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Maui Swimming Beaches

Here are some beaches that we visited in our time in Maui. There are many beautiful beaches and parks, usually within a short drive of any accommodations either for swimming or surfing. I have tried to group the beaches into those best for swimming or surfing. Areas that are best for snorkeling on Maui are listed separately. A few of these parks are near large hotels and parking is limited. Also, certain things offered at the beach (lounge chairs, etc.) may be only available for hotel guests. We probably enjoyed Wailea beach the most and went there a few times during our stay. Please remember that offshore winds and currents can be powerful and they can change suddenly, especially if a storm is approaching or offshore.

Maui Swimming beaches


Hamoa beach - adjacent to the Hotel Hana Maui. Nice beach surrounded by vegetation, but a bit of a hike from parking on the road (none near the beach). One caution is that there are NO protecting reefs here and the surf can get pretty high. Caution is advised. Amenities: restrooms, picnic facilities.

Hana Beach Park - fairly safe swimming here, but avoid going out to far (beyond the lighthouse). Amenities: picnic tables, restrooms, showers, changing rooms.

Honokalani black sand beach - not really black sand but small, smooth, lava pebbles. Arches and lava tube sea cave are around the beach. If you have a calendar from the islands that shows a black sand beach, this is probably it. Amenities: restrooms, showers, picnic facilities, swimming, snorkeling, diving, kiking trails. Camping area and cabins available at adjacent Wai‘anapanapa State Park.

Red sand beach - volcanic red sand beach. The path to the beach is pretty slippery due to decaying wet vegetation on the path and the swimming is not that great, but the view was nice with the red sand and blue water. A secluded place if you are looking for a tan with no lines... Amenities: none.


Honokowai Beach Park - offers good swimming, and sunbathing. A favorite location for famalies staying at the number of condos around Honokowai as the water is pretty tame in this area. Nearby stores and shops make it convinient for planning a picnic. See below fo some pictures from just north of Honokowai beach park. Amenitites: picnic area, BBQ grills (6), playground equipment, restrooms.

Honokowai Honokowai



Black Rock - northernmost section of Ka‘anapali Beach. Easy access to beachfront hotels, shopping and restaurants via a walkway. As is typical with the beaches around hotels, parking for beach access is minimal but is available. We once had to pay for valet parking to get to the beach. There can sometimes be strong currents around the rock itself. Amenities: none.

Ka‘anapali Beach - the southernmost section of Ka‘anapali Beach was named "America's Best Beach" in 2003. See left for a rainbow that we saw on our visit there! Amenities: restrooms, showers.


Kanaha Beach Park - close to the largest city on Maui, this beach offers excellent windsurfing conditions offshore and decent swimming. Amenities: picnic area, BBQ grills, volleyball courts (bring your own net and balls), restrooms, showers, phones.


Napili Bay - sandy beaches and good swimming. Also the nearby convience store proved handy when we ran out of suntan lotion. Amenities: none.


Kama‘ole Beach Parks I, II and III - several advantages including large grassy areas which can serve as picnic grounds or a great place for sailing a kite. Amenities: restrooms, picnic tables, showers, BBQ grills.

Keawakapu Beach - good for beachcombing although access is a little hard to find because of the large homes on the beach. A brisk walk to the Wailea Resort area. Amenities: showers.

Mai Poina ‘Oe Ia‘u Beach Park - excellent place for sunbathing or swimming. Good windsurfing at the south end of the beach. If the wind is up and you want to get away from the crowd go to the north end of the beach. Amenities: picnic area, restrooms, showers (south end of beach).


Launiupoko Beach Park - great area for kids here and there is a pool area. Amenities: picnic tables, BBQ grill (1), restrooms, showers, phone.

Puamana Beach County Park - Besides swimming the waves are excellent for beginning and intermediate surfers. Waves here are very regular and consistant, making it great for someone just learning. Amenities: picnic tables, BBQ grills (2), portable toilets, showers (outdoor).

Wahikuli State Park - calm water conditions for swimming, snorkeling and boogie boarding (but not enough for surfing). Amenities: restrooms, phones, picnic tables, BBQ grills (12).


Big Beach - at 0.66 miles long and 100 yards wide it is easy to see why they call this big beach. Often crowded, it is best to plan this as a day or 1/2 day outing and get a parking spot early. As you turn off to the beach several vendors selling shaved ice are recomended, especially with condensed milk added! Amenities: portable toilets, picnic tables, hiking trails.

Little Beach - adjacent to big beach is an informal (and nominally illegal) clothing optional beach. Amenities: see above.

Maluaka Beach - adjacent to the Maui Prince Hotel. Keep your eyes peeled for the green sea turtles. The gentle slope of the beach makes the currents not as strong (but still be careful!). Amenities: restrooms, picnic tables, showers.


H. A. Baldwin Beach Park Paia - features a "baby beach" with a protected lagoon. Outside of this surf can get pretty rough. Amenities: restrooms, showers, BBQ grills (3), phones, sports fields, picnic areas and pavilion.


Mokapu Beach Park - excellent swimming and snorkeling. Equipment rentals are available at concessions in front of the Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort, although at peak times I think they give preference to hotel guests. Adjacent to Ulua Beach park. Amenities: showers, restrooms.

Polo Beach Park - Great place for a day trip as there are BBQ grills available. Amenities: restrooms, showers, picnic tables, BBQ grills.

Ulua Beach Park - sandy bottom beach that is good for swiming. Amenities: showers, restrooms.

Wailea Beach - Decent parking for beach access right before The Four Seasons (signs here are easy to miss). Can be decent boogie boarding as the tide is coming in. Many of the beach chairs, etc near the hotel are for hotel guests only. Amenities: restrooms, showers. 2005. All Rights Reserved.