Best Beaches On Maui for Every Occasion

best beaches on maui

On Maui, we’re blessed with beaches for all occasions. Whether you like to body surf, build sand castles or play with your kids in the shallow surf, Maui has you covered. Here is a rundown of the best beaches for every type of beachgoer.

Best Family Beach: Kamaole I
Kam I is the first of Kihei’s three Kamaole beaches. It has great waves for body surfing on both the far north and south sides of the beach. The middle portion of the beach is fairly calm, however, it is important to check for red “high surf” flags during the summer months to stay safe. If you see them, it can be dangerous for children and poor swimmers. On the street level, you can find a nice grass area with trees and picnic tables. But if you plan to spend most of your time on the sand remember to bring an umbrella because there is not much natural shade on the beach itself. Kam I has public bathrooms and showers, as well as free parking in a lot across the street.

Best Beach on the Road to Hana: Wai’anapanapa State Park
This beach is located at mile marker 32 right before Hana Town. It is known for its silky black sands and crystal clear water. Beyond the beach, there are also accessible freshwater sea caves, an ancient pictograph, hiking trails, and areas for camping.

Best Beach for Cliff Jumping: Black Rock at Ka’anapali Beach
If you want to go cliff jumping on Maui Black Rock is the place to do it. It is located at the north end of Ka’anapali beach near Whaler’s Village. Black Rock is relatively easy to climb, and there are several different jumping spots to choose from.

Best Beach for Body Surfing: Makena State Park (AKA Big Beach)
During the summer months, the surf can rough but it is perfect for body surfing. The beach stretches 1.5 miles, so if you’re not a fan of crowds you can generally find a wave to call your own. The only downsides to Big Beach are that the bathrooms consist of porta potties and there aren’t any showers.

Best Beach to Watch World Class Athletes: Ho’okipa
Whether it’s surfers in the winter or wind/kite surfers in the summer, located just past Paia Town on the way to Hana, Ho’okipa is one of the best places on the planet to see the world’s most accomplished water sports athletes. There are two parts to this beach park. There’s a great viewing platform on the cliff overlooking the bay. Up there, on most days, you’ll find food trucks and vendors for a quick snack. Down at the actual beach level, there are picnic tables to watch the surfers, and of course, a beach. But, because of the powerful winds and large surf, we don’t actually recommend “laying out” here. Bonus: Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles thrive at Ho’okipa. At sunset, if you look at the beach just under the viewing cliff, you’re likely to see masses of them.

Best Nude Beach: Little Beach
Yep, we’re taking you here. Little Beach is adjacent to Big Beach. To get to Little Beach, you need to climb a simple rock structure at the north end of Big Beach. When you come out on the other side, you’ll see a beautiful secluded, clothing-optional beach. There’s good snorkeling just off the beach. On Sundays, late in the afternoon and into the evening, there’s a usually a drum circle and fire dancing.

We recently published a comprehensive guide to the best beaches in West Maui that you’ll definitely want to check out if you’re staying on the west side.

The waves here on Maui can be fierce. Please, please, please make sure you enter the water cautiously. Some days, it’s obvious that the water is simply too rough. On other days, the riptides can be deceptive. Make sure you read posted signs and ask the lifeguards if you have any questions. Oh, and have fun!

Because we’re curious folks, what are your favorite beaches on Maui? Hit us up on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Instagram @hawaiioceanproject.

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