Places to Visit

Best Beaches in Maui – Black Sand, Hidden Coves, & More!

Road to Hana from Maui
Source : hawaii

Best Beaches in Maui are

  1. Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach
  2. Honokalani Black Sand Beach
  3. Chang's Beach 
  4. Secret Cove Beach
  5. Makena Beach & more

Nothing sets a calmer tone than an afternoon spent on an isolated island and when it comes to relaxation, beaches in Maui are the best. Hawaii is an escape plan from the daily hustle and bustle.

People look at these kinds of places to unplug from the noisy cities and aim to spend quality time in secluded and quiet beaches in Hawaii, especially Maui.

The calm breeze and soft sand will set a tone of solitude, allowing you to soak in the magnificent Hawaiian nature without a hint of contemporary intrusion.

And yes, do not forget to pack your bags full of excitement, energy, flip-flops & a lot of sunscreens!!

Kaanapali Beach

Amongst the best white sand beaches in Maui, Kaanapali Beach stands out for its three miles stretch of beautiful beach & daily cliff diving ceremony.

Cliff diving is not just a normal water sport, here in Kaanapali Beach, but is a daily ceremony of the northernmost cliffs known as Puʻu Kekaʻa, or Black Rock.

Ka'anapali Beach (Lahaina)
Source : tripadvisor

The powdery sands of Kaanapali is a distinctive feature of the beach making it one of the top 10 beaches in Maui Hawaii. Whether you’re swimming or sunbathing on this beach, you'll be amazed to see what this beautiful white beach has to offer.

What to do in Kaanapali Beach?

There are numerous things to do in Kaanapali Beach, Maui such as-

  • Parasailing
  • Kayaking
  • Picnic
  • Sunset Cruise
  • Snorkeling and many more.

Honokalani Black Sand Beach

Honokalani Black Sand Beach is located in Waianapanapa State Park about three miles north of the town of Hana. The pebbly, volcanic sand at this beach makes is different from others which is the distinctive feature of the state park.

With a mixture of dark and white sand, the color of the Honokalini coastline looks somewhat like a Kona coffee. Besides laying down and taking pictures, there are plenty of things to do on this beach which will make your visit worth it.

Honokalani Beach, Wai'anapanapa State Park, Maui, Hawaii
Source : facebook

Regarding the fun and adventure, you can do the following things

  • You can hike the King’s Trail
  • Dip into the cobalt waters
  • Jump from the volcanic cliffs
  • Poke around the freshwater caves
  • Watch red shrimps
  • Get sprayed by the blowhole on the paved path from the overlook in this area. 

Chang's Beach

Out of numerous coastlines, Chang's Beach is among the best beaches on Maui for snorkeling. It is a small sandy cove lying south of Poolenalena Beach which is larger but also surprisingly uncrowded most of the time.

Chang's Beach Maui
Source : mauiguidebook

One of the best snorkeling beaches in Maui for beginners, Chang's Beach has an easy entry, a plethora of coral and is relatively calm, making it an ideal place for mediocre swimmers and children.

Although this beach is a hub for boogie boarding and snorkelling, the coastline is surprisingly still. But for thrill seekers, the tranquillity of this place gives no adrenaline rush but the underwater scenery will blow their minds.

The unique formation of corals, caves, and arches is the best part of the submarine experience on this beach. But that is not all, you can also swim with the sea turtles and watch an abundance of sea life such as eels, octopuses, small fish whitetip reef sharks, and manta rays (occasional).

Secret Cove Beach Or Makena Cove beach

Secret Cove Beach also known as Makena Cove Beach is one of the best beaches on Maui for boogie boarding.

Just Maui'd (photo courtesy: mauiprofessionalphotography)
Source : instagram

Not only boogie boarding this place is also among the best beaches to get married on in Maui. When in Hawaii, experience the Hawaiian wedding!!!!

This secret cove beach is a hidden little pocket of sand that's actually hidden, if you didn't know any better, you would cross the place and have no idea this heaven existed. 

To reach Makena Beach, you have to head south on Wailea Alanui Drive from Wailea. Then follow the instruction even if it changes the name from Makena Alanui Drive, and then Makena Road until you come across a pretty stone wall with a large opening and a blue beach access sign on the south end.

And voila you reach the famous secret beach, which isn't a secret anymore!

Slaughterhouse Beach

Slaughterhouse Beach is less crowded than other mainstream beaches in Maui, making it a decent place for snorkelling and boogie boarding. In a nutshell, this coastline with coarse, golden sand is near world famous Honolua Bay.

Slaughterhouse Beach in Maui (AKA Mokuleia Bay)
Source : avenlylanetravel

It is a dramatic cliff-framed beach ( a small hidden beach) on  Honoapiilani Highway (Highway 30). Protected by a marine reserve, this place offers nice Molokoi views and is good for snorkelling in summer.

Why is it called Slaughterhouse Beach?

The golden sand beach got its famous name from the Honolua Ranch slaughterhouse and tanning storage that was conveniently located on the cliff's edge above the ocean. Although, the buildings were torn down in the '60s, the lovely name, Slaughterhouse Beach stuck.

Baldwin Beach Park

Views from Baldwin Beach captured by Nick Prentler
Source : instagram

Considered one of the best beaches in Maui for bodysurfing, Baldwin Beach begins a half-mile away at Wawau Point and ends at Kapukaulua Point.

It is not just a beach but a park that offers numerous activities. From basketball courts, BBQ pits, restrooms, showers, and even a covered picnic area Baldwin Beach has it all.

Located on the north shore, this busy beach has a long stretch of powdery white sand and is bookended by a secured swimming area with gentle blue waves. When you get restless by all the relaxing or playing water activities, you can take a long walk to soak in the gorgeous views and cool ocean breeze.

Where: North Shore, Maui

Activities: Bodysurfing, bodyboarding, swimming, surfing

Amenities: Parking, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, lifeguard

Papalaua Wayside Park

Photo Courtesy: Marquardt Joanna
Source : instagram

Papalaua Wayside Park is a narrowish beach with a few rocks. This beach is one of those amazing places where you can park your vehicle right adjacent to the beach.

Yes, you heard me, there is a parking lot between the ocean and Honoapililani highway. Now you can bring a picnic and enjoy grilling hot dogs with your friends and family at Papalaua Wayside Park.

Just pull up, set up your chairs and cooler and relax.

Keawakapu Beach

Keawakapu Beach is a popular snorkeling spot in Maui
Source : facebook

Keawakapu Beach is also one of the best snorkeling beaches in Maui for beginners. This 0.7 miles coastline is nearby a cluster of rocks making it a great snorkeling spot.

Similarly, this beach is also great for swimming, and body surfing for beginners. It offers a beautiful view of West Maui, Molokini, and Kaho'olawe. Hop in the water on the right-hand side to watch those little coral reefs, sea turtles and many types of butterflyfish.
What's more? Per locals, they bring their children and pets to play on this pristine white sand beach because Keawakapu is also a great place to watch the sunset.

Oneuli Beach

Oneuli Beach
Source : tripadvisor

A prominent geological landmark, Oneuli Beach is a part of Makena State Park. This beach is found on the Wailea side of the Pu'u Ola'i cinder cone and is famous for swimming & snorkeling.

The dry, sparsely vegetated cinder cone absorbs a lot of heat from the day, hence you can climb it without a hassle for magnificent sunset or sunrise views.

This picturesque beach offers black sand & marine life views and is one of nature's gems of volcanic proportions. Best of all, this black sand beach is also a pronounced place for snorkelling.

Moreover, Oneuli has easy access and a parking lot nearby. Now you can bring your vehicle to the beach and park at a nearby spot for a price of $10.

In addition to snorkelling, we can also find sea turtles along this stretch of coastline. So, grab your snorkel gear and swim on this black sand beach along with your favourite sea turtle.

Kapalua Bay Beach

Among the best snorkelling beaches in Maui, this tranquil sand beach in a protected cove on the northwestern tip of Maui is the most beautiful beach in this island. Here, snorkelers have often spotted sea turtles, making it an amazing spot to be in Hawaii.

Kapalua Bay Beach
Source : tripadvisor

With picturesque views, palm trees, and golden sand Kapalua Bay gained worldwide attention by being ranked “America's Best Beach" in 2018. Not only a haven for snorkelers, but this place also has excellent swimming conditions too.

You can pull up a rug or lay down on a chair for sunbathing, soaking up the fresh air offered by this serene beach. Plus there is abundant of marine life in the area. You can easily spot fish, eels, and sea turtles swimming amongst the coral.