Ho’okipa Beach Park Maui: 5 Easy Tips to Know For Your Visit

Ho'okipa Beach Park

Ho’okipa Beach is a must-visit on your vacation to Maui! The world-famous windsurfing destination offers ocean sports and epic views that everyone will love. Ho’okipa Beach Park is also home to sea turtles that can be seen year-round. Here’s everything you need to know before you go to the beautiful Ho’okipa Beach. 

5 Things to Know About Ho’okipa Beach Maui

1. How to Get to Ho’okipa Beach Park

The famous Ho’okipa Beach is located on the stunning North Shore of Maui. You can find it along the Hana Highway with the turnoff being at Mile Marker #9. The beach is only a 15 minute drive from Kahului Airport and about 20 minutes from the inland town of Pukalani. 

If you’d like to include it on the epic Road to Hana drive we recommend stopping here on your way back. That way you can get out on the Road to Hana early to beat traffic, and save Ho’okipa Beach Park for the end of your day. It’s also just up the road from the Paia Fish Market and popular Mama’s Fish House. Keep in mind you need a reservation months in advance to eat at this restaurant!

You’ll find plenty of parking lot space at Ho’okipa Beach Park and even spots on the street if you’re having issues during the high season. After parking, you will walk by the picnic tables and barbeque grills area.

This is elevated up from the beach and can be a nice view if you need a break from the sand. There are also outdoor showers at Ho’okipa Beach which is great if you have a long drive after swimming. 

→ 10 Helpful Road to Hana Tips For Maui’s Most Famous Drive

Ho'okipa Beach

2. Surfing at Ho’okipa Beach

While we came for the sea turtles and swimming, there is no doubt about what Ho’okipa Beach is known for! This is the center for outdoor water sports on the island and has been a mecca for surfing since the 1930’s. Large waves are present throughout the year here with a powerful breeze for windsurfers.

Pavilions is the surfing area on the far east side of the beach near the Ho’okipa Beach Turtles. However, “the Middles” is the most popular surfing zone for locals and visitors alike.

The west side is known as Point and is the favorite of windsurfers every afternoon. Although there seemed to be all skill levels present at Ho’okipa Beach Park, we wouldn’t recommend it as a place for beginners. 

There have been many surfing and professional windsurfing competitions held here over the years so you know it’s a great place for it! It should be noted that there is no windsurfing allowed before 11am at Ho’okipa Beach. You can find the biggest waves during the winter months (December to March) but surf conditions vary. 

Ho'okipa Beach Surfing

3. Ho’okipa Beach Turtles

Another draw to Maui’s North Shore and Ho’okipa Beach is the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. When we first got here we couldn’t believe it… We peaked over the barrier and there were dozens and dozens of turtles!

These lovable reptiles can live up to 80 years old and weigh over 300 pounds. There is a protected area on the right side of the beach where you can see them laying out in the white sand.

Do not cross the cement blocks or try to touch the Ho’okipa Beach turtles!

Let them enjoy their natural environment and small patch of protected sand. Aside from just being a nice human, a $10,000 fine would not be a fun expense to add to your Maui vacation. 

Also, you may be able to see a couple of turtles swimming just past the shallow reef. Know that this area of Ho’okipa Beach Park can get very crowded. Yet, the Ho’okipa Beach Turtles can be seen here at all times of the year.

Ho'okipa Beach Turtles

4. Swimming at Ho’okipa Beach Maui

Due to the ocean conditions and strong rip currents, Ho’okipa Beach Maui isn’t the best for swimming. Now that doesn’t mean we didn’t get in the water on a hot day there! However, it was more just a quick and refreshing dip rather than a full-on swim. 

There is an exposed reef that runs for most of the beach you will also need to watch out for. There are also some small tide pools to explore.

Like we said, there are much better beaches in Maui for swimming. At Ho’okipa Beach Park it’s all about the surfing and epic waves!

We did notice people snorkeling out in the ocean a bit further. Just be extra careful when swimming at Ho’okipa Beach to avoid the surfers.

→ 10 Best Beaches in Maui to See on Your First Visit

Ho'okipa Beach Maui

5. Ho’okipa Lookout

On the far end of the beach you’ll find a glorious lookout point to take in all the action from. There is a separate parking lot here and the cliff gives a great vantage point of the Maui coastline. 

It is closest to the pavilion area where the surfers drift over from the Middles. Some folks may even walk down along the boulders for a better look at the surfers and beautiful Pacific Ocean. 

→ Maui Itinerary: How to Experience The Best of Maui in 5 Days!

Ho'okipa Beach Maui Hawaii

Have any questions on this article or want to share your own experience at Ho’okipa Beach Park? Leave us a comment below! 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

Where to Stay in Maui Hawaii

For a complete look at the island check out Where to Stay in Maui: 4 Top Areas With Hotel Picks

Ultra LuxuryFour Seasons Resort MauiWailea – Known as one of the most elite hotels on Maui, the Four Seasons has three swimming pools, 5-star service, and is just steps from the beach. 

Fun VacationAndaz Maui at Wailea ResortWailea – This modern, upscale hotel is packed with swimming pools and ocean views. You also be close to some of best local food in Maui.

Bed & BreakfastMaui What a Wonderful World Bed & BreakfastWailea – Get all the local charm you can handle at this unique bed and breakfast. Awesome location that will also provide a homey welcome to the island. 

Aparthotel – Napili Sunset Beach Front ResortLahaina – Great for travelers looking to have a little more space and a kitchen.

Remote ResortHana Maui Resort A Destination by HyattHana – Located in the far remote part of the island along the road to Hana. Amazing resort by Hyatt offering seclusion and luxury. 

For more places to stay in Maui you can explore the latest prices here!

PIN FOR LATER 

Ho'okipa

Hawaii Travel Planning 

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

 Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we got our flight from San Diego to Maui for under $100 USD on Hawaiian Airlines!

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Rental Car: Hands down the best way to explore Maui Hawaii is with a rental car! We used Discover Cars to explore the island. Just make sure to book in advance because there are limited cars on the island in the high season! 

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find hundreds of Maui activities. You can book a sunset sail from Lahaina, Road to Hana full day tour, or go wild and take a rainforest helicopter tour

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad (if you’re traveling to Hawaii from outside the USA) without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

Maui Hawaii

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