Where sand meets the sea, the beautiful island of Maui has the best beaches in Hawai‘i. As bold of a statement as this may be, we have carefully considered the reasons for it to be true. The islands eclectic coastline boasts over 30 striking shores, all of which offer something unique to visitors. Here are our top 5 reason why we believe Maui is no ka ‘oi when it comes to Hawai‘i’s beaches.
When one envisions an idyllic beach scene, dreams of sun-washed shores of powdery sand and sapphire seas often come to mind. Moments like these are many on Maui. With beaches like Kapalua Bay; voted best beach in both Hawaii and the United States; typical postcard worthy moments are easily captured .
The island is also home to colorful shorelines that will surprise and delight. Close your eyes and picture driving down a jungle road, through a twist of vines and wisps of rotted guava, to arrive at Hāna Town. Here you will find one of Hawai'i’s greatest treasures – Kaihalulu Beach, also known as Red Sand Beach. A short hike along the water’s edge will lead you to a rust colored cove surrounded by jagged cliffs of volcanic cinder. The otherworldly scene is only enhanced by the deep blue pacific that stretches beyond the horizon.
Maui’s coastline also offers the unique opportunity to witness world famous surf breaks. In the winter months, mythical waves such as Peahi can roll in at heights of up to 100ft. Famous beach breaks such as Ho'okipa and Honolua Bay are also a must see. While these beaches are commonly not suitable for swimming, to be in close proximity to the true power of the sea is an experience not easily forgotten.
Aside from incredible state programs that maintain Maui’s coastline, individual and community efforts are a big part of what makes Maui beaches so special. Neighborhoods, such as Spreckelsville in Pāi'a, have worked together to privately fund beach restoration projects. Over the course of a few decades the community has spent millions of dollars on sand replenishment at a neighborhood bay.
Organizations like the Maui Ocean Center make it easy for the public to get involved in beach cleanups. Their program, Honu Hero, provides beach cleanup kits for visitors and residents, in efforts to remove dangerous plastics from shorelines.
Perhaps the most important reason Maui’s beaches remain pristine and superior, is because residents share the mentality of mālama ‘āina, which means to care for and respect the land. From mauka to makai, a rule of thumb is to always leave a place better than you found it.
Whether you are looking for a snorkeling adventure or a sun-soaked day in the sand, Maui has the beach for you.
The west and south facing shores of the island showcase sprawling resorts on stretches of white sand. Resort communities like Wailea and Ka'anapali cater to all your vacation needs. Enjoy world-class snorkeling, paddle boarding, seaside pool days, and sunset cocktails at any of the family-friendly hotels.
A quick trip around the island will lead you to the hippy-surf town of Pāi'a. The colorful North Shore is lined with a collection of beaches that offer everything from snorkeling to big wave surfing.
If you’re feeling adventurous, go off script to explore the hidden coves that dot the famous road to Hāna. Some of the best beaches in the world are found here, including Mark Twain’s favorite, Hāmoa Beach.
Abundant sea and plant life are yet another reason Maui beaches are first-rate. Oceans showcase healthy reefs of tropical fish and sea turtles. During the winter months, as many as 10,000 humpback whales make their way from Alaska to the Hawaiian islands. Maui is the best place to enjoy the season. Sit on any shore to watch the whales play.
On shore, coastal plants are plentiful. Thickets of naupaka grow amongst yellow ma'o blossoms. Above the palm and coconut trees, sea birds, like the 'Iwa, gracefully patrol the skies.
Maui is considered a smaller island which makes getting to and from the beach quick and easy. With a population of 164,000, Maui’s country roads flow seamlessly around the 120 miles of coastline. Traffic is a rare issue and shoreline and public parking are available at most beaches.
Find out more about our favorite beaches in Maui!