Maui is one of my favorite vacation locations with a little something for everyone to enjoy whether you like relaxing, hiking, eating, scenic drives or wildlife viewing. But the reason that keeps me coming back to Maui is the beaches. Maui has some of the best beaches in the world and it’s hard to find a bad beach here, but I have the list of the best beaches in Maui that you should visit. All the best beaches in Maui that made my list are located in South Maui from Kihei to Makena.

Looking for other activities to do in Maui, check out our Top 10 things to do in Maui. 

Helpful Tips: My favorite area to stay in Maui is Kihei or Wailea. We recommend renting a condo so you can cook some of meals and have food to pack to the beaches. Also a bonus to renting a condo is they usually include beach items such as chairs, umbrella and cooler. Be sure to check out our guide on what to take to the beach.

Best Beaches in South Maui

Po‘olenalena (Makena Surf)

This beach is the one we visit most frequently when we are in Maui. Our kids love this beach for snorkeling and boogie boarding. We usually see a ton of turtles in the area, even swimming in the current nearby. The snorkeling is good on both ends where the lava rocks are. There is a public parking lot area but we like the south end of the beach right in front the Makena Surf Condos known as Paipu Beach. I could sit here admiring the view of Kaho’olawe and Molokini all day long!

TIP: There is a public parking spot located in front of Makena Surf Condos. There is  a public walkway to walk down to the beach. It’s best to get there early to guarantee a parking spot. If you use this path, they also have showers to wash off your feet. If you can’t find parking, don’t park on the street, it is a bike lane where  you will be ticketed, possibly towed. 

Sunset at Makena Surf Beach

Kama‘ole II & III

We have stayed in condo locations across from both Kama‘ole II and III so we’ve hit these beaches nightly for sunsets. When we were visiting Maui earlier this year, we spent alot of time during the day at Kama‘ole II because we enjoyed the proximity of walking distance to the beach. Sometimes parking in public parking at beach locations is hard to find because of the limited space, so planning your trip so you can walk to a beach from your condo location is important.

Kama‘ole III has a large grassy area next to the road which is a nice place to watch the sunsets with a blanket or hang out for spotting whales during whale season which is December-March. We also saw many turtles swimming at these beaches.

TIP: Don’t park in retail space near these beaches because most have a security officer that will ticket your car if you are not there to visit the local businesses. 

Kama‘ole II

Turtles in Maui

Ulua Beach

This beach is known for the best snorkeling in South Maui due to the abundant coral around the rocky points. We’ve read that it is also a great place for diving, especially at nighttime.
But if you are like me and don’t really enjoy snorkeling let alone night diving, this white sand beach is backed with palm trees and a picturesque view of the surrounding islands. Sit back relax and go for a swim the calm, gentle warm water!

TIP: Arrive early in the morning for the best snorkeling when winds and waves are less rough. Later in the day, the winds tend to pick up and make the water more choppy which leads to cloudy snorkeling conditions. 

Maluaka Beach

We love this beach for spotting turtles while swimming, which is why it gets it nickname the “Turtle Town of Maui.” Our older kids love the bigger waves at this beach for boogie boarding.

Maluaka Beach is also not as crowded as some of the other beaches which makes it a great lounging beach with lots of beautiful sand, some shade and public restrooms.

TIP: Sometimes parking can be difficult at this location. There is a little unload/load circle on the beach entrance. I recommend dropping off chairs and coolers with a person in your party so the driver can go park and don’t have to drag all your beach gear. 

Maluaka Beach

These are the best beaches in Maui for sunbathing, wildlife viewing and snorkeling. I hope you find yourself relaxing and enjoying the Aloha life in Maui on these beaches soon!

Also don’t forget to check out our Maui Vacation Guide with tips on where to stay, top things to do and how to save money on your trip.


This blog post contains affiliate links from Amazon. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend tools that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart.

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