There are so many choices to make when planning a Hawaii vacation for your family. We spent time going to Hawaii as our chosen “budget holiday” a few years ago, and Hawaii definitely did NOT disappoint. There are definitely a lot of questions to answer.


Which island do you visit? Where should you stay, where should you eat, and which beaches are family friendly? I have my friends from Get Away Today here to share their insight regarding family friendly beaches on Oahu and Maui, two of the islands of Hawaii.

Family Friendly Beaches on Oahu and Maui

While there are miles and milesof wonderful beaches on the islands of Hawaii, I’m focusing on top family-friendly beaches on just two of them; Oahu and Maui. You have a LOT of different options, but focusing on just a couple of the islands that you really want to visit will help you avoid the paralysis that often accompanies making hard choices.

I chose Oahu and Maui because these are probably the most popular options, and for good reason. They are beautiful and you won’t regret choosing either of them. My hope is that this post will help you further narrow down your vacation options when it comes to heading to Hawaii!

Related: How to Book the Cheapest Flights

Family Friendly Beaches – Oahu

Oahu is known as “The Visiting Place” and is home to Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu. Oahu is the third-largest of the Hawaiian islands, and here you’ll find Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach. While there is so much to see and do here, I’m focusing on five family-friendly beaches on Oahu.

Pupukea Beach Park has two separate tide pool areas that are wonderful for families during the summer months when the water is calmer. Its rocky shores collect small pockets of water, making it fun for little ones to explore sea life. At one end of Pupukea Beach you’ll find Shark’s Cove, which is a good spot for snorkeling in the summer. It doesn’t offer much by way of sand, but families with older kids will enjoy all Shark’s Cove has to offer. At the opposite end of Pupukea Beach is Three Tables. At low tide, you’ll spot three reefs that resemble tables and provide outcroppings from the shore. Between the two coves, Pupukea Beach provides opportunities to look for wildlife, shells, and treasures in the lava formations.

Ala Moana Regional Park offers up a family-friendly beach on Oahu with gentle waters and coarse sand. There is shade, grass, picnic tables and even concession stands. Ala Moana Regional Park is undergoing some renovations, with upgrades to the bathrooms, sections of the beaches and more. It’s even getting a bike path! This beach is great for surfing, sunsets and paddleboard yoga. Ala Moana Regional Beach neighbors Waikiki Beach and is a nice alternative for those trying to avoid some of the tourist crowds.

Related: Travel Hacking for Beginners

Diamond Head Beach Park is your family-friend beach choice for serenity. You can enjoy the shade, tide pools and seclusion at Diamond Head Beach Park. There are a number of paved pathways to help you navigate the area, and the water is great for surfing. If you have younger kids, the water is nice and shallow due to the reef; but that means this beach is not the best choice for swimming. For deeper waters, head to the south end of Diamond Head and stop at Cromwell’s Cove.

Kailua Beach is one of the most beautiful Oahu beaches and is another favorite spot for families. The waters are a clear turquoise and the sand is pristine and white. With over two miles of beach, there’s room to spread out and enjoy a day in the sun on Oahu. Kailua Beach boasts bathrooms, outdoor showers and picnic areas as well as calm waters for swimming. It’s popular for kayaking and boogie boarding.

Related: Beach Packing List for Baby

Family-Friendly Beaches – Maui

There are 80 beaches on the island of Maui, and they all have their own wonderful qualities. Maui is actually known for having the most miles of accessible beaches than the other Hawaiian islands. So how do you decide which family friendly beaches are for you? Here are MY suggestions.

Kamaole III Beach: Known as Kam III to locals, Kamaole has three beaches that stretch one right after the other along the coast. Kam III is the most family-friendly of the three, offering a playground and grassy areas in addition to surf and sand. The water is ideal for snorkeling, and you can often spot sea turtles at Kam III beach. This beach boasts outdoor showers, restroom facilities, drinking fountains and picnic tables and a volleyball area.

Related: How to Have a Budget Hawaii Family Vacation

The three Kamaole beaches are conveniently located near shops and eateries, so you don’t have to go too far to grab a bite or find some shade indoors. And since the beaches and shopping areas are so close to one another, you won’t have to give up your parking spot at the beach to check out the shops. The closest parking to Kam III beach is available on South Kihei Road, which runs parallel to the beach. There is also designated parking to the north of Kam III, closer to Kamaole Beach I. The three beaches are clearly marked so you can find your way.

Kuau Cove is also known as Mama’s Fish House Beach due to its proximity to this eatery. Beach-goers often visit Kuau Cove after filling up at Mama’s Fish House, hence the beach’s nickname. Kuau Cove has a number of tide pools, making for fun sea exploration in a kid-friendly environment. The beach is surrounded by a coconut grove and is a wonderful spot during both low and high tide. It’s a fairly small beach, but parking for beach guests is reserved with blue cones by Mama’s Fish House, so feel free to move cones if you need a spot. They’re usually there to prevent Mama’s Fish House patrons from taking all of the beach-designated parking.

Kapalua Bay is not only a family-friendly beach on Maui, but one that is also recognized as one of the best beaches in the world. It has restrooms and drinking fountains and concrete stairs that provide access down to the sand from parking. Unlike some of the other beaches on Maui, Kapalua Bay has a gradual descent from the sand toward the water, so little ones have easy terrain to maneuver to get to the sea. The water at Kapalua Bay is typically quite calm and clear so it makes for a good experience for even the youngest of swimmers.

Kapalua Bay is located north of Napili Kai Beach Resort on Lower Honoapiilani Highway. There is a small parking lot just past the Resort’s driveway, or you can parallel park on the road.

Related: How We Flew to London for Cheap

Baby Beach in Lahaina is a great beach for very small children. The reef off the shores of this area prevents larger waves from reaching the beach, making the water calmer than other areas. It’s comparable to a tide pool, just much bigger! The water here is not only calm, but it is shallow as well, maxing out around three feet even as you get far from the shore. It’s a nice spot for snorkeling and catching a glimpse of fish; just be mindful of the coral.

Baby Beach in Lahaina is located where Front Street and Kai Pali Place intersect. Parallel parking is available on neighborhood streets, and you’ll find beach access on Kai Pali Place street designated by “Shoreline Access” signs.

Maluaka Beach finishes off the list of family-friendly beaches on Maui, and it is worth venturing to the south side of the island. You might be lucky enough to snag a shady spot, and you can enjoy restrooms and outdoor showers. This is another beach on Maui with grassy areas for playing and picnicking off the sand. The water tends to be calmer in the morning, and that is when you’re more likely to find parking. There is a bit of a walk from the lot to the beach, so bring a wagon to help haul your snacks, sunscreen, towels and sand toys from the car. The parking lot is down Makena-Keonionio Road, which is less than half a mile after you pass Makena Beach and Golf course on Makena Alanui Drive.

Book a Hawaii Vacation with Get Away Today

With a variety of destinations and hotels available, you can book with Get Away Today and save on your next Hawaii vacation. See all Hawaii vacation options at, or call 855-GET-AWAY to book directly with an agent. There are no fees for using the services at Get Away Today, and you’ll love having an agent with you every step of the planning process. Be sure to tell them Mommy on Purpose sent you!

Related: How to Plan a Cheap Holiday

Related: Top 10 Things To Do in Hawaii With Kids

Related: Planning a Disney Trip at Christmas