For your little mermaids and mermen, Maui’s coastlines provide ample child-friendly beaches. No matter what part of the island you’re on, you will find a wonderful beach for your family. Here are the six beaches we think are best for families with children of all ages, though we focused on beaches for toddlers and younger children.
Baby Beach at Baldwin Beach (Paia)
The only downside to Baby Beach at Baldwin is the trek from the parking lot (and bathrooms). On the plus side, the walk is along a gorgeous sandy beach. Once you arrive at Baby Beach, as marked by a large off-shore reef that blocks the shore from large waves, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful lagoon with the best tide pools on Maui. The waters here are flat, so they’re perfect for young children. Pro tip: If you Google map “baby beach paia” you’ll find backroads that will take you directly to the beach, thus skipping the long walk down the beach we mentioned above. You’ll still need to make the walk, however, for bathrooms and showers.
Baby Beach in Lahaina
This one is strictly for the toddlers. Blocked by a large reef, Lahaina’s Baby Beach is the perfect place for youngsters to play in the ocean with little fears of being caught by rogue waves. You’ll still need to keep an eye on your kids, as you would in any water situation, but you can rest easy knowing Mother Nature won’t do anything wicked. Older kids, say 5 and up, though, may find this beach a little boring.
Kamaole Beaches (Kihei)
We’ll lump all three of the Kamaole beaches, which run along the south shores of Kihei, together. They all have ample parking, large restrooms, showers and lifeguards. They also have nice sand and just enough wave action to engage older children, without being too rough for the little ones, though this can vary by the day. Occasionally, you’ll see red flags warning of dangerous conditions. If you see these, obviously, proceed with caution. The other nice thing about these beaches are the food and snack options across the street.
Kuau Cove (Paia)
Also called Mama’s Fish House Beach because it’s directly below the famed Paia restaurant. The beach, protected by a large reef, has smooth waters and excellent tide pools. For locals, this is often the first place we take our children snorkeling as the conditions are perfect for learning. Though there are no beach amenities like showers or restrooms, it’s still a wonderful beach for small children.
Though parking can be hard to come by, if you can get to Napili Beach (go early!) you will be rewarded with one of the great beaches in all of Maui. The water here is mostly glassy, though there are days when the surf picks up. Again, use your best judgment. But overall, due to the sheer beauty of the ocean and the sands, this is a beachgoers nirvana. Turtles often frequent the bay and the snorkeling, in calm conditions, is lively enough to keep older kids (and parents) engaged.
Sugar Beach (North Kihei)
Its formal name is Kealia Beach, but this 2.5 mile stretch of beach in North Kihei is more commonly called Sugar Beach or even (yet another) Baby Beach. We like this one because there is ample shade close to the shoreline. Shade at beaches is a bit of rare thing on Maui. The water here is generally calm. With 2.5 miles to play with, you will always have plenty of room to spread out and build giant sand castles!
Where are you favorite family beaches? Let us know in the comments below.