Best Beaches in Maui – 8 Secret Havens You Can’t Miss!

Aloha, fellow beach lovers!

I’ve been daydreaming about beaches lately, so much that my boyfriend decided to surprise me with a trip to Maui. With beautiful golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and the warm Hawaiian sun shining down on us – it was like living inside my laptop wallpaper.

Having spent an unforgettable week exploring the island with friends, I realized just how magical this tropical paradise truly is. From adventuring through water sports like surfing and boogie boarding to indulging in delicious local cuisine while soaking up the rich culture – there’s something for everyone in this dreamy destination.

As an avid beach explorer myself, I’ve handpicked these top eight beaches based on factors such as mesmerizing views, thrilling aquatic activities available, and overall atmosphere. Each shore offers its unique charm that suits different interests and preferences.

With tons of experience and research under my belt (and sand between my toes), I’m excited to present you with a list of Maui’s finest sandy havens that’ll have you packing your bags faster than you can say “mahalo.” As someone who has explored these shores firsthand, trust me when I say: whether you’re booking your honeymoon or planning a family vacation – Hawaii’s got you covered.

Warning: Be prepared for some serious wanderlust as we dive into our favorite spots. Just don’t blame me if end up spending all your time fantasizing about palm trees instead of finishing that report!

Now grab your sunscreen and let’s hit the (virtual) beach!

Kaanapali Beach – The Snorkeling Beach on Maui

Kaanapali Beach was rated the “best beach in the world” in 2021, so we went there with high expectations. I must say that it didn’t disappoint! The best thing about this beach is that there’s an activity for everyone to enjoy.

The boys went bodyboarding while we girls soaked up the sun. I could see a few people snorkeling here as well.

On a whim, we decided that a good cap off to the day would be one of the many cruises offered here. We tried our luck on the sunset cruise because that was the only one we could get hold of the tickets at such short notice. And words can’t describe how calming and magical that felt. 

Kaanapali Beach deserves to be rated as the prettiest beach on Maui because:

  • Despite being crowded, it’s quite spacious – providing lots of room for everyone to stretch out and relax.
  • All the kids I saw seemed to have a blast.
  • There is a stunning granite rock boardwalk along the shore.
  • Overall a gorgeous beach, big waves, lots of restaurants and shopping areas close by.
  • Activities like Parasailing, Kayaking were also available.
  • The only downside was finding a parking spot proved difficult, even for such a large beach.

Maluaka Beach- Best Beach in Maui with Turtles

One morning during our trip, he woke me up exceptionally early, which initially left me feeling annoyed because I’m not a fan of early mornings on vacation. However, his excitement was contagious as he insisted that we visit “this place that I just had to see.”

It turned out he had planned a trip to Maluaka Beach in Maui, known for being the best beach on the island with fantastic snorkeling opportunities. We arrived at the beach around 8 am and were greeted by several enormous turtles basking in the sunlight – it was quite an amazing sight! We ended up spending our entire day there soaking up Maluaka’s fun and friendly atmosphere. It was lovely to see families enjoying their time together with their children splashing around in the water.

Maluaka Beach offers countless benefits for its visitors:

  • Stunning views paired with soft, smooth sand create an ideal environment for relaxation.
  • The abundance of fish and corals makes snorkeling a truly unique experience where you can easily discover beautiful marine life.
  • Easily accessible public restrooms ensure convenience and cleanliness throughout your stay.

Molokini Beach – The Best Beach in Maui for Swimming

My boyfriend and I recently had the most unforgettable experience at Molokini Beach in Maui. It was a fantastic day filled with beautiful scenery, thrilling activities, and precious memories that will last us a lifetime.

We took part in a snorkeling tour which turned out to be an incredible adventure. The crew was extremely helpful and made sure we felt comfortable before getting into the water. They provided us with all the necessary gear and guidance to make our first-time diving experience as smooth as possible. Moreover, the food and drinks served during the tour were delicious and refreshing – perfect for replenishing energy after hours of swimming.

What truly sets Molokini Beach apart from other beaches is its spectacular clear water. As we jumped off the island into the crystal-clear ocean, we could easily spot various fish swimming around us. Our friends who joined us on this trip also shared an enchanting encounter with a mama whale and her baby – an experience they’ll cherish forever.

Here are three reasons why Molokini Beach is simply unbeatable:

  • The snorkeling crew’s professionalism ensured that our diving adventure was safe, enjoyable, and memorable.
  • The scrumptious food and drinks kept us satisfied throughout our stay on this magical island.
  • Lastly, nothing compares to the pristine waters of Molokini Beach which allowed up close encounters with fascinating marine life.

Baby Beach, Lahaina – The Best Beach on Maui for Families

A beach that has “baby” in its name, I guess, is a sure-shot indicator that it is perfect for vacationing with family members of all sizes. 

Jokes apart, another beach in Maui called “Baby Beach, Paia,” which is suitable for families, but we visited the Lahaina one. I wanted to clear that and get it out of the way before I get into the actual review of the beach.

As we arrived, I noticed kids of all ages were happy, smiling, and enjoying their time – no tantrums or grumpy-looking faces on the little ones. I only saw kids playing with sand buckets, making sand castles, or burying families under the sand.

While I have no kids, I have plenty of nieces and nephews, so I know what makes a child tick. What I love about this beach is:

  • The water here is shallow and calm, perfect for young or beginner swimmers.
  • It’s also not very crowded, so you can let your kid wander around without worrying about them getting lost or stepping into the ocean unsupervised.
  • Clean and warm water with good visibility. Perfect for teaching the kids snorkeling.
  • I met a family who said that they have been bringing their kids to Baby Beach for the past 15 years; it has become quite the annual tradition for them (so this beach is doing something right)

The only thing I didn’t like about this beach was that there were no restrooms nearby. So if your kid has a bathroom emergency, you’d have quite the walk-in store for you.

Honolua Bay – Best Beach on Maui for Surfing

What is a vacation without the boys getting in some surfing action? This was our next pitstop after our relaxing time on Baby Beach. Honolua Bay has one of the best surfing spots in all of Hawaii.

The first thing I remember thinking when stepping out onto the bay is, “Wow! So beautiful”. The water here was so clear and beautiful. 

The boys were disappointed to find that surfing usually happens during winter when the sea is rough, and the tide is high.

However, we couldn’t let such a beautiful beach visit go to waste now, could we? The locals told us that Honolua Bay offers great snorkeling and scuba diving in the summer, which we should try, and we did. 

  • This bay is a marine reserve, so expect to spot plenty of marine life here. We even saw a stingray swim by. 
  • Honolua Bay isn’t a great beach for relaxing since it’s made up of large rocks and no sand. My friend cut her foot as we climbed over the rocks to get in the water.

Secret Cove Beach – The Best Beach with Big Waves in Maui

This tucked-away beach has the perfect name because it is in a quiet residential neighborhood.

Since no sign or anything was announcing the location, we had to do a bit of sleuthing to find the location. But that is what helps, along with a giant lava wall right in front, with the anonymity of this beach.

One of the most beautiful and photographed beaches on Maui, but since not everyone knows about its location, it’s not frequented by many people, making it perfect if you are looking for a spot to relax in peace.

What made me fall in love with this beach, besides the obvious beauty and peacefulness, is :

  • My boyfriend was mesmerized by the crashing waves. It gave him a chance to practice his boogie-boarding skills here.
  • It gives a perfect backdrop for photography. We saw a couple come here to get their wedding photoshoot done
  • The water is clear with plenty of fish and not many corals, unlike other beaches

You might also like: The 4 Best Beaches in Maui for Boogie Boarding

Kamaole Beach Park 1 – The Most Popular Beach on Maui

If I had to describe this beach in a nutshell, I would call it a beautifully long, sandy beach with incredible views and plenty of snorkeling activities. I guess this might be the reason for its popularity. 

Kamaole Beaches are divided into three beaches: Kama I, KamaII, and Kama III. We could only manage a trip to Kama I this time and left with high hopes of returning to Kama II and III whenever possible.

What I loved about this beach include:

  • Beautiful sandy beach with clear warm waters
  • Unlike most other beaches on Maui, the ocean has a full sand bottom, so we can walk around the water comfortably.
  • Close access to showers and restrooms
  • Grassy area with plenty of picnic tables and lots of shade.
  • Food trucks and local stores nearby

I wish someone had warned us to be on the lookout for jellyfish here. My friend got stung, and after a while, I saw another lady get stung within the same hour. It did put a damper on our otherwise high spirits.

Kaihalulu Beach – Best Beach in Maui With Red Sand

I fell in love with Kaihalulu Beach as soon as I saw it. A beautiful out-of-this-world beach with red sand and strikingly blue waters.  

It took us a drive and a little help from google maps to navigate here. We parked on the dead-end street outside the Travasa Hotel parking lot, which seemed like a good spot.

Even though access to this beach was through private property, the owner was friendly enough to allow us to advance. Otherwise, it would be trespassing, and no one wants that.

As soon as we entered the beach area, oh my god! What a sight for sore eyes. The rust-red hill stood tall against the splashing blue waters. It’s a perfect place to sunbathe, swim and snorkel. 

As we were trekking down to the beach, we saw a couple of sunbathers sunbathing in their birthday suits. They were gracious enough to cover up as we reached down, but we later discovered that Kaihalulu Beach is informally known as “a clothing-optional beach.” What got me excited about visiting this beach included:

  • A breathtaking beach and one of the very few red-sand beaches in the world
  • Great for sunbathing

Some safety concerns that I would like to mention if you do decide to visit here:

  • The hike to the beach can be a bit treacherous; make sure that if you attempt it, wear proper footwear (no sandals)
  • I would not recommend this hike for young children; many tourists have been known to slip and fall.


Which part of Maui has the best beaches?

The south and west shore of Maui has the best beaches on the island. Golden sand, water that is perfect for swimming with gentle waves that offer an opportunity for surfing practice, plenty of snorkeling activities, and a chance to see the fish and plenty of sunshine.

Which beach has the clearest water in Maui?

Molokini, a small crescent-shaped island, is famed for its clear waters and excellent visibility during snorkeling.

Which is the best swimming beach in Maui?

Kaanapali Beach is known for its sand bottom entry into the water, which makes it ideal for swimming for kids and adults alike. Besides that, the beach is also perfect for laying out due to its soft and fluffy sand.

What is the safest beach in Maui?

Kamaole Beach is a great option if you are looking for safe swimming options.

Which is the calmest Beach on Maui?

Baby Beach will be your go-to beach if you are looking for calm waters where your kids can play without fearing being swept away by high currents or strong waves.


Maui is truly a little nugget of heaven on earth. Plan a vacation here, and I can guarantee every member of your family will be satisfied. It has something for everyone. From adventurous hikes to exotic red sand beaches, coral reefs, fancy resorts, romantic secluded walks, and sunbathing you have everything. Maui is a tropical dream destination, the stuff we used to see in movies; it’s exactly that and more.

Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Brigitte