Maui, especially South Maui, is tops when it comes to beaches: 120 miles of the island’s 727 square miles are coastline, making it the leading Hawaiian island in terms of the highest number of accessible swimming holes, sunbathing spots, and snorkeling venues. South Maui is where many of Maui’s best beaches can be found and an area not to miss when visiting the Valley Isle. Here is how you can craft a perfect South Maui beach day.
A Perfect South Maui Beach Day Starts With Picking Some Great South Maui Beaches
Oneuli Beach Park
Dive into South Maui beaches by spending your first day on Maui luxuriating in its sunny splendor. Head South to the Makena area of Maui and just before Makena Beach Park you will find a quiet beach called Oneʻuli or “dark sands.” Although this is often referred to as a “black sand beach,” it is more of a brown beach but one of the most beautiful beaches on Maui. Arrive early with coffee, pastries, and cold drinks in hand, spread out your towel, and “ahhhh” your way toward an 808 perspective.
Located a little further South in Makena State Park lies Big Beach – a sprawling crescent-shaped beach backed by rugged cliffs on the north end that has made it one of the best South Maui beaches and an iconic destination. This beautiful beach may seem mellow, but it certainly packs a punch! With strong currents throughout most of the year due to open exposure to high surf conditions, Big Beach offers up some heavy shorebreak for experienced watermen only! For those looking for a more relaxing day in paradise, lounging on nearby Maui beaches like Maluaka Beach or Makena Cove may just be your best bet.
South Maui Midday Break
After the morning session of your beach day, it’s time for lunch. Head up to the Wailea Gateway shopping center and find The Market on the bottom floor (try the seared ahi melt with garlic aioli). After a refreshing lunch at The Market, deepen that sense of peace by hitting up the ‘Awili Spa & Salon at the Andaz (a hip, airy hotel on Wailea’s Mokapu Beach). Apothecary Consultants will hand-craft an elixir to meet your body’s needs (think: papaya and passion fruit oils from locally-grown fruit), feed you lemon-infused water and dried mango, and then ease your muscles (to accentuate your Hawaiian experience, try their lomi lomi treatment). Named one of the best transformational wellness destinations in the world by Town + Country Magazine, this 14,000-square-foot spa will put you in total harmony.
After Lunch, Head To Wailea Beach
Wailea Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Maui’s south shore. Located in front of the Grand Wailea and Four Seasons, this long, white, sandy beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing during the day or catching spectacular sunset views at night. The resorts in Wailea have plenty of facilities including restrooms with outdoor showers, restaurants, cabanas, and more (though you’ll need to be a registered guest to take advantage of most of the amenities.) In addition to its calm waters that are great for snorkeling with turtles and other marine life when conditions permit; Wailea Beach also boasts stunning resort backdrops that make it one of Maui’s most picturesque locations. The area around Wailea Beach is within walking distance of the Shops at Wailea that offer everything from souvenirs to upscale cuisine. Some of the other best beaches in this area include Ulua Beach, Keawakapu Beach, and Polo Beach.
South Maui Evening
Spend your evening gazing out at the moonlit water from a perch at Humble Market Kitchin in the Marriott Wailea Beach Resort. Here, Roy Yamaguchi—a preeminent Hawaiian chef whose plantation roots make their way onto the plate—serves up dishes grounded in Hawaii’s multi-ethnic history. Go authentic kamaʻaina with Yamaguchi Style Ramen (which arrives with dumplings, sous egg, and pork belly), or get Pacific with the Misoyaki Butterfish with choi sum and tri-pepper soy. After a scoop of Sandy Beach gelato at Island Gourmet Market, cruise back down to Wailea Beach to dip your toes in the still-warm water.
Full South Maui Beach Day
For anyone looking for a true full-day beach experience in Maui, there’s no better region than South Maui. From unblemished sandy beaches to incredible restaurants and activities, there’s something for everyone. Not only can you spend a day lounging on the beach, but you can also enjoy the many amenities that are offered throughout the area. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable beach experience on Maui, cruise down south for some of the best beaches you can find on Maui.
Born and raised on Maui, I have a deep love for language and writing. At present, I work as a content writer at Hawaii Web Group, where I have the opportunity to showcase my passion for storytelling. Being a part of Hawaiian culture, storytelling holds a special place, and I am thrilled to be able to share the tales of the amazing people, beautiful locations, and fascinating customs that make Maui such an incredible place to call home.