Formed by two shield volcanoes, Haleakala in the east and the West Maui Mountains, the island of Maui offers visitors endless family-friendly opportunities to experience the outdoors. Expect unforgettable sunrises at 10,000 feet, underwater encounters in the aquamarine waters down below and afternoons basking in the sun along its colorful, sandy shores—just like its neighboring island counterparts.
With over 120 miles of varied shoreline, the best things to do on Maui involve its seemingly never-ending stretches of idyllic coastline. From tidal pools teeming with marine life to uncrowded white sands, ideal for castle building, here are five of the best Maui beaches to explore with the kids in tow.
Kapalua Bay Beach
Located on Maui’s western shoreline and within driving distance to top resorts in Hawaii, this family-friendly beach is frequented by locals and visitors alike for its snorkel-friendly cove and calm waters. Don’t worry if you forget your snorkel gear or paddle boards—there’s a small beach shack at the end that offers rentals. For arguably one of the most unforgettable things to do in Maui, head to the Coastal Trail with your most adventurous family members. Located in the northern edge of the beach, this off-the-beaten-path hike takes you to Akins Jumping Rock, where you’ll often find locals cliff-jumping into the inviting, warm waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Launiupoko Beach Park
Take a short, scenic drive from one of the top resorts in Hawaii to Launiupoko Beach Park, a stunning white sand beach along Maui’s westerly shores. A sheltered cove makes snorkeling and swimming with the little ones a safe and fun endeavor, while beginner surfers can practice on the perfect medium-sized southern swells in the summertime. If you’re visiting in the winter months, make sure to keep watch for whales for your very own family-friendly local experience—they begin their annual migration in search of warmer waters and pass right by Maui.
Baldwin Beach Park
Lifeguards, picnic areas, and Baby Beach, a protected lagoon in the west, all make Baldwin Beach Park worth the drive to Maui's north shore for a day in the sun. Stop by local-favorite, Paia Fish Market, in the sleepy surf town of Paia to pick up their famous fresh-catch plates before heading to one of the island's family-friendly stretches of coastline. Tranquil waters in the spring and summer make swimming at Baldwin Beach suitable for all ages, while Baby Beach's massive reef protection ensure plenty of opportunities for spotting marine life, including sea turtles, if you're lucky enough!
If you’re wondering where to stay on Maui, head south to Kihei, where several miles of pristine beaches and tidal pools, ripe for exploring with the little ones, await. Keawakapu Beach, located at the very end of town, is one of the island’s most uncrowded beaches. With calm, clear waters for swimming and fine white sand, great for building sand castles and tidal pools to teach the kids how to snorkel, this beach is ideal for families looking to spend a quiet day by the water.
Located on Maui’s east shore, Kofi Beach may be a long drive from your choices of where to stay on Maui, but one that’s certainly worthwhile. Beloved by local surfers, this hidden gem known for its surf breaks, high waves, and, of course, its uniquely colored dark red sand thanks to Ka Iwi O Pele, a neighboring red cinder cone. While the rough waters mean that surfing here is best left to the pros—especially in the winter months—a grassy park, picnic tables and locals selling hot BBQ, all make for an ideal kid-friendly island day out.