The island of Maui isn’t famous for its white sand beaches and perfect sunny days for nothing! The longest beach on the island of Maui, Sugar Beach is perfect for a relaxing walk, an energizing jog, water sports of all kinds and sunbathing the day away! Stretching from Haycraft Park in Ma’alaea all the way to North Kihei, “Kealia Beach” has breezy offshore winds perfect for water sports and shallow waters ideal for snorkeling amongst the many reefs right off the shore. Kihei is one of the sunniest areas on the island, providing warmth to Sugar Beach and all of its visitors.
Sugar Beach was gifted its name for its history of being a cargo loading area for sugar cane plantations in the 1800’s, toward the South End of the beach the remnants of the stone warf can still be seen in the waters. With central access of the beach lined with a paved walkway and the North West end of the beach hosting the Maui Canoe Company, which offers daily morning paddle programs to visitors, Sugar Beach’s lengthy stretch of beach has something to offer for everyone.
This beach is one of the best places on the island to watch the whales from November through March, as the mother and baby whales seek shelter in the bay area. Though Sugar Beach is occasionally plagued by seaweed, a sunrise visit to the sands offers a beach combers dream of shells and coral pieces ready to collect. This area of Maui provides magnificent views of the sunset as well as nearby islands of Kaho’olawe, Molokini and Lanai.
Whether seeking a reef to snorkel through, ideal waters for kayaking or paddle boarding, Sugar Beach is an active ocean goers paradise. Popular for the breezy winds, this is an ideal spot for parasailing as well as kite surfing and wind surfing. The endless length of the beach makes it a very known beach for running, jogging and walking. Nothing like taking a morning stroll down the white sands and spotting the local sea turtles at play!
While the beaches do not offer public restrooms or lifeguards on duty, its visitors and guests can seek protection and comfort out of the sun under the kiawe trees that line the shore. These trees have thorns that can sprout up to four inches in length and pale yellow flowers, known by the locals as being a favorite fuel for fire when cooking traditional foods. It’s said that even the scent of the burning plants can bring hunger to any stomach near enough to smell it!
Stretches of Sugar Beach are bordered by the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1992 to protect and honor the local animals of the island. While the facility encompasses about 700 acres of lush Hawaiian land, the Kealia Coastal Boardwalk can be accessed by Sugar Beach. From this wooden walkway surrounded by beach and greenery, visitors can view two of the island endangered species of birds, both the Ae’o (Hawaiian Stilt) and the ‘Alae Ke’oke’o (Hawaiian Coot).
The Stilt species can be identified by their long, skinny pink legs, given their name which means “one standing still”. These birds can be hard to miss as they chatter away toward each other and humans alike. The Coot species is easily spotted with their bright white bill and matching shield, atop their all black body. Both bird species are a sight to see in their natural habitat!
When visiting Maui, the beach is what its all about! Sugar Beach offers a plenty of activities for all visitors and some of the best views that the island of Maui has to offer. Go Rent A Car Maui has trucks, vans, suv’s and sedans ready to take you all along the coast of Sugar Beach!