Maui’s Best Beaches

More than 60 beaches hug Maui’s coastline, including four that have been named “Best Beach in America” by environmental scientist and author Steven “Dr. Beach” Leatherman. Choosing which stretch of sand to visit is an inviting tropical challenge, and it could take months — or even years — to leave your footprints on all of them. Here’s a starter kit of beaches we recommend for the attractions they offer — from sunup to sundown.

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Story by Kyle Ellison

Sugar Beach Maui, Kealia

Best Beach for an Early Morning Stroll
Sugar Beach, Keālia

How long is this sandy crescent along Mā‘alaea Bay? The exact length is up for debate (it runs into other named beaches near its southern end in Kīhei), but it’s safe to say you could walk a 5K without having to turn around. Early mornings are quiet and still, and in the soft, pastel light of dawn, when the sun is rising from behind Haleakalā and casting shadows on the shoreline, there are few places more scenic for a stroll than here on Maui’s longest unbroken beach. Mā‘alaea Bay is one of the island’s best places for spotting whales in winter. Honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) hang out here, too, napping peacefully on the sand, unperturbed by the teams of outrigger-canoe paddlers who stroke in unison offshore. The northern terminus is in Mā‘alaea, with parking at Haycraft Park, but you also can begin in Kīhei by Sugar Beach Resort, or in the middle by Keālia Boardwalk.

Runner-up: Kahekili Beach Park, Kā‘anapali

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