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Best Beaches In Maui

A list such as the Best Beaches in Maui is subjective to say the least and we are also certain that there are undiscovered (by us and those not native to the region) coves and sandy patches along the coast of The Valley Isle that shame many of the selections placed on the list. Nonetheless this is a fairly comprehensive collection of stand out beaches in Maui. We have taken into consideration the differing reasons visitors find a beach attractive. Some like amenities while others like feral seclusion, some like white sand while others like black. We've included the best of the best that have that special something to suit the tastes of all of you beach bums out there.

1

Makena - Big Beach
South Maui (off of Makena Alanui Road)

 
Big Beach has a steep inclining shoreline which means a BIG shorebreak. What this also means is that Makena offers some of the best skim boarding, body boarding, and body surfing in Maui. The conditions that make the above mentioned activities so fruitful on the island make other activities less adviseable. Be wary of the days you decide to go snorkeling and monitor conditions carefully if you plan on swimming at Makena. There will be sign postings when things get out of hand in the fronting pacific. Otherwise, place down the biggest beach towel you can find on the golden sand and enjoy the scenery at one of the most beautiful and best beaches in Maui.

 

Amenities:

Porto potties
Picnic tables (w/shade)
Paved parking
Hiking Trails

2

Little Beach
South Maui (off of Makena Alanui Road)

 
Next door to its big brother (or sister), Little Beach is not only one of the best beaches in Maui, it is one of the premier nude beaches in "America". What it lacks in size (guys at a nude beach may not want to hear that) it makes up for in spirit. The crowd at Little Beach is different from it's neighbor and is obviously more adventurous in nature if not downright eccentric at times. Sunset sees the inception of drum circles on any given night with a guarantee of such activities, including fire dancers, on Sunday evenings. Be it in board shorts and bikinis or bare bums (questionable when playing with fire!), the spirit at Little Beach is far bigger than it's name lends.


Amenities (close enough to Big Beach to utilize its offerings)

3

Maluaka Beach
South Maui (next to the Maui Prince Hotel)

 
Maluaka is a white sand beach with gentle slopes that make the scenery and conditions perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Malakua is also nearby to the home to the aptly monikered Turtle Town which is a fair indication of the sea life you will get to see through goggled eyes.


Amenities:

Restrooms & showers
Picnic areas
Paved parking
No lifeguards

4

Wailea Beach
South Maui (Paved path to walk past the Wailea resorts)

 

Not for those seeking seclusion but fun for families and those seeking the comforts of beach front resort civilization, Wailea Beach is long and wide and offers good snorkeling, swimming, stand-up paddling and a break for tourists growing weary of too many hours logged on the sand and wish to take a break to shop or dine nearby at the restaurants and shops found on Wailea's resort row.

 

Amenities: Everything

5

Launiupoku Beach Park
Mile 18, Kai Heleku & Honoapiilani, Lahaina, West Maui, HI

 

Enjoy the view across the water staring directly at the islands of Lana'i and Moloka'i and even witness whales frolicking – when in season - while your own backdrop of Lahaina Road speaks volumes about the appeal of this West Maui beach. Longboarders, beginners and intermediate surfers love this beach for paddling out and catching easier to ride waves than found at some of the more intense spots around this surf rich island. The seawalls at Louniupoku Beach Park are a few too many which does in fact take away from the potential of this beach but one can still feel the beach escape of Maui paradise when at Launiupoku.

 

Amenities:

Restrooms
Picnic (shaded)

6

Ka'anapali Beach – Black Rock
West Maui


The highlight of this beach found along the western shores of Maui comes in the form of a massive black lava rock protrusion jetting out into the azure waters and splitting Ka'anapali Beach in half. The rock is covered in coral, accommodating a diverse array of sea life including a color spectrum of fish and sea turtles which makes this section of Ka'anapali Beach one of the most fun and interesting places to snorkel on the island.


Black Rock is also considered to be sacred amongst the ancient Hawaiian peoples, with legend stating that spirits of the island's warriors leaped off the ledge into the ocean and into the afterlife to meet their ancestors. While there certainly is a spiritual feel to this place, you need not make such a commitment yourself, so feel free to take your own plunge from safer points along Black Rock and into the blue churning ocean below for purely recreational reasons. Pay close attention to ocean conditions. If the waters look tumultuous then steer clear of such activities. The best bet is to watch what the locals do (you'll spot them easily) and follow their lead. If no one is around, don't even think about trying on your own. 


Amenities:

Lifeguards
Beach front hotels
No restrooms or facilities

7

Kite (Kanaha) Beach
North - Central - Maui (behind Kahului airport)


Kite/Kanaha Beach is the birthplace of and home to the world's best kite surfing. Although the ocean and wind conditions make Kite Beach a progressive kite surfer free for all, beginners fear not as a time slot between 9am and 11am has been set aside on a designated section of the beach, allowing those entering the “arena” for the first few times to wet their whistle in this exciting sport. For the causal beach goer, aside from the natural beauty found on pretty much every inch of Maui coast, there is little reason to spend much time at Kite Beach unless of course you are also a fan of watching the world's best dance upon the wind and the waves at Kanaha.

 

Amenities:
Lifeguard tower
Campgrounds

8

Ho'okipa Beach Park
North – Central – Maui (along the Hana Highway towards Haiku)


Ho'okipa is one of Maui's most consistent surf spots, however it switches from paddle and pop up to windsurfing at the drop of a hat, or pick up of wind in the afternoon. In fact, Ho'okipa is considered to the among the world's best windsurfing locations, but one meant for experts and not the novice. Ho'okipa can provide for fun swimming and snorkeling in the calm summer months and the coral reef has created pond areas perfect for exploration, but as usual, conditions should be monitored at all times. After summer passes, the switch is flipped and Ho'okipa comes to life with a roar.

 

Amenities:
Restrooms & showers
Picnic
Parking

9

Wai'anapanapa State Park – Black Sand Beach
On the way to Hana - East Maui

 

Black sand and deep dark lava cliffs make Wai'anapanapa one of the most unique and stunning beaches in Maui. A large sea cave is found at water's edge and legendary caverns lie deep below. For those with a hike in mind, King's Highway – an ancient Hawaiian foot path – will lead followers for three miles along the coast towards the town of Hana. Wai'anapanapa Beach is small but a truly magical place and deserving of its position amongst the Best Beaches in Maui.

 

Amenities:

Restrooms & showers
Picnic
Paved parking
Hiking
Campgrounds
No lifeguards