The Beautiful Beaches of Maui
The island of Maui is home to numerous beautiful beaches. Some offer swimming year-round and others are best for surfing during certain parts of the year. Here is a picture tour of some of the famous Maui beaches. Some are next to major resorts, others are off the beaten path. The beaches on Maui are relatively easy to reach if you have a car. Be prepared for a short walk from the parking lot. It's a good idea to wear a hat and UV clothing to protect your skin from the hotel tropical sun. If you can, get to the beach early because parking lots really fill up next to popular beaches, especially on weekends and during the holidays. It also depends on which part of the island you are exploring. West Maui is much more crowded than East and South.
1. Hamoa Beach
The black sand of Hamoa beach is one of our favorite beaches on Maui. The water was not too rough, there are no rocks in the surf, the crowds are minimal, and the scenery is amazing.
Hamoa Beach is approximately a five to ten minute drive from the town of Hana. The drive is an easy one with lots of great scenery on the way. There is no parking lot so you need to park on the side of the road and take the steps down to the beach. Parking is generally not a problem because the beach is never very crowded.
There is a beach hut that rents body boards, snorkeling equipment, and gives out towels to guests of the Travaasa Hana. There are also beach chairs and umbrellas that are for hotel guests only. Unless you are a guest of the hotel and want a chair, the best spot on the beach is on a big towel right on the black sand. There is also plenty of shade at the beach so you won't have any trouble getting out of the sun when feel like you've had enough.
The water at Hamoa is not very rough and there are no rocks to cut you up when you swim. The waves can get quite large but were easier to swim in then many of the other beaches on the island. (Surf conditions on all beaches in Hawaii depend on the time of year that your there.) Aside from some fish near the rocky outcroppings on either side of the beach the snorkeling is not very good. In the afternoon you can watch many local surfers catch waves just off the beach. Travaasa Hana and several rentals are available near the beach.
2. Red Sand Beach
Finding the beach is not something that most vacationers consider difficult, however, Red Sand Beach is not your typical vacation beach. A trip to Red Sand Beach is a bit of an adventure to say the least. In order to get there you have to first find the path to the beach, which is just past a small cemetary in Hana. If you manage to find the path then you must follow the path until it ends at a rocky cliff. You then work your way around a cliff face where you will catch your first view of Red Sand Beach. From there you work your way down the rocky path to the beach, which is surrounded on by high cliffs. The walk isn't that long but the path is slippery. If your looking for an easier beach to reach then try Hamoa Beach, it's just down the road.
Although the beach is only a ten minute hike from he nearest road, the high cliffs surrounding the beach make it seem as though you may as well be on a deserted island. (Especially if the beach is empty when your there.) Remember to bring some food and water since it is hike to reach the sand.
The swimming at red sand beach is good as long as you stay within the protective pools created by the rock formations in front of the beach. Since there is no life guard on duty there are also no warning signs about surf coditions or currents, so use caution when you enter the water.
3. D.T. Fleming Beach
D.T. Fleming Beach is a white stretch of sand that fronts The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. The beach offers swimming in the summer and surfing during winter swells. The beach activities desk at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua rents snorkeling gear, kayaks and boogie boards. Kapalua Resort is home to the Kapalua Beach, Oneloa Bay Beach and the D.T. Fleming Beach.
4. Kapalua Beach
Kapalua Beach is a great vacation destination where you can go swimming year-round because it is protected from winter swells by lava rock on both ends. The beach can get quite crowded, however, because it is popular with vacationers staying at one of the Kapalua Resort properties. The beach offers snorkeling, swimming and other watersports. Stay at Kapalua Villas.
5. Oneloa Bay Beach
6. West Maui Beaches
If you drive along the west coast of Maui from Lahaina to Kapalua, you'll notice that many beautiful sandy beaches line the coast. Kaanapali Beach offers three miles of white sand and a variety of watersports, including surfing, windsurfing, sailboat and catamaran rides. Black Rock, on the northern end of Kaanapali Beach, is famous for snorkeling. There are many beach vacation hotels in the area, such as the Hyatt Regency Maui set on 40 acres. We liked the sandy beach at Napili Bay because there are no high-rise buildings around it, and the bay is well protected from waves. Kapalua Resort is home to the Kapalua Beach, Oneloa Bay Beach and the D.T. Fleming Beach.
7. South Maui Beaches
The general rule is the farther south you go, less crowded the beaches will be. Kihei offers a series of beaches along the six-miles Kihei coastline, some with lifeguards, restrooms, and picnic facilities. Polo Beach next to the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui and Wailea Beach offer restrooms and equipment rentals. If you prefer a more secluded beach vacation getaway, visit Maluaka Beach at the Makena Resort where you may see green sea turtles. A few miles past the Maui Prince Hotel lies the Big Beach at Makena which, one of our favorite beaches on Maui. As its name implies, the Big Beach is quite large, and, best of all, empty. It features white sand, picnic facilities and restrooms.
8. East Maui Beaches
The beaches on East Maui are unlike any other beaches in Hawaii. Surrounded by lush tropical plants, the beaches near Hana are secluded, scenic and colorful. Here you'll find white, red and black-sand beaches only a few miles from each other. Hamoa Beach is a must-see if you are planning to visit East Maui. As you approach the beach on a path from the main road, you'll walk past colorful flowers and palm trees which surround Hamoa Beach. Hana Bay Beach, located just off Hana Highway, features black volcanic sand. The Red Sand Beach is a bit difficult to get to - you'll have to follow a narrow path along the coast - but quite unique. The beach offers swimming and snorkeling, and you'll probably be the only one there.
9. La Perouse Bay
If you are staying in the Wailea resort area in Makena, take a morning drive to La Perouse Bay to admire the scenery of South Maui. Follow the Makena Road past Oneloa Beach (also called Big Beach) and the 360-foot cinder cone. The road will pass through the 'Ahihi-Kina'u Natural Area Reserve and black volcanic rock until you reach La Perouse Bay. Along the way, you will see small beaches just off the road and enjoy views of the Molokini island in the distance.
The Makena Road ends at La Perouse Bay. Here you can see archeological remains of an old Hawaiian village. On the way back, stop for a swim at the beautiful Makena Beach which features a long stretch of sand, waves and some shade.
10. Napili Beach
Napili Beach offers a stretch of golden sands. It's located one bay over from Kapalua Beach. Stay at Napili Kai Beach Resort or dine at the beachfront restaurant.