Big Beach & Little Beach on Maui

The Best Beaches On Maui

Maui has more winners of the 'Best Beach' title than any other Hawaiian Island. That should tell you a lot. A typical list could be made just from those locations. Our list, though is a little different. It focuses on the overall Maui vacation experience so you'll find a couple of surprising, but excellent choices below. Dive in now!

Hamoa Beach
Hamoa Beach

You'll find this oasis at the end of the famous Road to Hana. It's a long way to go, but worth it. When people like George Harrison & Oprah have had homes nearby, you know it's got something special. This pocket of paradise was once part of a volcanic crater, the lava rock cliffs behind it still reminding you of its history. The currents can be strong so be careful in the waters. Use the palm trees for shade when the sun gets a little too intense. This is Hawaii as you've always imagined it - quiet, untouched and serene.

Kaanapali Beach
Kaanapali Beach on Maui

At over 3 miles in length you should be able to find a patch of sand to call your own. The main area, stretching behind Lahaina's Sheraton & Hyatt Hotels and the Whalers Village shopping center is where it's busiest - and therefore most crowded. This proximity to lodging & land-based activity is convenient, but it's not why it's on the list.

It's the unique qualities, like the gentle surf that makes this a perfect place to wade and not worry about being tossed around. The snorkeling is wonderful here, too, especially by Black Rock, on the northern side. When you're on the sands, take in the great views of Lanai and the nightly masterpieces we call sunset.

Wai'anapanapa State Park
Black Sand Beach in Wai'anapanapa Park

This is one place you won't be sunbathing. It's one of our black sand beaches, the result of volcanic activity. We've picked this place for its uniqueness and its possibilities for those who like to explore. Here you'll find sea caves & caverns that'll feed the adventurer in you who's just waiting to get out. The sight of a black sand beach is alway a vacation highlight. You'll be telling your friends about it for years to come.

Makena & Pu'u Ola'i AKA Big Beach & Little Beach
Makena Beach AKA Big Beach

Big Beach, found on the South Shore, is not just one of the widest beaches, it's also one of the longest, so there's lots of sand here to enjoy. That also makes it very popular to both locals and tourists, though, so be aware that parking on the weekends can be in short supply. Bodyboarding & skimboarding are the top activities on Big Beach. Use caution in the water as the waves can be strong on the shoreline at times, tossing you over before you know what's happened. Respect the ocean always.

Over the outcropping on Big Beach's northern end is Little Beach. Nice sands here, but the big attraction are the local fire eaters & twirlers who perform here most days starting around sunset. An amazing show to witness. One Caveat: Little Beach is a nude beach. You've been warned.

Kite Beach
Kite Beach

We picked this beach, technically the western end of Kahana Beach Park, not for its sand or surf, though they are excellent, but because it has something unique. Come here and you're on what's said to be the World's Best Kite Surfing Beach. In fact, the sport began here, on this stretch of the Northern Shore behind the airport. You do have to be careful where you sit down because the kite launchings need runway space. Otherwise, sit back and watch an amazing show of man (& woman) using Nature to do something incredible.

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