On Maui, we’re blessed with beaches for all occasions. Whether you like to body surf, build sand castles or play with your keiki in 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 three Kamaole beaches in Kihei. We prefer this one for families because there’s a little bit of everything for everyone. On the far north and south sides of the beach, you can generally find decent waves for body surfing. The rest of the beach is fairly calm, though, during the summer months, make sure to check for red “high surf” flags. If you see them, it may not be safe for the little ones or poor swimmers. The one thing this beach lacks is sufficient shade. So, we recommend you pack a beach umbrella if you want to stay sheltered from the sun. The beach has bathrooms, showers and is located across the street from shops and dining establishments. There’s also free parking at a large lot across the street.
Best Beach on the Road to Hana: Wai’anapanapa State Park
Located at mile marker 32, you’ll find this beach just prior to reaching Hana Town. Known for it’s silky black sands, you’ll definitely want to pull over and spend some time here. Beyond the beach, there are also accessible fresh water sea caves, an ancient pictograph, hiking trails, camping and much more.
Best Beach for Cliff Jumping: Black Rock at Ka’anapali Beach
Located at the tip of beach, we absolutely love Black Rock. It’s relatively easy to climb, and there are different jump points depending on how adventurous you are. As an added bonus, check out the nightly sunset torch lighting and dive exhibition.
Best Beach for Body Surfing: Makena State Park (AKA Big Beach)
During the summer months, the surf can pound you… in a good way. The beach seems to stretch on forever (1.5 miles of beach!) So, if you’re not a fan of crowds, you can can generally find a wave to call your own. The only downsides to Big Beach are the bathroom situation (porta potties) and the lack of 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