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Maui, the second largest Hawaiian island is a great destination for a family vacation but finding the best beaches for kids in Maui that are safe to take the children to is not the easiest thing. While the island has countless beautiful stretches of sand from which you can choose, many of them come with dangerous rip currents, surf breaks, or undertows. The coastline is wildly varied, making the beaches not of the one-stop variety for all little beachgoers. Now we look at some places that are the safest for families with children to go.
Many claim that the Baby Beach in Lahaina is hands down one of the best beaches for kids in Maui, especially for those bringing along very young children for their vacation in Hawaii. The beach is so sheltered thanks to the bordering reef close to the shore that stops the big waves from hitting the shoreline. It ensures that the water remains tranquil here.
It also does not hurt that the water here is super shallow, never more than from two to three feet in depth. Even walking out a way into the water the depth does not change. Proponents of the stretch of sand here claim that it is much like an enormous tide pool and is ideal for wading. You are even able to get near the coral reef by walking, and to see sea creatures swimming around. The beach is also a wonderful place to show older kids the basics of snorkeling.
The North Shore of Maui has earned its reputation for high wave surfing thanks to the walloping trade winds that make this locale an international hit with the devoted windsurfing set. Surprisingly, the shore features a small cove, Kuau Cove that is also among the best beaches for kids in Mauai.
SeaSpiration Tip: Read our Hawaii beach vacation guide for more travel tips.
Unfortunately for the parents and older siblings, this is not a great beach for either snorkeling or swimming, but if you looking for a safe spot for infants, you shouldn’t miss out visiting Kuau Cove! The beach also hides another Maui gem in the form of the Mama’s Fish House restaurant right across from the beach.
Kapalua Bay enjoys the honor of being counted not only as among the best Hawaii beaches but also one of the best beaches on earth. It is the spot where numerous couples married on Maui have their wedding ceremony.
All age groups will enjoy Kapalua Bay whether swimming, paddling, or simply walking on the sands. The slope to the sea is extremely gentle, meaning that it works well for toddlers too. Only a short distance from the beach is a fantastic winding, wide path that you can run or walk along. Kapalua Bay enjoys extremely calm water much of the year. It makes it the top pick on the island for family-friendly snorkeling expeditions. Often numerous sea turtles enjoying the soft and white powdery sand here.
Staying all day is recommended as the sunsets are divine. The beach provides water fountains and restrooms by way of amenities. Come early and bring your umbrellas and pack a snack or meal if you plan to stay for the sunset, since there are no restaurants, cafes, or food trucks here.
Napili Bay Beach
Napili Bay lies along the northwest side of Maui. This traditional looking crescent-shaped bay offers a sheltered sandy beach that is ideal for families with small children. The area is well-developed with shops, accommodation, and accessory rentals. Despite this, the bay remains secluded and bounded by verdant tropical vegetation.
The big appeal for families here is that the bay remains pretty calm all through the year, thanks to a few underwater lines of coral reef barriers that emerge around 100 feet out from the shoreline. The beach is safe too, with little in the way of pebbles or shells for your toddlers to hurt themselves on. Tidal pools abound on the two extremities of the bay, particularly to the south.
This bay is ideal typically for snorkeling, swimming, floating, diving, paddle boarding, and surfing. Families can allow the toddlers to happily play atop the sand or even in the waves without fear. Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles often frequent this bay and will swim as close as 10 feet from the shore too.
Maluaka Beach in Makena is ideal for families with kids primarily because it does not feature any steeper drop offs. The ocean here comes ashore in the form of soft waves. Kids will enjoy the safe feeling of being gently knocked down by the light shore breaks. On occasions when there is a south swell, you can bring out the bodyboard and help them to learn a fun sport.
SeaSpiration Tip: Looking for other family friendly places in Hawaii? Check out these calm beaches in Oahu!
Maluaka is not only one of the best beaches for kids in Maui but also an excellent spot for snorkeling. Thanks to the ample coral heads lying close in to shore, teens can safely learn how to use a mask, snorkel and flippers. Experienced snorkelers can swim out to the rocky point to the beach’s south end. This delivers the best underwater viewing experience.
A big draw to Koki Beach is that the water here is only waist deep. A downside is that the beach is not too close to civilization on Maui. The journey up to Hana town requires that you plan ahead and pick up some meal or snacks to take to the beach. Food trucks have appeared throughout the town, making it easier to come by a hot meal for the beach.
It is still a good idea to come well-provisioned for the long day or to plan on staying overnight. Koki Beach does not provide restrooms or shower facilities. You can find both of these amenities down the street at Hamoa Beach. This beach brings you the wild side of Maui, both good and bad news depending on your perspective. In winter it is best to avoid this beach for its deceptively powerful rip currents.
Nuu Bay, also knowns as Nu‘u Landing is found in Haleakala. This lovely stretch of sand and water is not a typical beach to sunbathe and also not easy to get to, but if your kids like hiking and exploring natural attractions, it is worth the effort to explore this beautiful beach and the path that leads to it.
The area is well-protected by the conservative group the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and populated by ancient Hawaiian native archaeological sites as well as an active native wetland, so it is ideal if you come prepared with a birding book and a pair of binoculars. Adventurous souls are able to camp here. On two occasions per year, the land trust provides a guided interpretive tour to locals and tourists.
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