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Maui’s Best Sunrise and Sunset Spots

Maui, known for its breathtaking landscapes and serene beaches, offers some of the most stunning sunrise and sunset spots in the world. From the summit of Haleakalā National Park to the tranquil shores of Wailea Beach, the island provides numerous vantage points to witness the magical moments of dawn and dusk. Whether you’re an early riser eager to catch the first light or someone who loves to unwind with a spectacular sunset, Maui has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • Haleakalā National Park offers unparalleled sunrise views from its summit, making it a must-visit spot for early risers.
  • Kāʻanapali Beach is famous for its cliff diving at Black Rock and offers excellent dining options with sunset views.
  • Wailea Beach is perfect for romantic sunset walks and offers various water activities like kayaking and snorkeling.
  • Makena Cove is a secluded spot ideal for photography and offers a serene beach experience away from the crowds.
  • Ho’okipa Beach Park is great for watching surfers at sunset and offers unique opportunities for turtle watching.

Haleakalā National Park

Haleakalā National Park is a must-visit destination on Maui, offering some of the most breathtaking sunrise and sunset views in the world. Towering above the beaches and jungles of Maui, this volcanic mountain stands at over 10,000 feet above sea level, providing unparalleled vistas that will leave you in awe.

Kāʻanapali Beach

aerial photography of boulders on body of water

Cliff Diving at Black Rock

One of the most exhilarating experiences at Kāʻanapali Beach is the iconic cliff diving ceremony at Black Rock. This striking landmark offers not only a thrilling dive but also a breathtaking view of the Maui beach sunset. Watching the sun dip below the horizon from this vantage point is an unforgettable experience.

Best Spots Along the Beach

Kāʻanapali Beach is renowned for its pristine sands and clear waters. For a less crowded experience, consider visiting Hanakao’o Beach Park, also known as Canoe Beach. This area offers excellent facilities, including bathrooms, covered tables, and plenty of parking. The waves crashing against the shore combined with the vibrant sky make for a stellar shot.

Dining with a Sunset View

Dining options along Kāʻanapali Beach are plentiful and diverse. Many beachfront restaurants offer mesmerizing views of the sunset, making it the perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner or a family gathering. Whether you prefer casual dining or a more upscale experience, you’ll find a variety of options to suit your taste.

For the perfect sunset experience, make sure to arrive early to secure the best spot and enjoy the full spectrum of colors as the sun sets over the ocean.

Wailea Beach

blue boat on sand near body of water during daytime

Wailea Beach is a glamorous destination known for its stunning sunsets and luxurious surroundings. This world-renowned beach is located in the upscale Wailea resort area in south Maui, making it a favorite spot for both tourists and locals alike.

Makena Cove

body of water under cloudy sky

Makena Cove, also known as Secret Cove, is a paradise for photographers. The beach offers stunning backdrops with its crystal-clear waters, lava rocks, and swaying palm trees. For the best shots, visit during sunrise or sunset when the lighting is perfect for capturing the beauty of the cove.

Despite its nickname, Maui’s Secret Beach, Makena Cove is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The beach is often used for wedding ceremonies and photoshoots, making it a lively yet serene location. The two small coves and soft, silky sand provide a tranquil escape from the more crowded beaches on the island.

The best time to visit Makena Cove is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This timing not only helps you avoid the crowds but also allows you to experience the breathtaking sunrise and sunset views. The beach is accessible year-round, but weekdays are generally less crowded than weekends.

Makena Cove is a little slice of heaven tucked away between towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of Maui.

Lahaina Pali Trail

The Lahaina Pali Trail offers an adventurous way to experience Maui’s stunning sunrises and sunsets. This trail requires a bit of effort, as you need to hike 500 vertical feet from the Ukumehame trailhead to reach the viewpoint. However, the panoramic view of the white-capped ocean is worth every step. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight for the way back, as the trail can be tricky in the dark. One of the perks of choosing this trail over more popular spots like Haleakalā is the lack of crowds, allowing for a more serene experience.

Ho’okipa Beach Park

Surfing at Sunset

Ho’okipa Beach Park is a mecca for surfers, windsurfers, and kiteboarders seeking the ultimate thrill. The waves here are perfect for catching some serious air, especially as the sun sets, casting a magical glow over the ocean. Book through Tripster for a seamless and stress-free experience!

Turtle Watching

We also have it on good authority that green sea turtles enjoy hanging out along the shore of this remote beach. It’s a unique experience to see these majestic creatures up close, making Ho’okipa Beach Park a must-visit spot for wildlife enthusiasts.

Picnic Spots

With ample parking, covered tables, and BBQs, it’s also the ideal spot to have a family picnic or grill up some fresh seafood while soaking up the sun. Join the locals and make a day of it at Ho’okipa Beach Park!

Kapalua Bay

view of seashore sunset

With its tranquil turquoise waters and pristine white sand, it’s no wonder Kapalua Bay has earned a reputation as one of the top Maui sunset spots. In fact, in 2018, Kapalua Bay was ranked “America’s Best Beach” due to its gentle breaking waves and vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re on the island for a wedding, anniversary, or family vacation, we must share that Kapalua Bay is a popular spot for photo shoots. Capture your best sunsets Maui pictures and make your friends jealous at this prime location!

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Kapalua Bay, a hidden gem perfect for your next tropical getaway. With its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, it’s the ideal destination for relaxation and adventure. Don’t miss out on this paradise!


Maui offers an unparalleled experience for sunrise and sunset enthusiasts. From the breathtaking views at Haleakalā National Park to the serene beaches of Wailea and Kāʻanapali, each location provides a unique and unforgettable spectacle. Whether you’re an early riser looking to catch the first light of day or someone who loves to unwind with a stunning sunset, Maui has something for everyone. So pack your camera, set your alarm, and prepare to be amazed by the natural beauty that this Hawaiian island has to offer. Don’t forget to share your favorite spots and experiences with us!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Haleakalā National Park for sunrise?

The best time to visit Haleakalā National Park for sunrise is early in the morning, typically around 5:30 AM to 6:00 AM. It’s recommended to arrive at least an hour before sunrise to secure a good spot and experience the pre-dawn colors.

Are there any dining options with sunset views at Kāʻanapali Beach?

Yes, Kāʻanapali Beach offers several dining options with sunset views. Many beachfront restaurants and bars provide outdoor seating where you can enjoy a meal or drink while watching the sunset.

Is Wailea Beach suitable for romantic sunset walks?

Absolutely! Wailea Beach is perfect for romantic sunset walks with its soft sandy shores and stunning views of the setting sun. It’s a favorite spot for couples looking to enjoy a peaceful evening together.

What is the best time to visit Makena Cove for photography?

The best time to visit Makena Cove for photography is during the golden hour, which is the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. These times provide the best natural lighting for capturing beautiful photos.

Are there any family-friendly activities at Kapalua Bay during sunset?

Yes, Kapalua Bay offers several family-friendly activities during sunset, including snorkeling, picnicking, and beach games. It’s a great spot for families to enjoy the sunset together.

Can I see turtles at Ho’okipa Beach Park during sunset?

Yes, Ho’okipa Beach Park is known for its turtle watching opportunities. You can often see turtles basking on the beach or swimming in the water, especially during sunset.

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