Wondering what the best beaches in Maui are?  Maui has coastlines of beautiful beaches that you’ll be overwhelmed with the array of choices.  Maui, known also as “The Valley Isle,” is the second largest Hawaiian island and it does NOT have a  shortage of sandy escapes.

If you’re only visiting for a short time then chances are you won’t be able to test out every beach to determine which one is your favorite. Thats why I did all the leg work and tested all the beaches out myself.  I know, I know it was a tough job but someone had to do it.  I’ve had almost a decade to perfect my beach bumming and sunset watching skills. 

Check out these articles for help planning your trip to Maui

best beaches in maui

Maui on a budget

I have the beaches listed by the area that they are located, North, South, East or West.

best beaches in west maui

Floating at Baby Beach in Lahaina Maui

baby beach

This is the closest beach to my house in Lahaina so of course it has to make the best beaches in Maui list.  This family friendly beach is the one beach on Maui that you can almost always guarantee there to be sun.  The shallow, calm waters make it the perfect beach for families with young children, hence the name Baby Beach.  There is an outer exposed reef that protects the beach creating a shallow area for children to swim without fear of getting knocked down by a wave or caught in a rip current.  Baby Beach gets very busy on the weekends.

Maui Beach Guide

slaughterhouse

Slaughterhouse is a great beach for boogie boarding and body surfing especially in the winter.  To view the beach from above is dramatic as cliffs tower on each side.  Most of the year the beach is full of sand and in the afternoon you’ll get shade from the iron trees that back the beach.  Parking is a bitch with about 20 different parking spots.  Don’t leave anything valuable in your car, the walk down the stairs to the beach takes you far which makes your car an easy target.

Ka'anapali beach on West Maui

Ka’anapali beach

Ka’anapali Beach is as perfect as they get.  This wide, mile long beach is home to several resorts, ocean view restaurants and high end shopping.  On the far end (north) of Ka’anapali Beach is Black Rock which offers cliff jumping and great snorkeling.  I saw the biggest turtle of my life here, TWICE the size of me!  Although this is area is saturated in tourists, it doesn’t take away from her beauty.

airports

This is my go to beach when I want to float, drink a seltzer and hang out with my girlfriends.  This beach has great facilities like a restroom, picnic tables and a lawn area to hang out in.  The large sandy beach is always inviting and less crowded the more south you go.

Napili Bay

Napili Bay is a perfect crescent shaped bay.  This beach is popular with families as the resorts surrounding it are mid range resorts.  This is a great beach for swimming as getting into the water is all sand and it gets deeper quicker than most of the gentle sloped beaches I have mentioned on this list.  When waters are calm be on the look out for turtles cruising around.  If you’re here between 2 and 5 pm be sure to hit up the Sea House for happy hour.  It’s one of my favorite happy hours on Maui and gives great views of Napili Bay.   If you’re not staying at a resort nearby, parking is very limited so come early.

Flemings Beach on West Maui

d.t. flemings

This world class beach is less developed than touristy Ka’anapali Beach but offers full facilities and sits at the bottom of the Ritz-Carlton.  Shaded by ironwood trees this beach is popular with the locals.  A strong rip current  and big waves are common here.  This is a great beach to surf or boogie board in the winter months when there is a swell.

best beaches in south maui

I personally think the best beaches in Maui are on the South side of the island. 

I'm Jess Traveling

big beach

Officially named Makena Beach & Oneloa Beach, this beach gets the honor of being my favorite beach on Maui.  I mean whats not to love, it is well over a half a mile long and pretty wide for Maui standards.  That means it never seems crowded even though the parking lot will be a different story.
Facing the ocean on the north side of the beach you can climb over some lava rock to get an aerial view of this master piece. Once you’re up top you can continue down to the other side to go to Little Beach if you’re feeling adventurous. I will warn you that Little Beach is a nude beach and if you go on a Sunday night you’ll be able to participate in a naked drum circle.
Secrets Beach

secrets beach

This not so secret beach is a popular beach where the secret is the entrance.  In order to get to this beach you have to take a sandy path dotted with lava rocks around to get to this gorgeous crescent bay.  The wide, shallow, sandy shore makes this beach a pleasure to spend the day at.  On the North end of the beach you’ll see an expensive house that is Steven Tyler’s, he’s got good taste.
Best Maui Beaches KAM III with I'm Jess Traveling

kam III

What’s not to love about this beach.  It has all the facilities you could need i.e. showers, grills, restrooms, large lawn perfect for large gatherings or birthdays and it even has lifeguards on duty.  Kam III has the most consistent South Maui shore breaks, perfect for boogie boarding.  This is a great beach for snorkeling, plus there’s always turtles feeding around the lava rocks that surround the beach.  Beware of crowds on holidays and the weekends, this makes the best beaches in Maui list because of its popularity with tourists and locals alike.
Best Maui Beaches Wailea Beach with I'm Jess Traveling

wailea beach

Nestled at the foot of the Grand Wailea and the Four Seasons is Wailea Beach.  This picture perfect beach is lined with palm trees a couple high end luxury resorts and has views of Kaho’olawe, Molokini and Lana’i.  This beach is great for swimming as it’s all sand making it easy to get in and out of the water.  Post up and relax your day away.  Did I mention they also have showers?!
Best Maui Beaches Polo Beach

polo beach

Located next to Wailea beach is Polo beach.  This is another beach that has lots of facilities that always make for a pleasant beach experience.  This includes, showers, grills, picnic tables, and restrooms.  The beach itself is a pair crescent bays that joined together creating Polo Beach.  The North end of the beach has excellent snorkeling but tends to be more crowded due to the proximity to the elegant Fairmont Kea Lani.  Head to the South end of the beach by the Polo Beach Club for thinner crowds.  Sandy entry and gentle slope makes swimming and playing in the water very appeasing here.

best beaches in northshore

Mauis best beaches Baldwin Beach with I'm Jess Traveling

baldwin beach

When I first moved to Maui I lived in Paia and used to frequent this beach daily, if not multiple times a day so it always has a special place in my heart.  Depending on what time of the year it is will depend on how big the beach is because of extreme seasonal erosion.  Don’t be surprised to see topless females and smell wacky tabacky.  Parking can get crazy on the weekends.

best beaches in east maui

Red Sand beach things to do in Hana HI

hana bay 

This hidden beach isn’t easy to access but the small, steep hike is worth the every step.  Located in the town of Hana, you park along side a field next to the Travaasa Hotel parking lot. From here you follow the worn path down over and around to the shore line.  The crescent-shaped beach is cut deep into the rust-red cinder cone, which gives the beach its red sand.  The beach is protected on the ocean side by a wall of jagged black lava rock which adds drama and appeal.  This beach isn’t for everyone as it can be difficult to reach and sometimes even fatal.  Just remember to respect the aina and leave only footprints.
Wai'anapanapa State Park things to do in Hana HI black sand beach

Pa’iloa Beach

Yes this is a stunning black sand beach and she’s located in Wainapanapa State Park close to the town of Hana. This beach of course made my list not only for her shear beauty but for the state park that she resides in. At Wainapanapa State Park there’s a lava tube, the princess pools to jump into, and you theres camping which makes it a popular choice amongst locals and tourists alike.
You can swim at the beach and play in the shore break when theres waves. Theres a maintained path in the park that provides a great areal of the beach. Theres also a foot path that takes you up on the rocks on the left once your on the beach.
This is also a popular stop on the road to Hana and parking is limited.
Things to do in Hana

hamoa beach

Hamoa Beach is picture perfect and can be seen on many postcards leaving Maui.  The crescent bay can be viewed from the road above.  There are stairs that lead down to the black sand with cliffs on either side.  On rough days the surf and current can be strong.  The beach is long and sandy making it an enjoyable beach to swim at.  Parking is limited so be respectful when parking your car.  That means don’t stick out in the road or park wherever you feel like it.

If you plan on staying in Hana, stay at the Aina Kupuna, it’s walkable to Hamoa Beach and Koki Beach.  Its a cute airbnb type housing close to everything to do in Hana.

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