BEST BEACHES ON MAUI

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Baby Beach

Baby Beach is a perfect hangout beach for the whole family. A long coral reef about 100 yards out usually protects the shoreline from any waves. Thanks to that reef, the ocean at Baby Beach is usually very calm and very shallow (1-2 feet deep). Wade into the water here to check out the fish and other marine life living around the coral heads. Enjoy looking, but please do not touch marine organisms, including coral. It is best to rent a beach umbrella to enjoy this location, as this end of Baby Beach has very little shade. If you walk about ¼ mile along the shore, you will find the Lahaina Jodo Mission. This Japanese Buddhist temple is a beautiful sight to see, and the temple grounds are open to the public. If you do want to walk north along the beach, bring slippers to protect your feet from thorns that have dropped into the sand from the kiawe trees.

Location
Kid Friendly-
Lifeguards-
Maximum DepthBaby Beach
Snorkeling Levelbeginner
Best Snorkel Time 06:00:00
Beach Open10:00:00
Beach Closed12:00:00
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Black Rock

Black Rock

Location
Kid Friendly-
Lifeguards-
Maximum DepthBlack Rock
Snorkeling Levelbeginner
Best Snorkel Time 06:00:00
Beach Open00:00:00
Beach Closed01:45:00
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DT Fleming Beach

DT Fleming Beach is bordered by pine trees, palms, and naupaka plants. It is a beautiful spot to watch the ocean roll in as well as the surfers riding their boards. (This is actually a great surfing beach for advanced surfers.) Depending on the weather, this fairly long and wide expanse of sand can get a lot of wind and great waves. For calm days, there are picnic tables and BBQs, and plenty of gorgeous beach to lay out on. DT Fleming is one of the only west side beaches watched over by a lifeguard.

Location
Kid FriendlyYes
LifeguardsYes
Maximum DepthDT Fleming Beach
Snorkeling Levelbeginner
Best Snorkel Time 06:00:00
Beach Open00:00:00
Beach Closed12:00:00
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Honokeana Bay

Honokeana Bay is known for being a place where there is a very good chance you will encounter Green Sea Turtles. Obviously, turtles are wild animals, so there is no guarantee you will encounter them. With that said, time and time again, Many of our guests tell us they see tons of turtles at Honekeana Bay. The Green Sea Turtles love to eat the algae growing along the rocks in the shallow waters. This is a snorkel only spot because it has no beach to speak of and consists of a rocky shoreline.

Location
Kid Friendly-
Lifeguards-
Maximum DepthHonokeana Bay
Snorkeling Levelbeginner
Best Snorkel Time 06:00:00
Beach Open00:00:00
Beach Closed12:00:00
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Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay is just beautiful! You’ll take a forest path to reach the beach, and if you had any worries, they’ll melt away as you gaze in awe at the giant plants along the path and listen to the murmurings of the resident chicken flocks. The bay is bordered by a beach full of large smooth stones. There is no sand to speak of. In calm weather, this bay hosts snorkelers and divers, but when there is a swell coming through, the surf goes off at Honolua Bay! Check the Maui snorkeling conditions before you drive there. Both sides of the bay boast a well established coral reef with great marine life. You are likely to see peacock groupers, butterflyfish, yellow tang, Moorish idols, and occasionally a manta ray or octopus! Turtles are seen here occasionally, as well. Because fresh water is entering to mix with the salt water in Honolua Bay, in some places the underwater world looks wavy – a bit like when water streams down your windshield in a car wash. Get into the water by going off the old boat ramp on the right hand side. At the shoreline, the bottom is covered with rocks. The ramp and the rocks beyond are very slippery, so take your time. For your comfort, float as soon as you can, and then push out to check out the fish! The beach is made up of large, smooth, round rocks. Though beautiful, it is not super comfortable to rest on. The ‘aina (land) surrounding Honolua Bay is maintained by a man named Uncle Jimmy. If he is there when you are, and you have the time to sit and talk story, he has some incredible tales and history to share. If you want a big mahalo, leave a tip for Uncle Jimmy on your way out; it’s a nice exchange for all the upkeep he does on the beach and trail, and for keeping an eye on people’s cars. Honolua Bay is a Marine Life Conservation District located on the north western end of Maui.  No fishing of any kind is allowed here making for a sealife density and diversity that is second to none on the Valley Isle. Honolua Bay is surrounded by high rocky cliffs on both sides that shelter it from the wind and keep the water calm.  An old cement boat ramp in the center of the beach divides the shoreline in two. To the left of the boat ramp, the shore is made of dark grey powdery sand where an intermittantly running stream flows into the bay.  The flow of the stream in addition to the darker sand makes the water near the shore quite murky.  Not to worry though, if you swim a little ways out the sand becomes white in color and the water clears up (I'll tell you how to get completely get around this area in a moment). To the right of the boat ramp, the shoreline is made of rocks and small boulders.  The famous Honolua Bay surf spot is located out on the far right-hand (north) point. The Honolua Bay surf break is renowned to be one of, if not, the most perfect wave in all of Hawaii.  Whether you're a surfer or not, when there's a north swell, this perfect break is quite something to see.  Luckily, the point is far enough away that the waves won't affect your snorkeling. The middle of the bay is flat with white sand, the center being about 15 to 20 feet deep. As you sit on the beach you will be looking out across the Pailolo Channel at the eastern shores of the Island of Molokai.  

Location
Kid Friendly-
Lifeguards-
Maximum DepthHonolua Bay
Snorkeling Levelbeginner
Best Snorkel Time 06:00:00
Beach Open10:00:00
Beach Closed12:00:00
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Kaanapali Beach

This is one of the most popular snorkeling spots on Maui. Every island in the Hawaiian chain has a place where the ancients believed that souls leapt into the afterlife. Black Rock, known in Hawaiian as Pu’u Keka’a, or “Rolling Hill,” is Maui’s jumping-off point. It is also home to a coral reef that is a lot of fun to explore. During whale season, Black Rock is a great place to hear whale song underwater; the incredible sounds bounce off the lava formations there. Most of the fish are both close to Black Rock itself, and in a little cove around the rock to the right. You will always see trumpetfish, the Hawaiian state fish, brown surgeonfish, and different types of butterflyfishes. There are also large schools of goatfish hanging out along the bottom, half asleep. If you are there at just the right time, you may see Hawaiian green sea turtles, the harmless blacktip reef shark, or an unbelievably cool formation of spotted eagle rays! Enter about four yards to the left of Black Rock, in a sandy area. There is a lot to see just on the left hand side. If you want to check out the cove, too, keep some energy in reserve for your return trip. Sometimes there is a current you’ll need to push through on your way back. Kaanapali Beach is a 3 mile long picture perfect stretch of white sand located on the western shore of Maui.  Its been rated one of the best beaches in the world by numerous travel publications such as Condé Nast magazine.  Black Rock is the prominent rocky peninsula and snorkeling spot at the north end of the beach.  The combination of great ocean conditions and the seemingly endless white sand make snorkeling Black Rock at Kaanapali the complete beach experience. Ka’anapali Beach is quite possibly the most breathtaking beach on the Valley Isle.  After experiencing the clear blue water, well-mannered surf, and warm sand, I’m sure it will become one of your favorite places in all of Hawaii.  The soft powdery sand is literally the best on Maui. A beach walk runs parallel with the sand the entire length of Kaanapali.  A collection restaurants and shops called Whaler's Village is about half-way down.  The tiki torches fronting the restaurants makes Kaanapali Beach at sunset one of the most romantic places on the island.  Some of Maui's best hotels line the shore: Sheraton Maui Resort, The Kaanapali Shores, Embassy Vacation Resort Kaanapali Beach, The Westin Maui, Kaanapali Beach Resort, and The Hyatt Regency Maui to name a few. There will be a fair number of people on the sand.  But don’t worry.  The beach is over 3 miles long so there will be plenty of room for you. The water around Black Rock starts at about 8 feet deep and gradually gets to about 25 feet or more as you head around the point.  You will be mostly snorkeling over sand but following a underwater lava rock ledge.  The visibility is good even in the deeper parts around the point.  Keep an eye out for the turtles that frequent the overhangs along the ledge. Here’s some of the fish I’ve seen while snorkeling at Black Rock: Butterfly fish, parrot fish, damsel fish, surgeon fish, moorish idol, tang, wrasse, box fish, cardinal fish, perch, chub, trigger fish, the former Hawaii State Fish Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, goat fish, snapper, porcupine fish, hawk fish, jacks, mackerel, cornet fish, needle fish, turtles, crustaceans, and invertebrates. World famous Ka’anapali Beach is known for the long stretch of white sand beach that runs continuously from the Hyatt Hotel on the south end all the way north to Sheraton Hotel. In between you will find the Marriott, Ka’anapali Ali’i, Westin, Whaler’s Village, The Whaler Condos and the Ka’anapli Beach Hotel. There is limited beach access parking in Ka’anapali, but there are a few spots under the Sheraton Hotel parking structure, in between Whalers Village and the Westin Hotel, and between the Ka’anaplai Ali’i and the Marriott. If you don’t feel like hunting for a parking spot, your best bet is to park in the Whalers Village parking. This is paid parking but if you buy some snacks at the ABC Store or choose to have some beverages at one of the restaurants, you can get 4 hour validated parking. This is one of the most popular Maui beaches. It also boasts the famous Black Rock jumping-off point (Pu’u Keka’a). It’s a long sandy beach with good snorkeling. Expect to park at Whaler’s Village and get validated.

Location
Kid FriendlyYes
Lifeguards-
Maximum DepthKaanapali Beach
Snorkeling Levelbeginner
Best Snorkel Time 06:00:00
Beach Open10:00:00
Beach Closed12:00:00
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