The 12 Best Beaches in Maui

Hawaii is a dream destination for any beach lovers looking for that ideal vacation, and Maui has some of the best beaches you will ever see. Each one has a special quality all its own, and you will want to check out more than one.

12 Best Beaches in Maui

Here is a list of the top 12 beaches in Maui that you will love to visit. In fact, you will enjoy any one of these beaches so much that you will not want to leave!

Whether you are looking to surf, sunbathe or any water sport in between, you can find that perfect spot listed here. There are some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling sites in the world right here as well. You may even want to plan to have your wedding or honeymoon here once you see how beautiful it is.

1. Kaʻanapali Beach

Kaʻanapali Beach
Flickr Credit: John M

Kaʻanapali Beach is perhaps the most popular beach on Maui, and is often compared to Waikiki Beach on Oahu. With over 1.5 miles of amazing shoreline, there is plenty to do for everyone.

On the north end of the beach is Black Rock, which is the go-to place for snorkelers. There is a fantastic cliff diving show here at sunset each day as well.

This is an excellent place to do some parasailing or surfing, as well as most other water sports. Play a rousing game of beach volleyball or work on your tan while watching others play. No matter what you prefer, you will enjoy doing it here.

Related article: The Best Beaches of Kauai

2. Keawakapu Beach

Keawakapu Beach
Flickr Credit: Stevenandpat

Keawakapu Beach is a fantastic place to head if you want to avoid the crowds that some of the larger beaches are known for. Located on the southern end of the island, this little piece of heaven has everything you would expect and then some.

With almost three quarters of a mile of beautiful white sand, you will find yourself wanting to spend a lot of time here. Whether you decide to just relax on the sand or go boogie boarding or some other fun activity, this is the place for you! There is a real nice reef and some tide pools that make for great snorkeling at one end of the beach. Even kids will enjoy exploring these places to see what treasures the sea has to offer.

3. Kapalua Beach

Kapalua Beach
Flickr Credit: StevenNIckens Maui Real Estate

Kapalua Beach is another one of the beaches in Maui that is extremely popular. It is often mentioned in many travel magazines as a top beach destination.
Located on the northwestern side of the island, it is a breeding ground for whales, which can often be seen here during the winter months. The nearby town of Lahaina has been a famous whaling port for many generations.

This bay is beautiful with the palm trees that surround the area. The water is calm, making it ideal for swimming, paddleboarding and many other relaxing water sports. Tide pools offer great excitement as well, and kids of all ages can thoroughly enjoy their stay here.

Related article: The Best Beaches of Goa

4. Kahekili Beach Park

Kahekili Beach Park
Flickr Credit: katsuhiro7110

Kahekili Beach is surrounded by lava rock, which serves to isolate it from nearby beaches that are much more crowded. It is an ideal location for scuba divers and snorkelers as it has an amazing reef just offshore that extends out into the deeper water.

Named after the last king of Maui, this quiet little beach is a favorite for snorkelers as well as whale-watchers. You can often spot these amazing giants right from the beach. Green sea turtles and many other inhabitants of the area will grace you with their presence.

5. Napili Bay

Napili Bay
Flickr Credit: Marc van der Chijs

Napili Bay is a beautiful cove covered in glorious golden sand that you will want to sink your toes into immediately. The soft sand reaches out into the ocean with a fairly gentle slope, making it wonderful for the entire family to swim and play in. When the surf is not up, the water is calm and glassy.

When the surf does kick up, take advantage of it for some world-class surfing. Located in Lahaina, you will undoubtedly get to see some of the sea turtles, and may even be lucky enough to spot some of the whales that play in the area.

6. Big Beach

Big Beach
Flickr Credit: Pete

Big Beach is also known as Makena Beach or Oneloa, and is considered by many to be the best beach in Maui. It definitely is one of those beaches that you must see when visiting the island. With over a mile of amazing white and orange sand with amazing cliffs in the background, this is one of the most scenic beaches around.

The beach is very wide as well which makes plenty of room for everyone to have plenty of space to enjoy. The steeper shoreline and large shore break makes for stronger surf conditions. Boogie boarding, body surfing and other sports are not only fun for the experienced to take part in, but fun for everyone to watch as they can get pretty extreme.

Related article: The Best Beaches of Qatar

7. Little Beach

Little Beach
Flickr Credit: jcsandoval4

Little Beach is just a short walk from its counterpart, Big Beach, and is one of only a handful of nudist beaches on Maui. It certainly known as the premier nudist beach in the country. You are not required to be nude while on this beach, and many people are clothed. One of the big attractions besides the ability to body surf in the buff is the activities that happen each Sunday. At sunset a large drum circle beats away as everyone joins in on the party.

Then when it is dark, fire dancers appear on the beach. These professionals fire twirlers put on a fantastic show with great balls of fire, flaming outfits and so much more. This is one show you will not want to miss!

8. Kama’ole Beach Park

 Kama’ole Beach Park
Flickr Credit: Kris Nelson

Kama’ole Beach Park is a set of 3 beaches that are ideal for any occasion or visitor types. Each of them has their own unique quality while maintaining that typical Hawaiian atmosphere. “Kam I” is the northernmost beach and is also the largest of the three. It is known by the locals as “Charley Young Beach”, and is the best of the three for snorkeling.

Kam II is the smallest, and boasts a beautiful “ocean lawn” grassy stretch between it and Kam I that is a great place for walks or jogs. Kam III is the most popular of the three and is best known for the shore break that makes for some of the best boogie-boarding and body surfing. All three are ideal for the entire family.

9. Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach
Flickr Credit: Tropical Villa Vacations

Wailea Beach is very regularly named as one of the best beaches in the entire world by many travel publications. As part of a resort, it is beautifully maintained with all of the amenities one could want.

The name Wailea means “the water of Lea”, the goddess of canoe makers. But originally it was named Kahamanini which means “place of the surgeon fish.” This is a perfect name, and gives you an idea of what you could see if you were to go diving here. It is also a fantastic to see and hear whales as they play in the area. You will also be treated to amazing views as Kaho’olawe, Molokini, and Lana’i all reach out into the backdrop.

10. Polo Beach

Polo Beach
Flickr Credit: Kevin Tao

Polo Beach is more officially known as “Ke One o Polo” which translates to “The sand is not thick.” While this may be technically accurate, that does not mean that this is not one of the best beaches in Maui.

Formed by two sandy crescents meeting in the middle it is one of the most beautiful beaches on the entire island. The southern end of the island is usually not that crowded, while the northern end is lively and full of activities, with cabanas right on the beach along with so much more. There are plenty of grassy areas, barbecue pits and picnic tables that make this entire area ideal for families and friends to get together and enjoy the day.

Related article: The Best Beaches of Bali

11. One’uli Black Sand Beach

One’uli Black Sand Beach
Flickr Credit: swallowsan

One’uli Black Sand Beach, also called Naupaka Beach, is made up of spectacular ocean-ground coral and shells and ground lava that has created the most beautiful sand around.

The great cinder cone, Pu’u Ola’i, is a famous geological landmark that displays how this amazing sand is created. “Pu’u Ola’i” means Earthquake Hill, which is a good descriptive name. This formation provides not only an ideal place for a vacation but is fantastic for geologists to study the affects.

Once out in the water, you will be treated to some of the most beautiful coral reefs and all of the fantastic marine life that lives here, including the famous green sea turtles. Surrounding the beach there are the Maluaka Wetlands where you can see some amazing endangered bird species and so much more.

12. Mai Poina ‘Oe Ia’u Beach

Mai Poina 'Oe Ia'u Beach
Flickr Credit: pandaeskimo

Mai Poina ‘Oe Ia’u Beach is also known as “Sunseeker Beach” and is one of the favorite beaches for many people because it is one of the most quiet and isolated beaches in Maui. While it is located in front of the Kohea Kai Resort, it is often so quiet that you might go for quite a while without seeing any other person. If you are looking for a truly relaxing and rejuvenating vacation, this is the best place to be.

You can take long strolls along a beautiful beach, listening to and seeing whales instead of people. The views are amazing and the sunsets will put you in an entirely different frame of minds. Simply the best kind of therapy you could get anywhere!

Related article: The Best Beaches of Singapore

 

So if you are looking for that perfect vacation while staying in the United States, you need to look no further than the beautiful island of Maui in Hawaii. You will find everything here that you need to make it the ideal time of your life.

 

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Justin Carmack
Justin is a dive master and world traveler on a mission to dive and document the top 100 dive sites in the world. In doing this he hopes to bring love for the marine environment to the world!

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