Beaches

1) Hamoa

It is hard to put your finger on it. But there is just something about Hamoa that makes it our favorite beach on Maui. And given that we are self-proclaimed “beach snobs,” this is saying quite a lot.

Hamoa BeachHamoa Beach
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Hamoa Beach
 
The road to Hana has a way of making you say “wow!” Even after spending a day or several years on Maui, it is impossible not to recognize the breath taking beauty and tranquility in Hana. Maybe it is this drunk with beauty feeling that overwhelms us. Whatever the reason, we rate Hamoa beach number one on the island.

The boarding and surfing can be spectacular at times. The sand is perfect and the atmosphere can be summed up in one word – tranquil.

Most visitors to Maui make a bonsai run to the seven sacred pools and then return as soon as possible to Kihei or Ka’anapali. We highly recommend spending at least one night in Hana. This allows you to enjoy the drive and truly experience all the amazing scenery along the way. It also allows you to spend considerably more time at Hamoa!

Map to Hamoa

2) Big Beach

Big Beach is like the Las Vegas of Maui. You know that by going there, you will be

Big BeachBig Beach
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Big Beach
 
entertained. There is always something going on at Big Beach.

On the weekends, you can watch locals surf, flip, jump and occasionally wipe out on the large shore break waves. This along with the wide variety of lifestyles provides very entertaining “people watching.”

The surf at Big Beach can vary drastically from day-to-day. On most winter days, the surf is relatively small, but can provide some fun waves for beginning body boarders. On summer days, the surf can be huge. Wave on many parts of the beach will quickly grow to 5+ feet before a quick and very powerful crash onto the sand. Beginner body boarders should not participate on large surf days at Big Beach as many will risk serious injury. On days when the surf is very large, you can hear and feel the crash of the waves from the parking lot.

For experienced body boarders, we suggest proceeding past both public parking lots and parking at the very south end (the end furthest from Kihei) of Big Beach on the side of the road. At the south end of the beach you can see where the volcanic rocks stick out of the water. The line where these rocks start is a great wave break that will often times yield a ride that is over 50 yards.

And if none of the items above catch your attention, the beauty of the blue water at Big Beach is mesmerizing. Simply sit back and enjoy.

Map to Big Beach

3) Po’olenalena

Po’olenalena is name at the parking lot, but our recommendation is specifically for “Loves” beach. Loves is a local name given to the section of Po’olenalena which is

Po'olenalena (aka Loves) BeachPo'olenalena (aka Loves) Beach
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Po'olenalena (aka Loves) Beach
 
located to the north of the parking lot and accessed via a 2 minute hike. The path is shown on the map below.

We just love this beach and go there quite often. The sand is silky soft and the atmosphere is laid back. Well, all of Maui is laid back, but this place excels at it. It is also a great place to watch whales. We once watched two whales have a tail slap fight just off shore. There are often weddings on the beach and a high percentage of Maui postcards have pictures of Po’olenalena. This speaks volumes as to its beauty.

We recommend setting up on the south end (the end closest to the rocks). The other end of the beach (by the house on the point) is a “clothing optional” area. Much to our dismay, the folks that are drawn to public nudity are often times the people you’d least like to see naked. Just a personal observation.

Map to Po’olenalena

4) Keawakapu

This beach is located on the border between Kihei and Wailea and is quite likely

Keawakapu BeachKeawakapu Beach
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Keawakapu Beach
 
one of the nicest beaches on the globe. An ocean front lot recently went up for sale on Keawakapu for $25 million. That price did not include a house – just the land. Keawakapu is just that spectacular. (But you ranked it #4? That just indicates how truly amazing the top 3 beaches are.)

Body boarding and snorkeling here are ok, but not its strongest asset. Kaewakapu’s prize feature is its sand. It has arguably the nicest sand on the island. Additionally, since it is on the south side of Maui, it provides awesome sunset views. This is our very favorite place for a sunset stroll. Park over by the Five Palms. Drop your shoes on the grass and stroll to your hearts content.

Map to Keawakapu