Many people dream of traveling to Hawaii, whether it’s for a long-awaited honeymoon or just another special family vacation. And, if you have ever seen a sunset there, it’s no wonder why.
Out of the 50 U.S states, Hawaii is the only one located outside of North America composed completely out of islands. Not only that, it is also the only state where you can watch the sun setting in the tropics.
The Hawaiian islands are an archipelago of tropical beauty and culture, consisting of more than 130 islands, including one of the more major ones, the marvelous island of Maui.
9 Best Places to Watch Maui Sunsets
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Magnificent Maui is the second-largest island in the state of Hawaii and home to the scenic, and winding, Hana Highway. Of all the things Maui has to offer, its sunsets are some of the most spectacular.
Here are 9 of the top spots to take in the sun going down in Maui.
1. Kapalua Bay
The gorgeous Kapalua Bay is known for its long rocky stretches of beach on either side of the bay, giving it that extra safe and sheltered feeling. With white sand beaches and shallow waters which are rich in coral, it is the perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling no matter the time of year.
Not only is the bay the perfect place for a beach day, it is also a spectacular spot to settle into as the sun goes down. Make sure you wait around long enough after a day spent swimming and snorkeling, and you’ll be treated to one of the most gorgeous sunsets in Maui.
2. Keawakapu Beach
Keawakapu, a beautiful Hawaaian name for this long sandy beach, translates to ‘forbidden cove’. Sounds like the perfect sunset spot if you ask me.
Surrounded by lava rocks, this definitely won’t be your typical Californian beach sunset experience. Described as having moody and romantic sunsets, you’ll be happy to bring along your significant other to enjoy this intimate spot.
If you’d rather see the sunset from a different vantage point, why not take a canoe out and watch as the sunset reflects in the waters. And while you’re at it, you might as well extend your little adventure until midnight, when you can take a look at the constellations gleaming in the tidepools.
3. Makena Cove Secret Beach
This intimate little beach, also known as Paako Cove, serves as the perfect place to watch the sun go down. The famous black lava rocks scattered along the beach might be the perfect touch to pull you into this little paradise. And the palm trees won’t make you feel like you’re in Hollywood,instead it will give your Hawaii trip that exact paradise-vacation feel you need.
While you lie along the warm, white beach, watching as the sun sets slowly, you might even scope out the Kahoolawe and Molokini islands.
Just be careful upon arriving at this “secret” destination hidden behind a rock wall, as the intimacy attracts many wedding celebrations.
4. Hanakao’o Beach Park
You’ll be happy to find that Hanakao’o Beach is more of a local spot rather than your typical touristy site. This beach park is called Hanakao’o, but is also commonly referred to as Canoe Beach as you might just find the casual canoer out at sea.
Also, as a little bonus, this beach connects to an even larger one called Ka’anapali Beach. This makes it the ideal long beach walk as the sun goes down. You might even spot some turtles!
5. Wailea Beach
Rated as one of the world’s best beaches, Wailea Beach is like a scene from a movie. Wailea means ‘The Water of Lea’ – Lea being the goddess of canoe-makers. Although it was previously called Kahamanini, which means ‘surgeonfish’, we’ll stick with its goddess name.
Wailea is gorgeous, luxurious and very popular. So just a little tip from us to you: If you really want to soak up the stunning sunset, arrive early and find yourself a luscious grassy mound to sit back on. Relax, and enjoy the show… or sunset, in this case.
6. Haleakala Volcano
Taking a break from our beachy sunsets, why don’t you dive a little deeper into nature this time with Haleakala National Park. With its varse spread of flora and fauna, you’re guaranteed to leave with a million new plants and animals to add to the list of things you’ve seen. . And if you’re looking for an adventure, what better way to do so than to hike up a volcano.
Also known as Haleakala Crater, this dried-up lava mountain with cinder cones and silence, will leave you with a once in a lifetime experience. I mean, how impressive would it be to say you’ve seen a sunset from the top of a volcano!
Take your time, appreciate every pain-wrenching moment as you climb, because it will all be over before you know it. The sunset on the summit will take your breath away.
7. Po’olenalena Beach Park
Back to the beaches, Po’olenalena Beach (also called Paipu Beach or Love Beach), will definitely have you feeling the love in the air.
This little paradise is a popular wedding spot. But as time passes and the sun starts to set, the beach also allows for a quieter atmosphere. Po’olenalena is also perfect for those long romantic beach walks as the sun goes down. Ah yes, Love Beach.
8. Lahaina Pali Trail
Much like our lovely Haleakala Volcano, we have another exciting hiking adventure with a sunset to top it off. Pali means ‘cliff’, but don’t let that chase you away. After all, the tougher the climb, the more worthwhile the sunset.
With exquisite views of the ocean and the other Hawaiian islands and, if you’re lucky, some whales. The hike up Lahaina Pali will be worth it once you reach that summit sunset.
9. Ho’okipa Beach Park
Last, but not least, is the secret sunset spot of Ho’okipa Lookout. Famous for its windsurfing competitions, this beach can get pretty busy. But when competition season is out of the way, it remains seemingly uncrowded and much more enjoyable.
If you find yourself on a winter getaway, this beach might just be what you’re looking for. Ho’okipa means ‘hospitality’, or more literally, ‘welcoming comfort’ which you’ll definitely experience thanks to the stunning sunsets.
And if you get hungry, Mama’s Fish House will be just as welcoming! Trust us, you won’t want to miss this one.
Check Out the Maui Sunsets
Well, there you have it. From Kapalua Bay to Haleakala Volcano, you know exactly where to catch a gorgeous view as the sun goes down.
Next time you plan a trip to Maui, be sure to visit a different sunset spot each day to fully embrace the beauty that the island has to offer.
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Maria | SYDE Road
Monday 19th of July 2021
This is such a great sunset post for folks looking to plan their next Maui trip! I just wanted to drop in and say that I 100% agree with quite a few locations as someone who visited Maui a few years ago as well.
For all the other readers out there - you definitely really need to consider #6 Haleakala Volcano and #7 Po’olenalena Beach Park.
To be honest I don't think there's anywhere quite like Haleakala Volcano at all - it's a fairly easy summit up to the top with a car and the 2.5 hour drive through the winding roads and clouds is worth it in the end no matter when you go. The first time I visited Maui I actually went up the volcano FOUR times because our group loved it so much! Once for the sunset, another time to hike and watch the sunset again, a third time to try for a sunrise (we missed it the first time because we saw a meteor shower above the clouds on the clearest possible sky), and finally a fourth to watch the actual sunrise. We did all this within the span of 5 days! If anyone is interested - here's a link to more photos and literally my love letter to Halakeala Volcano if I didn't manage to convince you yet to just add this one to your list:
As for Po’olenalena Beach Park - well let's just say that there's many reasons why it is known as the love beach! For folks who love to watch sunsets at the beach this really is a great spot to enjoy it! Calm waves, nice views, and occasionally you can watch the sunset with the turtles too if you go in the summer.
The Boutique Adventurer
Tuesday 20th of July 2021
Thanks Maria!! really useful additions to my post.