Which Maui Beach Is to Your Liking? Here’s Ours!

This amazing island of Maui is home to about 120 miles of beautiful coastline with over 30 of those miles dedicated to some of the best beaches in Hawaii, not to mention, anywhere. Have you been to Maui and if so, which Maui Beach is to your liking? For us, we have a special place in our hearts for the South and West Sides in particular. The island’s beaches are home to wonderful scenery, palm trees, sand in the toes and beautiful water, and many water sports call Maui their home as well. Water sports such as surfing, snorkeling, swimming and of course, windsurfing.

In addition, Maui’s beaches offer the best of all worlds having beaches manned with public amenities such as restrooms and lifeguards, while many of the locals head towards beaches that are still considered underdeveloped locations. In either case, you cannot go wrong with any of Maui’s beaches.

Whether you live on the island or are here visiting, one of the really great parts of our beaches is that you can take it home with you. Well, not literally, but through photos and we have the means to make that happen. Have you thought about having your family photos professionally done? What about celebrating your maternity, an engagement, or a graduating senior? And of course, a beach wedding. It happens all the time on these beautiful beaches for the beauty it brings and the incredible scenery, all of which can be captured by hiring a Maui wedding photographer.

Here’s a brief rundown of Maui’s beaches on the South Side and West Side:

South Side Maui

Makena Beach State Park (aka Big Beach): One of Maui’s top, as well as largest, beaches is Makena. It’s about two-thirds of a mile long with very soft white sands. Although Makena Beach is great for swimming, you need to be aware that the shore has a steep drop-off point and its swells are larger than you think they are. With a short climb, you will gain access to Makena’s smaller side of the beach, better known around here as “Little Beach.” One word of advice if you have kids with you, Little Beach is still treated as clothing optional.

Wailea Beach: Did you know that in 1999, Wailea Beach was named “America’s Best Beach”? It’s true and with that honor, Wailea is a visitor’s paradise, for its natural beauty, public restrooms and equipment rentals for almost any water sport you prefer. Home to some of the softest sands around, Wailea Beach is about the length of four and a half football fields (450 yards).

Kihei Beach: Kihei isn’t just one beach, but a combination of several beaches, as well as some tide pools, rocky areas and coves. This beach is also the driest and sunniest beach on Maui, which makes for more consistently good times. You can relax on Kihei Beach but can get quite busy with the many swimmers, kayakers, snorkelers and of course, surfers.

Kamaole Beach Parks 1, 2, & 3: For the locals in Kihei, these beaches are considered some of their favorites due to their great conditions for swimming, courts for sand volleyball and a good amount of parking. Kamaole 1 is probably Kihei’s best of the three as it is a great location for decent snorkeling near the small dunes and rocks. Kamaole 2 isn’t quite as big as Kamaole 1, but it does offer some really great waters for swimming and snorkeling. Kamaole 3 offers that family atmosphere with its grassy area for picnics, as well as activities you can do on land.

West Side Maui

Kaanapali Beach: Probably the most known beach on the island of Maui, Kaanapali stretches out about three miles long and is located near all the major resort hotels just up from Lahaina. A 2003 “America’s Best Beach” award winner, it has wonderful white sands, crystal clear waters and is a great spot for snorkeling at Puu Kekaa, also known as Black Rock. For you thrill seekers, this happens to be the same location where the daily cliff diving ceremony takes place.

Kapalua Beach: Back in 1991, Kapalua Beach was voted as “America’s Best Beach.” Kapalua’s white sands are some of the softest sands your feet will ever touch, and it has two reefs that form a C-shaped cove that protects it. Ideal for your snorkelers. The bay’s waters are calmer than some of the other beaches, which allows beginner water sports enthusiasts to learn various water sports and is great for smaller children. For those old veterans of this island, Kapalua is known as Old Fleming Beach.

Puamana Beach County Park: Puamana is part of the Lahaina beach area and is the ideal location to learn to snorkel and surf. However, this area has more rocks than sand, so lying out on the beach can be, should I say it… “rough.” If you can get past that, this park is ideal for picnics and/or for some great grilling. This Lahaina beach provides a nice grassy park, swimming, grills, restrooms and picnic tables with waves that you will find are ideal for surfers who are either beginners or are more intermediate in their surfing skills.

D.T. Fleming Beach Park: In 2006, this beach was named “America’s Best Beach” and is an excellent location for swimming. Snorkeling is not allowed here due to cloudy waters. D.T. Fleming Beach Park is about 500 yards long in size, but we recommend you get there early because this beach can get crowded rather quickly, especially if you are planning to attend it on a weekend.


Regardless of which beach you choose to visit while here on Maui, you simply cannot go wrong. Just take in your preferences before selecting which beach or beaches you want to experience. All of Maui’s beaches are great for photography, so if you are looking to have your family portraits or couples’ photography, let us know what you want in your photos, and we’ll be glad to recommend a beach that will meet your needs.



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