Maui boasts 120 miles of coastline and is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the world, including white sand beaches dotted with upscale resorts, golden crescents hidden away off the beaten path, and dramatic black sand beaches that tell the unique story of the island's geology.
Found on the island's North Shore, Baby Beach is a wonderfully calm lagoon protected by a reef on one end. The peaceful waters here are ideal for swimmers of all ages, but visitors should be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty. When not paddling around in the water, children and adults alike will enjoy relaxing on the beach and exploring the sand dunes that run along the back end of the beach. There are no showers or restrooms here, but visitors are welcome to use the facilities at the neighboring Baldwin Beach Park.
51 Puunoa Pl, Lahaina, HI 96761
2.Baldwin Beach Park
One of the most popular beaches on the North Shore, Baldwin Beach Park is a long sandy beach known for its beautiful sunsets. The large waves in the center of the beach make for excellent surfing, especially during the winter months, but the waves are generally too challenging for novice surfers. However, there are also calm, protected swimming areas on either end of the beach that are suitable for swimmers of every age and ability level. Lifeguards are on duty during daylight hours, and amenities include showers, restrooms, picnic tables, barbecues, and a pavilion that is available on a first-come first-served basis.
Hana Highway, Paia, Maui, HI 96779, Phone: 808-572-8122
Sitting on the eastern end of Baldwin Beach Park, Baldwin Cove is a sandy cove protected by a stretch of offshore reef. The beach is subject to strong sand tides; when the tide is in, there is a large stretch of sand for visitors to enjoy, but most of the sandy area disappears when the tide is out. Swimming is possible no matter what the state of the tide, but not many visitors stick around for long when the sand is gone. Topless sunbathing is permitted on the beach for both women and men, and showers and restrooms are available for visitors to use.
Hana Highway, Paia, Maui, HI 96779
Also known as Pu’u Keka’a, Black Rock is a large, rocky outcropping set on the northernmost end of Ka’anapali Beach. It separates the main beach from a small but beautiful resort, which holds a torch lighting by the rock every evening. The rock is a popular cliff jumping spot, especially with younger visitors, but less experienced swimmers should be wary of the strong currents that sometimes occur in the area. Many people also come here to snorkel and dive, as the waters are home to sea turtles and beautiful tropical fish. Snorkeling gear can be rented from a kiosk near the rock.
Off Hwy 30, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761, Phone: 808-464-0840
5.D. T. Fleming Beach Park
Named in honor of D.T. Fleming, the man responsible for introducing pineapple cultivation to West Maui, D.T Fleming Beach Park is a crescent-shaped beach covered with pristine white sand. The beach is backed by a stand of ironwood trees that provide welcome shade during the heat of the day, and it features picnic tables and barbecues for visitor use. The beach makes for a pleasant swimming destination when the weather is nice, but the water is sometimes subject to high surf with dangerous waves and strong rip currents. Lifeguards are on duty during the day.
Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761, Phone: 808-661-4685
© Juergen Wallstabe/stock.adobe.com
Tucked under a lush green cliff, Hamoa Beach is a picture-perfect crescent beach that has long been known as one of the island's top surf destinations. A local hotel maintains the beach and provides chairs and other facilities for its guests, but the beach is open to everyone. The beach can only be reached by foot; there are two access points to choose from, one with a set of stairs and another with a footpath. The only place to park is on the street above the beach, and visitors are advised to come early to ensure that they find a parking spot.
Haneo'o Rd, Hana, HI 96713
© Phils Photography/stock.adobe.com
Best known as the home of a popular restaurant called Mama’s Fish House, Kuau Cove offers soft white sand, a coconut grove backdrop, and plenty of fascinating tide pools to explore. The beach is quite small but not often busy, as most visitors come here primarily to enjoy a meal at the restaurant. However, the tide pools are accessible during most of the day, and they're an excellent place for children to learn how to snorkel. There are no public facilities here, but the restaurant is a convenient place to enjoy a meal and use the restrooms.
799 Poho Pl, Paia, HI 96779
8.Ho'okipa Beach Park
With its large waves and strong winds, Ho'okipa Beach boasts some of the best kitesurfing and windsurfing on Maui. The conditions are best suited to surfers with plenty of experience, but many visitors come here simply to enjoy the scenery and marvel at the impressive antics of the surfers. If you'd like to do this, an excellent lookout point can be found perched on a cliff on one end of the beach. Most of the beach is not suitable for swimming, although there are several sandy areas that make for good swimming under the right conditions.
Hana Hwy, Paia, HI 96779, Phone: 808-572-8122
Stretching for approximately a mile along Maui's west coast, Ka'anapali Beach is a well-established resort beach with plenty of commercial attractions for visitors to enjoy. A concrete walking path behind the beach provides access to many of the shops and restaurants in the area, and visitors are welcome to make use of the resort-owned showers that can be found along the beach. The biggest attraction here is the shopping, but the water is excellent for swimming when the weather is good. However, there are no lifeguards on duty, and strong currents sometimes occur in the deeper parts of the water.
Off Hwy 30, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
10.Kahekili Beach Park
Kahekili Beach Park is one of the island's best destinations for snorkeling and diving; the reef begins right at the edge of the water, the water is shallow and usually calm, and there are plenty of colorful tropical fish to be found. The waters are also home to sea turtles, and whales can often be seen and heard from under the water during whale season. The beach is less commercialized than many of the others in the area, but there are plenty of amenities for visitors to use, including restrooms, showers, picnic tables, barbecues, and a covered pavilion area perfect for groups.
65 Kai Ala Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761, Phone: 808-270-7230
11.Kamaole Beach Park
Composed of three sandy beaches separated by rocky outcroppings, Kama’ole Beach Park is a popular beach destination that offers plenty of recreational opportunities for the entire family. The entire stretch of beach is suitable for swimming, and the third beach in the park has a regular shorebreak that makes it ideal for boogie boarding. Lifeguards are on duty during daylight hours, and there is also wonderful snorkeling to be found here, especially around the rocks that separate the beaches from one another. Visitors will also enjoy a full range of facilities, including showers, restrooms, barbecues, picnic tables, and a large grassy park.
S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753, Phone: 808-270-7230
© Juergen Wallstabe/stock.adobe.com
Located right next to the Kahului Airport, Kanaha Beach Park is a two-mile-long stretch of sand that is often hailed as the original birthplace of kiteboarding. Although the beach is not a tourist destination like many other beaches on the island, it offers all sorts of recreational opportunities, including canoeing, fishing, surfing, beach running and windsurfing. Lifeguards are on duty, and amenities include potable water taps, showers, restrooms, and sand volleyball courts. The beach is also a popular spot for camping, and there are plenty of picnic tables and barbecue grills available for public use.
Amala Pl, Kahului, HI 96732, Phone: 808-270-7389
© James Eddy/stock.adobe.com
Nestled at the end of South Kihei Road, Keawakapu Beach is a peaceful stretch of sand that tends not to attract as many visitors as other beaches on the island. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants along the shoreline, but most of them are set far back enough that the beach has maintained a natural, non-commercialized feel. The water here is generally good for swimming; in fact, swimmers in search of exercise often come here to do laps from one side of the beach to the other. Stand up paddleboards and other water sports equipment can be rented from the hotel on the beach.
S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753
14.Koki Beach Park
Set on the east shore of Maui, Koki Beach Park is a beautiful but rugged beach with a unique mixture of white, black, and red sand. The beach varies dramatically from season to season; during the summer, there is a wide sandy beach for visitors to enjoy, but most of this sand is removed by the tide during the winter. No lifeguards are on duty here, and swimming is generally not advisable because of the beach's unprotected location and strong rip currents. However, there are often interesting tide pools to explore and there are several picnic tables that make a nice resting spot.
Hana, HI 96713, Phone: 808-984-8109
15.Makena Big Beach Oneloa
True to its name, Big Beach is a wide stretch of sand with a large shorebreak. The waves here are powerful and often dangerous; swimming is sometimes not advisable, but lifeguards are on duty and visitors can consult them if they have any questions about whether or not the water is safe. However, the waves also mean that the water is excellent for boogie boarding, and lucky visitors will have the chance to watch some talented athletes put on a show. Food trucks are usually operating out of the park, but picnic tables are available for anyone who would prefer to bring their own food.
6600 Makena Alanui, Kihei, HI 96753, Phone: 800-464-2924
Situated in front of a luxury 5-star hotel, Mokapu Beach is a small, sandy beach surrounded by palm trees. Despite its location, the beach is often uncrowded, and it's an excellent destination for everything from swimming to boogie boarding to relaxing on the beach. Visitors can also find outstanding snorkeling here, as the waters are full of fish and typically uncrowded. The best snorkeling can be found around the rocks on the south end of the beach. The beach chairs here can only be used by guests of the hotel, but there are restrooms and showers available for public use.
Kihei, HI 96753, Phone: 808-879-4364
© Marco Körner/stock.adobe.com
Surrounded by simple, mid-range resorts, Napili Bay is a top-notch sunbathing and swimming beach with golden sand. The water is relatively calm and usually good for swimming during the summer months, but inexperienced swimmers are advised to stay out of the water when the surf is up, as is often the case in the winter. When the surf is up, the beach tends to attract more body boarders and surfers than swimmers. Snorkeling is another popular activity here when the water is clear and calm, and snorkelers will sometimes have the opportunity to spot sea turtles.
Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
© Dowin Photography/stock.adobe.com
One of only two black sand beaches on the island, Oneuli Black Sand Beach is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in geology. In addition to a visually stunning blanket of black sand, the beach offers the unique chance to see the composition of a cinder cone up close. The conditions here aren't ideal for swimming, but experienced snorkelers can explore the coral reef off the shore when the weather is good. Visitors interested in a bit of strenuous exercise can also hike up to the top of the cinder cone next to the beach for stunning views of the water and the surrounding area.
5550 Makena Alanui, Kihei, HI 96753, Phone: 808-464-0840
© Iriana Shiyan/stock.adobe.com
Offering a wide crescent-shaped strip of soft sand, Palauea Beach is a remote beach that has remained relatively unknown by tourists despite its jaw-dropping natural beauty. The water has a gently sloping sandy bottom that makes it ideal for swimming, but visitors should be aware that there are no lifeguards and stormy weather tends to result in rip currents that make it too unsafe to swim. However, the weather is often pleasant, and the beach is an ideal place for beginner boogie boarders to develop their skills. Snorkeling is also a popular activity here, particularly around the rocks on either end of the beach.
Makena Road, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753
© Iriana Shiyan/stock.adobe.com
Consisting of two sandy crescent beaches dotted with rocks, Polo Beach was named for its location in front of the Polo Beach Club. The sand in front of the beach club is typically uncrowded, but the north end of the beach sits in front of the Fairmont hotel and tends to be quite busy. However, the entire beach is open to the public, and its gently sloping sandy entry is excellent for swimming. Boogie boarding is also popular here when the surf is up, but dangerous rip tides sometimes form when the weather is bad.
Makena Road, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753
A beautifully long stretch of golden sand, Po’olenalena Beach is also sometimes referred to as Paipu Beach. Very few tourists knew about the beach until recently, but it's becoming more and more popular because of its sandy swimming areas and the excellent snorkeling that can be found on its south end. The beach is also particularly well known for its stunning sunsets, which have made it a highly sought-after location for weddings and photography shoots. There are no lifeguards on duty, but there are basic amenities including a beach shower and a port-a-potty at one end of the beach.
96 Makena Alanui, Kihei, HI 96753
22.Red Sand Beach
© LUC KOHNEN/stock.adobe.com
Hidden away in a protected cove under a rust-colored cinder cone, Red Sand Beach is one of the most dramatic beaches on the island. A lava rock wall protects the beach from the ocean waves, ensuring that the water is usually calm and perfect for activities like swimming and snorkeling. However, getting to the beach can be much more dangerous than swimming in its waters; the cove is only accessible via a sometimes slippery hiking trail that runs along the edge of the cliff, and visitors are advised to use extreme caution in getting here.
Uakea Rd, Kaihalulu Bay, Hana, Maui, HI 96713
© Rio & Rio/stock.adobe.com
Sitting in front of a popular all-condo resort, Ulua Beach is best known as an excellent beginner-level diving spot where dive lessons are often held. The beach is also especially popular with families, as it features soft sand, calm water perfect for swimming, and good snorkeling around the rocks at one end of the beach. There are no lifeguards on duty, but amenities include restrooms and showers available for public use. The beach itself is quite small, but visitors can stroll across the neighboring Mokapu Beach to reach Keawakapu Beach if they'd like to stretch their legs.
Ulua Beach Rd, Kihei, HI 96753, Phone: 808-879-4364
24.Waianapanapa State Park
Encompassing 122 acres in Hana, Wai’anapanapa State Park boasts some of the most spectacular natural sights to be found on the island, including a black sand beach, a stunning stone arch, freshwater caves, and a blowhole. Most visitors choose to explore the park by car; there are plenty of excellent viewpoints to stop at, including a seemingly endless number of postcard-perfect photo spots. More adventurous visitors can also choose to do one of the park's two hikes, both of which lead to fascinating attractions like lava tubes, impressive black sand coves, and ancient burial mounds.
Waianapanapa, Hana, HI 96713, Phone: 808-984-8109
© Michael Brake/stock.adobe.com
Wailea Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island, and with good reason. The soft golden sand is perfect for strolling and sunbathing, and the peaceful water is great for swimming and snorkeling. Because of the beach's location in front of two major resorts, it tends to be quite busy and crowded, so visitors are advised to show up as early as possible to ensure they get a spot. Stand up paddleboards, kayaks, and other water sports equipment can be rented on the beach, and there are plenty of restaurants and shops within easy walking distance.
Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753
25 Best Maui Beaches
- Baby Beach, Photo: peteleclerc/stock.adobe.com
- Baldwin Beach Park, Photo: peteleclerc/stock.adobe.com
- Baldwin Cove, Photo: iofoto/stock.adobe.com
- Black Rock, Photo: Joe/stock.adobe.com
- D. T. Fleming Beach Park, Photo: estivillml/stock.adobe.com
- Hamona Beach, Photo: Juergen Wallstabe/stock.adobe.com
- Kuau Cove, Photo: Phils Photography/stock.adobe.com
- Ho'okipa Beach Park, Photo: MNStudio/stock.adobe.com
- Kaanapali Beach, Photo: eddygaleotti/stock.adobe.com
- Kahekili Beach Park, Photo: structuresxx/stock.adobe.com
- Kamaole Beach Park, Photo: Marlon/stock.adobe.com
- Kanaha Beach, Photo: Juergen Wallstabe/stock.adobe.com
- Keawakapu Beach, Photo: James Eddy/stock.adobe.com
- Koki Beach Park, Photo: eickys/stock.adobe.com
- Makena Big Beach Oneloa, Photo: IndustryAndTravel/stock.adobe.com
- Mokapu Beach, Photo: Fabian/stock.adobe.com
- Napili Beach, Photo: Marco Körner/stock.adobe.com
- Oneuli-Black-Sand Beach, Photo: Dowin Photography/stock.adobe.com
- Palauea Beach, Photo: Iriana Shiyan/stock.adobe.com
- Polo Beach, Photo: Iriana Shiyan/stock.adobe.com
- Poolenalena Beach, Photo: peteleclerc/stock.adobe.com
- Red Sand Beach, Photo: LUC KOHNEN/stock.adobe.com
- Ulua Beach, Photo: Rio & Rio/stock.adobe.com
- Waianapanapa State Park, Photo: lameeks/stock.adobe.com
- Wailea Beach, Photo: Michael Brake/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Vacclav/stock.adobe.com