Road to Hana’s 6 Best Beaches (Including Black Sand Beach)

Updated Jan 8, 2024 , ,

Hana Black Sand Beach

While waterfalls and rainforests get all the attention on the Road to Hana, a handful of noteworthy beaches can be visited during your drive. You won’t find any resort beaches here, but you will find unique beaches unlike anything else on the island.

There aren’t many beaches, but there is a great variety, from the Black Sand Beach at Wai’ānapanapa State Park to the ultra-secluded beach at Honomanu Bay. Whether you want to explore or spend a relaxing day in the sand, there’s a beach for everyone.

Spanning the length of Maui’s eastern coast, the Road to Hana is roughly 64.4 miles long, consists of over 600 twists and turns, and has 50 one-lane bridges! If you want to add a beach or two to your drive, read on as we cover the Road to Hana’s best beaches.

Black Sand Beach

If you’re looking for a truly unique beach, check out Black Sand Beach. As the name suggests, the beach has a distinct black sand, different from the other beaches in Maui. It’s located within Wai’ānapanapa State Park and requires reservations, so plan your visit accordingly.

While some beaches may look like they have black sand, they are likely not actual black sand beaches. Proper black sand beaches are created due to basalt, a volcanic rock that turns into black sand when it erodes, creating the type of beach pictured above.

Nestled in a private cove, Black Sand Beach features a lava tube, sea arches, and a blowhole. Waves crashing into them put on an impressive display. The park also has hiking trails, such as the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail, which takes you to the lava fields.

If you wish to camp here for the night, that’s possible, but it’s extremely competitive, so book early. You can either tent camp or book a cabin. Aside from the camping facilities, Wai’ānapanapa State Park has restrooms, showers, and several picnic areas.

Location and Parking: You will reach the Black Sand Beach after about two hours on the Road to Hana (without stopping). Turn left on Honokalani Road and left again on Wai’ānapanapa Road. You can park here and walk towards the entrance of Wai’ānapanapa State Park, where the Black Sand Beach is located. Note that you must have a reservation to park and enter.

Best For: Those who want to swim, relax, hike, camp, or experience true black sand.

Ho’okipa Beach Park

As one of the best beaches on Maui’s North Shore, Ho’okipa Beach Park is the first beach you’ll find on the Road to Hana. Known as the windsurfing capital of the world, Ho’okipa Beach is a must-stop for windsurfing enthusiasts. It boasts captivating and dramatic surf breaks emerging from the reef system stretching across the bay.

Dotted with black rocks, Ho’okipa Beach looks out to the spectacular views of the lush West Maui Mountains and the craggy coastline of Central Maui. Aside from windsurfing, it’s also an ideal place for sunbathing, beach walking, picnicking, and turtle spotting.

If you happen to stop by Ho’okipa Beach in December, you can witness professional windsurfers doing their tricks on the massive waves. You could also be lucky enough to spot Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles basking along the shoreline. Ho’okipa Beach is well-equipped with showers, picnic tables, bathrooms, and a lifeguard station.

Location and Parking: Ho’okipa Beach is about two miles from Paia, the town many consider the start of the Road to Hana. Turn left when you see the Ho’okipa Beach Park sign, and you’ll find the beach and parking lot immediately after turning.

Best For: Water sports enthusiasts, enjoying the beach, and spotting sea turtles.

Hamoa Beach

As you traverse the road just past Hana Town, you’ll pass by Hamoa Beach’s stunning crescent-shaped shores lined with Native Hala trees. Hamoa Beach is one of the closest to Hana Town and one of the best Road to Hana beaches for families.

Those into water sports can enjoy snorkeling or bodyboarding at this beach. However, as with any beach on this side of the island, you must exercise caution when entering the water. Big surf can hit this beach, making the water unsafe for most people.

Hamoa Beach is spacious, stretching 1,000 feet, with sea cliffs and lush vegetation. With spectacular views and a wide enough shore, it’s the perfect place to relax after a long drive. The beach features bathrooms and showers but does not have a lifeguard.

Location and Parking: Turn left on Haneo’o Road from the Road to Hana, and you’ll end up at Hamoa Beach. You’ll see two lefts for Haneo’o Road since it’s a loop. You want the second one. Park at the parking lot and head down the stairs to the shoreline. Parking can be challenging on some days since there’s only on-street parallel parking and the road is narrow.

Best For: Families looking for a beach to swim and relax near Hana Town.

Honomanu Bay Beach

Located between mile markers 13 and 14 of the Hana Highway, Honomanu Bay is a secluded bay perfect for taking a break to stretch your legs on your Road to Hana journey. The beach is a bit off the beaten path and is a very local spot, so be respectful when visiting.

Since Honomanu Bay’s waters can be rough, it is not an ideal place to swim. However, it’s a really cool spot with amazing views, so it’s worth a stop if you have time. You can even spot local surfers riding the waves, especially in winter.

Honomanu Bay is also popular with fishermen and a place for locals to relax away from the touristy areas. You won’t find any facilities on the beach, so it’s only ideal for a quick stop.

Location and Parking: Honomanu Bay is between mile markers 13 and 14 of the Hana Highway, about a mile after the Kaumahina State Wayside Park. It can be tricky to spot, so be mindful of the directions, or you’ll miss it. There’s space to park on the side of the road, or you can take the dirt road down to the beach, where there is more space to park.

Best For: Those looking for one of the most secluded beaches in Maui.

Koki Beach Park

With its dramatic scenery and striking sands, Koki Beach is another beach close to Hana Town and a great place to relax. It’s a small beach but typically not crowded, making it more secluded than some of the other Road to Hana beaches.

While the beach is great, the water can be dangerous due to strong waves, making it unsuitable for anyone to swim. The exposed windward bay can have rough conditions at any time of the year. So, if it’s swimming you’re after, steer clear of this beach.

Given the strong waves here, Koki Beach is a popular place for locals to surf and where many local youth learn. But again, it’s not recommended for most people, so leave this spot to the locals unless you’re an experienced surfer.

That aren’t any facilities at Koki Beach, but you will find a grassy area with picinc tables and grills. It’s also just down the road from Huli Huli Chicken, a popular BBQ spot and a great place to grab some food on the Road to Hana.

Location and Parking: Koki Beach Park is located off the first left you can take onto the Haneo’o Road loop, a half mile past marker 51. There is street-side parking along the beach and another huge parking lot to the right.

Best For: Relaxing, picnics, enjoying the views, and surfing.

Hana Bay Beach Park

Hana Bay Beach Park is a no-frills beach park in Hana Town, where kids can splash in the waters as the adults relax and enjoy the views. While it’s not a very exciting beach to stop at, it gets the job done if you’re looking for a beach to visit in the area.

When water conditions are calm, people can swim and snorkel past the nearby pier. However, like most beaches along the Road to Hana, currents can be strong, and swimmers should not venture beyond the headland. Avid surfers will find Waikoloa Beach at Hana Bay’s northern end an excellent spot to test their skills.

Due to Hana Bay Beach Park’s central location in Hana, it’s popular with the locals. It’s often bustling with people, and it’s rare for this place to be empty. Therefore, you should be mindful of the local community when visiting. You cannot expect resort-like amenities at the beach, but it does have restroom facilities, showers, and a picnic pavilion.

Location and Parking: Turn towards Keawa Place off of Hana highway, about a block from Travasa Resort center. Drive down the hill through the four-way stop sign until you reach the parking area. Parking is right across the beach, so you won’t have to walk far.

Best For: Swimming, snorkeling, picnics, and relaxing.

Road to Hana Beaches FAQ

Regions and towns of Maui

As you can see from the list above, the Road to Hana has some of Maui’s most incredible and unique beaches, with distinct sand colors and spectacular views. Check out the map to familiarize yourself with Maui and find out which area of the island Hana is located.

Is There More Than One Black Sand Beach?

No, there’s only one black sand beach along the Road to Hana. The extraordinarily unique beach is in the Wai’ānapanapa State Park. Its pitch-black grains of volcanic sand are due to the heavy waves crashing on fresh lava flow from Haleakalā. Other beaches may look like they have black sand, but it’s not volcanic rock, just darker sand.

What About the Red Sand Beach in Hana?

While Red Sand Beach is one of the famous beaches along the Road to Hana, it’s not a safe place to visit since the narrow trail that leads to the beach has collapsed. In fact, there have been numerous rescue missions in the area because of the challenging trail and strong undertow. Therefore, it’s not recommended to stop by this beach on your drive.

Are the Beaches on the Road to Hana Safe?

The beaches on the Road to Hana are generally safe. However, this part of the island is known to have stronger and bigger waves. Therefore, you must exercise caution when visiting these beaches, especially on those beaches with no lifeguard facilities.

Can You Camp on the Road to Hana’s Beaches?

Camping is not allowed on the Road to Hana’s Beaches. However, you can camp in designated campgrounds and parks, such as the Wai’ānapanapa State Park, where the black sand beach is. You must make reservations to visit the park and spend the night camping.

Justin and Katie Busa

Meet the Authors

Aloha! We’re Justin and Katie, the owners of Maui Hideaway. We’ve been visiting Hawaii together with our family for 20 years and would love to share the experience of the islands with you. Whether you’re looking for a place to stay or just some vacation advice, we’re here to help!

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