The Best Beaches in Maui for Sunbathing, Snorkeling, Turtle Watching, and Sunset Seeking
There’s something magical about Maui.
Hawaii’s second-largest island is well-known for its beaches — and for good reason. There are more than 120 miles of coastline around the island. But because there is so much to choose from, settling on where to park your towel can prove difficult.
Perhaps you want a beach with good sand and easy access. Or maybe what’s best to you is a secluded cove, far away from the crowds. Whether you’re looking for the softest sands, the clearest waters, or the most exhilarating cliff-diving spots, there’s a beach in Maui to suit your needs.
If you don’t have time to explore every inch of Maui’s coast, start with these 10 fantastic beaches.
1. Kaanapali Beach
This is one of Maui’s most popular beaches, mainly because of its proximity to resorts and hotels. Tourists flock to Kaanapali for its three miles of white sand. If you stay until the evening, you’ll catch the cliff-jumping ceremony that takes place every sunset.
This beach is connected to Kaanapali so it’s got the same sands — but it’s much less crowded. Walk through a green grass park to get to the sand and then just peacefully soak up the rays.
3. Hamoa Beach
This is one of Maui’s best-loved beaches for snorkeling. It’s a secluded area where the waters are calm and palm trees hang over the salt-and-pepper sands (a mix of lava rock and white coral creates the unique color).
4. Olowalu Beach
If you want to get close to wildlife at the beach, head to Olowalu. It’s got one of the healthiest reefs off the coast of Maui, so you’re likely to see a diverse array of marine life. And when you’re up on the beach, you may even see sea turtles walking along the sand.
5. Kahekili Beach
This is one of the best places in Maui to catch the sunset. Because the beach is western-facing, you’ll have the perfect vantage point to watch the sun as it dips behind the water for the night and paints the sky a vibrant array of colors. Kahekili is more than a mile long, if you’re the sort of person who enjoys long walks on the beach right around sunset.
6. Maluaka Beach
This is one of Maui’s best beaches for water sports. Plan on a stop at Maluaka for kayaking, snorkeling, or paddleboarding. You’re also likely to see sea turtles up on the beach.
7. Wai’anapanapa State Park
This is Maui’s famous black sand beach. Besides its stunning color, the park offers myriad modes of exploration. You can dip into the waters, jump from the cliffs, or poke around the freshwater caves.
8. Napili Bay
This is one of Maui’s hidden gems. You’re likely to find space to move at Napili. And we should hope it stays that way. Come morning, the waters of the bay are smooth as a sheet of ice, making for perfect snorkeling conditions.
9. Pa’ako Beach
Pa’ako Beach is sometimes also referred to as “Secret Cove” because it’s hidden away. Go for some privacy, just be forewarned: the beach is clothing optional — either impetus to go or to find another cove, depending on your attitude.
10. Kaihalulu Beach
If you’re looking for a unique beach experience, head to Kaihalulu for its stunning red sands. The colors on the shore make this the perfect place to contemplate the beauty of nature — and maybe partake in some cliff-diving for a unique view of it.