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  • Writer's pictureJyothi Vummiti

Beaches in Maui, Hawaii

Some of the most spectacular beaches on earth are in the Hawaiian Islands. Each unique in color, character and purpose, you could find the perfect one to suit your vacation needs. Having said that, beaches in Hawaii are known for strong currents and notorious waves. It is important to be well aware of the dangers and be sure of yourself before stepping foot in the water, otherwise a great vacation can soon become a nightmare. 

Big Beach, Makena State Park - Maui

On our recent trip to Maui, we visited some of the most gorgeous beaches on the island. Here is the list and a little description:

Big Beach - Makena State Park: Commonly known as Big Beach, it is one of the prettiest beaches with soft powdery sands and pristine waters. The beach is 2/3 miles long with wide sandy shore and can be accessed through one of the 3 entrances on Makena Rd. Though it is not far from restaurants and resorts in distance, it is still away from them all and feels somewhat secluded. Big beach is known for very strong shore breaks that can catch anyone off-gaurd in no time, especially not safe for kids. But there are calm times in a day when the waves are soothing and the water is crystal clear, and there is no other beach that can top it in our opinion. There are no facilities or food near the beach except for Jawz food truck near the parking lot that serves delicious tacos.

Big Beach, Makena State Park - Maui

Calm and serene / Beautiful water

​Lava Fields: Paved Makena Rd. runs south past Makena state park and ends at "Lava Fields" at La perouse Bay. Much of the landscape there is of 'A'a lava which looks like rough broken chunks of rock, unlike the smooth "Pahoehoe" lava found in most of Volcanoes National Park. It is a great spot for snorkeling. There is a trail along the coast that leads to a beach. Fishes and colorful crabs can be spotted in mini pools at the shore. Definitely worth stopping.

Lava Fields - Makena, Maui

​Oneuli Beach: Part of Makena State park, the entrance to this Black Sand beach is just before the first entrance to Big beach, and is easy to miss if not paying attention. This beach is off the beaten path and a less crowded spot great for snorkeling. The sand is coarse but not particularly black, more like a mix of red and black. 

Oneuli Beach, Makena State Park - Maui

​Wailea Beach: A family friendly beach backed by some of the biggest resorts in Wailea and has a separate entrance for public access. It has a resort vibe with beach chairs, umbrellas and can be very crowded most of the day. This beach is great for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. Water is beautiful with tones of green and blue, but just as any other beach on the island it can get very rough and windy in no time. 

Wailea Beach, Maui

​Kihei Boat Landing: From the name of it, nobody would think of going there except for a boat trip. This spot is more than just a boat landing. There are picnic tables near the parking lot and a tiny beach next to the boat ramp. Tortoises are a big surprise. Many can be seen swimming close to the shore and some even relax on the beach. It is also a great spot for snorkeling and fishing as well. Definitely worth a stop. While there check out Kinaole Grill food truck for some delicious shrimp and fish dishes.

Kihei Boat Landing / Visitors at the beach - Tortoises

​Kamaole Beach: We are not exactly sure if this is part of Kamaole Beach. The entire stretch of South Kihei Road has ocean on one side and restaurants, hotels and resorts on the other. There are many beach parks, and spots where you could just park by the road and walk to the beach. This particular spot is just north of Kamaole and opposite Maui Gelato

Kamaole Beach, Maui / Kamaole Beach, Maui

​Ka'anapali Beach: Ka'anapali beach, just north of Lahaina, beautifully fronts some of the biggest resorts, shopping complex and restaurants in the area. Which is also a downside because the beach can get very crowded. It is great for snorkeling and turtles are a common sight. There is a nice walkway along the beach great for a morning jog or an evening stroll.  ​If you are staying in the area or just visiting the beach, stop at Island Vintage Coffee for breakfast.

Ka'anapali Beach - Lahaina, Maui

​Ukumehame Beach Park (and few miles north): A beautiful stretch of white sand with a breathtaking mountain backdrop on the Honoapiilani Hwy. It is another one of the dreamiest spots on Maui, with soft (patchy) white sand and calm waters. It is easy to find a private spot and worth spending few hours as a quiet getaway.

Ukumehame Beach Park, Maui

Calm beach / Beautiful white sands

​Pa'iloa Black Sand Beach: ​A small but beautiful black sand beach in the Wai'anapanapa State Park, on the eastern side of Maui, just off Hana highway. The genuinely black sand goes from fine to coarse to pebbles to larger pebbles farther away from the water. Striking contrast between lush tropical vegetation, black lava rock and deep blue ocean is remarkably beautiful. The park also features some of the most uniques sites like lava arch, lava tubes, blow holes, caves and gorgeous ocean views. It is a must see spot on a "Road to Hana" trip.

Pa'iloa Black Sand Beach - Road to Hana, Maui

Lava arch / Ocean cave

​Red Sand Beach (Kaihalulu Bay): ​A beautiful secluded beach on the eastern coast of Maui, just south of Hana Bay. It involves an adventurous hike on a short but very narrow slippery trail. The prize in the end is completely worth it. The sand is a result of continuous erosion of red cinder cone behind the beach, mixed with black lava rock, giving it the deep red color. Also a must see spot on a "Road to Hana" trip. If you are tired from hiking, make sure to stop at Thai Food by Pranee.

Red Sand Beach - Road to Hana, Maui

Gear Used: We used Fuji X-T1 with 18-55mm lens. As a secondary camera Fuji X-70.

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