BEST BEACHES ON MAUI

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Baldwin Beach Park

The long, wide, curving white sand beach fronting Baldwin Beach Park begins a half-mile away at Wawau Point, passes the Maui Country Club and the beach park, and ends atKapukaulua Point. High, vegetated sand dunes form the backshore, with ironwood trees being the primary vegetation. The dunes level off as they approach the beach park. This beach is subject to high surf that generates a powerful shorebreak and strong rip currents. The ocean bottom is sandy and drops quickly to overhead depths. Lifeguards are stationed here daily. Check with them before going in the water. This beach is regarded as one of the best shorebreak bodyboarding and bodysurfing sites on Maui. Some swimming occurs along the beach, but it is usually concentrated at the west end, where a large section of beachrock at the water's edge forms a shallow, sand-bottomed pool. The shorebreak surf at the beach park primarily attracts bodysurfers and bodyboarders. Some surfing also occurs at the point, where waves break offshore on a small reef. Asone of the few shorebreak bodysurfing and bodyboarding sites on Maui, the park is often crowded, especially on weekends and holidays.

Location
Kid Friendly-
Lifeguards-
Maximum DepthBaldwin Beach Park
Snorkeling Levelbeginner
Best Snorkel Time 06:00:00
Beach Open00:00:00
Beach Closed12:00:00
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Ho'okipa Beach Park

Ho?okipa Beach Park, the original home of contemporary surfing on Maui, is one of the island's best-known shoreline landmarks. Maui Agriculture leased the land for the park to the County of Maui in 1933 and in a land exchange conveyed title to the Territory of Hawai?i in 1947. The name Ho?okipa means "hospitality." The surf offshore from Ho?okipa Beach Park provides surfers with waves almost all year round, as the reefs pick up both summer and winter swells. The most spectacular waves, however, occur during the winter and often reach heights of ten to fifteen feet. This tremendous surf is some of the best on Maui. Contemporary surfing got started on Maui at Ho?okipa in the early 1930s, and in 1935 a small group of surfers formed the Ho?okipa Surf Club. A small building that served as a clubhouse and a set of surfboard racks were donated and constructed in the park by Harold Rice. Foremost among the charter members were two brothers, Donald and Teruo Uchimura, who have both been avid surfers as well as great promoters of the sport of surfing since the founding of the club. The destructive tsunami of April 1, 1946, completely altered the natural features of the park. Many of the trees and most of the wide sand beach were lost, and the high seawall that now borders the seaward edge of the park was constructed to prevent further damage.

Location
Kid Friendly-
Lifeguards-
Maximum DepthHo'okipa Beach Park
Snorkeling Levelbeginner
Best Snorkel Time 06:00:00
Beach Open10:00:00
Beach Closed12:00:00
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Kanaha Beach Park

Kanah? Beach Park is a sixty-six-acre county beach park. The east half of the park is developed, with restrooms, showers, and paved parking. The west half is grove crossed by a number of secondary dirt roads. The beach fronting most of the park is narrow and severely eroded. A series of boulder groins constructed perpendicular to the beach to retard erosion have been ineffective and now are seaward of the beach and isolated in the ocean. However, a section of white sand beach approximately one-half mile long at the east end of the park is wide and free of rocks. Kanah? Beach Park is heavily used for windsurfing. Swimmers need to be alert at all times for windsurfers who are constantly launching and landing, often at high speeds. A swimming area near the east end of the park is delineated with a line of buoys to separate the swimmers and windsurfers. Kahului Airport is located directly inland of the park. If aircraft noise is too bothersome, you may want to look elsewhere for a more peaceful setting. Windsurfing was introduced to Hawai?i in the 1970s, and Kailua and Diamond Head Beaches on O?ahu immediately became its most popular sites. Then the sport moved to the north shore of Maui, where the shoreline from Kahului to Pa?ia has become one of the premier windsurfing sites in the world. The year-round consistency, high velocity, and angle-to-shore of the trade winds; the surf on the nearshore fringing reefs; the year-round mild climate; and the accessibility of sand beaches close to public roads have combined to make this a world-class venue for the sport and its international competitions. Kanah? Beach Park, specifically the east end of the park, is one of the major windsurfing sites on Maui's north shore. On a windy day, an average of 100 windsurfers may be found in the water at any time of the day, and windsurfing boards and sails often cover the beach itself from end to end. Kanaha Beach is close to Kahului, where many of the windsurfing shops are located, thus making it afocal point for novice and intermediate windsurfers, who can launch and land safely along the wide sandy beach. Kanah? Beach is also the best swimming beach on the Kahului/Wailuku side of the island. With a gentle slope to overhead depths, it is a popular place for families and children. Kanah? means "the shattered [thing]."

Location
Kid Friendly-
Lifeguards-
Maximum DepthKanaha Beach Park
Snorkeling Levelbeginner
Best Snorkel Time 06:00:00
Beach Open10:00:00
Beach Closed12:00:00
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Oneloa (Big Beach)

Big Beach – also known as Oneloa Beach and Makena Beach – is one of the most fantastic sights on Maui. There is no wider or longer expanse of sand on the island, and the water there is almost indescribably beautiful. We do not recommend swimming or snorkeling in the lovely water here. Big Beach is one of the few south side beaches watched over by lifeguards. Many people have been taken by surprise by the strength and power of even small waves here, resulting in injuries and fatalities. It is best to simply fall in love with this water from afar while you spend time on the sand. Buy some tacos from the awesome food truck in the parking lot, and make amazing memories on Big Beach! (FYI: You can reach the clothing optional “Little Beach” by climbing over the ridge on the right hand side of Big Beach.)

Location
Kid Friendly-
LifeguardsYes
Maximum DepthOneloa (Big Beach)
Snorkeling Levelbeginner
Best Snorkel Time 06:00:00
Beach Open00:00:00
Beach Closed12:00:00
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Tavares Beach

Tavares Beach

Location
Kid Friendly-
Lifeguards-
Maximum DepthTavares Beach
Snorkeling Levelbeginner
Best Snorkel Time 06:00:00
Beach Open00:00:00
Beach Closed01:30:00
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