Maui Beaches for Kids

Get the most of the coast with our age-appropriate picks for kids from toddler to teen.

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Maui Beach: Kōkī Beach. Photo by Jenna Szerlag

Ages 8–12: Min-groms in Action

Let’s face it, at this point, you’re not the one deciding which beach you’ll be going to — at least not without some strong preteen opinions factored in. Those sweet kiddos who relied on you for safety and to make them sandcastles now pretty much abandon you before your unfurled beach blanket can flutter to the sand. If they’ve taken up surfing or sponging (boogie boarding), you may not see them for hours. Naturally, you want to keep an eye on them anyway, so a nice, near-shore beach break offers a happy compromise.

Sure, some spots are nearer to town, but on a sunny summer day, nothing can beat Kōkī Beach in Hāna for a grom session. Your little shredder can carve up the mini barrels while you watch the ‘iwa birds swoop endless circle eights over ‘Alau Island. If that gets tiresome, take a stroll to see whether the resident monk seal is napping at the base of the red coastal cliffs. (But be sure to keep your distance.) And hey, when it’s the dreaded time to reapply sunscreen, there’s no hiding. Much to your young one’s chagrin, you can walk right out to them — the water is only about waist deep in the lineup. (Cue maniacal mom laughter.)

Heading to Hāna for a beach day is quite a commitment, but the good news is that food trucks have popped up throughout Hāna town, making it much easier to grab a snack or a meal. Nevertheless, come well prepared with provisions for a full day — or consider an overnight stay — and nope, there is no shower or restroom at Kōkī (though Hāmoa Beach, just a short stretch down the road, offers both). There’s a wildness to this beach; it’s both a reward and something to heed. In the winter, Kōkī is known for deceivingly strong rip currents. Always use good judgment, and don’t be afraid to ask some Hāna locals if you’re unsure about reading the water yourself.

Plan B: Pavilions at Ho‘okipa, near Pā‘ia town

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