Many of us carefully choose a vacation spot based upon the activities we plan on engaging in when we get there. There is a good chance you chose Maui so that you could relax on the beach and unwind. It is inevitable that some of that unwinding will involve the little ones. Those of us that travel with young children need to be concerned about which beach to choose because Maui has so many and each one is very different from the next.
Some beaches have a significant shore break, others will remind you of a calm lake with the water gently lapping at the shore. You do not want your three-year-old to go charging into a 2-3 foot wave if they’ve never even seen one before. This will very quickly remove the “relaxing” part of the equation if you have to constantly be worried about your child getting hurt.
Below, I detail 3 of the best West Side beaches where you can have a great time and relax, knowing your kids will be safe and have fun too. I’ve inserted a map link to each beach using the center of Lahaina Town as a starting point.
1. Baby Beach in Lahaina Town
Parking can be a problem, so if you find a space, you don’t really want to give it up, so make sure you bring a cooler with snacks and drinks to last until you’re ready to leave. This is a great spot whether you go in the morning or the afternoon. The water at Baby Beach only reaches 3-4 feet in depth, 30 feet from shore at high tide, so there is a lot of room to play and swim.
This beach also offers a lot of shade if you like to be out of the sun. As is the case with every West Side beach, the sunsets are amazing. If you want to see an unforgettable sunset, make a late dinner reservation.
2. Olowalu, South of the Olowalu General Store
(Not the surf break North of the store)
Map to Olowalu Beach
Drive South on Honoapiilani Hwy, pass the Olowalu General Store near mile marker 14, and look to the right, just past Olowalu Campground. All along here are many good spots to pull over and park, not too far off the road or you’ll get stuck in the sand.
This spot offers good snorkeling, no surf, and nice shade throughout the day. If you want to stay at the beach all day and get hungry or thirsty, you can pop over to Olowalu Store for ice, drinks, and local yummies like chicken katsu and musubi. 🙂
3. Napili, in Front of the Napili Kai Beach Resort
This beach is my personal favorite. It has nearly everything you could want in a beach. The snorkeling is excellent for Mom and Dad, and the older kids. The beach is beautiful and there are rarely waves in the winter. This beach also has something special to offer that the others do not, The Sea House Restaurant.
The Sea House is situated steps away from the sand. You can order lunch or appetizers and bring them right down on the beach. If you forget to bring a cooler, you can order a soda or cocktail to go. You can access this beach from the public parking lot just North of the Napili Kai Beach Resort. You will not regret spending a morning or afternoon at this beach.
Have Fun. Stay Safe. Relax.
Whichever beach you choose, have fun, be safe, and relax! Remember, Hawaii life on Maui has something for everyone!