Best Beaches in Maui (Keawakapu Beach 2023) 

Snorkeling, SUP, Boogie Boarding, Restaurants and whale watching

Aloha Maui travelers and welcome to Maui!

This blog is one in a series of Best Beaches in South Maui for 2023.

Click on the video above and learn more about Keawakapu Beach (starts at 10min,13 sec.).  

Today we discover the Best Beaches Maui (Keawakapu Beach 2023) including snorkeling, SUP, boogie boarding, restaurants and whale watching.


Check out the video

Keawakapu Beach location map

Directions / Parking / Access

Just a 3 minute drive from the Shops at Wailea.  Keawakapu Beach has 3 public entrances, all located off Kihei Road, and each allow easy pedestrian access. The first entrance is located between the Mana Kai Resort and The Days Inn (Wyndam) located in south Kihei.  Turn into the gravel parking lot just to the north side of The Days Inn (parking lot fills up fast).  Don't park in spots designated for The Days Inn. It’s a very short walk to the beach.  The other 2 public access points and parking lots are detailed in the it and learn about 2 other awesome beaches in south Maui that are just minutes away from Keawakapu Beach.   

BONUS: The Shops at Wailea have a few great restaurants including Tommy Bahamas, Longhi’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Cheeseburger in Paradise and the convenient Island Gourmet Market. Enjoy lunch before or after the beach!

akapu Beach looking north
Keawakapu Beach looking south

Keawakapu Beach - Mana Kai Resort  

Beach Activities - Snorkeling, SUP, boogie

boarding, ocean kayaking, paddle board, etc..

Keawakapu Beach is a playground for so many beach activities.  Most activities are enjoyed at the north end of the beach located next to the Mana Kai resort.  If you don't have a stand up board, boogie board or snorkel problem...there is a rental shop next to the lobby just inside the Mana Kai Resort. It's just a few steps from the beach.  Just launch your SUP, kayak or snorkeling right as you leave the grassy area and step onto the sand in front of the resort.

Go early in the morning when the water is  flat and the trade winds are light or calm. This will be your best experience.  When snorkeling just follow the reef all around the point.  You will see plenty of sea life and likely spot a few turtles. (See annotated picture below) 

Boogie boarding is great year 'round but is a bit more adventureous  in the summer time when their is a swell (Keawakapu is on the leeward side of Maui).  The shore break is good for beginners and children.  Always remember to check the beach conditions before jumping in with the little ones.  

Ocean kayaking and SUP is best when the water is calm...again morning time is usually best but there are plenty of summer days when the trade winds don't blow and the ocean is ideal. This beach has many SUP enthusiasts so if you have questions just ask anyone who might be coming out of the water with their board.  The locals are friendly and happy to share insights about their passion.


 Restaurants and Whale watching

Keawakapu Beach has a couple restaurants that are worthy of mentioning. Both are located on the north end of the beach.  Unfortunately, Sorento's On The Beach, closed it's doors as a result of the Pandemic.  It's not likely they will come back and their remains an awesome opportunity to have a new restaurant of one of Maui's best beaches.  We all hope a new restaurant will open in 2022.

The other restaurant, Five Palms, is located on the first floor, west end, of the Mana Kai Resort. They have an indoor dining room that overlooks the ocean and a terrace that affords long views down Keawakapu Beach.  They serve up affordable breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This restaurant offers tremendous value for dining out on Maui.  The best part is happy hour from 3-5pm and late night happy hour from 9-10pm.  They also have a sushi bar that is part of the main bar area.  

LetsgotravelMAUI recommends breakfast followed by a day of beach activities at Keawakapu Beach...just steps away.  If you don't want the restaurant option and only want a quick sandwich, snacks, and drinks, then just walk up to Zack's Deli & General Store located on the first floor, east end, of Mana Kai Resort.  

This is a great convienence store that no one really tells you about because it's somewhat hidden away.  This is not a small sundries store but rather has a large selection of drinks, wines, beer, custom made sandwiches and deli hot dogs that are mouth watering.  Go check out Zack's!  

Lastly, but not least, is whale watching.  This is a great beach to watch whales when the whales are visiting Maui.  No need to book a whale watching cruise as you will see plenty of whales breaching just off shore.  It's quite a spectacle to observe.

The Fine Print

The nice thing about Keawakapu beach, especially at the Mana Kai / Days Inn entrance, is there’sa huge grassy area to spread out if you don’t want to be on the sandy beach.  This is definitely a popular spot for locals (especially on the weekends).

Also, there are many guests from Mana Kai Resort that use the grassy area.  Word of advice:  Don't use the chaise loungers on the grass as they belong to the Mana Kai Resort.  The security guard will let you know if you forget.  

Keawakapu Beach is a long sandy beach that is perfect for couples or families to enjoy a long walk and enjoy a fabulous beach.  Take a break anywhere along the beach and just dive in the water and float around.

Take a minute and look up toward Haleakala mountain and be amazed at the cinematic quality of the landscape.  The light quality on the mountain can be breathtaking.  It will make your day and put a smile on your face. 

Safety and Ocean Conditions

The ocean and shore break at Keawakapu Beach is typically very gentle and calm.  Just take a few minutes to observe the waves before entering the ocean.  There are no lifeguards at this beach. However, there are yellow rescue floaties that are distributed along the beach if you need them in an emergency.   How about the jellyfish?  Yes, there can be jellyfish at various times of the year.  Lastly, just read the warning signs and be safe.  "If in doubt - don't go out!".  Here is one last tip:   Local residents on Maui are very friendly.  Just ask a local resident about the current beach and ocean conditions...they will give you the inside scoop!

~ Aloha and Mahalo lui noa from 
shaka brah hang loose

Hawaiian Word of the Day:

Honu  (Hoe-new) ---Green sea turtle

green turtle maui
 Enjoy long walks at Keawakapu Beach

               Keawakapu Beach Characteristics:

  • Long sandy beach 
  • Great beach for snorkeling, SUP, boogie boarding 
  • Large grassy area next to Mana Kai Resort
  • 3 public access points along the beach
  • Great beach for families
  • No lifeguard on duty
  • TIP:Awesome snorkeling in front of Mana Kai Resort

     What to bring to the beach

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

”Your true home is in the here and now."

- Thich Nhat Hanh 




       one click

       Do it!

(One-of-a-Kind Maui Getaway!)

One-of-a-Kind MAUI Getaway!  (5 min drive to Keawakapu Beach). Sleeps 8-10, 4 bed / 3.5 bath, 4000+sf, panoramic ocean views !

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