Guide to visiting the Charley Young Beach in Maui
If you are in the Kihei area and looking for a beach, then I highly recommend Maui’s Charley Young Beach. It is a great beach that doesn’t get as crowded as some of the others in the Kihei area.
It likely doesn’t get as crowded as other beaches because most of the beach backs immediately up to a row of million dollar homes. The row of homes requires you to walk onto the beach from either end, which apparently deters most people.
The beach is perfect for its wide sand and shallow waters. There are even reefs for snorkeling and tidepools that are perfect for kids to swim in.
- Other Names: Charley Young Beach, Kamaole Beach 1 (immediately next to)
- Best known for: wide sand, shallow waters, and kid friendly tide pools
- Day and time I visited: saturday afternoon
- Facilities: porta-potties and showers
- Lifeguard: No
- Cost: Free
- Parking: limited, but full lot only 1 block away
- Open from: 7 am to 8 pm
Location: Charley Young Beach Maui Map
Charley Young beach is on the south side of the island in the Kihei area of Maui, almost directly next to downtown Kihei. It also borders Kamaole Beach Park 1.
If you are coming from the Maui Airport the drive will take you about 25 minutes.
What to Expect
There are a number of beaches in the Kihei area of Maui, but this one has some features that make it slightly different from others.
For details on the exact conditions make sure to check our the Charley Young Beach Cam here.
Charley Young Beach Snorkeling Areas
At the end of the beach there is a rocky area with reefs that are decent for snorkeling. It’s not the best snorkeling on the island, but you can still see some great aquatic life.
Charley Young Beach looking towards the West Maui Mountains
Kid Friendly Tide Pools
Looking for a spot for the little ones to swim without having to worry about them get sucked out to sea? This beach features some rocks that form some tide pools that are perfect for kids to swim in.
Sidewalk Along the Beach
There is a sidewalk that follows along the beach if you simply want to go for a stroll without your feet getting sandy.
There are only a couple of parking spots directly at the beach entrance, but if you are willing to walk 1 block to the highway there is a full parking lot that will likely have space. I visited on a Saturday afternoon and the lot was only ¾ full.
Another perk is that the parking was free!
Charley Young Beach Parking lot
Trees for Shade
While it doesn’t sound that unique, another perk of this beach is that there are a number of Ironwood trees lining the shore. They provide shade when you need a break from the intense sun.
There are only really two ways to access the beach, and they are the entrances at either end. This means that you likely will have to walk further down the sand to get space away from crowds of people.
There aren’t full restrooms, only porta potties.
The closest attraction is downtown Kihei, which is perfect if you are looking to find a quick place for lunch or even go through various shops.
The beach also borders Kamaole Beach Park 1 as well as being really close to Cove Beach Park on the other end. If you want to drive further down the south side of the island you can get to the famous Makena State Park and then a completely underrated hike in the Hoapili Trail.
Final Thoughts on the Charley Young Beach
I think this is one of the best beaches in the Kihei area. All around, if I had to choose one that checked a lot of boxes and was easy to access, I would happily return here.
What to Pack for Maui
- Quick Dry Travel Towel – This quick dry towel is amazing to travel with. It really will come in handy when you need extra room in your suitcase.
- Snorkeling gear – for obvious reasons.
- Hiking boots – I have two pairs of hiking boots that I love. My Columbia waterproof boots and my Salomon hiking boots. Highly recommend checking them both out!
- Sandals – LOVE these Teva’s! They are my new go to travel sandal. Shop my favorite Teva’s here. They are great to wear in the water snorkeling and also amazing for hiking in Hawaii.
- Dresses for Hawaii – Packing a few good dresses is essential for Hawaii. Dresses have become my go to on trips to help quickly put an outfit together. Revolve is one of my go to shops for beach dresses. ASOS also has great summer dresses.
- Shorts – Anyone who is traveling to Hawaii needs a good pair of shorts. Khakis are great for guys. For women, cute athletic shorts or denim shorts are perfect for a breezy summertime look. These Levi denim shorts are my current favorites! These high waisted athletic shorts have gone viral on instagram and for good reason, they are AMAZING.
- Sports bra – This SKIMS bra is the most comfortable sports bra you will ever wear! Trust me. I travel with 5 of them. Also, highly recommend checking out the SKIMS fits everybody bra is to die for as well.
- Agolde 90’s jeans – I actually can’t remember the last trip I have been on where I haven’t brought these Agolde jeans. I have them in multiple colors and sizes. Check out my full review here.
- Tank tops – Free people is my go to place to buy cute and affordable tank tops. I have this tighten up tank in almost every color.
- Hat – essential. Shop the newest hats at Nordstrom.
- Beach cover-up – Having at least one good cover-up is essential on any beach trip. I recommend ASOS, Nordstrom and Revolve as well.
- Tennis Shoes – I guess you could wear sandals hiking the trails in Maui but I would recommend tennis shoes or hiking boots. It can get narrow and slippery in parts. These New Balance shoes are amazing. Only problem is they sell out so fast! Blah. They look so cute with shorts too!
- Packing cubes – I always go to Urban Outfitters for my packing cubes. They have the cutest ones!