Maui beaches are the prime focal point of travelers heading to the Hawaiian island. The best beaches in Maui are synonymous with extreme natural beauty and amazing panoramas while providing a wealth of beach side things to do. Circumscribed by 120 miles of stunning coastline, the island of Maui boasts more than 30 miles of golden sandy beaches flanking warm ocean water.
Most Maui beaches offer visitors numerous public facilities and other useful amenities geared toward providing a premier beach experience. All the best beaches on Maui feature warm and welcome tradewinds, glistening, clear ocean waters and never ending cerulean skies. Though the majority of beaches are white or golden hues, Maui black sand beaches and red sand stretches are also part of the island roster.
Maui black sand beaches include the one at Hana Bay along the east shore of Maui, ten miles past Haleakala National Park. The black sand is a result of lava erosion washed into the sea through the nearby stream. This lengthy beach is well protected and is popular for canoeing, picnics and swimming. Outrigger canoe races, an ancient Hawaiian pastime, often take place at Hana Bay and are fun to watch from the shore. The beach can be reached via Hana Highway and provides picnic tables, a snack bar and restrooms. The Seven Sacred Pools are a short drive away and make a great morning or afternoon hike.
The other of the Maui black sand beaches is Honokalani Beach in Wainapanapa State Park, also reached by Hana Highway. Situated amid lava bluffs, there's also sea caves, an ocean arch and oceanside lava tubes to explore. The sand is made from tiny, lustrous pebbles created by the lava. The ancient Maui hiking trail, called King's Highway, begins at the beach and follows the beautiful coastline from the beach to Hana Town over a three-mile path. Beach amenities include restrooms, picnic facilities, showers, a paved lot and a campground. The best time to go is in the morning hours when the beach is most often deserted.
The best beaches on Maui are debatable depending on what types of activities are preferred. Ten miles north of Lahaina is Kapalua Beach, replete with swaying palm trees, golden sand and calm, azure water. Extremely safe, Kapalua is protected by an expansive coral reef and jetties. The coral reef makes it one of the better Maui snorkeling beaches. Kapalua is flanked by a picturesque coconut grove, perfect for a bit of shade, and set between dual lava points. When you're standing on the shoreline, you'll be able to see the island of Molokai on clear days and glimpses of whales during mating season.
Best Beaches Maui Image: Hale Napili Resort
Another of the best beaches on Maui is Napili Bay Beach, also north of Lahaina and blanketed with white sand and towering palms. This is also one of the better Maui snorkeling beaches during the summer months where clarion water provides great visibility. Swimming at Napili is good but beach goers should use caution when entering the water from the steep shoreline. Beach amenities include restrooms, limited parking and nearby showers and a convenience store but no lifeguard.
Kaanapali Beach is Maui's equivalent to Poipu Beach in Kauai and also known as Dig Me Beach, Keka'a Beach and Canoe Beach. It's the top rated of Maui snorkeling beaches and diving areas and is a paradise for watersport enthusiasts. Ocean recreation reigns at Kaanapali and is made even better by the visually stunning scenery surrounding it. Divided by a broad lava rock, named Black Rock, this celebrated and busy beach is brimming with opportunities. Maui tours, kayaking, sailing, Maui fishing, sunbathing, shopping and dining can be found all about.
Though some Maui beaches may not be as well equipped as others, they more than make up for it with their pristine, undeveloped and clandestine locations off the path well traveled. The best thing about Maui beaches is if you don't like the one you're at there will be another just down the road! Beach hopping is one of the most popular activities and when you find the one you like the best, locate a good spot, lay out your gear and enjoy all that Maui's natural paradise has to offer.