Top 5 Maui Beaches

Maui is world renowned for its beaches and it boasts some of the top beaches in the entire world. There's so many amazing beaches on the island that it's really hard to pick only 5 of them! Here's my top 5. favorite beaches on Maui........

Kapalua Bay

In 1991, Kapalua Beach won the title of "America's Best Beach". Conde Nast also crowned it, "Best Beach in the World" and it can be very hard to argue with that statement. One of Maui's protected beaches, you'll definitely want to bring your snorkel gear as the coral reef here has abundant ocean life. It's also very common to come across resting turtles on it's golden sand. You have plenty of amenities here as there are public bathrooms and also world class fine dining at Merriman's. Nearby accommodations include The Ritz Carlton Kapalua, The Kapalua Villas, Napili Kai Beach Resort, Hale Napili, Outrigger Napili Shores Resort, Napili Sunset Beachfront Resort, Napili Surf Beach Resort.

Kapalua's Embrace

A wonderful sunset panorama I captured at Kapalua Bay here on Maui. This beach has been voted best in the world numerous times and is usually a great snorkeling spot as well

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Ka'anapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach is the most popular beach on the island as it's lined with some of the top hotels and resorts on the island. Besides the fact that the beach is huge, it's the conveniences around the beach that most find entertaining. Fine dining, art galleries, shopping, activities, you name it and Kaanapali has it. In fact since everything is right there, you can literally check into your room and not leave Kaanapali Beach until you need to go back to the airport. Whaler's Village is where most of the activity takes place and where most of the available parking is located.

Lover's Paradise

I found these two palms a nice subject for a very beautiful sunset at Ka'anapali Beach

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Ka'anapali Palms

A picture perfect day at the world famous Ka'anapali Beach here on Maui. Coconut palms and white sandy paradise

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Makena Beach State Park (Big Beach)

Makena State Park has three entrances and has two beaches, Big Beach and Little Beach. Did you know that it's the most photographed beach in all of Hawaii? Big Beach is not only large in size, when there's a south swell the waves are huge! I would not recommend swimming here during those conditions but bring the camera and photograph some of the local surfers and body boarders. If you find yourself wanting to check out Little Beach, know that clothing is optional and you'll find some very interesting conversation. Check out the drum circle every Sunday night.


A glorious sunset erupts for this panoramic view of Big Beach (Makena State Park). The sky resembles almost a mirror of the beach itself for this special image

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Waianapanapa State Park

Have you ever wanted to spend the day on a black sand beach? This beach is truly something special and the contrast of the black sand against the lush greens and emerald water are just beautiful. Located near Hana, it's quite a drive to get there but definitely make it one of your stops if you're planning on making the Road to Hana part of your trip. Check out the trails around the 122 acre park and you'll find sea arches, sweeping panoramic views, caves and even a blow hole. Don't miss the cave to the right of the beach(pictured below).


One of my favorite beaches I've ever been to and I just love the contrasts of this scene. The almost electric greens contrasting off of the black lava rock, the blue sky against the green and the waves against the black sand. Truly one of the gems of Maui and such a refreshing scene to take in. I captured this one with a medium format camera for maximum detail and color

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Hamoa Beach

One of the true gems of East Maui, this beach is among my personal favorites to photograph. There are two entrances and it's surrounded by lush cliffs. It's also home to a popular surf break and you'll find many locals here when surf's up. Native Hawaiian's have been surfing here since ancient times actually. Overall, it's 100' wide by 1000' long in a perfect crescent shape making a picture perfect postcard. It's really amazing to look back at the island being out in the water here as beyond the lush cliffs surrounding Hamoa, you'll be able to see all the way up to Haleakala rising 10,000' above sea level.


One of the best beaches on the island of Maui, Hamoa Beach is isolated and free from crowds at the moment. Just after sunrise there is some magical light here and this just really captures the essence and feeling of East Maui. Take a moment and inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your you feel the vibe and relaxation

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