One of the 137 islands of the Hawaiian archipelago, Maui is home to some of the finest Hawaiian beaches.
Beaches with black sand, red sand, white sand, or golden sand – you name it, Maui has it all.
From quiet beaches for romantic strolls to bustling beaches for family entertainment, Maui’s beautiful beaches have something for everyone.
If you’re planning a trip to Maui, this rundown of the best beaches in Maui will guide you.
North Maui Beaches:
- Baldwin Beach Park
- Spreckelsville Beach
- Ho’okipa Beach Park
- Pāʻia Secret Beach
- Kanaha Beach
South Maui Beaches:
- Kamaole Beaches
- Charley Young Beach
- Wailea Beach
- Makena Beach
- Ulua Beach
- Palauea Beach
- Secret Cove Beach
East Maui Beaches:
- Hana Bay Beach Park
- Hamoa Beach
- Kaihalulu Beach
West Maui Beaches:
- Launiupoko Beach Park
- Ka’anapali Beach
- Kahekili Beach Park
- Kapalua Bay Beach
Image Credit: Baldwin Beach
With a cloud-shrouded mountainous backdrop, Baldwin Beach Park (or simply Baldwin Beach) is known for its sparkling golden sand and breathtaking sunrises.
Baldwin Beach is on Maui’s north shore near the historic Paia town. It’s a family-friendly beach with a calm atmosphere because it is far from the more touristy areas.
The western tip of Baldwin has a large reef that creates a section known as the Baby Beach. Here, you can swim in a shallow, protected pool that is great for beginners.
Baldwin Beach Park is a full-service beach complete with picnic tables, barbeques, public showers & bathrooms, a huge covered pavilion, and lifeguard stations.
Image Credit: Baby Beach – Spreckelsville
One of the most beautiful beaches on Maui Island’s north shore, Spreckelsville Beach has several sections, including Euro Beach and Baby Beach.
Baby Beach is one of the most sought-after beaches for families traveling with kids and toddlers.
A long exposed reef protects the shoreline of Baby Beach from powerful currents and creates a long shallow pool with crystal clear water, meaning it’s safe for kids to swim.
The rest of Spreckelsville Beach is ideal for fishing and windsurfing.
Image Credit: Ho’okipa Beach
Located in north Maui is the famed Ho’okipa Beach, a part of the larger Ho’okipa Beach Park.
Opening into the North Pacific Ocean, Ho’okipa Beach is a haven for watersports enthusiasts.
Surfing, body surfing, snorkeling, paddleboarding, parasailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing are the most popular water activities.
For families and groups, there are picnic tables, parking areas, and restrooms.
Image Credit: Pāʻia Secret Beach
Tucked between Paia Bay and Baldwin Cove, the Pāʻia Secret Beach is easily accessible from the east of Baldwin Beach.
It is a perfect beach to avoid crowds and sunbathe or relax on the golden sand.
The Kahului end of the beach is suitable for nude sunbathing, but the Paia end requires having some clothes on.
Image Credit: Kanaha Beach
Nestled between Spreckelsville Beach and Kahului Bay, people consider Kanaha Beach the birthplace of kiteboarding.
The beach serves as a base for fishermen and canoe clubs and offers spectacular views of the West Maui Mountains.
A nearby campground, volleyball areas, and picnic tables cater to off-water fun seekers. Because it is close to the airport, it can be a great last stop before your flight!
Image Credit: Kamaole Beach Park II
There are three sections here – Kamaole Beach Park I, II, and III. The crescent-shaped Kamaole Beach Park I is the largest and most well-known of the three Kamaole beaches.
Kamaole beaches I and II have calm waters perfect for a wide range of watersports like paddle boarding, boogie boarding, body surfing, and snorkeling.
The shore break at Kamaole Beach III is popular with bodyboarders. South Maui locals like this beach because of the nearby large grass park.
Public facilities include volleyball courts, restrooms, showers, and parking facilities. If you want to explore further, check out Keawakapu Beach to the south and Cove Beach Park to the north.
Image Credit: Charley Young Beach
On Maui’s south shore at the northern end of Kamaole Beach I, you will find Charley Young Beach.
The relaxed atmosphere of the beach and its awe-inspiring sunsets attract tourists and south Maui locals alike.
It has perfect conditions for surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, boogie boarding, etc.
The beach has dark golden soft sand. At its edges, you will find some vertical lava and rock structures. Low tide exposes several tide pools that you can explore with your kids.
You will find portable showers and toilets, but unfortunately, there are no lifeguards on Charley Young Beach.
Image Credit: Wailea Beach
Wailea Beach is one of the most glamorous beaches in south Maui. It offers perfect waters for snorkeling during the winter mornings. Summers can be windy!
This real-life Disney movie location has powdery, golden-hued sand and offers breathtaking views of Molokini Crater, Kaho’olawe, and Lāna’i.
You can enjoy swimming and paddleboarding in clear blue waters. There are plenty of restaurants to satiate your hunger. Other public amenities include restrooms, showers, and a parking lot.
Makena Beach is one of the most popular south Maui beaches. It’s one of the two beaches in Makena State Park. People sometimes refer to it as “Big Beach” or “Oneloa Beach.”
Around 1.5 miles long and 100 feet wide, Makena Beach is Maui’s largest beach. The name is “Big Beach.”
Upon arrival, you’ll be welcomed by a beautiful beach with golden & silver-white sand and aqua-green ocean water, shielded by black lava cliffs.
The lack of development and its tucked-away location within the state park make Makena Beach an ideal choice for people craving solitude.
Dangerous shore breaks make Makena Beach unsuitable for inexperienced swimmers.
Public amenities include picnic areas, restrooms, shower facilities, parking, and food trucks serving delicious meals. I recommend the fish tacos!
The north side of Big Beach has a precarious cliff trail that leads to the smaller Little Beach – a heaven for fire dancers, nudists, and hippies of all kinds.
Little Beach has perfect bodysurfing conditions and remains busy on Sundays. Crowds flock to watch fire dancers putting up a show with burning bras, heated hula hoops, and other props.
Image Credit: Ulua Beach
Quarter-mile-long, Ulua Beach is one of the best beaches on Maui Island’s south shore.
Situated in the Wailea resort area, Ulua is a famous beach for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sport fishing, and spotting Hawaiian sea turtles.
Flanked by a long walking path and a small grassy hill, this beach offers breathtaking views of the West Maui Mountains.
If Ulua Beach is too busy for you, go to the nearby Mokapu beach or Polo beach, which are just as beautiful but less crowded.
Image Credit: Palauea Beach by Kirt Edblom via Flickr
Palauea Beach (aka White Rock Beach) is a serene, hidden coastline with sparkling cerulean water and soft white sand.
Lava rock formations flank this 300-yard-long sandy beach creating a space where turtles, colorful fish, and other marine life forms congregate.
The beach’s gentle slope creates good swimming conditions when the ocean is calm, but note that there is no lifeguard on duty.
Palauea Beach is to the south of the Kea Lani Beach Hotel. Except for a porta-potty, there are no public amenities.
Image Credit: Secret Cove Beach
Secret Cove Beach is the best beach to catch a breathtaking sunset.
With a small white sand coastline and turquoise water backdropped by towering palm trees, Secret Cove Beach offers perfect snorkeling conditions.
Come prepared because there are no public amenities or lifeguards.
Image Credit: Hana Bay Beach Park
Hana Bay Beach Park is a small crescent-shaped beach where you can experience the authentic Hawaiian vibe.
This black sand beach in Hana Bay has the added protection of an outer coral reef, making it one of the most secure beaches in Maui for swimming.
Because of the calm waters, there are no lifeguards on duty. If kids are with you, be vigilant.
Locals frequent the beach for outrigger canoe racing.
There is a snack bar, several picnic facilities, and public restrooms at the beach.
Image Credit: Hamoa Beach
At around 1,000 feet in length, the crescent-shaped Hamoa Beach is a famed golden and white sand beach.
A thin forest of Hala trees lining the beach offers shade during hot, sunny days.
Hamoa Beach is one of the best family-friendly beaches on Maui Island and features well-maintained showers, restrooms, and street parking.
The beach is known for its powerful surf due to the lack of outlying coral reefs. It is better to stay in shallow waters.
Image Credit: Kaihalulu Beach
Nestled at the base of a lava cinder cone, Kaihalulu Beach is a breathtaking red sand beach in east Maui.
The protected water wears surreal hues of blue, and it is perfect for snorkeling and swimming.
You need to hike down a narrow, steep rocky path to access this beautiful Maui beach. You must be extra careful during rain.
Image Credit: Launiupoko Beach Park
Launiupoko Beach Park in west Maui is a local favorite for family hangouts and birthday parties.
A lava rock cliff creates a small lagoon where beginners and children can swim safely in the clear water.
Also, the beach is an ideal destination for standup paddleboarding and longboard surfing.
There are several picnic facilities, restrooms, and two parking areas.
Image Credit: Ka’anapali Beach
Known to offer a classic beach resort experience, Ka’anapali Beach is a beautiful golden-white sand beach in west Maui.
The northern end has the 16-foot Black Rock Cliff, famous for cliff jumping. Black Rock is also ideal for scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming.
You may spot the majestic Hawaiian green sea turtles while snorkeling. It is also one of the best Maui beaches to catch sight of migrating whales from January to March.
Vigilant on-duty lifeguards are present on the beach. Sadly, restrooms are available only to hotel guests.
Image Credit: Kahekili Beach Park
Kahekili Beach Park (aka Airport Beach) is the northernmost beach in the Ka’anapali resort area. Kahekili Beach Park sports a long beach with soft sand, perfect for barefoot walks.
Limited commercialization provides a quieter beach experience, and the proximity of the coral reef to the shore ensures that the surf is mild.
It is perfect for amateur swimmers and first-time snorkelers. The closeness of the reef means you witness marine life, like plenty of fish and green sea turtles, close to the beach.
Image Credit: Kapalua Beach
With its golden sandy coastline and warm & calm turquoise water, Kapalua Beach is perfect for family fun.
A cove protects the shoreline from strong currents and waves, making the beach ideal for scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming.
The northern end of Kapalua Beach has excellent visibility making marine life spotting easy. Whale-watching off the coast is a popular winter activity here.
Maui has a warm tropical climate, making it a year-round tourist destination. However, June, July, and August (summer) are busy with high prices.
September is the shoulder month when you can enjoy the lowest prices. October and November also see fewer visitors and low prices.
December through March will see a tourist spike, and the prices will swell because of Christmas, New Year, and whale season (January to mid-March).
April and May are shoulder months with favorable temperatures, lower prices, and fewer crowds.
Digital nomads and long-term travelers can enjoy better deals in April, May, September, October, and November.
It depends on how you define “best.” The leeward side (south and west Maui) has the best beaches if “best” means golden sand, excellent snorkeling opportunities, great swimming conditions, gentle waves for amateur surfers, and plenty of sunshine.
The Baby Beach section of Spreckelsville Beach is the safest beach in Maui for kids. A shallow clear pool created by an exposed off-shore reef prevents strong currents from reaching the shore, allowing children to swim safely.
Hidden behind a rock wall, Secret Cove Beach is one of the best Maui beaches for a beach wedding. The golden-white sand, sprinkled lava rocks, wind-kissed palm trees, and brilliant turquoise water make a sublime spot for a memorable wedding.
There is no shortage of beaches in Maui, no matter which side of the Hawaiian island you visit.
From other-worldly black sand beaches to fiery red sand beaches and everything in between – Maui has beaches that will captivate your senses with their sheer beauty.
Family fun, a romantic stroll, an exciting picnic, a memorable wedding, water sports – you name it, and you will find a beach catering to your needs.
All Maui beaches are public beaches. Please note that Maui beaches are tobacco-free, and alcohol consumption is not allowed. Respect the rules, and you will enjoy a memorable vacation in a beach paradise.
I hope this list of the best Maui beaches has helped you plan your trip. Enjoy!