Each side of Maui has completely different beach conditions so you can expect to be doing and seeing different things at beaches throughout the island.
Sometimes beaches can have completely different conditions even when they are a mile apart but we’re just going to be going over what you can generally expect at beaches on each region of Maui.
South Maui beach conditions can be split up into the west and east beaches as far as conditions go. West being Kihei side beaches and East being Wailea side Beaches. Both are usually still as a lake until the wind kicks up around noon time. During the winter time I have had the best luck seeing whales very close to shore off these beaches.
Kihei side beaches all have similar fine golden brown sand, good for running on and sand castles. I wouldn’t consider these beaches to be in very scenic settings as they don’t have the most beautiful sand and are typically lined by thorny Kiawae trees. Snorkeling isn’t good here from the fine sand being kicked up into the water. This area does however offer good surfing for beginners year round as there’s usually a little bump to ride.
Wailea side beaches have clean crisp golden sand and clear water. I would consider these scenic beaches as they look great all around. There’s great snorkeling off their reefs just offshore. This area also has great conditions for stand up paddle boarding, boogie boarding, and kayaking.
West Maui beaches offer beautiful golden sand and clear water everywhere you go. Many areas are protected from the wind by coves so you can get in great snorkeling and paddle boarding all day. These beaches are great for surfers because the spots in this area pick up south and north swell, so there’s usually surf somewhere all year long.
North Maui beaches have finer sand, scenic landscape, and usually rougher waters. There’s no good snorkeling here but since the wind blows all year long up here there’s great kiteboarding and windsurfing. During the winter months these shore pick up giant swell so you can either go surfing in the big waves or sit back and watch.
East Maui beaches are all completely different. The only similar aspect is they all generally have a little rougher waters than the rest of the island, so no good snorkeling out here. Here you can find the black sand, red sand, and white sand beaches. All have great landscape and scenery. On clear days you’ll get a great view of Big Island.
Central Maui beaches are not usually on any visitor’s lists as they aren’t spectacular by way of sand, water or scenery, and they get blasted head on by the trade winds year round.
That wraps up our beach region condition overview, check out our other posts for more specific details on beaches.