Win a trip to Hawaii!
Sign up for a FREE account for chances to win a trip to Hawaii, travel deals, and more.
Find the pineapple and win 5,000 points!
Tip: Just as Hawaii Island has two names, so does this trendy cowboy town on Hawaii Island.
Top 5 Beaches on Maui
By Sarah Pacheco
As an island chain, Hawaii is home to hundreds of beaches, each possessing its own set of unique qualities. What makes one beach great for surfers and water-sport enthusiasts does not necessarily make for a great destination for families or vacationers looking to relax on the shore.
To help narrow down the search for the your own personal perfect beach destination, the following list is a compilation of what are widely agreed to be the top five beaches on Maui.
Similar to Waikiki Beach, Kaʻanapali Beach is a hotbed of activity due to its location among Kaʻanapali Resort and the many other hotels that sit along the shore. The 1.5-mile-long Kaʻanapali Beach, however, is far less crowded than its Oahu counterpart, only feeling the strain of the masses during busy seasons such as Christmas. Located in West Maui, Kaʻanapali Beach was once a retreat for Hawaiian royalty and today is often called one of the best beaches on Maui, thanks to its wide array of beach activities, including seasonal parasailing, surfing, volleyball and sailing. On the north end of the beach is Black Rock, a renowned snorkeling destination and home to a cliff diving ceremony that happens every day at sunset.
Hidden between Wailea and Kihei sits the lovely Keawakapu Beach. This secret south Maui paradise is an ideal getaway from the crowds of the islands’ larger, more populated beaches. Don’t let its small size fool you; Keawakapu has consistently good swimming conditions year-round, and its abundance of soft, white sand lends equally well to sunbathers and children wishing to build a sandcastle empire. An underwater reef just off the right side of the beach also offers a great snorkeling opportunity.
With its beautiful sand and protected bay lined by palm trees and lava rock, Kapalua Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the state. In fact, this northwestern beach, located mere minutes from the historic whaling port of Lahaina, has consistently ranked among the top beaches in the nation by numerous travel publications. And it’s little wonder why Kapalua remains a favorite beach for many families with young children. The calm waters offer great swimming, and natural tide pools give children the opportunity to see sea creatures up close. During the winter months, it is common to see whales migrating in the deeper waters. The nearby Shopping Village and hotels also offer ample shopping, dining and entertainment options.
An extension of Kaanapali Beach, Kahekili Beach is actually separated from the busier and bigger Kaanapali by 250 yards of lava rock and a hotel. Named after the last king of Maui, Kahekili Beach is an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Hidden rocks and strong currents, however, make this a dangerous spot for swimmers. The expansive, well-groomed sand beach also makes this a nice picnicking area.
A charming beach with great swimming conditions, Napili Bay is well known for its golden sand, great snorkeling and picture-perfect sunsets. Located in Lahaina next to the Napili Kai Resort, the beach’s large expanse of sand and gentle surf provide a great excuse for families looking to spend an entire day at the beach.
What did you think? Share your reaction and earn 100 points!
Recent most reacted articles
Three Ways to Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day in Hawaii
Just like those wily Irish leprechauns, St. Patrick’s Day is…
Super Fruits Featured in Honolulu Cookie Company’s Newest Tropical Treats
Island favorites Guava and Lilikoi shine in the 2017 Fruit…
Activity Discounts & Specials
Get discounts and specials on Hawaii activities and attractions from Hawaii.com, right in your email inbox — it's FREE!
- Rental Cars
- Share the love in Hawaii! Register for Wedding Wings and enjoy discounted fares!
- From 50% off per night: Get away and relax at this Kapaa hideaway with breezy beach accommodations at Lae Nani Resort Kauai by Outrigger
- $815+ Hilton Waikoloa Village®: 3 nights with air. Includes 5-Day FREE car rental PLUS Kids 18 & younger stay FREE
- GET 15% OFF Watumull's coordinated Hawaiian wear for the whole family - classic prints, comfortable styles
- $649+ Hawaii’s Big Island Vacations: 3 nights with air. 5-Day FREE car rental PLUS Kids 17 & younger stay FREE
- Enjoy Goat Cheese Pizza in Manoa Valley - just like a local!
- Shop rates w/3 car rental partners. Receive a discount
- Enjoy views of Diamond Head at Waikiki Shore by Outrigger!
- 4th Nt Free + Brkf for 2 at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.
- Royal Lahaina Honeymoon/Anniversary Special - FREE Portrait
- Add breakfast to your stay & save 20% at Royal Kona Resort
- Take in glorious sunsets at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort!
- Book rooms at Royal Kahana Maui by Outrigger from $129/night
- Sunshine on Sale: 4th NT free & daily breakfast buffet for 2
- "Best of Hanalei” Luau every Wednesday - Discounts Offered