From volcanoes and jungle to white-sand beaches and spas, Maui, Hawaii, boasts activities for every type of traveler. Of course, one activity that you cannot miss, regardless of whether you’re a vacationer or adventurer, is swimming at the beach. Out of all the beaches on the island, here are the 13 best beaches in Maui to swim.
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1. Makena Beach
Makena Beach is well known for its Bora-Bora-esque water, but a frequently asked question remains. Is Makena Beach good for swimming?
Yes, Makena Beach is perfect for swimming.
Popular activities at Makena Beach include swimming, bodyboarding and bodysurfing. However, be forewarned that Makena has a strong undertow that can be extremely dangerous for young children and inexperienced swimmers.
You can learn everything you need to know about visiting and staying safe at Makena Beach here.
2. Kamaole Beach Park II
On the contrary, Kamaole Beach Park II has much tamer waves than Makena Beach. Although the color of the water isn’t quite as awestriking, Kamaole Beach Park II is a perfect swimming beach for families.
Furthermore, the view of eastern Maui, as well as the western locations of all the Kamaole Beach Parks (I, II and III), makes these parks the best spots in Maui to watch sunset.
Whether you’re swimming or watching sunset, walk across the street to Kihei Aloha Ice Cream while at Kamaole Beach Park II for a sweet Hawaiian treat.
3. Keawakapu Beach (Best Beaches In Maui To Swim)
Similarly, Keawakapu Beach in Kihei is also one of both the best Maui sunset spots and best beaches in Maui to swim.
Keawakapu Beach is situated adjacent to the 5 Palms restaurant, so bring your wallet for dinner. You won’t want to miss the tiki lights, sunset view and incredible seafood that 5 Palms has to offer. I personally recommend the coconut shrimp.
4. Black Sand Beach At Wai’anapanapa State Park
The iconic black sand beach at Wai’anapanapa State Park is a Maui must. Your chances of seeing black sand beaches are few and far between, so Wai’anapanapa ought to be a priority while you’re in Maui.
Plus, it’s hands-down one of the best beaches in Maui to swim.
Although, I will caution you to bring shoes of some sort. The sand here isn’t quite as soft due to the beach’s seclusion. I personally swear by my black Teva sandals for the beach.
Moreover, while you’re visiting the iconic black sand beach at Wai’anapanapa State Park, walk across the beach to the side opposite of the entrance staircase. There, you’ll see a small hiking trail tucked behind big black boulders. Take the two-minute hike on the trail, and you will be rewarded will a miniature black sand beach — most likely all to yourself.
Also, don’t worry if you don’t have a drone. Wai’anapanapa State Park’s black sand beach will make a perfect Road to Hana photo opportunity regardless of the camera angle.
5. Kahekili Beach Park (Best Beaches In Maui To Swim)
At Kahekili Beach Park, the reef comes right up to the shoreline. This unique swimming beach is perfect for all levels of snorkeling, learning to snorkel and learning to scuba dive. Here, you can see tons of tropical reef fish, and you may even see a turtle!
Additionally, Kahekili is typically not busy, which means it’s a true hidden gem.
6. Wailea Beach Park
Next, Wailea Beach Park is very similar to Makena Beach in terms of looks, but its waves are much calmer.
Thus, this Maui beach is best for swimming. If you’re looking to bodyboard or bodysurf, head over to Makena Beach!
7. Mokapu Beach (Best Beaches In Maui To Swim)
Mokapu Beach is the beach on the Andaz Maui At Wailea Resort property in Wailea. Between the convenient beach chairs, nearby spa and festive luaus, who couldn’t love Mokapu Beach?
(Note: You must be a resort guest to use the beach chairs. The use of spa facilities and luaus requires an additional fee.)
8. Polo Beach
Likewise, Polo Beach is the beach near the Fairmont and Four Seasons resort properties.
There is public beach access and a parking lot just south of the Fairmont. But, if the private resorts still approve of the public beach, then you know it’s a high-quality beach.
You can expect ideal swimming, snorkeling and even bodyboarding conditions, as well as both resort guests and locals relaxing here.
9. Molokini Crater (Best Beaches In Maui To Swim)
In addition, Molokini Crater makes this list of best beaches in Maui to swim due to its unique shape and unmatchable Maui snorkeling conditions.
As the name suggests, Molokini Crater is the famous crater-shaped island just off the coast of Maui. Although it does require a boat tour to reach (I recommend this boat tour), its raging popularity proves that it’s a must-see.
10. Turtle Town
Can you guess what you’ll see in Turtle Town?
Yes, that’s right. Turtles!
Now, Turtle Town isn’t technically a beach. It’s more of a region of the ocean, stretching from Nahuna Point to the southern district’s black sand beach. The primary beach located within Turtle Town is Maluaka Beach, so many people refer to Maluaka Beach as Turtle Town.
To visit Turtle Town, you can head to Maluaka Beach (which we’ll discuss next). Or, if you plan to visit Molokini Crater, many Molokini Crater tours will make a snorkeling stop at Turtle Town.
11. Maluaka Beach (Best Beaches In Maui To Swim)
As mentioned, Maluaka Beach offers a fantastic sandy beach to swim in Maui and is located on the shore of Maui’s Turtle Town region.
Its high water clarity and its calm daytime waves provide optimal swimming and snorkeling conditions. Meanwhile, below the surface, you’re likely to encounter a Turtle-Town turtle or two.
12. Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a fancy GoPro or camera case to take great underwater pictures. All you need is your smartphone and a waterproof phone pouch.
I used my iPhone and this cheap waterproof pouch from Amazon to take these crystal clear underwater photos while snorkeling at Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve, one of the best snorkeling locations in all of Maui.
13. Ho’okipa Beach Park (Best Beaches In Maui To Swim)
Unlike the rest of these Maui swimming beaches, Ho’okipa Beach Park is actually not for swimming. In fact, this beach is home to massive — and terrifying — 30-foot waves.
So, then, how does Ho’okipa Beach make this list of best beaches in Maui to swim?
Apart from the massive, terrifying, 30-foot waves, Ho’okipa Beach is also notorious for its napping sea turtles. If you visit, you may be one of the lucky ones to catch some sea turtles snoozing on the shore.
Legally, you can’t get close to the turtles. But, if you want to see turtles on your Maui vacation, this is a promising location to do so.
Should I Worry About Sharks In Maui?
Yes, Maui has sharks. In fact, Maui has the highest number of shark-related fatalities of all the Hawaiian islands.
However, your chances of a shark encounter here are still virtually non-existent.
Actually, there is a higher probability of you dying from a coconut falling on your head than a shark attack. Yes, this is a real sign in Maui!
How Do You Avoid Sharks In Maui?
Here’s how to avoid sharks in Maui:
- Stop swimming before dusk.
- Never swim after dark.
- Don’t swim in the ocean after a rain shower. The rain cools the water, which lures the sharks toward the surface. Locals don’t even swim after rain!
- No peeing in the ocean.
- Don’t swim with any open wounds.
- Don’t swim near stream or river mouths.
- Avoid murky water.
- Don’t wear shiny jewelry.
- No swimming near fishermen.
- Swim in groups.
Follow these basic rules, stay aware of your surrounds and you’ll be safe.
Have any questions about these Maui swimming beaches? DM me on Instagram @indigosahara and ask away!
More On Maui, Hawaii
What Is The Prettiest Beach In Maui? Everything You Need To Know About Makena Beach
What To Pack For Maui During The Winter Months
How To Pick A Foolproof Road To Hana Outfit
Where To Take Photos On The Road To Hana
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