Honolua Bay has, without question, the best snorkeling on Maui. This beautiful sheltered bay is part of a Marine Life Conservation District, with hundreds of species of fish inhabiting its reefs. Also home to a large population of resident honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles), spending an afternoon snorkeling at Honolua Bay is the vacation experience of a lifetime.
Honolua Bay Beach History
Honolua Bay and Honolua Valley have a rich cultural heritage. Originally a large ancient Hawaiian community; the population was sustained by Honolua’s myriad marine and terrestrial resources. In the 1800s, the area became widely used for cattle ranching and coffee production. In the 20th century, pineapple became king in Honolua. The Honolua Valley remained a thriving agricultural and fishing center until 1946, when a devastating tsunami destroyed the remaining community. Since then, the chic Kapalua Bay Resort has materialized; however, Honolua itself has remained largely untouched, save a boat ramp at the bay.
Honolua Bay Beach Facilities
There are no facilities at Honolua Bay. Parking is along turnouts on the road above the bay.
Honolua Bay Beach Swimming Conditions
Honolua Bay’s clear, calm waters in the summer make for great snorkeling, especially on the left side of the bay. In the winter huge swells roll in, making Honolua bay a premiere surfing destination. As far as the beach, all it’s really good for is getting in and out of the water; the boat ramp is the best place to enter. As with all Hawaiian beaches, check the current conditions and pay heed to all posted signs regarding ocean conditions and safety.
How to Get There
From Lāhaina, take Highway 30 north past Kapalua to mile marker 32. After you pass Honolua Place on the right, look for the pullout on the left. There is a well-marked path to Honolua Bay Beach.