Famous Maui Beaches
from Makena to Honolua Bay
#1 Makena Beach aka Big Beach
Makena Beach is one of the largest beaches on Maui with nearly a mile of pristine water, gorgeous orange and white sand, and spectacular views of volcanic islands, Molokini and Kaho’olawe. The Maui beach is only minutes away for visitors staying in Wailea or Kihei. With little reef and development nearby, the water shines a bright turquoise color from the clear sand bottom. On the right side of the beach, there is a legendary hill called Pu’u Ola’i, formed from ocean waves and lava during an ancient volcanic eruption. Makena beach is perfect for Maui activities like swimming, sunbathing, and family picnics. Amenities of the beach include portapotties, picnic tables, trash bins, and parking.
#2 Kaanapali Beach
Located two miles north of Lahaina, Kaanapali Beach is one of West Maui’s signature beaches. With nearly three miles of white sand and crystal clear water, the beach is excellent for all kinds of ocean activities, like swimming, parasailing, boogie boarding, and snorkeling. Visitors can access the center of Kaanapali beach through the Whalers Village Shopping Center, an open air mall with world class boutiques and restaurants. On the right side of the beach, there is a cliff made from lava rocks, called “Black Rock”, a popular spot for cliff diving. Every night before sunset, a spectacular ceremony occurs where a diver lights the torches on the cliff before diving into the Pacific Ocean. The amount of things to do in Maui’s signature beach is pretty much endless.
#3 Kapalua Bay
Formerly known as Old Fleming Beach, Kapalua Bay was the first beach on Maui to be named “America’s Best Beach”. Located at the southwestern tip of Kapalua, the sheltered beach is the safest and most peaceful swimming spot for things to do in Maui’s ocean. With vibrant marine life and gentle breaking waves, the crescent shaped beach is one of the best locations on the island for snorkeling and scuba diving. Packed with amenities like public restrooms, showers, and a beach activities desk, Kapalua is perfect for families or couples looking for a quieter beach day.
#4 Hamoa Beach
Located on the east side of Maui, this crescent shaped beach features lush vegetation, clear waters, and salt and pepper colored sand. Surfed exclusively by Hawaiian royalty during ancient times, this Maui beach is now a popular surf break for visitors and locals alike. Hamoa Beach is the perfect place for decompressing and relaxing with its towering palm trees and gorgeous volcanic coastline. Public restrooms and showers are available for visitors nearby at the Travaasa Hana Hotel.
#5 Honokalani Black Sand Beach
Located at Wai’anapanapa State Park on the road to Hana, Honokalani Beach offers infamous black sands formed from the battering of lava flows and ocean waves for a thousand years. The Maui beach park is great for Maui activities like picnics, bird watching, and unique photo opportunities. The stark contrast between the colors of the bright blue ocean, lush greenery, black rocks, and white ocean foams make this one of the most picturesque beaches on Maui. However, swimming on the beach must be approached with caution as fierce currents sweep through the bay. The beach park has large parking lots, picnic tables, showers, camping areas, restrooms, and even rental cabins available to rent.
#6 Honolua Bay
Located just north of Kapalua, Honolua Bay boasts one of the most incredible beaches for snorkeling and diving for its abundant marine life. Overflowing with coral reef formations, schools of tropical fish, and Green Hawaiian Sea Turtles, Honolua Bay is a marine reserve important to residents. During the winter season, the rocky beach is a popular spot for surfing with its hollow and powerful waves offering long rides. Honolua Bay is a definite must for visitors looking for a spectacular snorkeling and diving location with a diverse marine life or surfing one of the most perfect waves in all of Hawaii.More Maui Beaches Check out the Aloha Stoked Beach section for more information on Maui’s world-famous beaches!