Are you searching for the best beach Maui has to offer? Look no further because we’ve compiled a list of the best South and West Maui beaches. Our local knowledge will help you get to the perfect beach on your next visit. Be aware of rapidly changing conditions and heed all warning signs when visiting Maui’s beaches.

South Maui Beaches

Makena Beach

Makena Beach – Also known as Big Beach, Makena has a mile of perfect orange and white sand, dramatic landscapes and water that’s brilliant blue and green. There is a little reef here that makes the sand bottom shine up through the water to give it that tropical brightness. Skimboarding, body boarding, and body surfing are all very popular here for this reason.

Little Beach – This beach is beautiful and as perfect as can be. On Sundays at sunset everyone celebrates by swimming and cheering as a large drum circle beats away. Once it gets dark all types of people, including nudists, begin to dance around a circle of fire. You’ll sometimes find professional fire twirlers with more than one ball of fire and fancy flaming outfits.

Kama’ole Beach Parks 1, 2, 3 – The three Kams are great beaches to enjoy with friends. The first, most Northern Kama’ole Beach, is the largest. The second is small but can offer fun waves for body surfing if the swell cooperates. The third Kamaole Beach is the favorite for South Maui locals and has a large grass park.

Charley Young

Charley Young Beach – On the north end of Kamaole Beach, you’ll find a large beach known as Charley Young Beach. With great views and perfect sand, Charley Young Beach is a great spot to spend with family and friends. This is a swimming beach that offers visitors the best beach Kihei has to offer. Please note: no lifeguards on duty.

Maluaka Beach Maluaka is one of Makena’s gems. This beach is beautiful and has great snorkeling and swimming. Areas around here are often referred to as Turtle Town Maui. Maluaka is the best beach Maui has close to the the Makena Beach and Golf Resort. This is the closest departure point if you want to visit the famous Molokini Crater.

West Maui Beaches

D.T. Flemings

D.T. Flemings Beach Park – Flemings is in  upper west Maui, north of Kapalua. It is a public beach park where people swim, body surf and surf regularly. Flemings has a good-sized parking lot and a large beach to lounge on. Like most Maui beaches, Flemings can get windy in the afternoon.

Ka’anapali Beach and Black Rock – Famous for its high volcanic ocean cliff that attracts brave divers, Black Rock is a wonderful place to snorkel and swim. The ocean is usually calm in this resort area.  Snorkeling, swimming and scuba diving here are all amazing because of the abundant coral, bright tropical fish and gentle sea turtles.

Kapalua Beach – One of the most beautiful beaches in Maui, Kapalau Beach is the kind of tropical perfection you expect from Maui. It has great swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. Another Kapalua Beach is Ironwoods. This beach isn’t usually crowded, but the water here isn’t great for swimming. It’s dangerous to be in the water here, especially during the winter swells. That being said, the beach is breathtaking.

Launiupoko Beach Park

Launiupoko Beach Park – Launiupoko Beach is fun for longboard surfers and picnics. With two parking areas, this park is easily accessed on the way to Lahaina right off of the road. This is a great park for families with small children because of a natural pool formed and surrounded by a lava rock wall.  Launiupoko is a local Maui favorite.

Napili Bay – Next to the Napili Kai Resort, Napili Bay is one of the most beautiful bays in Maui. It has a steep incline into the water with unblemished white sand. The water is beautiful and bright blue. A monk seal has made this beach its home. If you see him, stay at least 15 feet away. Snorkeling is good on both sides of the bay.

Photos courtesy of Bruce Wheeler