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The Maui Real Estate Blog

Four Maui Beaches Make United State’s Best Beaches List

In late February, Tripadvisor released its annual Travelers’ Choice Awards for Beaches. They complied a US ranking, as well, as an international ranking.

The rankings were based on the reviews submitted by users of the Tripavisor website. Not only was quantity of reviews considered, quality of reviews was another key factor taken into consideration.

Maui as usual ranked very highly among its peers with four Maui beaches secure spots in the top 10 US rankings, while only 1 Maui beach made the list of top international beaches.

Kaanpali Beach (#2), Wailea Beach (#4), Napili Beach (#6) and Wai’anapanapa State Park (#8), made the top US beaches; while Kaanpali beach claimed its spot on the intentional list with the #9 spot.

Kaanpali Beach

Well known as its local name, Black Rock or formally as Kaanapali Beach, the beach’s nick name is derived after the landmark that is located on the eastern side (if you’re facing the ocean) of the beach. Stretching 3 miles long of sandy shite shores, the beach is ideal for walking and exploring everything it has to offer. Just like Wailea Bach, Kaanapali Beach is surrounded by resorts so visitor traffic through the area is heavy. Whaler Village mall functions as the hub of the area with the plethora of shops available and dining options.

The shores located around Black Rock are the more populated side of the beach because Black Rock is a rocky peninsula that juts out into the ocean and acts as a natural diving board. The water is deep enough to safely jump in and feel secure about the surrounding water. The reef and rocky edge around black rock offer great snorkeling conditions for those who are interested.

Kaanapali Beach Traits:

  • Ideal beach for adventurous souls
  • Incredible sea life for snorkeling
  • Lack of public parking other than expensive resort parking at the hotels
  • No lifeguard

Wailea Beach

Continuously recognized as one of Hawaii’s best beaches, Wailea Beach is undoubtedly one of the most popular beaches along the South Maui coast. Favored by visitors for its close proximity to hotels and the Wailea amenities, locals also enjoy the beach because of the calm crystal blue water. Due to the heavy development of the area, visitors and locals both find this beach ideal because of the perfectly maintained public facilities, easy public access, and paved boardwalk that runs the length of the beach and beyond.

Wailea Beach Traits:

  • Family friendly
  • Sandy and shallow shores
  • Tends to be more crowded than other beaches
  • No lifeguard

Wai’anapanapa State Park

From black sand beach and sweeping panoramic views to rugged coastline hiking trails and sleeping cabins, Wai’anapanapa State Park offers it all for everyone. Definitely defined more as beach park than a beach, the state park is a rare glimpse into an untouched Hawaii.

Wai’anapanapa State Park Traits:

  • Public parking
  • Scenic views
  • No lifeguard

Napili Beach

As one of the lesser known beaches on Maui because of its isolation on the West side of Maui, Napili Beach is primarily visited by visitors because of the 5-7 condos and hotels that surround it. While there are no large corporate hotels fronting the beach, it sure would be a prized location for some of the household names. In comparison to Kaanapali Beach, it is a lot less commercialized and consists of low rises rather than high rises.

While not visible from road, the reveal of the beach once you reach it is well worth the trek! The sloping white sands and turquoise waters are sure to make your Maui dreams come true. Perfect for swimming, tanning, snorkeling, or relaxing, Napili Beach is one of Maui’s hidden gems.

Napili Beach Traits: 

  • Mostly calm waters
  • Sloping beach, so limited shore space
  • Abundant sea life
  • No lifeguard on duty

Contact a South Maui Real Estate Specialist

Please interview me to be your trusted Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Advisor. I was born and raised on the island, and spend a considerable amount of time to inform my clients about the best deals currently on the market. Please do not hesitate to call me for your Maui real estate needs. I am more than happy to assist you in your home search.


Anthony Sayles R(S)


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