Top Maui Beaches

Beaches on the Valley Isle

Maui is famous for many things, and its spectacular beaches are some of the world’s best. And while choosing a favorite is nearly impossible, we’re narrowing things down a bit and naming our picks for Maui’s Best Beaches.

Whether you’re looking for a powdery soft white sand beach to stroll, rugged sea cliffs to admire, or a fascinating black sand beach to explore, Maui has the perfect spot for you. Of course, snorkeling, swimming, and other water activities are always popular at these great locations. Keep in mind that conditions may vary from summer to winter, so know what to expect before you visit.

Now grab your sunscreen and let’s find the perfect slice of paradise for you!

Hamoa Beach

East Maui

Paradise, nirvana, heaven on Earth- no matter how you describe it, Hamoa beach epitomizes it. Driving down Haneoo Road, the rugged cliffs give way to a beautiful coastal view. Heading further down the road beyond Koki Beach you’ll discover one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Hawaii - the world famous Hamoa Beach. Hamoa is about 1,000 ft. long and 100 ft. wide with sea cliffs surrounding it. Lush vegetation cradles the beach in stunning beauty. Offshore there is decent snorkeling and SCUBA diving, good swimming, and excellent body surfing, too (mostly in winter). Hamoa is unprotected by fringing reefs, so big surf hits the beach unimpeded in the winter months. Visit Hamoa Beach.

Kaanapali Beach

West Maui

Nearly all of the seaside resorts in this area back up to Kaanapali Beach, a three-mile stretch of sand suitable for frolicking that features a sidewalk which runs the entire length of the beach by the hotels to Black Rock. Black Rock slices across the beach and is a popular spot for snorkelers and SCUBA divers. Those in search of their SCUBA certification on this part of the island will likely do their first dive at Black Rock. There are also plenty more opportunities to whet your appetite for water sports such as parasailing, windsurfing, and jet skiing. Visit Kaanapali Beach.

Big Beach

South Maui

Also known as Oneloa Beach (its true Hawaiian name) or Makena Beach, Big Beach is probably one of the prettiest beaches on Maui; certainly south Maui. It is nearly 2/3 mile long and over 100 ft. wide, meaning that you’ll be almost guaranteed to get a spot to yourself, even if there are a lot of people there. The gorgeous sand and pristine waters attract snorkelers, swimmers, and sunbathers. You can also get great views of Molokini and Kahoolawe from here. Visit Big Beach.

Maui Beach Recommendations

Kamaole Beach

South Maui

Kamaole is located in the town of Kihei and is divided into three distinct beach areas. You’ll enjoy 1.5 miles of sandy paradise with great views of Lanai, Molokini, and Kahoolawe. Kamaole I has the largest and nicest beach of the three with fine white sand and great swimming conditions, while Kamaole III is a favorite of boogie boarders. There's also a grassy area at the south end for picnics and playing. Visit Kamaole Beach.

Honokalani Black Sand Beach

East Maui

At the end of our best beaches list is the beautiful black sand beach of Waianapanapa State Wayside Park. From the parking lot, a trail will lead you down to Honokalani Black Sand Beach, located in Pailoa Bay.  Tours with our favorite Road to Hana Tour Company- Valley Isle Excursions- often stop at this wonderful location. If you tour with them, you’ll learn all about the history and legends that make this such a special location. Please note that swimming is dangerous and should be avoided here, as the beach is open to the ocean with no outside reef to break the force of the waves and current. Once you're on the beach, you might be interested in exploring the cave opening off to your right. Though narrow at the entrance, it widens inside and takes you to an open view of the ocean at the other end. Visit Honokalani Black Sand Beach.

Map of Maui's Best Beaches

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Article Edited/Contributed by: Michele L.
Published/Updated:

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