Top 15 Beaches On Maui

June 9, 2022

Maui is studded with waterfalls, hiking trails, and luxury resorts, but the island’s biggest allure is the beaches. Maui has more miles of swimmable beaches than any other Hawaiian Island! While there are far more than 15 beaches on the island, here are some of our favorites to add to your Maui beach bucket list.

Top Maui Beaches Kihei

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1. Kaʻanapali Beach

Kaʻanapali Beach truly has it all. There is no other beach on Maui where you can snorkel, cliff jump, book a surf lesson, grab a bite to eat or climb aboard a catamaran tour. Kaʻanapali’s three miles of golden sand are bordered by resorts, restaurants, activity kiosks, and the Whalers Village Shopping Center. Whether you’re looking to bask in the sun, get your adrenaline pumping, or leave the sand behind for some shopping and dining, Kaʻanapali is a decided crowd pleaser.

Top Maui Beaches Kaanapali

Location: West Maui, Kaʻanapali
Facilities: Showers, restrooms, restaurants, activity kiosks, shopping. No lifeguards.
Hazards: Strong currents. Heavy shore break from occasional large swells.

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2. Napili Bay

Napili Bay epitomizes the laid-back feel for which Maui is known. Napili Bay’s crescent of soft sand is fringed by swaying palms and turquoise waters- ideal for swimming or snorkeling when conditions are calm. Although this beach is mellow compared to the hustle and bustle of Ka’anapali Beach, it is a favorite among local families and visitors alike, which means it can get crowded. Get here early to score an often-elusive parking spot and a prime piece of sandy real estate to spend your day.

Top Maui Beaches Napili

Location: West Maui, Napili
Facilities: No restrooms or showers. Walking distance to restaurants. No lifeguards on duty.
Hazards: Strong currents. Heavy shorebreak from large north swells in the wintertime.

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3. Kahekili Beach (Airport Beach)

Situated just north of Kaʻanapali Beach, the idyllic Kahekili Beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and hanging in the sand. Conditions are usually calm, particularly in the morning. A thriving reef sits just meters offshore, making Kahekili an excellent destination for beginning snorkelers. Despite the beachfront resorts that line the sand, Kahekili Beach is generally quiet and uncrowded.

Top Maui Beaches Airport Beach

Location: West Maui, Kaʻanapali
Facilities: Restrooms, showers, pavilion, grassy areas. Close proximity to resorts. No Lifeguards on duty.
Hazards: Sharp reef. Occasional large surf from strong north swells in the wintertime.

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4. Baldwin Beach

Baldwin Beach’s powdery white sands form what is arguably north Maui’s most stunning beach. Baldwin is known for its dazzling turquoise waters, views of the West Maui Mountains, and sheltered cove dubbed “Baby Beach” on the beach’s west end. At nearly a mile long, Baldwin is a popular exercise spot for locals, and you’ll likely find more than one person running the beach on any given day. The strong shorebreak here is a favorite among local bodyboarders, but if hammering surf isn’t your thing, head to “Baby Beach” to swim.

Top Maui Beaches Baldwin

Location: North Shore – Paia
Facilities: Restrooms, showers, pavilions, sports fields, lifeguards.
Hazards: Heavy shorebreak in winter months.

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5. Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay has been named the best beach in the United States not once but twice! Small but stunning, Kapalua Bay is known for its excellent snorkeling and proximity to resorts and restaurants. The soft sand, generally calm conditions, and easy entry into the water make the bay great for kids. Get here early for a parking spot and a good spot on the beach.

Top Maui Beaches Kapalua

Location: West Maui
Facilities: Showers, restrooms, no lifeguards on duty.
Hazards: Rocky points, strong currents, and heavy shore break during large north swells in the winter months.

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6. Keawakapu Beach

Straddling the border of Kihei and Wailea, Keawakapu is one of the south side’s most heavenly strips of sand. Keawakapu is a model Maui beach, boasting great swimming, decent snorkeling, and a long ribbon of golden sand to laze out on. While the shoreline is flecked with luxury homes and condos, the development doesn’t impede the beach’s natural beauty. The Mana Kai Resort sits on the north end of Keawakapu and offers snorkel, stand-up paddle, kayak, and other beach gear rentals.

Top Maui Beaches Keawakapu

Location: South Maui – Kihei
Facilities: Restrooms, showers, beach rentals, no lifeguards on duty.
Hazards: Strong shorebreak during south swells in summertime and west swells in wintertime. Occasional jellyfish sightings when winds blow directly onshore. Be wary of submerged lava rocks.

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7. Waiʻanapanapa State Park

Waiʻanapanapa State Park in Hana is steeped in natural beauty and the spirit of old Hawaii. However, travelers visit Waianapanapa in droves specifically for the park’s famous black sand beach. Centuries of hammering waves beat the lava coastline into fine pebbles to form Paʻiola Beach. Waiʻanapanapa’s black sands became so popular that reservations are now required to visit the park.

Top Maui Beaches Waianapanapa

Location: East Maui – Hana
Facilities: Restrooms, showers, hiking trails, cultural information, camping, picnic areas.
Hazards: Strong currents, heavy shorebreak, jellyfish. Swimming is not recommended.

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8. Maluaka Beach

Maluaka Beach is an underrated gem. Fronting the Makena Golf Club Resort, Maluaka is mainly known for snorkeling (head to the southern point to check out the reef and resident sea turtles). However, the beach itself is stunning and great for swimming. This golden stripe of sand is tucked between two lava outcroppings and offers picturesque views of West Maui and Molokini.

Top Maui Beaches Maluaka

Location: South Maui – Makena
Facilities: Restrooms, showers, plenty of parking.
Hazards: Occasional heavy shorebreak.

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9. Hamoa Beach

Hamoa’s beauty rivals any beach on Maui. Tucked within a sheltered cove bordered by foliage-covered cliffs and a jade-green headland, Hamoa’s waters resemble a swimming pool on a clear day. Hamoa is an ultra-popular weekend hangout among local Hana families, and you’ll often spot locals bodyboarding, body surfing, and surfing here.

Top Maui Beaches Hamoa

Location: East Maui – Hana
Facilities: Showers, portable toilets. Other facilities currently under construction, are typically reserved for guests of Hana Maui Resort.
Hazards: Heavy shorebreak, strong currents.

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10. Kamaole Beaches

Three blissful beaches sit in a row along South Kihei Road- Kamaole I, II, and III. The “Kams” are all county beach parks, which means lifeguards are on duty seven days a week. All three Kamaole beaches are smack dab in the middle of the Kihei action- close to condos, bars, restaurants, and shopping. Not to mention, sunsets from any of the west-facing Kams are hard to beat. In total, the beaches span a mile and a half, divided by rocky lava points. Kamaole III is easily the most popular of the trio. On weekends and holidays, expect crowds.

Top Maui Beaches Kamaole Beach

Location: South Maui – Kihei
Facilities: Restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and lifeguards at all three beaches. Kam I has a volleyball net, and Kam III has a swingset and grills.
Hazards: Submerged rocks. Heavy shorebreak during south swells in the summertime and west swells in the winter. Occasional jellyfish when winds blow straight onshore.

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11. Paʻako Beach (Secret Beach)

Paʻako Beach is a secret in the sense that it’s hard to find unless you know exactly where to go. However, it’s safe to say the secret is out. Paʻako Beach is now one of the most photographed beaches on Maui and is a popular wedding venue. This diminutive cove is studded with husky lava outcroppings and waving palms. Two small channels between the rocks funnel strong currents and send waves crashing onto the beach. Simply put, unless it’s extremely calm, Paʻako is not the best beach for swimming. However, it is a great place to bask in the sand or watch the sunset.

Top Maui Beaches Waianapanapa

Location: South Maui – Makena
Facilities: None
Hazards: Strong currents. Sharp rocks.

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12. Baby Beach Lahaina

Baby Beach doesn’t typically make the “best beaches” list on Maui, but if you’re visiting with keiki, Baby Beach is a great place to spend the day. An outer reef forms a large tide pool protected from swells and currents. The waters here are shallow, but make sure you find a sandy patch to let your little one play in. Baby Beach is popular among local families, but it is often uncrowded.

Top Maui Beaches Baby Beach

Location: West Maui, Lahaina
Facilities: None, although there are restrooms and showers at nearby Mala Wharf.
Hazards: Relatively safe beach. Watch out for kiawe thorns and sharp corals.

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13. Hoʻokipa Beach

Hoʻokipa sits on Maui’s exposed northern coastline. This beach is a world-class windsurfing spot and popular surf break, constantly battered by wind and waves. Due to the relentless elements, Hoʻokipa is not a great place to swim. However, at high tide, an exposed reef forms a large protected tide pool on the west end of the beach, ideal for kids. The Hoʻokipa access road is one way and can be entered only on the eastern side of the beach. Drive through slowly as kids often run across the street at a moment’s notice.

Top Maui Beaches Kaanapali

Location: North Shore – Paia
Facilities: Restrooms, showers, pavilions, picnic tables, grills, lifeguards.
Hazards: Extremely strong currents, high surf, rocks.

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14. Koki Beach

Koki’s mix of gray, red, and white sand make it one of the most unique beaches on the island. A dormant volcanic puʻu towers over the northern edge of the beach, depositing rust-red cinder along the sand and giving the beach a distinct maroon color. With a thatched roof hale, hand-painted warning signs, and a flagpole proudly displaying the Hawaiian flag, this Hana beach is suspended in the essence of old Hawaii.

Top Maui Beaches Koki

Location: East Maui – Hana
Facilities: Picnic table.
Hazards: Extremely strong currents, heavy shorebreak year-round. Not a swimming beach.

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15. Makena State Park

Makena, or “Big Beach,” boasts 3,000 feet of heavenly white sand. Surrounded by kiawe groves and views of Kahoʻolawe, La Perouse point, and a towering headland, Big Beach is one of the island’s most stunning locales. However, it is also famous for having one of the most hazardous shore breaks in Hawaii- sending more people to the hospital with spinal injuries than any other beach in the state. If you’re going to visit Makena, enjoy the beauty from the sand. Makena is a state park, and visitors must pay an entrance fee.

Top Maui Beaches Big Beach

Location: South Maui – Makena
Facilities: Lifeguards, portable toilets, nearby food trucks.
Hazards: Strong currents, deadly shorebreak. Stay on the sand here.

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  1. Kiks

    Actually the sand color statements are misleading, Maui does not have white sand beaches or powdery sand, they are golden tan colored not white and the sand is definitely not like powder!

  2. Robin

    Kahekeli (also called airport beach) has water quality issues.
    The EPA has fined the County of Maui . .
    This may concern some swimmers.


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