About this website

Maui Best Beaches Guide

Explore Maui's Best Beaches with maps, directions, photos and information

Explore Maui's Best Beaches

Maui Best Beaches Map

maui beaches map Maui is well known for its wide variety of beaches. From long white sandy beaches to rugged lava shorelines, Maui offers a great selection for any activity. Whether you are snorkeling, sunning, hiking, surfing, or just relaxing, you can find the best beaches in Maui. All Maui beaches are unique in their own way, and are all worth exploring. The list here is only a guide to get you started. South and West beaches will offer the most activities, but don't overlook the East beaches as they offer the prettiest beaches on the island. The map below contains most of Maui's many beaches with parking, rest rooms, images and information. Click on map image to open in Google Maps
click here for more information snorkeling beaches
click here to navigate to maps and slide shows at bottom of page

Best All Around Beaches
You could add many other beaches to this list. The 3 here are based on overall activities, snorkeling, swimming, parking, facilities, etc. Kanaapali wins top spot, although Kahekili is a close second. DT Fleming would have won top honors, but there is no snorkeling to speak of.
  1. 1. Ka'anapali Beach (West Maui) is a long white sandy beach with excellent snorkeling at the north point (Black Rock). The water is usually very calm with easy entry and fish very close to shore. Get there early if you want to use public parking, it is small and fills up quickly. You can always find parking at the shopping mall (paid with validation at the shops). Located behind Maui's biggest resorts makes Ka'anapali very busy beach with lots of activities.
    Ka'anapali Beach Info Ka'anapali Snorkel Info
  2. Maui's Best Family Beaches - Kaanapali (black Rock) Beach
  3. 2. Kahekili Beach (West Maui) is just north of Ka'anapali Beach. This beach offers everything Ka'anapali has plus shade, grass, pavilions, barbecue pits, and plenty of parking. Snorkeling is close to shore as the reef follows the shoreline with lots of tropical fish. Turtles can usually be found further out. This would be the number 1 spot but the current can be strong at times as it is not as protected as well as Ka'anapali. The best part is that it is much less crowded with free parking (never fills up) and grass close to the beach. If you get to Ka'anapali Beach and the water is muddy or you can't find a parking spot, head to Kahekili you won't be disappointed.
    Kahekili Beach Info Kahekili Snorkel Info
  4. Maui's Best  Beaches - Kahekili Beach
  5. 3. Kapalua Bay (West Maui) is a well protected beautiful bay great for families. The crescent shaped bay has easy entry to the water with great snorkeling close to shore. There are clean rest rooms and outside showers available. This beach has limited parking with no other parking options so arrive by 8-9 am to get a spot.
    Kapalua Bay Info Kapalua Bay Snorkel Info
  6. Maui's Best  Beaches - Kapalua Bay
Best Family Beaches
There are plenty of great family beaches in Maui. The 3 beaches above are all good family beaches. The ones listed below all have lifeguard stations, picnic areas, large parking lots, barbecue pits, and play areas. If you are not interested in snorkeling, these beaches offer pretty much everything else.
  1. 1. DT Fleming Beach (West Shore) is a great choice for family parties. The park has loads of parking, bbqs, tables and play areas. The beach has a lifeguard and plenty of white sand. Great for surfing and swimming, but poor snorkeling. Plenty of shoreline to explore with a few tide pools.
    DT Fleming Beach Info
  2. Maui's Best Family Beaches - DT Fleming Beach
  3. 2. Kamaole Beaches (South Shore) stretch the Kihei downtown area. The 3 beaches offer plenty of daily activities, picnic areas, rest rooms and life guards. Good for swimming and some snorkeling around the points that separate the beaches. These are very popular and close to shops and places to eat.
    Kamaole Beach Info Kamaole Snorkel Info
  4. Maui's Best Family Beaches - Kamaole Beach
  5. 3. Baldwin Park is located on the North Shore by the town of Paia. The park offers baseball fields, picnic areas, soccer field, rest rooms and a lifeguard. Plenty of activities including hula dancing and surfing lessons. Great for swimming, but not so great for snorkeling.
    Baldwin Park Info
  6. Maui's Best Family Beaches - Baldwin Beach
Maui Whale Watching
Best Swimming Beaches
Almost all of Maui's many beaches are great for swimming. The beaches listed here all have protected bays which offer calm conditions most of the time all year round. They also have sandy entries with a gradual slope, making them suitable for all ages.
  1. 1. Kapalua Bay (West Shore). This is a well protected bay with calm, clear water and a sandy shoreline. You can swim the entire area in the bay
    Kapalua Bay Kapalua Bay Snorkel
  2. Maui's Best Swimming Beaches - Kapalua Beach
  3. 2. Olowalu Beach (West Shore) is a giant protected reef than extends way out to sea. You can be a 1/2 mile off shore and still be in waist deep water. There is a deep channel at mile marker 14 with a nice sandy bottom.
    Olowalu Beach Info Olowalu Snorkel Info
  4. Maui's Best Swimming Beaches - Olowalu Beach
  5. 3. Hana Bay (East Shore) is the only east Maui beach that has a protected bay with calm water most of the time. A park with tables and shade, along with a snack bar makes this a great swimming spot.
    Hana Bay Info Hana Bay Snorkel Info
  6. Maui's Best Swimming Beaches - Hana Beach
  7. 4. Big Beach (South Shore) Long sandy Beach in Makena State Park is great for boogie boards, surfing, and swimming.
    Big Beach Info
  8. Maui's Best Swimming Beaches - Big Beach
  9. 5. Poolenalena Beach ( South Shore) Nice white sandy beach which rarely fills up.
    Poolenalena Beach Info
  10. Maui's Best Swimming Beaches - Poolenalana Beach
Best Snorkel (Fish) Beaches
Most Maui beaches have decent snorkeling for tropical fish. The top spots listed here are the best for all ages with fish closer to shore and easy entry to the water. Ahihi Cove would be the top spot except shallow water and fragile coral make snorkeling here a bit tricky. Other excellent places are La Perouse Bay , Ahihi Bay , Wailea Beach , Mokapu Beach , Honolua Bay , and Molokini Crater (which really isn't a beach).
Full list of the best snorkel spots
  1. 1. Black Rock is located at the north end of Ka'anapali Bay. You can find fish as soon as you enter the water which makes this a great spot for first time snorkeler. Follow the cliffs out but be aware of people diving from above.
    Black Rock Info Black Rock Snorkel Info
  2. Best Fish Snorkel - Black Rock
  3. 2. Kapalua Bay stays calm most of the time making it a great snorkel beach for all ages. Fish are most plentiful along the north and south reefs but you can find fish pretty much everywhere.
    Kapalua Bay Info Kapalua Bay Snorkel Info
  4. Best Fish Snorkel - Kapalua Bay
  5. 3. Ulua and Mokapu Beach are separated by a coral reef. Start from the north end of Ulua and swim around the reef to Mokapu. There is a small trail that will take you back to Ulua. You will see coral, fish and turtles as soon as you enter the water.
    Ulua and Mokapu Info Ulua and Mokapu Snorkel Info
  6. Best Fish Snorkel - Ulua beach
  7. 4. Kahekili Beach located just north of Kaanapali offers excellent snorkeling. The reef is just off shore following the beach to the north. less crowded and plenty of parking makes this a great spot for everyone.
    Kahekili Beach Info Kahekili Beach Snorkel Info
  8. Best Fish Snorkel - Ulua beach
Best Snorkel (Turtles) Beaches
If you are looking for turtles, Maui has plenty of them. While the largest concentration can be found in the South Maui Makena area, Honolua Bay , Napili Bay and other west beaches have plenty of turtles 5 Caves 5 Graves is one of the best spots for turtles, but only accessible by kayak or long swim from Makena landing (their is also a path which leads down to the water).
Best turtle spots with maps in information
  1. 1. Maluaka Beach (South Shore) also known as Turtle Town is the premiere spot for viewing turtles. You can find parking at both ends of the beach with the south the best for snorkeling. There is also plenty of fish and decent coral. North end of the beach has rest rooms and an outside shower at the public parking lot.
    Maluaka Beach Info Maluaka Beach Snorkel Info
  2. Maui's Best Snorkeling for Turtles Beaches - Maluaka Beach
  3. 2. South Poolenalena / Chang's Beach located at Makena Surf Condos, is a great snorkel spot for turtles. You will need to swim out a bit and stay to the left end of the beach, following the reef around to Chang's Beach. Some of the largest turtles on the island have been spotted here. This is a quiet beach as the small 8 car parking lot is well hidden from the street.
    Chang's Beach Info Chang's Beach Snorkel Info
  4. Maui's Best Snorkeling for Turtles Beaches - Changs Beach
  5. 3. Makena Landing (South Shore) is where most kayak trips start in South Maui. The tours take you north along the reef to 5 Caves 5 Graves. this is one of Maui's premiere dive destinations with underground caves and lots of turtles and fish. Strong swimmers can enter at Makena Landing and follow the coast north to 5 Graves 5 Caves. Beginners will find plenty along the reef out to the point. There have been plenty of turtles spotted within ten feet of the beach.
    Makena Landing Info Makena Landing Snorkel Info
  6. Maui's Best Snorkeling for Turtles Beaches - 5 caves 5 graves
  7. 4. Honolua Bay can be one of the best snorkel spots or one of the worst , depending on how much it has rained. Heavy rains dump too much mud into the bay making visibility poor. Of course it is worth the trip just for the hike through the tropical forest.
    Honolua Bay Info Honolua Bay Snorkel Info
  8. Maui's Best Snorkeling for Turtles Beaches - Honolua Bay
Best Snorkel (Coral) Beaches
Most Maui beaches that have a lot of fish, will also have a lot of coral. The beaches listed below are known for colorful and healthy coral.
Guide to the best snorkel spots
  1. 1 Olowalu Beach also known a mile marker 14 (that's the best area for snorkeling), is a protected bay with a reef that extends about a mile out. What you get is a huge maze of healthy coral to explore. There are also some fish and turtles. Further out to sea is a turtle cleaning station. There isn't any facilities so remember to bring a chair and a blanket. Parking is anywhere off to the side of the highway.
    Olowalu Beach Info Olowalu BeachSnorkel Info
  2. Maui's Best Snorkeling for Coral Beaches - Olowalu bay
  3. 2. Molokini Crater isn't a beach, but does offer excellent snorkeling in crystal clear water. You do have to charter a boat or tour to get there. You will find large healthy coral as well as fish, octopus, eel, sharks, and more. This a great tour for those who are new to snorkeling. It could be listed as a best fish snorkel spot as well, but there are closer beaches that can be just as good. Most tours also offer snorkeling off shore around turtle town, so you can get a chance to view turtles. You will most certainly spot dolphins along the way.
    Tour Info Molokini Tour Info Snorkel Info
  4. Maui's Best Snorkeling for Coral Beaches - Molokini
  5. 3. Ahihi Cove is my favorite snorkeling spot. Once in the water it is like being in an aquarium. I hesitate to mention this spot because the cove is very shallow and inexperienced swimmers and snorkelers continue to damage the fragile coral. It is easy to be tempted to stand up, but you run a big risk of stepping on an urchin or breaking some coral (both of these would be bad for you as well). A little further up is Ahihi Bay which also has great snorkeling in a huge area.
    Ahihi Cove Beach Info Ahihi Cove Snorkel Info
  6. Maui's Best Snorkeling for Coral Beaches - Ahihi Cove
Maui's Best Scenic Beaches
Picking the best scenic beaches is difficult as most Maui beaches are beautiful and unique in their own way. Other top picks would be Kapalua Bay , Big Beach , Koki Beach , Maluaka Beach , Honokohau Bay , and Polo Beach .
  1. 1. Hamoa Bay is regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Pacific. With lush colored cliffs, tropical trees and plants, Hamoa Bay is a must see if you travel to East Maui. The pounding surf makes snorkeling and swimming unpleasant, but it is the perfect spot to relax and soak up the scenery. There are rest rooms and shaded picnic tables so enjoy a pack lunch in one of the most beautiful spots around.
    Hamoa Bay Info Hamoa Bay Snorkel Info
  2. Maui's Best Scenic Beaches - Hamoa Beach
  3. 2. Napili Bay is a gorgeous beach with golden sand and lots of tide pools to explore. Easy swimming and snorkeling makes this spot a favorite for families. Park along one of the side streets and follow the signs down to the beach. There are rest rooms and outside showers available.
    Napili Bay Info Napili Bay Snorkel Info
  4. Maui's Best Scenic Beaches - Napili Bay
  5. 3. Polo Beach is an immaculate and well kept beach south of Wailea Beach. There is plenty of parking (although I have seen it full), rest rooms, showers, tables, and shade. This is a good place for sunning, swimming, snorkeling or just relaxing. When the surf is up Polo Beach is a popular boogie boarding spot.
    Polo Beach Info Polo Beach Snorkel Info
  6. Maui's Best Scenic Beaches - Polo Beach
Best Hiking Beaches
Maui has plenty of beaches for hiking and exploring. The beaches below offer unique landscapes and scenery that separates them from other beaches on the island. Kaihalulu (Red Sand Beach) is another great hike, but requires walking on private property and scaling a dangerous slippery cliff. Many have been severely injured or died here . It is not recommended for kids or adults that are not in excellent physical condition. You take a guided kayak tour from Hana Bay to reach the beach.
  1. 1. Waianapanapa State Park is located just before the town of Hana. This large park has many hiking trails with blow holes, lava tubes, caves, a black sand beach, picnic tables, grills, and overnight camping. The current can be strong here so swimming and snorkeling is poor. This is also a favorite spot for jellyfish and Man-Of-War.
    Beach Info Snorkel Info
  2. Maui's Best Hiking Beaches - Waianapanapa Park
  3. 2. Honolua Bay is a protected cove with a rocky shoreline north of Kapalua Bay. Snorkeling can be excellent except when stream runoffs from rain have muddied the water. The best part is the hike through a dense tropical forest to reach the bay. Just follow any of the rails as they all lead to the water. There are port-a-potties at the north parking lot. Most people park along the highway.
    Honolua Bay Info Honolua Bay Snorkel Info
  4. Maui's Best Hiking Beaches - Honolua Bay
  5. 3. La Perouse Bay is the southern most area you can reach in Maui from Makena Rd.. The trip will take you through a lava field with scenery like no where else on the planet. From the parking lot you can take the hiking trail to the south which follows the shoreline. Keep a lookout for dolphins, as this is a resting spot for them. La Perouse Bay is also an excellent snorkeling site for advanced snorkelers and good swimmers.
    La Perouse Bay Info La Perouse Bay Snorkel Info
  6. Maui's Best Hiking Beaches - La Perouse Bay
Best Quiet Beaches
It's hard to find a quiet less populated beach in Maui. South Maui Beaches tend to be less crowded than West Maui Beaches. If you snorkel or want a beach to yourself get up early and head to your favorite beach by 8am. You will be blessed with less wind (better for snorkeling), close parking, and the best spot layout at. after 10am the most of the popular beaches will be crowded.
  1. 1. South Poolenalena (Changs Beach) has great snorkeling and swimming with easy entry and a white sandy shoreline. There is a small, very easy to miss, public parking lot (8 cars) located at Makena Condos. Because of its "hidden parking" the beach gets very few people. You actually walk on a path through the condos to reach the beach. there is an outside shower just before the beach. Because of the parking lot being hard to spot, many pass up this wonderful beach. If you really want a beach all to yourself swim to the left around the reef to Changs Beach (you will find turtles along the way).
    Changs Beach Info Changs Beach Snorkel Info
  2. Maui's Best Hidden Beaches - Chang's Beach
  3. 2. Sugar Beach (North Kihei) is the undeveloped shoreline between Maala Harbor and Kihei. While there are no facilities, and rocky entry, it is the perfect spot to enjoy some solitude. Take a folding chair or blanket, find a tree, and enjoy the beach all to your self.
    Sugar Beach Info Sugar Beach Snorkel Info
  4. Maui's Best Hidden Beaches - Sugar Beach
  5. 3. Luanipoko Park (West Maui) is a great family beach just south of Lahaina. This is a pretty beach with plenty of shade, rest rooms, bbqs and showers. Swimming is good and there is a rock wall which creates a nice wading pool for small kids. The park is usually uncrowded (except on weekends and when the surf is up), as tourists overlook this beach for the more popular West Coast Beaches further north.
    Beach Info
  6. Maui's Best Hidden Beaches - Sugar Beach
  7. 4. Koki Beach (East Shore) has striking red cliffs and a rugged shoreline mixed with a sandy beach. This is a very scenic beach that is seldom used, probably because entering the water is not advised due to the torrent surf. This is a beautiful spot to stop a have lunch or just relax and take some pictures.
    Koki Beach Info Koki Beach Snorkel Info
  8. Maui's Best Hidden Beaches - Koki Beach
Best Surfing Beaches
Maui is not known for its surfing beaches. Being surrounded by the Big Island, Lana'i, and Molokini, Maui doesn't get the huge swells that Oahu offers (except Hookipa and some east Maui locations). It does offer the most beaches for beginners in Hawaii.
Never surfed before! Private surf lessons cost around 200.00, small groups (2-3) 120.00 each, and 4+ groups 99.00 each. Boards are available for rent .

For more information on private and group surf lessons

  1. 1. Hookipa Beach is one of the worlds top wind surfing destinations. The swells here can get huge and its is best attempted by professional surfers. The beach is sandy but rocky at the shore. Swimming allowed when the currents are not too strong. There are life guards at this beach. if you just want to view the surfers there is a lookout just north of the beach.
    Hookipa Beach Info Hookipa Beach Google Map
  2. Maui's Best Surfing beaches - Hookipa beach
  3. 2. Puamana Beach (West Maui) is a rocky beach just south of Lahaina. This is a popular spot for beginners to surf. The beach has a shallow rocky bottom making bad for swimmers, but nice breaks with smalls waves great for surfers. While it can get busy on weekends it is usually less crowded than Cove Park.
    Puamana Beach Info Puamana Google Map
  4. Maui's Best Surfing beaches - Cove Park
  5. 3. Cove Park (South Maui) is a small beach in Kihei just south of Kalma Park. This is a popular spot for surfers and boogie boarders. If lot is full park anywhere along the side of the road.
    Cove ParkInfo Cove Park Google Map
  6. Maui's Best Surfing beaches - Cove Park
  7. 4. Makena State Park is made up of three beaches Big Beach, Little Beach, and Oneuli (black sand beach). Big beach also known as Makena beach is a very popular beach with great surfing, swimming, facilities, picnic tables, etc. Just north is Little Beach (Maui's clothing optional beach). Oneuli beach is further north with limited access. The dirt road to it is usually only for 4 wheel drives, so you have to hike in.
    Makena State Park Info Makena State Park Google Map
  8. Maui's Best Surfing beaches - Hookipa beach
  9. 5. Honokohau Bay Located north of Honolua Bay is a pretty sandy beach with a mostly rocky bottom. Swimming and snorkeling are possible in summer months when the seas are calm. During the winter months it is a crowded surfing beach .
    Honokohau Bay Info Honokohau Bay Google Map
  10. Maui's Best Surfing beaches - Hookipa beach
Best Sunset/Sunrise Beaches
You can enjoy the spectacular Maui sunsets from any South or West beach. If you are in East Maui get up early for the sunrise. The beaches below are our favorites. You can also do a sunset cruise/dinner out of Maalaea harbor.
  1. 1. Charley Young Beach is small quiet beach just north of Kamaole 1. The rocky/sandy shoreline and palm trees make for the perfect sunset. there is only 3 parking spots so park anywhere on the side of the streets.
    Charley Young Beach Info CY Beach Google Map
  2. Maui's Best Sunset Beaches - Charley Young Beach
  3. 2. Kamaole Beach 3 long sandy shore with tide pools at the points great for exploring at sunset.
    Kamaole Beach Info Kamaole Beach Snorkel Info
  4. Maui's Best Sunset Beaches - Kamaole 3 Beach
  5. 3. Hana Bay (sunrise). If you are over in East Maui get up early and head to Hana Bay for a spectacular sunrise.
    Hana Bay Info Hana Bay Snorkel Info
  6. Maui's Best Sunset Beaches - Hana Beach

Click Here for a thumbnail view of all Maui Beaches

Click Here for a thumbnail view of all Maui Google maps

south Maui Google map
South Maui Beaches
west Maui Google map
West Maui Beaches
east Maui Google map
East Maui Beaches