Sam and I love to travel and we’ve been lucky enough to travel everywhere from Korea to Paris together. I think our favorite place we’ve been, however, is Hawaii. The first time we went, it was just a few months into our relationship. We chose to visit Oahu and spent an incredible long weekend there. We fell in love with the beautiful beaches and the delicious shave ice, haha. We told ourselves we’d go back to Hawaii every year, but last year we decided to go to Seoul and Jeju instead. Although those trips were fun, I’m glad we ended up back in Hawaii this year. We were originally planning on going to Kauai, but we ended up choosing Maui instead. I’ll try to come back with a blog post with our general thoughts and recommendations, but I couldn’t wait to share these three Maui beaches with incredible sunsets!
There are a million gorgeous beaches in Maui, so I don’t think you’ll be disappointed no matter where you go. That being said, I wanted to share the ones we chose along with my thoughts on each. All three beaches we were on for sunset were on the west side of the island, near Kihei or a little further south. I’m sure the northern area near Lahaina or Kapalua Bay have beautiful sunsets as well, but since we were staying in Kihei, we only went up there once.
1 – Ulua Beach
We were here for our first sunset in Maui. It’s a lovely beach that has great snorkeling, but we were there when there was a king’s tide so the waves were pretty intense. It’s a mid-sized beach that is pretty popular, so be aware there will be people you have to avoid or clone out of your photos. The light was particularly gorgeous off to the right of the beach near the rocks. That’s also where the best snorkeling is!
2 – Big Beach (Makena)
This was one of my favorite beaches! It is HUGE and required a bit of walking to get away from the crowd, but it was well worth it. There’s a big parking lot, but it fills up fast so unless you are lucky enough to grab a spot, you’ll need to walk in from the street. There /are/ port-a-potties, but there isn’t any running water. Another thing to keep in mind though is that you will not get true sunset at this beach. The sun sets behind the cliffs at the end of the beach. On the plus side, this actually means it is fairly easy to find shade in the afternoon at Big Beach, which is not the case for most beaches on the west side of Maui.
The light twenty minutes or so before sunset near the cliffs was AMAZING! The waves crashing on the beach/rocks created a mist that caught the light in the best way possible. Also, if you want true sunset, you can climb the cliff and go down to the beach on the other side, Little Beach. Be warned that it is a nude beach and on Sunday nights it is VERY crowded. The waves are much tamer on Little Beach though, so that’s definitely a plus!
3 – Kamaole Beach II
Kamaole Beach was actually the very first beach we stepped on in Maui, so it was fitting that it was also the beach we spent our last sunset on. It’s conveniently located right near Kihei where we found our favorite restaurant, Cafe O’Lei. There are actually three beaches that make up Kamaole Beach. Kamaole III has a parking lot, but it’s fairly easy to find street parking next to Kamaole I and II. Kamaole II has bathrooms and outdoor showers to rinse off in. Of the three beaches, I liked the edges of the beaches near the rocks between Kamaole II and III. Just like with Ulua, you can snorkel near these rocks.
I hope you enjoyed learning about these three Maui beaches with incredible sunsets…. and that you get to experience sunset on them someday! Let me know if you do and what you think!