One thing’s for sure – there is no shortage of stunning nature in Maui. High up on that list is Maui’s beaches which are among the most beautiful in the world.
Luckily, there are so many idyllic beaches to choose from that you don’t have to search too far and wide to find them. To help you get started, We’ve put together my top 10 list of the best beaches in Maui.
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1. Ka’anapali Beach
It’s true that Ka’anapali Beach is the most popular beach in Maui – thanks, in part, to the row of resorts that line its shore. However, don’t let the thought of tourists and resort-goers deter you. Ka'anapali Beach’s white sand and translucent waters make it a picture-perfect piece of paradise to lounge around for hours.
On the north end, you’ll find Black Rock where lots of fish gather, making Ka’anapali one of the best beaches in Maui for snorkeling too. You may even catch a green sea turtle sighting, so keep an eye out!
For the best view of an epic Hawaiian sunset, enjoy a sunset cruise from Ka’anapali Beach. Lounge on the catamaran and enjoy the open bar service with a mai tai or two as you soak in the sites.
2. Big Beach (Makena Beach)
As you might guess, Big Beach is big! Stretching 100 feet wide and over a mile long, it’s one of the biggest beaches on all of Maui. The expansive stretch of fine golden sand gives sunbathers ample space to claim a spot all on their own while they soak in the sun and enjoy impressive views of Molokini and Kaho’olawe in the distance.
The water is clear with rolling waves that crash on the shore, but swimmers beware – big surf and strong currents can make the conditions unsafe for casual swimming.
3. Kapalua Beach
Kapalua in West Maui ranks high on the island’s most upscale resort areas. One look at Kapalua's picturesque shoreline and it’s easy to see why the most posh places have set up shop there.
Kapalua Beach is one of the five crescent-shaped coves in Kapalua that dazzles visitors with its pristine white sand and crystalline water that’s abundant with marine life, thanks to the two coral reefs that protect it on either side.
Its sheltered, calm waters also make Kapalua Beach one of the best beaches in Maui for swimming.
4. Napili Beach
Not far south from Kapalua Beach lies another white-sand gem. It too is protected by coral reefs which makes Napili Beach one of the best beaches in Maui for snorkeling and swimming. Green sea turtles like to hang out here too, so here’s another chance to see these majestic beauties in the wild.
Napili’s calm waters also make it popular with stand-up paddle boarders, so if you haven’t tried SUP before, Napili Beach is the perfect place to give it a go. Since it’s not as spacious as neighboring mega-beaches in Wailea, Napili tends to be less busy and one of the best beaches for families to avoid the crowds.
5. Hamoa Beach
A treasure of golden sand and turquoise water tucked away against a gorgeous backdrop of lush Hala tree forest, Hamoa is as beautiful as a beach can get. Its beauty and serenity make it one of the top beaches in Maui for visitors looking for peace and relaxation.
You’ll find this gem in Hana on the east side of the island. It’s only 1,000 feet long, but claiming a spot here isn’t difficult, as it doesn’t typically draw large crowds. For the easiest access to Hamoa Beach, you can book a stay at the luxurious Hana-Maui Resort that offers its guests free shuttle service to and from the beach.
The aquamarine water beckons swimmers into its depths, but be aware that Hamoa Beach isn’t protected by reefs like many of Maui’s swimmable beaches, so the surf can be strong and dangerous. It’s best to sit or wade in the safe shallow parts and enjoy the view from there.
For the full Hana experience, enjoy a small group road to Hana tour that includes a stop at Hamoa Beach along with other not-to-miss Hana gems.
6. Honokalani Beach
You’ll find another show-stopper in Hana at mile marker 32 along the Hana Highway: Honokalani Beach. Honokalani’s landscape of turquoise waters rolling along its black-sand, onyx shore is as dramatic as it is captivating.
Besides providing surreal photo ops, Honokalani Beach is one of the best beaches in Maui for exploring and hiking. It’s located within 120-acre Waianapanapa State Park, nestled in a secluded cove with a small cave surrounded by lush green jungle – all fresh and ready for exploring.
The Waianapanapa Coastal Trails offer amazing ocean view hikes and plenty of opportunities to discover lava caves, secret blowholes, and local wildlife.
7. Baldwin Beach
Located on the North Shore near Paia, Maui’s famous laidback surf town, Baldwin Beach is a popular spot known for its beauty and convenience. The beach is equipped with picnic tables, barbecues, bathrooms, showers, and lifeguard stations, making it one of the best beaches in Maui for families – if not the best.
Whether you have kids or not, you’ll enjoy the wide stretch of sand that makes it easy to set yourself up for a glorious day on its golden shore. While you’re there, you’ll want to grab a bite at Maui’s ultra-famous seafood restaurant, Mama’s Fish House.
8. Ho’okipa Beach Park
If you’re a water sports enthusiast, Ho’okipa State Beach Park is paradise. It’s recognized as one of the best windsurfing destinations in the world, attracting windsurfers and board surfers from far and wide.
If you’re not experienced and comfortable handling Ho’okipa’s big-surf conditions, you can enjoy some more calm, sheltered swimming in Ho’okipa’s small areas of the sandy-bottom ocean or explore one of the many small tidal pools that form in the center of the beach. Or just sit back and watch some of Maui’s most skilled surfers in action!
9. Wailea Beach
Up there on the list of most popular, resort-filled beaches in Maui is Wailea Beach. It’s the most posh, upscale part of the island and its expansive beach attracts A-listers from all around the world. One look at its golden, powdery sand and translucent waters and it’s easy to see why.
Wailea Beach is a prime spot to indulge in a Hawaiian beach day and take in the gorgeous views over Lanai and Molokini Crater. Plus, if you feel like venturing off the beach, you’ll have easy access to some of Maui’s best shopping and finest restaurants.
10. Oneloa Beach
For a beautiful, clean beach on the South Shore of Maui in Kihei, look no further than Oneloa Beach. Here you’ll find an expansive stretch of well-kept beach that’s perfect for lounging, jogging, or taking long, leisurely strolls along the shore.
A favorite pastime for Oneloa Beach visitors is simply taking in the sights and watching the paddle boarders, kayakers, and canoers go by. Take your time and stay to catch some amazing sunsets too.
Map of Top Beaches in Maui
The nice thing about Maui is that the beaches are quite spread out throughout the island. Here's a map of all of the beaches featured.
Final Thoughts on Best Beaches in Maui
This is by no means an all-inclusive list of all the island’s world-class beaches, but it’s a good start to get you to some of the best beaches in Maui that's great for soaking in the sun or snorkeling.
The best part is venturing out and discovering hidden gems of your own. Happy beach hunting!
Frequently Asked Questions
Since many of the beaches have limited parking lots, the recommendation is always to go as early as you can in the morning. This will allow you to secure a parking spot and you end up with better weather and visibility.
If you could only choose one beach, Ka’anapali Beach is still the best one to visit because its proximity to several resorts, how close it is to Lahaina, and how Black Rock Beach is right next door.
Yes, but since not every one has its own lifeguards, you have to be careful of the weather, current, and waves. If you're not a proficient swimmer, don't go out in the water if the water is rough.
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