If you visit in the summertime, Keawakapu is the picture of tranquility- a peaceful white sand beach with a gently sloping shoreline and calm waters. In winter months, however, the unprotected shoreline is pounded by high surf. Keawakapu is best known for the man-made reef of old car bodies just offshore which makes this a natural gathering spot for a variety of tropical fish, and therefore snorkelers. Facilities here include a shower and paved parking, with other amenities found "next door" at Ulua and Mokapu beaches. Keawakapu is the most peaceful, if least distinct, of this group of beaches.
If you are looking for a beach on which to walk or run for long distances, this is a beach for you, as you will find hard- packed sand all the way to Kihei. If you have a surfboard under your arm, this area should be attractive as well.
Otherwise, you may want to head south to Kihei or Wailea for a beach excursion. The water here is not too clear (by Hawaii standards) making it unattractive for both swimming and snorkeling. The omnipresent wind can also be an annoyance for sunbathers and sand players. In short, if you are here during the winter this is a great place to catch glimpses of whales just offshore as you take a long stroll along the coastline. For anything else, jump in the car and head south.
This beach is part of the white sand shoreline that extends from Maalaea through Kihei. The name means "Forget Me Not", and this park which is dedicated to veterans won’t be forgotten if you are looking for a vantage point for incredible winter whale watching. The gentle slope of the beach and an inshore bottom that consists mostly of sand makes this a great spot for both swimming and wading. The park includes many amenities such as restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. This is the beginning of the many nice, narrow beaches of Kihei which are great for a casual day at the beach.
The three "Kam" beaches all offer just about everything you could want in a day at the beach. They all offer full facilities, with lifeguards at One and Two, and each beach has spectacular views of Molokini, Kaho’olawe, Lanai, and northwest Maui. However, while they are all similar, each one has its own unique charms.
has soft and pure sand with plenty of room for laying out your beach towels and blankets. The beach slopes gently into the ocean where the calm waters and gradual grade are perfect for wading and swimming. For those itching to test out their new boards, Cove Park on the extreme north end of the beach is a popular sight for surf instruction. A sand volleyball court also adds to the fun here. The only detractor at Kam I is the proximity of the road which could divert attention from its otherwise pristine beauty.
is nearly identical to its sister to the north, lacking only the volleyball court but making up for it with more of a border from the road. A small sand knoll covered in plants cuts down on the presence of the road.Kamaole Beach Part II is the closest beach to Auntie Snorkel Shop! Come by the shop, and ask Mark or Paul about the local beaches. We're happy to share our unique local knowledge with visitors to Maui. There's a lot more to this island than you'll find in the guidebooks!
offers the most seclusion, with a small beach area being found on the other side of a large grass field. The beach has a little more of a shorebreak than Kam I or Kam II and is perfect for little kids who are eager to play in the surf. The real draw to Kam III, however, is the field which offers a playground, shade, and plenty of room for other activities. The proximity of all three Kamaole beaches makes it easy to visit each one (in Kihei) before deciding on the spot that suits you best. Wherever you decide to lay down your beach towels, you can’t go wrong with any of the Kamaoles.
Found just below the former Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort, Mokapu is more chic than its sister beaches Keawakapu and Ulua. Blue umbrellas shade patrons on white lounge chairs provided by the hotel, and the wood plank walkway behind the beach takes visitors to a resort sponsored activity center. The beach is pure white sand with calm tides (at least in summer) rounding out the tranquil setting.
One of the most popular of the Wailea beaches, Ulua offers something for everyone. When conditions are calm, this is one of the best Maui snorkeling sites and beginning scuba classes are often conducted here. When the surf is up, however, Ulua has some of the better swells around and attracts both body and board surfers. For sunbathers, Ulua offers a large crescent of white sand extending south, with most activities originating on the northern end. For those who enjoy shade, a large grassy knoll provides a perfect place to picnic and enjoy the sights. Public restrooms and showers round out this beach which caters to everyone’s wishes.
Wailea Beach appears to have been taken directly out of a travel brochure, and it is the quintessential upscale resort beach of Maui. Located below the Grand Wailea Resort, the beach is dotted with blue covered lounges, and a volleyball court occupies a piece of the soft white sand. The gentle slope of the shoreline makes this a perfect place for children to play, swimmers to swim, and beginning snorkelers to try out their new masks. If you are lucky, the ocean trampoline may be just offshore for your pleasure. The beach is open to the public, so even if you can’t afford the Grad Wailea, a trip to this beach makes you feel like you have splurged.
Polo Beach is a conglomerate of all the beaches of Wailea. Backed by resorts and private homes, with covered lounge chairs scattered over the sand, Polo is the less glamorous sister of the resort beach Wailea. On calm days, the snorkeling here can rival that of Ulua and Keawakapu, and when the surf is up the offshore bodyboarding can be as good as anywhere in the area. Facilities here are top notch, with shaded parking and paved walkways. So if you want a little of everything found in Wailea, Polo Beach offers it all.
Also referred to as Makena Beach, this is one of the true gems of the Maui coastline. One of the single largest white sand beaches, "Big Beach" looks like it is taken straight out of a tourist publication. The water is an unparalleled crystal blue, the shore bottom is pure sand, and the shorebreak often attracts bodyboarders. Surrounded by undeveloped land, Oneloa has a pristine look that you won’t find at any of the other major beaches. The only drawbacks here are the possibility of cloud-cover coming off of Haleakala and a lack of facilities. There are port-a-potties, however, and everything else is not truly necessary to enjoy this incredibly beautiful spot. For the truly adventurous, try a visit to "Little Beach" just on the other side of the cliff on the right…
Surrounded by the beauty of nature, this beach is usually packed by people getting into the spirit by going "au naturel". While public nudity is illegal, it is almost uniformly overlooked at this popular spot. "Little Beach" is also an excellent swimming beach, and the offshore surf break commonly attracts body boarders and surfers. The pure white sand is perfect for laying out, but you may find it difficult to find room for your beach blanket. If nudity does not bother you, Little Beach is one of the best beaches on Maui.
North Kihei's Sugar Beach is one of the area's best walking beaches. You're likely to find long stretches of deserted beach, some of which shows off the wilder, more local side of the south Maui shoreline. It speaks volumes that this area is also home to one of the area's best windsurfing spots: north Kihei's beaches are notoriously windy in the afternoons, which is why they're most popular among morning walkers.