February 13, 2023 | 15 minutes read
Top 25 Best Beaches in Maui for Snorkeling and More
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Looking for the best Maui beaches?
We’ve got you covered! Our list of the top 25 best beaches in Maui includes some of the most popular spots for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, and more.
So, whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or want to explore the island’s amazing coral reefs, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience!
With its seemingly endless coastline and variety of activities, you can create your perfect beach getaway plan. Snorkel with stunning fish, paddleboard in secluded bays, or simply lounge on the sand and listen to the waves crashing against the shore – it’s all waiting for you on the beaches in Maui.
Makena Beach, or Big Beach, is one of the best Maui beaches. Big Beach is a gorgeous stretch of sand situated on the south shore of Maui.
With an impressive length of over three-thousand feet (around 1km), this famous Maui beach is a wonderful spot for exploring or relaxing. Its unique crescent-shaped shoreline boasts spectacular views and lush landscape, along with relaxed crystalline waters and gentle rolling waves.
Visitors from around the world come to South Maui beaches to take advantage of the picturesque locations for swimming, paddleboarding, scuba diving or snorkeling tours, sunbathing, and other outdoor activities.
Makena Beach also comes equipped with convenient, family-friendly facilities, making it easy to take a break with amenities like restrooms, showers, and beachside restaurants. Big Beach is certainly a Maui beach worth adding to your itinerary!
North of Big Beach, you can find its little brother – Little Beach, another beautiful south Maui beach. Little Beach can be accessed via a path through the cliffs and can be as busy as Big Beach, including with nude beachgoers.
Keep in mind, though, that Little Beach can be hard to access due to the need to climb, and may not be suitable for everyone.
One of the absolute best beaches on Maui, Ka’anapali Beach is the island’s most famous beach. It has about three miles of golden sand. It’s perfect for a day of swimming and shoreline activities.
One of the main attractions at Ka’anapali Beach is its many accessible reefs that offer great opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling tours, with colorful schools of fish and diverse coral decorating the ocean floor.
You may see pairs of ornate butterfly fish, “Kikakapu” in Hawaiian, drifting over the reef. These beautiful fish form lasting pair bonds and will converge on the same exact pattern over their life together. It’s even rumored that when one partner dies, the other will soon follow, unusual in the fish world.
Many beachgoers also enjoy walking down the path parallel to this Maui beach, which showcases plenty of Ka’anapali’s lush tropical foliage.
Beyond the volcanic rock formations, there are also many facilities located near this beach, like restaurants, hotels, shopping areas, canoe clubs, and golf courses.
All in all, Ka’anapali is one of the best Maui beaches and truly a one-stop paradise!
Located on the northwest coast of Maui, Honolua Bay is an exquisite destination known for its stunning views of the West Maui mountains, rocky beach, and dramatic underwater scenery. This breathtaking 45-acre marine preserve provides plenty of space for all to enjoy the warm sun and marine life.
With a variety of activities, from swimming to hiking and snorkeling, this Maui beach leaves something for all ages to discover. Snorkeling tours are offered during the summer months, where visitors can explore the marine species inside the bay.
Protection from fishing has allowed fish populations to rebound, particularly predators that may be harder to see elsewhere, like the sleek silvery trevallies and jacks.
Large schools of the fish locals call “Manini” drift like butterflies over the reef, their black and white stripes earning them the common name Convict Tangs.
It’s worth checking a forecast or asking a local what the swell is like when you’re planning to visit this Maui beach, as the rocky shoreline can make snorkeling challenging on days with big surf.
There are also restrooms available nearby. All in all, Honolua Beach is more than just a swimming spot – it’s an excursion perfect for any nature lover!
Kapalua Beach is a beautifully scenic Maui beach. Approximately 2.5 miles (4 km), this gorgeous long beach is perfect for a relaxing and enjoyable outing. It’s also an excellent snorkeling spot with 5-6 ft moray eels swimming between the coral heads.
Apart from the obvious appeal of its crystal-clear waters and blissful views, Kapalua has several amenities, including public restrooms, outdoor showers, and changing rooms.
Situated about three miles south of Hana in majestic East Maui, the world-renowned Hamoa Beach is a crowning gem of the archipelago. Despite its small size of only 1,000 ft of sand, it attracts a wide array of beach and activity seekers alike.
The serene turquoise waters at Hamoa Beach are a splendor to bathe in. What’s more, there are spectacular opportunities for scuba and snorkeling around coral reefs, as well as frequent sea turtle sightings.
On the reefs, you can watch brightly colored parrotfish (“Uhu” in Hawaiian) of various species, often regaled in blues and greens, dutifully browsing rocks and corals alike to gobble up the algae.
They are named for their beaklike mouth, bright colors, and tendency to propel themselves through the water by flapping their pectoral fins on either side of their body. This gives them a distinct resemblance to parrots.
Although perhaps a bit silly looking with their permanent smiles, they are a seriously important part of the reef. Without them, algae can overgrow and kill the corals!
Facilities such as showers, lifeguards, and picnic tables are all present at the beach. Waianapanapa State Park and Hana Bay Beach Park lay just next to Hamoa Beach, inviting plenty of adventures further away from shore.
A true pearl in clear sight, this most photographed beach is just waiting for you to explore!
Baldwin Beach Park in Maui is a stunning location in Maui’s North Shore and is roughly 55.87 acres in size.
This Maui beach park is known to offer something for everyone. You can relax on the soft sand or take a snorkeling tour to explore the coral reef teeming with vibrant sea life.
Those who are looking for a more in-depth adventure (pun intended!) can try their hand at scuba diving at Baldwin Beach and discover even more wonders that reside beneath the ocean’s surface.
There’s a good chance you’ll come across Hawaii’s state fish, the Reef Triggerfish, otherwise known locally as humuhumunukunukuapua’a!
If you’re lucky, you may even come across the intricately patterned Spotted Eagle Rays.
Baldwin Beach is one of the best beaches in Maui for families. The white sand beach has restroom facilities, a barbecue area, and picnic tables, as well as ample parking nearby in case you’re looking to make a day of it.
Baldwin Beach Park has also just opened up new showers so visitors can comfortably clean off after their time at the beach!
A short distance from Baldwin Beach Park, you can find Pā’ia Secret Beach. It’s one of the more quiet and more secluded beaches on Maui, where clothing is optional. There are no facilities. So, make sure that you bring everything you need and do not leave litter behind.
Napili Bay (or Napili Beach, as it’s often called) is a beautiful white sand beach tucked away on the northwest coast of Maui. Around 0.7 miles (1km) in length, Napili Beach boasts crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming or snorkeling.
For those wanting to explore a little deeper beneath the waves, there are scuba diving tours available. When you’re done with your underwater escapades, take a rest under one of the many beach umbrellas, or get active in one of the two nearby grassy areas, which are great for playing frisbee or football.
Beachgoers can also rent bikes, chairs, and umbrellas from nearby stores if needed. Napili Beach is truly an unforgettable way to spend a day in Maui!
Black Rock, a large lava-rock promontory in Kaanapali Beach in Maui, is one of the most popular destinations for locals and tourists alike. Approximately 3 miles long, the beach offers an opulent escape.
What is special about this beach? Native Hawaiians consider Black Rock to be a sacred site, and it offers breathtaking views.
Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or taking an outrigger canoe scuba tour and seeing a profusion of reef fish while they are at it! Schools of yellowfin goatfish probe sandy bottom with their beardlike-barbels.
After a day splashing around in the gorgeous waters at Black Rock, visitors can find all the amenities they need. Black Rock has showers, lounge chairs, and convenient places to store items during their time here.
Kaihalulu Beach, or Red Sand Beach, is located in the eastern part of Maui. This Maui beach may be the best for you if you are looking for something that feels intimate and exclusive.
Kaihalulu Beach feels like a private beach because it technically is!
This little beach is crescent-shaped and relatively short. With its rich iron-colored sand and crystal-clear waters, the red sand beach offers visitors a truly unforgettable experience.
Moreover, because of its prime snorkeling and scuba location, there are several tour companies offering tours around this area. This beautiful beach is perfect for a day out playing beach games.
Altogether, Kaihalulu Beach is an idyllic spot offering world-class sandy fun combined with beautiful Hawaiian scenery.
Wailea Beach is a gem that draws South Maui locals and visitors from across the globe. Located just 17 miles south of Kahului Airport, it’s easily accessible, and its striking beauty quickly reveals why it is one of the most beautiful beaches on Maui.
This long stretch measures approximately 3.2 miles (~5km). Almost deserted during weekdays and bustling with activities on weekends, Wailea Beach can accommodate various leisure needs, including swimming, fishing, snorkeling, beachcombing, and sunbathing. Its shallow waters are particularly inviting for those looking for a relaxed getaway from the regular beach scene.
During summer months, snorkeling tours by boat to Molokini Crater or Turtle Town can be arranged at nearby resorts. Additionally, lifeguards are stationed at peak times to ensure your safety.
Wailea Beach also has public showers, which make cleaning up after your day at the family-friendly beach easy and convenient. All in all, Wailea Beach is everything you could possibly want in a beach experience!
While in the area, you can also venture a mile south and explore Polo Beach near Kea Lani Beach Hotel. This South Maui beach is popular with visitors and locals and has showers, restrooms, parking, and grills. Unlike Wailea Beach, however, there is no lifeguard.
One of the best beaches Maui has to offer is Ho’okipa Beach Park. Located near the historic Paia town on the North Shore, the entire beach park is approximately 8.4 square miles, has a narrow beach, and provides a variety of opportunities for entertainment.
The waters here are renowned for exceptional windsurfing and surfing conditions. However, there are also plenty of options for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and beach walks.
Taking scuba or snorkeling excursions near the shoreline is another great way to explore this beautiful part of Hawaii. Those looking to picnic at Ho’okipa Beach Park can make use of its many facilities, such as shaded tables, restroom areas, showers, and cooking grills.
La Perouse Bay, located on Maui’s southwest shoreline, is considered one of the most beautiful Maui beaches. An area of more than 800 acres and 5 miles of shoreline make up the bay, almost completely enclosed on one of its sides.
The crystal-clear ocean waters offer fantastic snorkeling opportunities. However, it’s something else that makes this beach so special: wild spinner dolphins frequent these waters.
Spinner dolphins are amongst the most athletic of all dolphins, which is saying a lot, and get their name from their incredible aerial displays leaping from the surf, rotating like a top at high speeds before crashing back into the water. Definitely an incredible sight to behold!
Those wishing to experience this up close can book a scuba or snorkeling tour and observe the playful dolphins in their natural habitat. La Perouse Bay also offers plenty for beachgoers looking for a sunny afternoon. Facilities such as restrooms and showers are free, only needing a Hawai’i State Park parking fee.
Whether you’re here to dive or sunbathe, La Perouse Bay is truly one of Maui’s most amazing destinations.
Black Sand Beach is one of the most visually stunning Maui beaches the island has to offer. In fact, it’s one of the best black sand beaches across the globe. It features distinctively dark, volcanic sand that contrasts starkly against the lush vegetation and cliffs in the background.
Adventurous visitors can opt to try their hand at a two-hour scuba or snorkeling tour, which offers ample underwater viewing opportunities of the rich sea life. Ample parking and restroom facilities also ensure that visitors can fully enjoy their experience without any concerns. All in all, a trip to Black Sand Beach will be an unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss out on!
The gorgeous Palauea or White Rocks Beach is considered by some as one of the best Maui beaches. It is located in South Maui near Makena and Wailea. This beach features powder-soft, white sand and inviting waters.
The unique rocks on this beach provide great photo opportunities and also make it a favorite among snorkelers who love seeing the colorful fish resting inside its various small pools.
Other activities you can enjoy at Palauea or White Rocks Beach include swimming, sunbathing, watching Hawaiian green sea turtles come ashore, surfing during winter months, tidepool exploration, and more.
Despite all this beauty and activities, this scenic beach isn’t among the favorite Maui beaches for many visitors as it lacks amenities, such as showers, restrooms, and picnic facilities. That said, if you’re looking for a beach with fewer people, this may be the spot for you.
Baby Beach, or Spreckelsville Beach is one of the best Maui beaches for families. Located in North Shore Maui, Spreckelsville Beach has crisp white sand and beautiful waters.
The spot has become especially popular due to its calm shallow waters that are a great environment for little ones to swim and paddleboard, hence the common name Baby Beach.
It’s a great place to spend a day outdoors, but it also has facilities such as restrooms, showers, and barbecue grills by the parking lot. Activities you can do here include swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, among others, making Baby Beach one of the best locations around Maui for beachgoers of all ages!
Set on Maui’s south shore, Kihei Beach offers golden sand and is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day with the family. Not far from Wailea, it is about 6 miles long and provides ample room for beachgoers to spread out.
Kihei Beach has lovely turquoise waters, and swimming is popular here, although small waves can make it tough for young children.
Moreover, beachgoers can swim out to the distant rock formations offshore or take part in other activities such as boogie boarding or snorkeling. Snorkeling here is a great way to observe colorful fish and Hawaiian green sea turtles!
Along the beach, visitors will find plenty of amenities, including free parking, restrooms, and areas to have a barbecue. It’s ideal for those planning a day-long trip.
All in all, Kihei Beach has it all – a stunning location and good facilities, including barbeque grill spots and restrooms. As a result, it is one of the best beaches Maui has to offer!
Olowalu Beach is located in West Maui, Hawaii, and is approximately half a mile long. West Maui beaches, including Oluwalu, are well known for their extraordinary white sand, pristine waters, and beautiful coral reef that stretches out from the shore.
Swimming and snorkeling are popular activities at Olowalu Beach due to its crystal-clear waters. Visitors can often spot turtles playing in the rolling waves towards its north end.
For those who want a bit more adventure, there are several caves scattered along nearby Olowalu Reef. Plenty of parking spaces are available for beachgoers looking to spend an afternoon relaxing or kick-start their day of exploring before heading off elsewhere on the island.
Kamaole Beach Park is one of the most popular spots in Maui, located near Wailea. With a length of about 1.5 miles, it showcases some of the most spectacular sunsets against turquoise ocean waters.
This beach park includes three beautiful beaches, nicknamed Kam I, Kam II, and Kam III. The sandy beaches provide beautiful views and diverse marine life for visitors to enjoy. Kamaole Beach Park offers swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayak exploration opportunities, as well as time just to sit back and soak in the sunshine.
The north end of Kam I is known by locals as Charley Young Beach, named after a military reporter who built a house there after WWII. Charley Young Beach is popular with locals and doesn’t tend to have many visitors. It’s well-known for being a great snorkeling location.
The beach park includes facilities such as showers, restrooms, picnic tables, BBQ grills, and even shopping areas. Keep in mind, though, that Charley Young Beach does not have lifeguards.
Additionally, its close proximity to great restaurants makes it easy to share a romantic retreat or enjoy a sunset picnic.
Airport Beach in Maui is a popular destination for beachgoers. This stunning sandy shoreline is located just minutes away from Kapalua-West Maui Airport, making it easily accessible and perfect for taking a rest after landing. This crescent-shaped beach has plenty of space to accommodate many visitors and offers spectacular views of the ocean and nearby islands.
It’s perfect for snorkeling, while activities like body surfing and fishing are also available on its protective reef side.
Airport Beach has parking spots, bathrooms with showers to rinse off after swimming, picnic tables and grills for a fun outdoor cooking activity, food concession stands, public restrooms, as well as beach chairs and umbrellas for rent.
Slaughterhouse Beach is among the best Maui beaches. This great beach has a wide stretch of fine sand and sparkling turquoise water for visitors to enjoy. The size of the beach is approximately several hundred yards, along with a lagoon, making it a great area for swimming and snorkeling.
In addition, Slaughterhouse Beach features fascinating rock formations and lava cliffs, which add to its mystique. Visitors can also lounge in the sun or explore nature trails that are found nearby.
Located at the northernmost end of Ka’anapali Beach, Kahekili Beach Park is one of the best beaches on Maui for swimmers who are not very strong, beginning divers, and first-time snorkelers.
The reef extends almost to the shore. So, you don’t need to swim far to be able to marvel at the sea life. During whale season, which runs from November through May, you can observe whales right from the beach.
Kahekili Beach has ample facilities, such as restrooms, picnic tables, drinking water, a barbeque area, and showers.
Launiupoko Beach Park, located about 3 miles south of Lahaina, may be the best beach in Maui for families. It has a natural ocean pool surrounded by a lava rock wall. It’s only 2 feet deep and is an excellent place for small children to safely enjoy the water. In addition, teh waves are rather small, making it a great place for beginner surfers.
Launiupoko Beach Park has plenty of amenities, including picnic tables, a barbeque area, restrooms, and walking paths.
A long sandy beach between Kihei and Wailea, Keawakapu Beach offers a more peaceful experience than the nearby beaches. While there are plenty of hotels, restaurants, and condos nearby, the beach itself is not commercialized.
There are many tide pools along the coast that make it a great place to snorkel. In addition, you can also swim, stroll, lounge, or enjoy sunrise yoga here.
One thing to keep in mind is that it may not be very pleasant during windy days due to sandblasting.
North of the more popular Ulua Beach, Mokapu Beach is a less crowded and more relaxing beach for swimmers, body boarders, beginner scuba divers, and snorkeling enthusiasts.
The south end of the beach houses coral reefs and colorful marine life nested between lava fingers. The area is approximately 15 feet deep, and there’s much to investigate.
As per facilities, there are plenty nearby, such as restrooms, showers, and garbage bins. However, this beach shares its parking lot with Ulua Beach, where instructors take beginner scuba divers, and it can fill up rather quickly.
Spend a week or two discovering the tropical beauty and hidden coves of Maui beaches with WildVoice. You’ll have an amazing time uncovering its many secluded beaches, including romantic Ka’anapali Beach, stunning Makena Beach, Puamana Beach County Park, and gorgeous Kahului Harbor.
Whether you’re looking to explore marine life snorkeling or just relax under swaying palm trees, you can find it all with WildVoice. With an emphasis on sustainable eco-tourism, you can rest assured that your vacation will be mindful of the local environment and help to preserve it for future generations.
Plan your trip today and experience the best of what Maui has to offer!