And, there are a few special types of beaches that actually are the best specialty beaches (let’s called it that) to be found in all of Maui!
The Road to Hana can mean beaches with turtles, seals, black sand, red sand, and even a beach that you need to jump into the ocean and swim to get to!
See below for the Road to Hana beach stops!
More photos/info below, but first...
Most people do the Road to Hana as a day trip.
But you can stay overnight in Hana too so you can take your time exploring the lush and quiet East Maui!
Best places to stay in Hana:
It's very possible to do the Road to Hana on your own, but you can also leave the planning to someone else.
Road to Hana tours:
- Classic Road to Hana: Guided Road to Hana tour with lunch
- Road to Hana from above: Road to Hana helicopter and waterfalls tour
- Private luxury tour: Road to Hana private tour in luxury SUV
7+ best beaches on the Road to Hana
aka some of the best beaches in Maui!
Where to see turtles in Maui
Where to see seals in Maui
This is a popular beach for surfers of various levels. It can also be a nice beach for beach lazing.
In addition to that, it can also be a beach where you can test your luck to see marine life in Hawaii!
As you’re facing the ocean, check if there are any turtles on Hookipa Beach on the far right side of the beach.
If you want a chance to see seals on Hookipa Beach, walk all the way down to the other end of the beach to see if the seals are visiting when you’re there!
Hookipa Beach has its own parking area, but if you want to stop to see the Hookipa Lookout, it can be good to just park at the lookout and then walk down to the beach from there.
See more about this Road to Hana beach:
Kind of black sand beach in Maui
The Honomanu Bay beach is a kind of hidden beach in the sense that it’s not located right off the main road. It requires a walk or drive on a kind of rough road to get to the beach once you turn off the Hana Highway.
Your destination will be what’s considered to be a black sand beach, although the black sand may not initially be obvious when you get there. But there’s a small patch of black sand off to the right of the bay as you’re facing the ocean.
You can park right off the Hana Highway and then walk 5-10 minutes, or you can drive straight down to the beach. It might be better if you have a jeep or 4wd, but normal cars do the drive all the way down too.
See more about this Road to Hana beach: Honomanu Bay beach
3. Waianapanapa black sand beach
aka Honokalani Beach at Pailoa Bay
Where to see the famous black sand beach in Maui
This is the famous black sand beach of Maui. It’s a part of Waianapanapa State Park.
There’s the Pailoa Bay overlook where you can see the black sand beach from above, then you can take the stairs down to the black sand beach where you can walk across it.
People do hang out at this beach, but it may not make for the most relaxing time at the beach.
It’s one of the most popular beaches on Maui, and one of the most popular stops on the Road to Hana.
And because there’s a trail that you get to by crossing the beach, there will likely be a constant stream of people walking across the beach in both directions… unless you get to the beach really early in the morning!
There is also the Waianapanapa black sand beach lava tube that’s easy to miss, so don’t miss it! You enter a cave-like thing directly from the beach, and then you can walk through the cave to get to the ocean!
From the black sand beach, you can also take the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail for more great views, and you can keep going to see another smaller black sand beach! You’ll also be hiking across lava fields!
You can also take a coastal trail in the other direction for some more great lava landscape on Maui!
See more about this Road to Hana beach:
- Things to do in Waianapanapa State Park
- Pailoa Bay overlook
- Waianapanapa black sand beach lava tube
- Waianapanapa Coastal Trail
- Black sand beaches in Maui
Where to see the famous red sand beach in Maui
This beach is the famous red sand beach of Maui. It’s a pretty popular beach and you’ll likely find many people hanging out at this beach.
The trail to get to the beach may or may not pass through private property. Some people will say that the right thing to say is don’t go to the red sand beach.
Some people also call this trail a bit dangerous.
As with many hiking trails in Hawaii, there’s loose gravel which can be easy to slip on. And at times the trail is narrow with a steep cliff on one side. You can look into the dangers of the hike to the red sand beach to see if it’s appropriate for you.
See more about this Road to Hana beach: Kaihalulu Beach
5. Koki Beach
Where to see red sand in Maui
If you’re looking for a “safe” alternative to the famous red sand beach, then Koki Beach can be it.
Although this is listed as a “red beach” on google maps, the beach itself is not really red at all. But walk to the other end of the beach, and you’ll find a short red sand trail so you can see red sand!
This can be a nice beach to hang out at too.
Nearby is a food stand where you can try Hawaii’s famous huli huli chicken.
6. Hamoa Beach
Best beach lazing beach on the Road to Hana
In terms of beaches to hang out at, Hamoa Beach may possibly be the best beach on the Road to Hana. It is also said to be one of the best beaches on Maui.
This beach has bathroom facilities too.
And there’s also a great lookout that overlooks Hamoa Beach nearby.
7. Venus Pool aka Waioka Pond
Not a beach!
Well this isn’t really a beach but it is a place that people go for the rock pool equivalent of beach-lazing at!
There’s an area where you can hang out with views of the ocean right in front of you.
People swim in the ocean here by jumping off a rock (cliff).
And, you actually can hang out at a beach if you jump in and then swim to the other side! It’s more like a black rock beach instead of a sandy beach though.
There is limited free parking right near the start of this trail. Otherwise, on the other side of the bridge is paid parking for a fee of around $7.
You’ll walk around 5 minutes or so to get to the hidden pools.
IMPORTANT: The boring safety message! Venus Pool flash flooding
There is a stream that can lead to the Venus Pool.
And flash flooding is a thing at the Venus Pool.
If you look at one of the pictures above, you see that people are sitting on the dry rock, with the Venus Pool below.
That dry rock can become the location of a stream within minutes.
And to be dramatic, there is at least one tourist who has DIED from an unexpected flash flood at this very location.
There are several videos you must watch if you are thinking about cliff jumping at Venus Pool:
- Watch this video to see the dry rock turn into a flood of water into the ocean.
- Watch this video to see people trying to get out of the way of the flash flood… but were unsuccessful. (But it seems they were okay.)
- Watch this video to see the news story about the tourist who died at Venus Pool.
One of the warning signs that flash flooding at the Venus Pool is possible is if you look towards the mountains and you see dark clouds. Watch the video warning from 1:10.
And then more flash flood precautions from Maui County, notably:
Never cross or swim in streams/ponds when dark clouds are on the mountains.
8. Waioka black sand beach
Best hidden black sand beach on the Road to Hana?!
This is a hidden black sand beach!
This is an unnamed location on google maps (for now!) but we’ll call it the Waioka black sand beach since it’s near the Waioka Pond.
As you are walking on the trail to the Venus pool, you’ll see a large field to the left.
Once you get to the point on the trail to go down towards the Venus pools to the right, there’s also a kind of trail looking thing that goes off to the left. Follow this, or just generally go in that direction, and it will take you to an area that overlooks a super black black sand beach!
If you walk all the way to the other side of the bay, it looks like there’s a rather treacherous and steep trail to get down to the beach, with a rope that may or may not be trusted to help get you up and down. Have a look and make an honest judgement of whether you’ll be able to safely get down and back up.
And those are some beach stops to make on the Road to Hana!
If you are interested in Road to Hana beaches, then you may also be interested in these Maui activities:
- Waianapanapa State Park
- Pipiwai Trail
- Oheo Gulch
- Hanawi Falls
- Wailua Falls
- Keanae Road
- Hana Lava Tube
- Nahiku viewpoint
- Puaa Kaa Falls
- List of waterfalls on the Road to Hana
- List of food stops on the Road to Hana
- The big list of things to do on the Road to Hana
HAPPY BEACH TIME IN EAST MAUI ON THE ROAD TO HANA!
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