural beauty and the unique experiences each beach has to offer!

Looking for more Maui fun and inspiration?

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The best things to do in Lahaina town

Conclusion on the 18 of the best beaches to visit around Maui Island

For snorkeling and beach fun, you’ll love explore all fun activities and attractions around the beach areas of Maui. Hope this gives you some great ideas of things to do and see around the town and outlying areas to visit.

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  1. Gloria

    You posted a pic of Kapalua Bay instead of Napili Bay! Napili Bay is a great bay for swimming and snorkeling. Very easy to get into the water – very few rocks. One of our very favorites.🏝💕

    • emorata

      Thanks for that, it was corrected to the right images of the beaches, mahalo.



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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.