Maui’s Famous BeachesKaanapali Maui
Maui’s beaches are definitely world renowned and Kaanapali Beach is no exception. You simply can’t go wrong exploring this iconic stretch of sand. However, there are many other beaches and each one is unique, offering something different to the visitor. A good example is Baby Beach, so named not for its size, but because it’s toddler friendly. Here’s an overview of our favourite beaches.
This is our favourite beach for catching a few rays and doing some snorkelling. It’s actually a section of Kaanapali beach. It’s possible to walk to this beach from Papakea Resort, however, if you would prefer to drive, it’s located immediately south of the Westin Villas, about a 5 minute drive south on the highway. Public parking is easy to find. You’ll find washrooms and BBQ facilities as well. The snorkelling is actually amazing as the reefs are about 30 yards from the shore. Michelle and I actually swam with a school of spinner dolphins in 2017, amazing.
Kaanapali beach is approximately 3 miles long and is bisected approximately in half by Black Rock, a cliffy rock outcropping popular with the kids for snorkelling and cliff jumping. Papakea is actually located at the extreme north end of the beach. One of our favorite things in a brisk morning walk, along the beach, to Black Rock. South of Black Rock is fabulous too. You’ll find all the older hotels and condo buildings like the Sheraton that literally sits on top of Black Rock, The Whaler and Kaanapali Alii.
This Maui beach is so named because it is very child friendly. It’s calm due to a natural breakwater a few hundred yards off shore. It’s also very shallow, so the water tends to be quite warm. It’s also a great beach for walking because it’s quite long. Drive into Lahaina and park on Kenui St, right at Front St.
The first time we drove by this beach, in 1989, we were completely blown away. The ruggedness and beauty of the setting catches you by surprise. Located on the eastern windward side of the island, this beach is a favourite destination for wind and kite surfers as well as surfers. If your timing is right, you will see literally dozens of wind and kite surfers zipping along the water. Park on the upper level off of the Hana Hwy and walk down towards the water along the rocky outcroppings. You will be amazed.
Kay ah wa ka pu
If you run into a stretch of bad weather in Kaanapali, you can always head south to Wailea. Heck, head south to Wailea anytime, it’s beautiful. This is another mile long Maui beach that is great for walking. Parking is fairly easy at the beach access at the very southern end of S Kehei Rd. There are no public bathrooms but it’s possible to run up to the Andaz Resort or walk north to the Mana Kai Resort. This is a great beach, perfect for walking, running or lounging.
Located next to Kapalua Resort and the Ritz Carlton, this world class beach is a popular surfing and boogie boarding spot. Spanning half a mile along it’s crescent shaped shoreline, this beach is a site to behold.
Honolua Bay is located on Maui’s north western coast just a few minutes past Kapalua. This picturesque bay is one of the most beautiful ocean locations anywhere in Maui and is part of a 45 acre marine conservation district. You will find the best snorkelling in Maui from May to December here.
Words from Our Guests
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