11 of The Best Family Beaches For Kids in Maui (2022)

By Joshua Davis •  Updated: 05/26/22 •  14 min read

If Hawaii is famous for its beaches, then the beaches of Maui, the second-largest Hawaiian island, are infamous.

We have been spoiled by the azure blue waters and white sand beaches of Hawaii and, if it were closer than 3,600 miles from New Braunfels, Texas, our Mexican Gulf loyalties might be put into question.

There are more than 80 accessible beaches of every imaginable description along Maui’s coasts which makes deciding which beach you should visit challenging, especially if you’re visiting Maui for the first time and with young children in tow.

That’s why we have compiled the list of the best beaches for kids in Maui that you must visit.

The Best Family Beaches in Maui, Hawaii

We have prepared our list of the best beaches for kids in Maui after considering the following factors.

Hopefully, after a quick read, you’ll be better equipped to head straight for the beach of your choice and stake your claim for the day.

1. Baby Beach or Pu’unoa Beach, Lahaina (West Maui)

Not to be confused with the Baby Beach Paia (located near the Baldwin Beach Park on the north shore of Paia town) Baby Beach Lahaina, also known as Pu’unoa Beach, is located in West Maui.

Thanks to the offshore barrier reef, this shallow, calm lagoon is a perfect oasis for families with young kids. The soft, white sand is great for building sandcastles and makes a beautiful contrast to the blues and greens of the lagoon water.

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2. Kapalua Bay, Kapalua (Northwest Maui)

The Kapalua Bay is an idyllic crescent-shaped beach located in Northwest Maui. It’s no less than a tropical paradise and a perfect place for snorkeling with beautiful fish and sea turtles.

The backdrop of this beach looks like something straight out of a magazine: a pristine natural cove with perfect beaches, lush, green vegetation, and luxury resorts.

No wonder it has been labeled the “Best Beach in America!”

With that said, Kapalua is POPULAR. Expect crowds and arrive early (before 9am to find parking and stake your claim. It is highly recommended that you drop the family off by the stairs to the beach and then head back to find street parking

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3. Kama’ole Beach III, Kihei (South Maui)

The Kama’ole Beach III (aka Kam 3) is the smallest one of the three famous Kama’ole beaches. It has tons of accessible facilities, a playground area, and a large grassy park, making it one of the best options for families. In addition, it’s just a short stroll from vacation condos and homes to ensure easy access.

The surf here is ideal for body or boogie boarding, a calmer spot at the north end for snorkeling, and the picnic areas are great for barbecuing.

There are also plenty of restaurants a short drive north on S. Kihei Road if you need to grab a bite. Grab some take-out, gather around a picnic table and enjoy the stunning Maui scenery at the Kamaole Beach Park.

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4. Launiupoko Beach Park, Lahaina (West Maui)

Arguably the most family-friendly beach in Maui, Launiupoko Beach is located at the southern end of Lahaina. It’s extremely popular with beginning paddleboarders and surfers, boasts stunning views of the West Maui mountains and Lanai, and offers plenty of shaded areas to relax.

There is a protected wading area and lots of surf breaks to keep the water calm making it ideal for young children learning to swim or novice surfers and paddleboarders. You kids will also love watching rich ocean life from tide pools that rock barriers create.

There are also restroom facilities, outdoor showers, picnic tables, and barbecue grills for public use.

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5. Maluaka Beach, Makena (South Maui)

Also known as “Turtle Town,” Maluaka Beach is home to Hawaiian green sea turtles. It’s a white sandy beach rich in marine life and It’s a perfect location for snorkeling, boogie boarding, playing in the waves, or building sandcastles.

The beach is tucked away out of sight of the main road and is a popular spot for sunsets. It provides families with a calm and relaxing environment that makes for a perfect day.

There are plenty of hotels nearby which is why the beach sometimes becomes overcrowded on weekends. However, you can visit it on the weekdays to avoid crowds.

Food options on this beach are limited to a few food trucks; so, pack your own food before heading out.

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6. Napili Bay, Napili (West Maui)

Have you ever been on a beach so beautiful that it almost hurts?

Welcome to Napili Bay: one of Maui’s oldest, most pristine beaches. Make some reservations at the oceanfront condos and this little slice of heaven will be your front yard for the duration of your stay.

If you have small kids who love to play on soft sand and you like snorkeling, Napili Bay is the best choice to spend a perfect beach day. The calm waters are protected by outer reefs and provide a playground for abundant, colorful fish and sea turtles.

While during the summer months, the water is calm and smooth as glass, the waves can get large in the winter months. While it provides a good environment for a boogie board and surfing adventures, you’ll need to be very careful with little ones at that time.

While there are no public restrooms that you can use, you’ll find a couple of nearby restaurants and one grocery store to buy your last-minute snacks.

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7. Ulua Beach, Wailea (South Maui)

Ulua Beach is a picturesque place that offers gentle breeze, island views, palm trees, and soft golden sand. What makes it a great beach for kids is that it offers all sorts of activities that a family could hope for.

Not only is it popular for snorkeling but here you can also perform stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking.

There is a popular diving spot on Ulua Beach where you can sign up for scuba diving lessons. You can also buy snacks for your family from nearby hotels and there are plenty of outdoor showers and restrooms as well.

After having an exciting day on this beach, you can go to the small park located nearby for early dinners or picnics with your family.

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8. Sugar Beach, Kihei (South Maui)

A 5-mile, pleasantly underdeveloped strip of sand, Sugar Beach, Kihei is one of the longest beaches in Maui and it’s perfect for late evening and early morning strolls. Visit this beach early in the morning and you’ll be treated to spotting sea turtles, tropical fish, and maybe a whale.

The Sugar Beach stretches from North Kihei to Haycraft Park in Ma’alaea which means it has many entrances for easy access. Due to the afternoon tradewinds, this beach is windswept, so be sure to anchor down your belongings.

The dedicated kayak launch access point on the beach along with several rental options draws kayakers from the area; but, other than that, this beach is remote, lacking permanent facilities and picnic areas. There are often port-o-potties, however, at the northern and southern ends.

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9. Kahekili Beach Park, Kaanapali (Northwest Maui)

Know by locals as “Airport Beach” from the oceanfront airport that closed in 1986, Kaanapali Beach is one of the best beaches on Maui.

It’s rich in sea life and opportunities to witness the Hawaii state fish: the Hmuhumunukunukuapua’a.

Say that ten times fast.

What makes the Kahekili Beach Park a popular family destination is BBQ pits, picnic areas, showers, restrooms, easy access, and grassy areas. Thanks to its large size, it can accommodate crowds better than other beaches, providing plenty of elbow room even on busy weekends.

Whether you like jogging, walking, snorkeling, or scuba diving, you’ll love this beautiful beach because of its stunning sunset views, calming environment, and colorful reef.

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10. Olowalu Beach (West Maui)

The Olowalu Beach, known by visitors as “Mile Marker 14”, is located only seven miles away from Lahaina at the base of Olowalu Valley. One of Maui’s best snorkeling sites, it provides tons of opportunities to spot different types of sea turtles and tropical fish.

The shallow water makes it great for wading with young children and, although the beach is narrow, there are still plenty of nice places to sit and relax … just put your sandals on before walking through the grass. Those kiawe thorns are no joke!

The main road here is so close to the beach that the water reaches it at high tide. You can park pretty much anywhere on the ocean side of the highway; however, mind the soft sand. You don’t want to get your car stuck.

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11. Wailea Beach, Wailea (Southwest Maui)

Just being on this beach makes you feel like you’re hob-nobbin’ with the ultra-rich and famous. This sparkling ribbon of golden sand is crowned with two of Maui’s most extravagant resorts, the Grand Wailea and The Four Seasons.

Wailea Beach is Waileas’ largest and most popular beach for sunbathers, paddleboarders, and snorkelers. It’s a lovely laid-back beach located on the south shore of Maui. It has a big open area and offers shallow water perfect for boogie boarding and swimming.

It also has plenty of umbrellas and chairs where you can relax.

The earlier you arrive the better your chances of enjoying the beach before the crowds and afternoon tradewinds sweep in.

There is little to no shade (unless you score a chair with an umbrella) and the waves are more powerful than they can appear; so, little ones should be watched carefully.

There is also a big public parking lot and an easily accessible entrance located between Four Seasons and Grand Wailea resorts. If you like snorkeling you can do it around the rocky point located on the south end of the Wailea Beach.

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Beach Safety: Tips for a Safe and Fun Time

While most beaches we mentioned above offer developed and protected areas for visitors, remember that the ocean is ultimately still wild. Never underestimate the importance of being prepared and cautious so that your family remains safe and has a great time.

Beach Gear: What to Take Along

If you’re planning to go to a beach in Maui, consider packing the following beach gear to spend a memorable time with your family.

Wrapping Up Best Beaches for Kids in Maui

If you’re like me, one of the most annoying aspects of taking your family somewhere new on vacation is driving around trying to figure out the best places to go and things to do.

And, with Maui’s 80+ beaches to choose from, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the options.

I just want to skip to the fun!

Now, when you get to Maui, just pull up this post, play a little eenie-meenie-miney-moe … and go!

Aloha!

Now, get out there!

Joshua Davis

Being outdoors is freedom! Being outdoors with my wife and two boys is LIVING! Whether in my backyard or getting lost in a National Park, there’s nothing I’d rather do than explore, discover, and experience the paradise that surrounds us. Give me my family, a backpack, and a trail and my life is full!