11 Breathtaking Spots for the Best Sunset in Maui

Catching the sun sink below the horizon from a new perspective is one of those bucket list moments that you’ll remember forever.

From east to west, Maui is filled with stunning sunsets. Luckily for visitors and locals alike, this gorgeous Hawaiian island has an abundance of accessible places to catch the end of the day.

From cliff-side vantage points to accessible beaches, here are some of the best places on Maui to see the sunset.

1. Lahaina Pali Trail

Your lungs and muscles will complain, but Lahaina Pali Trail is one of the best spots to watch the sunset on Maui. Prep with sunscreen and water; go for it.

Both of its two trailheads are accessible from Honoapiilani Highway (30). Most people start at the eastern trailhead, which is 2.5 miles south of Wailuku Town.

Expect the 5-10 mile hike to be rocky; uphill portions are strenuous.

But the moment you cross the Kealaloloa Ridge and look out towards the ocean, you’ll forget your aching limbs.

Central valley panoramas are guaranteed, overlooking Kaho’olawe and Lana’i.

The wind turbines and seasonal whale sightings are precursors to the main event: unfettered views of the sunset over the North Pacific.

Halekala volcano sunset tour
Halekala Volcano photo by viator

2. Haleakalā Volcano

Instead of waking before the sun rises and squeezing for a spot of those morning rays, experience Haleakala Volcano in a whole different light.

Without crowds, the transition from burnished skies to glimmering stars feels like a private movie screening.

The best sunset viewing in Maui is effortless too, as the Haleakala Maui Sunset Tour arranges everything from pickup to drop-off.

After a brief stop at Kula Lodge Marketplace for crafts and local snacks, you stop to adjust to the altitude at 7,000-feet-high Haleakala Park Visitor Center.

Once ready, take the winding path towards the magnificent summit – a sheer 9,740 feet (just below 3000 meters) in the sky.

The views are indescribable. Look over the colorful crater and its lunar cinder cones, the orange horizon, and Big Island peaks. Don’t forget to breathe.

3. Hanakao’o Beach Park

If you’re looking for a quiet sunset spot in Maui, highway-adjacent Hanakao’o Beach Park is a lovely waterfront location.

The long, skinny beach is popular among families and couples; it’s simply too easy to wander over after adventuring around nearby Kaanapali Beach and Lahaina Town.

You can easily spend the day at the 4.8-acre park too, thanks to the canoe clubhouse, lifeguard, and bathroom facilities.

What makes it sunset perfect, however, are the picnic areas with BBQ grills.

Bask in the cooling shade under the trees and nibble on some snacks as the sun drops over the horizon. The privacy gives it a romantic touch!

Come for the swimming, stay for the sunset.

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4. Ho’okipa Beach Park

Ho’okipa Beach Park is a great Maui sunset viewing spot for various reasons.

White sand, hardened lava, aquamarine waves with white froth – the dramatic palette is made even more beautiful during sunset.

Watching purples and orange blend into the clouds is such a treat.

The spacious state park also offers surf watching as the large waves lure in surfers.

People pull into the free parking area, then set up shop at the picnic areas and pavilions. Don’t forget to bring binoculars for the final sunset highlight: sea turtles.

These turtles shuffle in around sunset to lie down for the night. It’s a two-in-one kind of sightseeing but remember to keep your distance and don’t touch the wildlife.

Makena cove secret beach sunset
Makena Cove Secret Beach sunset photo by Lauri Sten

5. Makena Cove Secret Beach

Drive just past the Big Beach parking lot and you’ll come across an inconspicuous rock wall.

Hiding behind it is Hawaii’s best kept non-secret: Makena Cove Secret Beach. Sneak through the tiny opening and you’ll emerge to beautiful ocean views.

The crescent-shaped beach surrounded by tropical plantation is also known as Wedding Beach, as the scenery is prime for wedding photos.

You won’t find big crowds here! Bring along a beach blanket and sit on the golden sand for a quiet sunset viewing.

For even clearer panoramas, you can also perch on top of the rocky outcrops that lead into the water.

6. Ka’anapali Beach

Ka’anapali Beach is a classic place to see the sunset in Maui. It’s one of the best beaches on Maui, stretching out for miles.

Home to seven resorts, high-end shopping and restaurants, it’s also super accessible and teeming with amenities.

In the day, water sports like surfing and snorkeling take the spotlight. But as energy levels wane, the turtles come in and the private yacht charters go out.

Many escape the crowded restaurants with a sunset cruise straight from Ka’anapali Beach.

These are often paired with seasonal whale watching and handcrafted cocktails.

For a low-key evening, stay on the beach. The sunset is gorgeous in any place.

7. Kapalua Bay

Snorkelers take delight in Kapalua Bay thanks to sea turtle and eel spotting, and so do sunset chasers.

The tranquil, protected cove is one of the best beaches in Hawaii.

Curved, golden sand and easy access to clear blue water makes it a grand base for day-outs.

Backed by residential houses, it feels a little private too – if not for the crowds.

You can choose to lounge on the beach or the grassy incline on one end.

The Kapalua Coastal Trail also offers more coastal views, but generally, your views out towards Moloka’i are more than generous.

Couples take note: there’s an opportunity for romance right by the end of the beach.

One of the best restaurants in Maui with a view, dine at Merriman’s Kapalua for farm-to-table cuisine, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a cushy sunset viewing experience.

Keawakapu Beach Sunset
Keawakapu Beach Sunset photo by Jim Mullhaupt

8. Keawakapu Beach

You may not be living in the island’s most expensive homes along Keawakapu Beach, but at least the sandy goodness is open to the public.

Located between Kihei and Wailea on Maui’s western shore, it’s a surprisingly isolated half-mile stretch.

The flat, open expanse means you can pick a spot anywhere on the sand and still see the horizon in its entirety.

There’s a grassy layer where palm trees meet the sand, perfect for shade and comfortable sitting.

Watch the sun sink into the ocean and turn the sky a tie-dye of colors.

Accompanied by the gentle and calming waves, it’s by far one of the best sunsets in Maui you can experience.

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9. Kama’ole Beach Park III

The best sunset in Maui accounts for both view and convenience.

Kama’ole Beach Park III, while smaller than its counterparts, is just the right size and well-equipped for families with kids.

The large and free parking lot, showers, play park and lifeguards on the beach welcome crowds during the day.

Notorious Kihei winds and strong waves can deter some from the phenomenal snorkeling opportunities, but does little to affect the evening crew.

When the day-tripping crowd thins out, people staying in condos across Kihei Road emerge for their daily sunset viewing.

Pick up some grub at the food trucks nearby, then settle down for gorgeous views and evening picnics.

10. Wailea Beach

Soft sand lined by palm trees has never felt more inviting than at Wailea Beach.

Less rugged than other Maui beaches, this popular strand sits along the Southwest coast of Maui to face the sunset.

Paved walkway connects the shoreline to the hotels and restaurants nearby, meaning easy access to food and drinks.

If you’re staying in the area, the beach is just a few minutes walk away. Chairs and umbrellas are available for rent, although beach towels work well for seating.

Thanks to the relatively calm waters, you can see how sunset colors reflect off the surface to double the sights.

It shows off an absolutely stunning blend of orange to purple and pinks.

Lucky visitors can even spot turtles, dolphins and whales.

Wailea Beach sunset
Wailea Beach sunset photo by Thomas Hawk

11. Po’olenalena Beach Park

Po’olenalena Beach Park definitely exudes secret getaway vibes.

Squirreled away in the north, it’s not the easiest to get to but there’s a parking lot and porta-potty to make up for your travel troubles.

Take the short trail through lava rocks to find the gorgeous, people-free beach.

Mostly, it caters to sunset wedding ceremonies (talk about peak intimacy) far from the tourist masses.

You get to experience Maui sunsets at its naked best, and yours too – the North section is clothing optional, so you may see more than you planned for!

The only downside is that there are no amenities at this beach park, but don’t let that deter you.