18 Best Beaches in Maui for Swimming & Snorkeling

Maui has some of the most stunning beaches in the world and you don’t have to go very far to find a beach bum’s paradise here.

Every beach is great in its own right – some are secluded and perfect for those who want to escape the tourists; others are prime locations for sunning and swimming…and this is what this article’s all about.

We’re sure you’ll find a few beaches on this list that will satisfy all your cravings for sand and surf.

Here’s a guide to the 18 best beaches in Maui for swimming – if you love the water as much as we do, you’ll want to grab your flip flops and check them out!

1. Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach is a great place to go for a swim. It is protected by a small cove, which means the waters are safe for inexperienced swimmers and is mostly protected from large waves.

The white sand and clear blue water make it one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.

Just be warned that the resort-goers can sometimes make it feel more like a scene from The Jersey Shore than a relaxing day at the beach.

However, if you don’t mind tuning out the noise or if you’re looking for a place to snorkel, Wailea Beach is worth checking out.

The rocks provide great opportunities for snorkeling, and the views of the nearby islands are simply stunning.

Wailea Beach Pathway Maui Hawaii
wailea beach

2. Ka’anapali Beach

Ready to jump in the waves and explore the world beyond? Ka’anapali Beach is perfect for a day of swimming, sunbathing, and fun in the water.

With soft white sand and calm crystal-clear waters, it’s easy to find a spot to hang out here all afternoon.

Swimming is only part of the fun – take part in laidback activities like kayaking or snorkeling.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, try out parasailing or paddleboarding – it’s sure to be a memorable experience.

Whatever your pleasure may be, Ka’anapali Beach won’t disappoint!

3. Baby Beach

Splash around with your little ones and enjoy a day at Baby Beach – one of the safest beaches in Maui for families.

The water here is shallow and gentle, perfect for toddlers and young children.

The sand is soft, and the water is crystal clear; you’ll be able to see all the way to the bottom.

Note: There’s no lifeguard or amenities nearby.

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4. Kanaha Beach Park

Splash, sunbathe, and play in the sand at Kanaha Beach Park.

With gentle waves and a sandy bottom, this beach offers an endless supply of safe swimming and playing opportunities for all ages.

If you’re looking for a spot to windsurf or kiteboard, this park is a prime spot too!

Slaughterhouse beach aka Mokuleia Beach Maui
slaughterhouse beach photo by Hawaii Savvy

5. Slaughterhouse Beach

Don’t let the name scare you; we promise, Slaughterhouse Beach is completely safe for tourists!

Also known as Mokulei‘a Bay Beach, summertime is when you want to visit because the water is calm and the conditions are perfect for swimming.

Not only does the beach boast crystal clear water, but you can also go snorkeling and swimming with sea turtles!

If you’re visiting outside of the summer months, this beach is a great spot for boogie boarding and body surfing.

Parking can be tricky to find, try to get there before 8am and make sure you don’t leave any valuables in the car.

6. Baldwin Beach Park

Located on Maui’s north shore, Baldwin Beach Park is well-maintained, with a soft, sandy surface and gentle waves that make it perfect for swimming and surfing.

But do note, the waters can be choppy on some days depending on the wind, so make sure you check the conditions before taking a dip!

There’s also plenty of amenities nearby if you need them – restrooms and showers, picnic tables and a lifeguard on duty.

Whether you’re spending the day swimming or simply enjoying the peace and serenity of the area, Baldwin Beach Park is a great choice for your next day out in the sun.

7. Olowalu Beach

Olowalu Beach is located on the western shores of Maui, just off mile marker 14.

It’s a popular spot for snorkeling and swimming, and you can even find some good waves for bodyboarding.

The reef is a little bit offshore, so you’ll have to swim out to get to it.

But it’s definitely worth it – the reef is full of colorful fish, and the water is crystal clear.

Just be sure to wear water shoes, as the coral is sharp and can cause nasty cuts.

Olowalu Beach is a local favorite, and we think you’ll love it too!

Honolua Bay maui
Honolua Bay

8. Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay, located north of Kapalua, is a popular spot for swimming in Maui.

The beach is rocky and not ideal for lounging, but past visitors often rave about the snorkeling conditions.

The waters are clear and calm, and you can even swim over to Slaughterhouse Beach from Honolua Bay.

Tip: Swim towards the tour boats – this is where you’ll find colorful coral and fish!

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9. Palauea Beach

Need a break from all the excursions? Swap it for a relaxing day at Palauea Beach.

This quiet patch of paradise on Maui provides plenty of space to stretch out and take in the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

You can relax on the soft sand, build sandcastles, or swim and kayak around the tranquil waters.

If you’re looking for some quality family time, Palauea Beach is the perfect place for you.

Tip; Don’t forget to bring your food and drinks with you, as there are no vendors at the park.

10. Napili Beach

Get your dose of the good life at Napili Beach; with crystal clear water and gentle waves perfect for swimming and snorkeling, this beach is a safe haven for families with kids.

Plus, the reefs protect it from most swell directions, so the water here is always calm.

So pack your beach bag and head to Napili Beach!

Kapalua Bay Maui 1
kapalua bay photo by Lynne Schreur

11. Kapalua Bay Beach

Take a break from the city and head to Kapalua Bay Beach for a refreshing swim in crystal-clear water.

The beach is nestled in a cove that protects the waters from strong waves and currents, meaning that swimming is smooth and safe.

The beach can get quite crowded during the summer months, so visit early in the morning on a weekday to avoid big crowds.

12. Makena Beach

When the heat starts to take its toll, take a break at Makena Beach. This beautiful beach offers a nice spot to play in the water and relax in the sun.

The crystal clear water is perfect for swimming, and there’s also a nice spot to snorkel just a little away from the shore.

There’s always a lifeguard on duty to keep you safe, and you’ll also find plenty of food trucks in the parking lot to satisfy your hunger pangs.

Note: Makena Beach is also known as Oneloa Beach and Big Beach.

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13. Kamaole Beach Park

With its three different stretches of beach at Kamaole Beach Park, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect spot for a refreshing dip.

Lifeguards are on duty at all times, providing extra safety for new and even experienced swimmers.

With its easy access and tidy grounds, Kamaole Beach Park is the perfect place to spend a day in the sun.

Keawakapu Beach maui sp
Keawakapu Beach

14. Keawakapu Beach

Looking for a peaceful beach where you can swim and snorkel in excellent conditions?

Keawakapu Beach is a quiet beach located within a residential community, so you’re unlikely to encounter many tourists.

Instead, you’ll get to enjoy the natural beauty of the place without all the noise.

The soft sand and clear waters make for ideal swimming conditions, and the north end of the beach is home to some fantastic snorkeling spots.

If you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the fantastic sunsets, you’ll be blown away.

15. Charley Young Beach

With crystal-clear waters and stunning views of the Hawaiian sunset, Charley Young Beach is perfect for a day spent lounging on the sand.

However, be warned: there’s very limited parking, so you’ll need to arrive early in order to find a spot.

Waianapanapa state park black sand beach Maui
Honokalani Black Sand Beach

16. Honokalani Black Sand Beach (Pa’iloa)

Swimming at the black sand beach at Waiʻānapanapa State Park can be a little rough due to the wild waves, so it’s only recommended for strong swimmers or surfers.

With its glimmering water, black shoreline, and panoramic views, this beach is sure to take your breath away.

Not to mention, this idyllic coastline is jam-packed with plenty of activities to keep you busy all day.

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Clothing Optional Beaches in Maui

17. Paia Secret Beach

Leave your inhibitions behind! Secret Beach in Paia is clothing-optional; the perfect place to let your hair down and enjoy the summer sun.

Although not a hidden gem by local standards, you won’t find crowds of tourists here.

Soak up the sun, splash around in the water, take a walk on the beach – there’s really nothing that can spoil your fun here.

18. Secret Cove Beach

Do you love the feeling of the sun on your skin? Want to get a little closer to nature?

Also known as Pa’ako Beach, this hidden paradise is perfect for those who appreciate natural beauty, and who want to enjoy a day in peace and privacy.

Bare all down there as you bask in the sun, or slip into some casual clothes and take a walk on the beach.

If you’re a free spirit and you’re not afraid to show it off, Secret Cove Beach is a perfect spot to take a dip – sans clothes.

Note: the shoreline is pretty rocky and it’s best to wear water shoes if you plan to go for a swim.