The 5 Best Beaches for Kids in Maui

Aloha Maui travelers and welcome to LetsgoTRAVELMAUI!

Bringing the entire family to Maui can be very expensive.  Some of the best and most fun activities on the island, especially for kids, are FREE when spent at the beach!  

If you are coming to Maui with the family we recommend staying along the south shore in Wailea or Kihei. Here you'll find some of the best beaches in all of Maui.  Today we will share The 5 Best Beaches for Kids in Maui.

One-of-a-Kind MAUI Getaway!

But first, our best recommendation for accommodations is to check in at the  luxurious One-of-a-Kind MAUI Getaway!  It's an architectural masterpiece overlooking all of south Maui that has over 100 FIVE STAR reviews on VRBO. It's a perfect fit for families vacationing to Maui. 

It boasts panoramic ocean views, has a huge infinity edge pool for the entire family and sleeps up to 10.  This is a perfect place for the family (or 2 families vacationing together with kids) and it's only 5 minutes to the best kid friendly beaches in all of South Maui.  

Single family homes are a great solution compared to the large and crowded resorts. Your wallet will thank you too!

one-of-a-kind MAUI Getaway

One-of-a-Kind MAUI Getaway - Hawaiiana modern masterpiece

sunset at one of a kind maui getaway

One-of-a-Kind MAUI Getaway - Sunset from infinity edge pool!

1. Keawakapu Beach

Our first kid friendly beach is Keawakapu Beach. It's a kid's playground for so many beach activities.  

We recommend parking in the gravel parking lot (public lot) at the north end of the beach located next to the Mana Kai Hotel.  There are a total of 3 public parking lots located at Keawakapu beach.  The other two are located at the mid-point and south end of the beach.

Perfect beach for sand toys, boogie boards, SUP, snorkel gear and kayaking

If you don't have a stand up board, boogie boards or snorkel problem...there is a rental shop next to the lobby just inside the Mana Kai Maui Hotel. It's just a few steps from the beach.  

You can set up on either the grassy area (in front of the hotel) or on the long and beautiful sandy beach.  

The north end is a perfect intro for boogie boarding for the kids.  Waves are easy to handle and the keiki (child or children in Hawaiian) will have a blast.  

Be sure to check out all the tide pools in and around the rock outcroppings.  

The younger kids can spend hours wading in the pools and looking for sea cucumbers.  

This is also an excellent location to snorkel with the older kids.  The best snorkeling is to swim along the outcropping (in front and West of the hotel) and around the point.  The turtles love to hang out here and the kids will see plenty of fish.  

Bring your GoPro or undewater camera!  Just a's prohibited to feed any of the underwater sea creatures.  And remember to give at least 10 feet distance between the kids and the Honu (Green Sea turtle in Hawaiian).

Lunch for the Kids and Family

Be sure to pack a cooler full of snacks, food and drinks before you head to the beach.  G0 to the beach early morning when the beach and waves are usually more calm.  

This is also the best time to take the kids snorkeling when the water is flat and visibility is usually clearer.  

By lunch time you have a few options.  

You can of course eat the food you packed.  If you don't want to bring a cooler and hassle with getting all that food prepared you currently only have 1 option at the Mana Kai Hotel.  The Five Palms Restaurant recently closed and a new high end restaurant is due to open late 2023 or sometime in 2024.  It's unknown what the restaurant will serve but it's likely to be awesome!

So that means the current and only option is the General Store.  It's located on the first floor, at the east end, of the Mana Kai Hotel.  

Here you can get deli sandwiches, ice-cream, chips, sodas, awesome desserts, wine and a multitude of other sundries.  

Grab what you need and walk back to the grassy area of the beach and just sit, relax with the kids and talk about the morning adventure at Keawakapu beach.  

Be sure to check out our YouTube video.  This one gives you more details about the best beaches in South Maui including Keawakapu Beach. 

Best Beaches in Maui [South Maui 2023]

2. Kama'ole Beaches I, II, III

Kamaole Beach (Kam I, Kam II and Kam III called by locals)  is actually 3 beaches that are perfect for kids.  

These three beaches are in the heart of Kihei.

 All three are similar and unique in their own ways.  Kam I and II both have lifeguard towers which is a must when you are swimming in Hawaii waters with kids.  

All have restrooms and showers.  

All have decent snorkeling at the rocky points which define the ends of the beaches.  

There is public parking at each.  

Kam I has a small parking lot but overflow parking is available right across Kihei Rd in the gravel lot next to ABC stores/gas station.  

Kam II has parallel parking only on S. Kihei Road.  Kam III has a large public parking lot and parallel parking along S. Kihei Road as well.

Okay, now what makes each of these beaches fun for kids?

Kam I

Kam I is a very long and wide sandy stretch of beach which is easy and calm for the kids.  

It's a perfect beach for building sand castles, swimming, boogie boarding, SUP, kayaking, smash ball etc...

Kamaole I beach

The water is usually  calm and is perfect for the kids to practice skim boarding.  Snorkeling is at the ends of the beach where the rock outcroppings are located.

The ABC store on the other side of Kihei Rd now has Island Gourmet deli located in the store.  Island Gourmet first opened at The Shops at Wailea several years ago.  

Having Island Gourmet across from Kam I is perfect for grabbing food to take to the beach.  It has a kitchen and made to order sandwiches, plates, and meals (both breakfast and lunch) that are perfect when spending the morning or afternoon at the beach with the kids. 

What to Bring to all the Kam Beaches?

beach chair umbrella
camera and video
beach bag
beach toys
flip flops

Kamaole Beach II

Kam II

Kam II beach is great because it's a medium size beach...not too long and not too short.  You can easily walk end to end in about 15 minutes.  

It's also right across the street from 808 Deli, Fred's Mexican Cafe, Penny's Pizza & Pasta, and Moose McGillicuddys.

So if you didn't bring lunch it's a simple walk across the street. Lot's of travelers don't know about 808Deli as it's tucked around the north side of the building.  

They have awesome deli sandwiches and excellent salads.  

Kam II aerial view looking down S. Kihei Road

Kam II has a great outdoor shower, handicap ramp access to the beach, restrooms and a lifeguard tower.  There are also a couple picnic tables located near the lifeguard tower and out of the sun.  

This is a perfect spot to eat your lunch.  

The beach is a gentle slope into the water and the the waves are small because of the protected shape of the beach. It's an easy wave for the kids to have fun with the boogie boards or just playing in the water.


Kam III is a favorite for locals.  

They especially like the large grassy area at the south end.  The grassy area is a perfect area for the kids to throw frisbee, set up a volleyball net, fly a kite, or any other activity where you have lots of room to run around and be a kid.  

It's also a great location to watch the sunset.  

The beach has a few outcroppings with reefs for snorkeling.  Again, the shore break is calm and provides easy access in and out of the water.  

This beach can get busier as there are many condo projects across the street which are walking distance to this beach in particular.  I


3. Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach is in the heart of Wailea and just a 3 minute drive from The Shops of Wailea.  Stop at the Shops at Wailea for lunch after the beach or grab breakfast at Longhi's before you head to the beach.  This is a perfect restaurant for the family.

Wailea beach is very popular with guests from the Grand Wailea and The Four Seasons Resort because they are located right on the beach.  

There is plenty of public parking, restrooms, showers and places to eat if you decide to skip eating at The Shops at Wailea.  This beach is perfect for families especially with families with small children.  

Wailea Beach

The entire beach length is sand and easy  to wade into the water for the Keiki.  Its great for easy and gentle boogie boarding and of course just lounging and swimming in the water.  

The kids will love the excellent snorkeling. Just wade out at either end of the beach and swim out and around the point.   Wailea Point is our favorite snorkeling at Wailea Beach. 

You will likely see many turtles and if you are lucky maybe see a white-spotted eagle ray cruising by!

Wailea point snorkeling

Food & Drinks

If  you want to spend a small fortune on lunch you can always stroll up to the Grand Wailea’s Molokini Bistro and enjoy a great lunch at their ocean view bar or on one of their lanais and watch the afternoon go by with views out to Molokini crater.  

Or see a stunning sunset...after a day on the beach!

You could also walk a few steps up from the beach to  Four Seasons Maui resort and have lunch at Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante which serves up amazing modern Mediterranean-Italian flavors.  

Both are expensive but hey you're in Maui, right?  Go for it!  You will be glad you did.  

Whatever you decide to do...the kids will have loved spending the morning or afternoon at Wailea Beach.  It's something they will never forget.

Hawaiian Word of the Day:

Kama 'aina  (KA-ma-EYE-na) ---Long time Hawai'i resident

4. Makena Surf

Makena Surf, also called Paipu Beach, Love Beach, Keauhou Beach, and there are a few others but regardless of the name, this beach is one of our favorites, not only because of the variety of marine life and healthy coral, but the beach itself is great because it's nearly 1/2 mile long with a very gentle slope which makes it great for kids to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, skim boarding, smash ball, frisbee, sand castles, or just throwing a football.

But our favorite reason is the unbelievable snorkeling.  Get the kids ups early (7-8am) and get them down to this beach.  

Green turtles Maui

The kids can snorkel at either the south end or north end of Makena Surf.  We recommend the south end because the area is less exposed to tourists.  

Now go have fun and be prepared to see tons of turtles. 

Here is a snorkeling recommendation that may provide some value and insight when you are kicking around with your fins.  

green turtle maui

When you get to a reef and see the coral... just  stop, hang out, and  observe all the sea creatures going about their busy won't be long before you see several turtles swimming by or cruising on their way to the surface for a  gasp of air .  

Watch our Makena Surf video where we snorkel with our friends the Honu (Green Sea turtle in Hawaiian).

Take the GoPro and have it on video mode the entire time.  You never know what you might see...maybe an eagle ray, eel, never know so be prepared!  

Check out our Makena Surf Beach trailer

No food or places to eat nearby

Makena Surf beach is really a destination beach with the intent of enjoying the snorkeling. You need to pack a lunch, drinks and snacks for the kids.  

There are no eating establishments in this area.  

Since you will be getting here early we suggest you bring some snacks and water/juice that the kids can enjoy after snorkeling.  

You can always enjoy a breakfast after snorkeling. Stop off at one of the restaurants at the  Shops at Wailea or one of the restaurants at the resorts in Wailea.  

Or just head back up to your vacation rental (remember the One-of-a-Kind Maui Getaway!?) and make breakfast as a family and "talk story" of your snorkeling adventures.

Reef creatures of Hawaii

Snorkeling placard

Make the snorkeling adventure even more fun for the kids.  Pick up the Hawaiian Reef Creatures Guide.  This is laminated placard that you can take with you to the beach.  You can find them at Longs, Whalers Market, ABC stores, Times Supermarket or any other sundries shops. Show it to the kids and make a game out of seeing which fish they can find while snorkeling.  It's a great exercise  and they will have fun spotting all the variety of sea creatures.

Tip:  Hole punch the placard, attach an elastic bungie and put it around you wrist.  Voila!  Now the kids can go snorkel with the placard and look for the fish on the guide.

5. Big Beach

Well last and surely not least...BIG BEACH!!  

Big Beach is a favorite among most travelers coming to Maui. It's a popular beach and well know for its impressive, and sometimes dangerous, shore break.  

The teenagers will really like this beach for the shore break as they watch the locals ride the waves with their boogie boards and bodies.  

The locals make it look it easy.  Don't be fooled.  

We caution you to take great care when swimming at Big Beach.  The rip current can be tremendous and the shore break intimidating.  

Always check in with the lifeguard on duty to get a briefing on the most current ocean and  beach conditions.

Makena Beach - Big Beach

Big Beach

If conditions are good this can be a real fun beach to swim and boogie board with the kids.  

The beach is very long (0.7 mile) and extremely wide (100 feet).  

The beach is very popular and you will always find people swimming, snorkeling, frolicking  and of course boogie boarding.  

This is another beach where you will want to pack a lunch and snack for the kids.  

We don't recommend the fast food served at the food trucks located in the parking lot or out on Makena Road.  

The restrooms are essentially portable pottys and there are just a few picnic tables.  

We recommend that you check out the beach to say you experienced Big Beach.  

This would be a great beach to do a family picture at sunset.  

Click the View Activities--> button in the lower right hand of this page and check out our photographers who can arrange a family photo that you will cherish for years to come.

Big Beach Maui

Big Beach - SUNSET!

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