By Anne Taylor Hartzell, on July 10, 2013

Family-friendly Maui beaches

Each winter, Hawaii’s island beaches beckon us back to frolic and play in the surf and build sandcastles in the warm sugar sand. Maui‘s beaches have earned their legendary status and are perfect for a family vacation with the kids. For these four Maui beaches, all you need is bare feet, a bucket and a shovel and boogie board to swim, snorkel, and just chill out.

Polo Beach

Polo Beach is a small little beach on Maui’s south side, flagged by the gorgeous white curves of the Fairmont Kea Lani. This is a great beach for the little ones to build sandcastles, and when the wind picks up in the afternoon, you can spend endless hours boogie boarding with the kids. There are public restrooms and ample parking, and if you are staying at the Fairmont, you also have access to complimentary beach chairs and water sport rentals.

Kahekili Beach Park 

If you are staying on the north side of Maui and looking to get off the busy Ka’anapali strip, Kahekili Beach offers a long stretch of golden sand perfect for a morning run, long beach strolls, snorkeling, and incredible sunsets without the crowds. There are just a few hotels on this long stretch of beach including two of our favorite North Shore properties for families, the Honua Kai Resort and Westin Ka’anapalli Ocean Resort Villas.

Kahekili’s long stretch of beach is perfect for a morning run

Viewfinder tip: Stop at a Maui grocery for picnic supplies and a soft cooler  to spend the day away in the sand and surf. 

Wailea Beach

If you are looking for a beach to see and be seen, it doesn’t get more glamorous and gorgeous than Wailea Beach. This beach fronts some of the most luxurious hotel properties on the island, including the Grand Wailea and The Four Seasons Maui. This stretch of beach is perfect for little swimmers and to spend the day relaxing among Maui’s most pampered guests. 

Big Beach

Big beach, also known as “Oneola Beach,” meaning “long sands,” is one of Maui’s biggest and most famous beaches. Stretching 2/3 of a mile long and over 100 feet wide, its calm waters and expansive sand have attracted hipsters, swimmers, snorkelers, and boogie boarders for decades. Your biggest challenge will be finding a place to park since the parking lots tend to fill up. Go early or consider driving past the parking lot to find a shady spot to park on the side of the road.

What is your favorite family-friendly island beach?