🏝 Maalaea Beach, Maui: Ultimate Visitor’s Guide (2024)

Maalaea Beach Maui blog cover image.  Text overlaying an image of white sand and blue waters with green shrubs lining the shore at Maalaea Beach.

Maalaea Beach is the northernmost beach along the Kihei shoreline in South Maui. It is one of the quietest options in the region and one of the best for beach walks.

Trees and vegetation separate the coarse, white-sand shoreline from Kealia Coastal Boardwalk which runs adjacent.

The lack of soft, golden sand, swaying palm trees, and its distance from the town center makes Maalaea Beach one of the least-visited of the 15 Kihei beaches.

In this guide, I will explain everything you need to know to visit. This includes the precise location, parking, photos, and services, as well as several additional useful travel guides for the island of Maui.

Complete Guide to ALL 15 Kihei Beaches

🏝 Maalaea Beach Overview


  • Nearest Town: Maalaea (small harbor town) & Kihei
  • Parking? Small parking lot at Kealia Coastal Boardwalk as well as streetside parking.
  • Public Bathrooms? No
  • Picnic Benches? No
  • Showers? No
  • Grills? No
  • Lifeguard? No


A landscape photo showing the green and blue ocean water and golden, tree-lined sand of Maalaea Beach in Maui.

Maalaea Beach is really just an extension of Sugar Beach to the south. However, things change rapidly as you move just that little bit north.

The sand at Maalaea is far coarser, and the scenery is far less tropical. On the flip side, the crowds and developments also shrink as you move north.

While it may not have the iconic aloha vibes with swaying palms and soft sand, the beauty of Maalaea Beach is often understated. Tucked between the mountains, this quaint shoreline is favorite for locals and visitors trying to escape the crowds that flock to most Kihei beaches.

It is well worth taking a stroll along the Kealia Coastal Boardwalk, too. Traversing the coastal marshland, the easy 0.9 miles out and back trail takes you past a number of interpretive signs and allows you to spot many local birds and wildlife.

The Perfect Maui Itinerary for an Unforgettable Vacation

πŸ—Ί How to Get to Maalaea Beach

A satellite view showing the location of Maalaea Beach.
The red pin indicates the exact position of Maalaea Beach at the northernmost point of Kihei.

With Navigation: Rather than inputting the name of the beach, navigate to Kealia Coastal Boardwalk instead. This is the easiest place to park and access the shoreline.

General Directions: From anywhere in South Maui, drive north along S Kihei Road or State Hwy 31 (Piilani Hwy) until you reach N Kihei Road. Turn left and drive about 1.5 miles until you see the parking area on the left for Kealia Coastal Boardwalk.

πŸŒ… When to Visit Maalea Beach

A sunny day at the empty Maalaea Beach in Maui.

The best time to visit Maalaea Beach is on any sunny day! Day or night, this secluded oasis is somehow always quiet despite being so near a road.

Sunset provides a little extra magic. It is one of the few west-coast beaches that did not get a spot on the list of Maui’s best sunsets because it goes down behind the West Maui Mountains to the west, but it is still a fine place to end the day. You may also find some local honus (green turtles in Hawaiian) basking in the afternoon sun on the beach.

As with all of the beaches on the west coast, the wind tends to pick up more in the afternoons, for better or worse. It can create a nice breeze for an afternoon stroll, but is often less pleasant for sitting out in.

πŸ“Έ Maalaea Beach Photo Gallery

  • Facing north from Maalaea Beach toward the West Maui Mountains

The slideshow above demonstrates the tropical scenery you can expect to find on a visit to this quiet, secluded beach. All of these photos were taken on our most recent trip to Maalaea Beach.

Framed by the West Maui Mountains to the north and Haleakala to the south, this is one of the most underrated Kihei beaches.

🌺 More Maui Beaches & Travel Guides

A young female swimmer waits on the shore of Red Sand Beach in Maui.
Discover the best Secret Beaches of Maui, including the incredible Red Sand Beach seen above.

The two of us work very hard to create these free travel guides to help you plan your dream vacation. If you think we’ve done a good job and would like to say thanks, please consider clicking the donate button below πŸ™‚

Before you go, you may want to skim some of the titles for other relevant Maui guides below to ensure you do not miss any epic beaches, sunset destinations, or noteworthy things to do during your visit to the Valley Isle!

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Written by
Adam Marland is a professional travel blogger and landscape photographer from Oregon. After over a decade of experience as a freelance travel photographer, Adam found national acclaim when he became the National Park Foundation's β€œChief Exploration Officer” in 2021.

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