Maui Beaches & Parks
Maui is a very active and busy place with lots to see and do on the one hand and, on the other hand, Maui offers many ways to simply leave everything behind and fall into deep rest and relaxation in a quiet corner of paradise. Maui offers both with a warm smile and aloha.
Maui Beaches are consistently ranked among the best in the world. Whether you want to lounge around, find seclusion, or play in the beautiful Pacific Ocean, there is a beach for you on Maui.
This is one of the world’s top windsurfing and surfing spots, offering both waves and wind to the adventurous. Its location almost guarantees waves year round with the biggest waves
coming during the winter. Warning! This is not a spot for beginners, and swimming is risky here! Restroom facilities, lifeguards and Small BBQ areas are available. There are also plenty of viewing spots that will allow you to check out the
wave action. Free parking is available in one of two lots.
Just east of Paia Bay is Baldwin Beach. Baldwin offers the largest stretch of beach on the North Shore. Restrooms and BBQs are available.
Baby Beach on the east end of Baldwin is popular with families. It is protected from big waves by a reef located just off the beach. No facilities available.
Central Maui Beaches
Kanaha Beach Park
Kanaha Beach Park is another area that is popular with windsurfers and kiteboarders. While it still can have very big waves, it is more forgiving than Ho’okipa. Numerous BBQs, plentiful shade and restroom facilities make this a popular weekend spot for locals.
East Maui Beaches
Waianapanapa State Park
This park is on the way to Hana, right on the ocean. An ancient heiau (sacred outdoor arrangement of stones) and burial sites are near. Many hikes, excellent swimming, black sand beaches, and freshwater caves offer the visitor much to do. The natural beauty of the area is magnificent and quite unforgettable.
Old, somewhat dilapidated cabins can be rented with a permit for under $30 per night, and early reservations are recommended. The tent camping area supports a limited number of people and often fills up weeks in advance.
Hana Highway, near Mile Marker 32, Hana, Hawaii
Telephone: (808) 984-8109.
Located just outside of Hana, this beautiful public beach shares some facilities with the
Hotel Hana Maui. The mixture of black and white sand gives this Maui Beach a salt and pepper
appearance. Sea cliffs and lush vegetation surround the beach. Offshore is the coconut-topped
island of Alau. Restroom and picnic facilities are available.
Red Sand Beach
Located on the far side of Ka’uiki Hill south of Hana Bay is Kaihalulu, better known as
Red Sand Beach. The sand gets its red-black color from the crumbling cinder cone hill that
surrounds the bay. Swimming is poor except when the ocean is very calm. The path to the
beach is slippery due to the crumbling cinder and pine needles from ironwood trees —
but the view of the red sand against the blue sea bracketed by the green ironwood trees
and a rocky lava sea wall is beautiful.
South Maui Beaches
This long sandy beach is a favorite with both tourists and locals. There are limited facilities
on Sugar beach, but this is a great beach for long walks.
Charley Young Beach
Charley Young Beach offers nice sand, good shelter from the wind, mellow waves and a convenient
location in the center of Kihei. Port-a-potties are available.
Kamaole Beach Parks
Located in the heart of Kihei are the three Kamaole Beach Parks. “Kam I” —
as it is called by locals — offers the biggest beach of the three with great swimming.
Kam II is the smallest and most secluded of the beach parks (see picture to right).
Kam III has a nice beach and swimming area with a large grassy park area that draws throngs of locals and visitors alike. All three beaches offer rest room and picnic facilities.
Located between the Kamaole Beach Parks and Wailea is another beautiful stretch of beach. With lots of sand and a gentle drop off into the ocean, this is a great place for swimming. It also tends to be less crowded than other South Kihei beaches. Shower facilities are available at the park’s entrance.
The Wailea beach area actually consists of several beaches connected by a nice walkway
along the Wailea coastline. This makes the walkway a popular area for a beautiful stroll.
Facilities are available.
Makena Beach State Park
The locals call this beach Big Beach. Free from hotel and condo development, this stretch of sand offers great walking and swimming. The summertime brings good-sized waves for bodysurfing and boogie boarding. Extreme caution should be exercised by novices as the waves often break in very shallow water. The more adventurous can try Little Beach, just past the large cinder cone hill on one end, where clothing is optional, even if technically illegal.
West Side Beaches
This area offers fantastic summertime snorkeling and diving and arguably the best winter
time waves on Maui. This is not a beginners’ spot as big swells and large crowds make it
a challenge. The women’s professional surfing tour concludes its season at Honolua Bay
in Early December. There are no facilities at Honolua Bay, but the scenic views and crystal
clear waters make it a favorite for islanders and tourists.
Located in the bay just south of Kapalua is another one of Maui’s gems. Napili Bay offers excellent snorkeling and swimming, and a pristine white sand beach — a more secluded and intimate alternative to the more crowded Kaanapali. Napili Bay also offers full facilities.
Kaanapali Beach won the 2003 award for best beach in the US. It is also known as Dig Me Beach among locals. It offers a wide sandy beach with great snorkeling and swimming in crystal blue waters. A concrete path runs along the entire length of the beach. It offers
full facilities and is close to numerous shops and restaurants.
Warning: Maui’s beaches are beautiful, but certain conditions
can be dangerous. Visitors and residents alike should exercise caution when near the ocean.