Best Beaches in South Maui: Your Ultimate Guide

When I visited South Maui, I was in awe of the stunning beaches that graced its shoreline. With pristine sands and crystal-clear waters, it’s no wonder these beaches are considered some of the best in the world. In this article, I will share my personal experiences and insights on some of the must-visit beaches in this beautiful region.

Best Beaches in South Maui

During my travels, I discovered that South Maui is blessed with a mix of well-known and hidden gems when it comes to beaches. From popular spots like Keawakapu Beach, known for its breathtaking sunsets, to more secluded locations for those seeking serenity, there is truly something for everyone.

For me, it’s not just about the scenic beauty; it’s also about the activities that these beaches offer. I found myself snorkeling, whale-watching, and even exploring lava tubes, all within the stunning backdrop of South Maui’s beaches. This journey was filled with unforgettable memories and the desire to return to these magical shores in the future.

Makena Beach

Makena Beach, also known as Big Beach, is one of South Maui’s beautiful coastal gems. I love how this beach extends for nearly 2/3 of a mile, making it one of the largest undeveloped beaches in Maui. Its white sands and scenic beauty have become iconic for Maui’s beaches.

When I visited Makena Beach, I noticed that it’s popular for a variety of activities. The beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and even bodyboarding. However, be aware that the waves can sometimes be powerful, so it’s important to exercise caution.

Another aspect that contributes to Makena Beach’s charm is its natural surroundings. Unlike some other crowded tourist spots, Makena Beach allows me to relax and enjoy the view with minimal human-made distractions. It’s a great place to experience the beauty of Hawaii’s nature.

While exploring Makena Beach, don’t forget to check out its nearby counterpart, Little Beach. This smaller, more secluded spot is just a short hike away and offers a unique experience for visitors to this captivating part of Maui.

Keawakapu Beach

When I visit South Maui, Keawakapu Beach is one of my favorite spots to spend the day. Located between Kihei and Wailea, at the end of South Kihei Road, this beautiful white sand beach stretches approximately 0.7 miles along a fully developed coastline (Hawaii Guide) . The breathtaking golden sand of Keawakapu Beach is the softest among the 15 Kihei beaches in the area, thanks to its southern location (We Dream of Travel) .

As a beach lover, I appreciate the various activities the beach has to offer. Keawakapu Beach is perfect for a long walk, swimming, snorkeling, or just soaking up the sun on the shore – making it ideal for both couples and families (LetsgotravelMAUI) . The exceptional tidepools at the north end and good snorkeling around the outcropping are some of the unique features of this beach (Maui Guidebook) .

When I take a break from the activities, I enjoy immersing myself in the mesmerizing views of Haleakala mountain, which adds to the cinematic experience of the landscape (LetsgotravelMAUI) .

Wailea Beach

As I ventured further into South Maui, I came across Wailea Beach, one of the most picturesque beaches on the island. This crescent-shaped beauty lies behind the Grand Wailea Resort, making it popular among both tourists and locals for its resort vibe and various activities available. While visiting, I found the beach to be wide, filled with soft, golden sand, and surrounded by enchanting ocean views (Maui Guidebook).

When I got into the water, I found it to be very calm and perfect for swimming. Wailea Beach is known for its tranquil waters, making it an ideal spot for snorkelers and families alike (Hawaii Guide) . While I was there, I also spotted a nearby cluster of rocks which makes this beach an excellent snorkeling spot (Tripadvisor).

One thing to keep in mind is that Wailea Beach can get crowded due to its popularity among visitors and its location right in front of the Four Seasons and Grand Wailea resorts (Maui Away). Nonetheless, if you find yourself in South Maui, I highly recommend stopping by Wailea Beach for a memorable day in paradise.

Po’olenalena Beach

While exploring South Maui, I discovered Po’olenalena Beach, also known as Paipu Beach, which is a beautiful, long sandy beach that until recently was mostly known only by locals (Maui Guidebook). The beach offers stunning sunset views, making it the perfect spot for wedding photographers and ceremonies.

The location is relatively quiet compared to other beaches in the area, with a peaceful atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation. I found that visiting Po’olenalena Beach in the late afternoon allowed me to enjoy the beach with fewer crowds (Maui Guidebook).

Po’olenalena Beach is also known as Chang’s Beach (We Dream of Travel). This remote beach park is typically one of the quieter options in South Maui, with the exception of when it hosts the popular Maui Sunday Drum Circle.

As a first-time visitor, I appreciated the ease of access to this beach. Finding parking was convenient, and there were adequate facilities available for use (Hawaii Guide). Overall, Po’olenalena Beach provided an enjoyable and serene experience that I would highly recommend to anyone visiting South Maui.

Maluaka Beach

As I explored the beautiful coast of South Maui, I came across Maluaka Beach, also known as one of Maui’s best-kept secrets. Fronting the Makena Beach & Golf Resort, this stunning location offers visitors sandy shores and lush greenery, making it a picturesque spot for beachgoers and nature lovers alike. (source)

During my visit to Maluaka Beach, I discovered that it is part of Turtle Town, a collection of locations where Hawaiian green sea turtles can be found in their natural environment. The thriving coral reefs just off the shore contribute to the turtles being drawn to this area. I was thrilled to observe them swimming and feeding (source).

Apart from being a haven for sea turtles, Maluaka Beach also hosts a variety of water activities. I ventured to the south end of the beach and found excellent snorkeling spots, while I noticed others participating in diving and kayaking (source). Not to mention, the calm waters, protected from the trade winds by Haleakalā Volcano, make it an even more ideal location for snorkelers and kayakers alike (source).

In summary, Maluaka Beach, with its pristine shoreline, vibrant marine life, and various water activities, made for a truly unforgettable experience during my South Maui adventures.

Final Thoughts

After exploring the beautiful beaches in South Maui, I can confidently say that the area has something to offer for everyone. Big Beach, also known as Oneloa Beach or Makena Beach, is one of the most picturesque beaches on the island with its long stretch of golden sand and pristine waters.

For those who enjoy a more peaceful setting, Keawakapu Beach is a great option, known for its stunning sunsets and a quieter atmosphere. Additionally, Wailea and Ulua Beach are incredible spots for snorkeling, where an underwater world teeming with marine life awaits.

I found that planning my day trips early allowed me to make the most of my time on these gorgeous beaches. An early wake-up, especially for snorkeling, provided the opportunity to have more space in the water and a better chance to spot the diverse marine life around South Maui.

In conclusion, South Maui’s diverse beaches are truly impressive and have left a lasting impression on me. From swimming and snorkeling to soaking in the breathtaking sunsets, my experiences in South Maui will undoubtedly remain cherished memories. Whether you are visiting for relaxation or adventure, South Maui is a must-see destination.

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