The condition of the water in Hawaii is different day to day. Weather and the different seasons can cause high surf, rough waters, undertoe, etc. Always check with your hotel or a local snorkeling/dive store to find out the latest conditions. Watch for any signs on the beach warning of potential hazards and pay attention to any warnings. Pack some sunscreen, water, snacks and a towel, and you’re prepped for a relaxing day at a Maui beach!
1. Makena Beach State Park (“Big Beach” and “Little Beach”)
Large beautiful beach with soft white sand. Little beach is a partially nude beach and can be found by climbing over the lava rock formations on the right of Big Beach. Big Beach has a lifeguard, picnic areas, public restrooms, and showers. Website.
2. Wailea Beach
Breathtaking and very popular white sand, turquoise water beach. Wailea can be good for snorkeling, depending on the intensity of the waves. Boogie boarding and body surfing are also popular here. No lifeguard, but plenty of parking, public bathrooms and showers. Website.
3. Ka’anapali Beach
Home to “Black Rock”, a popular cliff jumping lava rock formation. Soft sand, beautiful water and plenty of ocean activities like surfing, boogie boarding, stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling, parasailing, etc. There is a lifeguard on duty, public restrooms and showers. Website.
4. Kapalua Bay
Incredible snorkeling with large brightly colored coral structures and tons of fish. Kapalua has been called the “Best Beach in Maui” on multiple lists. It is one you can’t miss! Kapalua Bay has public restrooms and showers. Website.
5. Mokulei’a Bay Beach | Slaughterhouse
Mokulei’a Bay Beach, also referred to as Slaughterhouse, is the perfect beach to spend the whole day at. Bring an umbrella and a book for those hot middle of the day hours. The water is clear blue with minimal rocks and plenty of soft sand. You might even see a turtle or two! To park, there is a pull-out right after mile marker 32 with some parking spaces. If those are full, you can park on the side of the road. To get to Slaughterhouse Beach, you have to hike down some stairs, so pack lightly! Website.
6. Honolua Bay
To access Honolua Bay, drive down the hill after mile marker 32 and you will see a dirt parking area on the left side of the road. After parking, you’ll have to trek through some trees and down a rocky area (see photo above). There isn’t really any sand, so be careful as you enter the water. The rocks near the water are wet and slippery, so it’s easier to sit down and slide your way into the water. There is some pretty great snorkeling here, especially along the right side of the cove. Expect to see lots of colorful fish! The water is relatively calm and usually clear, unless there has been a storm. There isn’t a lifeguard or any restrooms or showers. It’s also recommended not to leave valuables in your car. Website.
7. Ho’okipa Beach Park
Ho’okipa Beach is a popular sea turtle and surfer hang out. There is a lookout up above, (where this photo was taken) where you can watch the surfers and check out the turtles if you don’t feel like walking down to the beach. If you’re driving the road to Hana, this is a perfect first stop. Ho’okipa Beach has a lifeguard, picnic tables, BBQs, and public restrooms and showers. Website.
8. Black Sand Beach
This beach looks unreal with the stark contrast of the black sand and the bright turquoise water. Black Sand Beach in Wai’anapanapa State Park is located off of Hana highway. When the surf is low, swimming, snorkeling and diving are popular activities here. When the surf is high, the waves create an incredible show as they pound into the beach. There are no lifeguards, but there are public restrooms, showers, picnic tables and plenty of parking. Website.