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Hamoa Beach

Best Beaches on Maui

Maui Beach Guide

Maui has some of the best beaches in all of Hawaii, as well as some of the most diverse. Whether you're looking for a romantic stroll for two, a family-friendly day in the sun, a fascinating black sand beach to explore, or the ideal snorkeling location, Maui has the spot for you. Choose your perfect slice of sand from these great Maui beaches.

Of course, snorkeling, swimming, and other water activities are always popular at some of Maui's top beaches. Keep in mind that conditions may vary from summer to winter, so know what to expect before you visit with our beaches guide.

West Maui offers a number of fine beaches scattered between major resorts (Kaanapali Beach being our personal favorite), while South Maui is teaming with a variety of beaches along the shoreline from North Kihei to beyond Wailea. The famous duo of Big Beach and Little Beach are extremely popular on the southern shore.

East Maui offers few beaches along the Road to Hana but makes up for it with a beautiful black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park. Plus, beyond Hana town you'll find world-renowned Hamoa Beach; voted one of the finest anywhere.

John Derrick
Published on: 10-24-2020
Published by: John C. Derrick

This entry includes resources for Maui's Top Beaches, including tips, advice, beach rankings, maps, and more.

Top Maui Beaches Map

Top Maui Beaches Map

Maui's Top Beaches - All on one map...

Updated with a new high-resolution map of Maui. Includes each of Maui's top beaches, all major routes, landmarks, and a key with colored icons for help selecting the perfect beach.

Top 10 Beaches on Maui

Which beaches are the very best on Maui? Which are worth a visit and which can be skipped? Our ratings consider several key things; sand quality, waves, year-round consistency, crowds and popularity, accessibility, and the beaches' surroundings as a whole. Let's take a look at Maui's best beaches.

Makena 'Big' Beach

Kihei & Wailea (South Maui) Region
#1 Rated Beach on Maui

Also known as Oneloa Beach (its true Hawaiian name) or Makena Beach*, Big Beach is probably one of the prettiest beaches on Maui, and certainly south Maui. It is nearly 2/3 mile long and over 100 feet wide. The gorgeous sand and pristine waters attract snorkelers, swimmers, and sunbathers.

This beach, like many, closes in the evenings and the gate is locked. Makena Beach is accessible via a short road at mile marker 4 on Makena Alanui Road and another access just past mile marker 4 in South Maui. Big Beach is connected on the right by a small path over the hill and lava to Little Beach, which is a favorite spot for sunbathers.

Ka'anapali Beach

Lahaina & Kaanapali Region
#2 Rated Beach on Maui

Nearly all of the seaside resorts in the Kaanapali area back up to Ka'anapali Beach, a three-mile stretch of sand suitable for frolicking with a sidewalk that runs the entire length 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 your first dive at Black Rock.

There are also plenty more opportunities to whet your appetite for water sports such as parasailing, windsurfing, and jet skis.

Hamoa Beach

Hana Highway Region
#3 Rated Beach on Maui

Hamoa Beach is located about 2.5 miles outside of Hana town traveling south. The access road is located just south of a large cinder cone. There is a small white sign pointing the way to the beaches along this section of the road.

There are several beaches in the area, Hamoa being the safest and most beautiful. Turn down the access road and follow it around until you reach the beaches about 1.5 miles down the road. There's a bus pull off on the seaward side of the road, the beach is just below the overlook.

There is no parking next to the beach, park on the road above and take the stairs down to the shore. Proceed down the walkway steps to the beach.

Waianapanapa State Park & Beach

Hana Highway Region
#4 Rated Beach on Maui

A visitors draw ever closer to Hana Town there is one last major stop at mile marker 32 on the Road to Hana. On the makai side of the highway, you should see a gravel road leading down to Wai'anapanapa State Park. There should also be a road sign informing you of the location.

Head down the road and look for the main parking area (to the left), near the cabins. From here a trail will lead you down to Honokalani black sand beach, located in Pa'iloa Bay.

The black sand beach isn't the only attraction at Wai'anapanapa though. Wai'anapanapa (Why-Ah-naa-paa-naa-paa) also features sculpted lava rocks, wind twisted foliage, a sea arch, lava caves and tubes, and even a blowhole in the lava rocks near the shoreline.

Palauea 'White Rocks' Beach

Kihei & Wailea (South Maui) Region
#5 Rated Beach on Maui

Palauea means 'lazy' which is exactly how you'll want to be once you reach this lovely south Maui beach. Located off Makena Road, this medium-sized beach is underused.

The snorkeling and scuba are excellent here. Rock formations on either side of the beach are good snorkeling spots while the south end of the beach with all its rock formations is best for diving.

Palauea Beach is located just south of the Kea Lani Beach Hotel and the Polo Beach Club. Travel along Wailea Alanui Drive and take a right turn at the intersection after the Kea Lani Beach Hotel. Travel the length of this paved access road and turn left down an unimproved dirt and asphalt road. Park along the road. The beach is located about 100 feet from the access road.

Kamaole Beach Park(s)

Kihei & Wailea (South Maui) Region
#6 Rated Beach on Maui

Kama'ole Park is located in the town of Kihei and is divided into three distinct beach areas.

  • Kama'ole I - The largest and nicest beach of the three with fine white sand and great swimming conditions. This is the magical point where Maui's southern coast starts to really throw out all the stops, so to speak, as the sand here is simply amazing- similar to that found further south in Wailea and Makena.
  • Kama'ole II - This beach is similar to Kamaole I, but it is a tad smaller, at just under a third of a mile long from end to end. Snorkeling is pretty good here at the ends of the beach, while swimmers should enjoy the entire length of its nice sandy bottom. 
  • Kama'ole III -The beach is simply beautiful, but it is quite different from I and II. First, it is much smaller. Second, it has rocky areas along several parts of the beach. Waves crash onto the rocks, sending huge splashes water into the air and making for a nice show. While the beach area may be smaller than the other two beaches here, the grassy area is significantly larger and makes the perfect spot for picnics, kite flying, or simply relaxing.

H.A. Baldwin Park & Beach

Hana Highway / Central Region
#7 Rated Beach on Maui

H. A. Baldwin Park, a tribute to Harry A. Baldwin for his contributions to Maui, is more than just a beach. There are fields for soccer and softball as well as several picnic pavilions and barbecues.

The beach is lovely for swimming but can get a bit windy in the afternoons for sunbathers. This is a family beach that is popular with the locals in Paia, so try to steer clear on the weekends. Baldwin offers restrooms, showers, drinking water, payphones, and an on-duty lifeguard.

Head east on highway 36 through Pa'ia along the coast. The beach is located just past the golf course on the north side of the highway.

Ho'okipa Beach

Hana Highway Region
#8 Rated Beach on Maui

Ho'okipa Beach Park is located right beyond Pa'ia and Ka'au town makai (toward the ocean) on the Hana Highway.

Ho'okipa Lookout is a nice spot to get a good view over parts of coastal northwest Maui (to your left) and the Pacific Ocean stretching to the north in front of you.

It's also a great place to watch surfers and windsurfers catch the waves below you on Ho'okipa Beach. World-class windsurfing events are held here annually.

Charley Young Beach

Kihei & Wailea (South Maui) Region
#9 Rated Beach on Maui

Charley Young Beach is a sheltered 3-mile park at the north end of Kamaole I Beach in Kihei.

You can dig your toes into the abundance of soft sand at this beach and enjoy the protection from the wind. There is no lifeguard on duty, but there are portable toilets and showers. Parking can be difficult, but the great swimming and surfing are worth the extra effort. The beach is best in the morning when conditions are at their calmest.

Located at the north end of Kamaole I Beach on South Kihei Road.

La Perouse Bay

Kihei & Wailea (South Maui) Region
#10 Rated Beach on Maui

It might be a stretch to include this on a 'beaches' list, but it's a great coastal stop for visitors, so we had to include it here.

La Perouse is the end of the road, literally, in south Maui. Several areas provide access to the water, and there are trails for exploring. It is located at mile marker 7 at the very end of Makena Alanui Road.

Here you can walk through the lava and explore the sea estuaries. This is a favorite place for dolphins and local fishermen.  Make sure to wear sunscreen and be prepared for a lot of wind. 

 Interactive Maui Beaches Map

Click the button below to display an interactive Maui Beaches map. We've included each of the most popular beaches on Maui.

View Interactive Maui Beaches Map

All Maui Beaches

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Maui Water Activities

You simply cannot miss the opportunity to explore and play in the waters off Maui, as each excursion truly is a bucket list adventure. Catch that perfect wave (or even your very first one), reel in “the big one” on a Maui fishing charter, or paddle into the sunset. And speaking of sunsets, how about a cocktail cruise as you watch the sun meld into the horizon in an explosion of color? See what makes these Maui ocean adventures so special.

Recommended Maui Tours
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