Locations for Family Photography on Maui

The island of Maui offers a great selection of locations for portraits with your family. Depending on where you are staying and your preferences there are lots of beautiful spots to pick from. Of course the beaches are the main attraction, but also keep in mind that there are quite some "alternative" locations to go to: Iao Valley or the Eucalyptus forest close to Makawao, just to name two. As a small helper we put together an overview of our favorite picks.

South Side

The south side of Maui with the towns of Kihei and Wailea is blessed with miles of beautiful beaches and and a beautiful view of the neighbor islands Lanai, Molokini and Kahoolawe. Also being the driest area it offers the most sun and some spectacular sunsets.

Po’olenalena Beach

For sure one of my favorite beaches here on the island! Beside the huge main beach you can reach a more secluded area over a short trail, offering you the perfect background for Hawaiian flair: beautiful sand, palm trees and foliage in the background, as well as some rock formations. Usually it is pretty empty, making it a perfect spot for a photo shoot.

How to get there: Coming from Wailea going south on Wailea Alanui Drive / Makena Road, it is located shortly after Wailea Golf Club. The parking lot entrance is marked by a yellow gate on the right side of the street.  

Additional Links: Sample ShootGoogle Maps | Maui Guide Book

White Rock Beach (Palauea Beach)

Located close to Wailea this is a perfect beach for family portraits. The wide sandy strip of sand gives you lots of space to play around. Although especially in the evening it can have a few small weddings, it is normally fairly empty, making it a great location for a photo shoot.

How to get there: Right after the end of Wailea, take a right into Kaukahi Street and follow the road until you get you see the beach on your right. There is small patch of trees in front of the ocean, but it is pretty easy to spot.

Additional Links: Sample ShootGoogle Maps | Maui Guide Book

Sugar (Boardwalk) Beach

The beach is located on the South shore of island, right in the middle of the valley of Maui. To access the beach we use Keiala Boardwalk which already provides some beautiful backgrounds as it leads through a protected area of wetlands. The beach basically reaches as far as you can see on both sides with beautiful white sand. There are hardly any people ever at the beach so it is ideal for photo sessions. 

How to get there: Keiala Boardwalk Beach is located on Highway 310 between Maalaea and Kihei on Highway. Coming from Kihei the parking lot is on your left side.

Additional Links: Sample Shoot | Google Maps | Hiking Project

Maluaka Beach

Maluaka Beach is not often considered for family photography, but you should take it into account. Offering a beautiful sand beach on the one hand, it also comes with quite some opportunities for alternative backgrounds on the other hand. There is a beautiful big tree to sit on, colorful foliage and even the road can be used for some pictures (it is a close to the end of the road). 

How to get there: South from Wailea following Makena Road all the way to its end it is rather easy to find. Just be aware to take a right shortly after Poolenalena Park to follow the road. If you should miss this crossing you can also take a right on Honoiki Street to get to the coastal road again. Park your car the Maluaka Beach Parking lot and it is a two minutes walk to the waterside.
Additional Links: Sample Shoot | Google Maps | TripAdvisor


West Side

Separated from the rest of the island by the some steep cliffs, the west side of Maui offers some vibrant shopping and nightlife with Front Street of Lahaina being its center. Not to forget of course the beautiful beaches and the beautiful sunsets which you can experience on this part of the island.

Baby Beach (Puunoa Beach)

Just north from Lahaina lies the cute shallow Baby beach. The shore protected by a reef it creates the perfect environment for your small ones to play around in calm waters and some snorkling for older kids. Lahina is town already in sight, so it is also a great opportunity to add a second location to a photo session and take a stroll together on beautiful Front Street or enjoy a delicious shaved ice.

How to get there: The beach access is located in Kai Pali Place, just off Front Street on the north side of Lahaina. Coming from the Honoapiilani Highway, take a turn into Kapunakea Street (by the Lahaina Cannery Mall) and turn left into Front street. Follow the road for about half a mile till you have Kenui Street on your left and Kai Pali on your right.

Additional Links: Sample Shoot | Google Maps | Yelp 

DT Fleming Beach Park

This beach is located about 20 minutes out of Lahaina. It offers lots of space, gorgeous backgrounds in all directions and to most amazing sunset lighting. Some people might describe it, having a bit of a rough apparel, but is actually one of our favorite beaches to shoot on. In the evening it can get a bit windy, which can be a fun element to play with during a session. 

How to get there: The beach is located next to Honoapiilani Highway, right after Kapalua. Coming from the Lahaina the entrance to the parking is on the left side of the Highway. There is a clear sign, so it is pretty easy to find.

Additional Links: Sample Shoot | Google Maps | TripAdvisor

Central Maui 

This area less frequented by tourists also offers some great spots for photo sessions. A bit off-the-beaten-track it radiates a more original feeling and the beaches are normally less crowed. It can get rather windy in the afternoon on this side of the island, so morning is the best time for a session. 

Baldwin Beach

This beautiful North Shore beach offers everything you want for a family session or intimate wedding: amazing light (especially in the morning), lots of green in the background, radiant blue water and hardly any people. Our favorite in the area!

How to get there: The beach is located on Hana Highway right after Spreckelsville coming from Kahului. Right of the main highway we meet the parking lot at the end of Alawi road. 

Additional Links: Sample Shoot | Google Maps | TripAdvisor


Kanaha Beach Park

This amazing beach has it all: beautiful water, rocks, all kind of trees and a huge grassy area. In addition it offers an phenomenal view of the island. Perfect for morning shoots it tends to become quite windy in the afternoon, making it a popular windsurfer beach as well.

How to get there: Directly in Kahului, were Hana Highway merges into Kaahumanu Avenue take a right towards Hobron Avenue, then again right onto Amala Place. Follow all the way to the end and on your left is Kanaha Beach Park.

Additional Links: Google Maps | TripAdvisor


Paia Bay Beach

This fun beach right before Paia Town (coming from Kahului) is offering a beautiful wide stretch of white sand, fallen trees and palms. It is just a good spot to just play around and enjoy the atmosphere. Within walking distance to is also the cute town center of Paia, giving you the opportunity to combine your beach photo session with images from this quaint town.

How to get there: Driving into Paia on Hana Highway from Kahului, the public parking lot on the right is the best spot to park your car. The beach is then a two minute walk away.

Additional Links: Sample Shoot | Google Maps | Yelp

Other beautiful Locations

When people think about getting photos taken on Maui, they tend to imagine beautiful sand beaches with palm trees in the background. However, beside the "classical" locations, there are also some hidden gems for family photography. 

Honolua Bay

One of Mauis greatest gems, is combining the amazing atmosphere of a rain forest with a great snorkeling spot. The lush green of the giant trees, beautiful flowers all year long and a little creek flowing in the mist of it, make this place truly magical. Ideal for a bit of an alternative setting for a photo session.

How to get there: Following Honoapiilani Highway (Highway 30) out West from Kapalua, it is about a 10 minutes drive. The meeting point is a the bottom of the bay, right of the main road.

Additional Links: Sample Shoot | Google Maps | TripAdvisor

Iao Valley

Within a short drive from from Kahului Iao Valley offers quite a different view of the island. Combining lots of information about Hawaiian history with the beauty of  the rain forest, it is the perfect location to play around, explore the area and relax while taking photos. 

How to get there: Coming from the center of Kahuluhi via Kaahumani Avenue just straight into the valley. At the end of Iao Valley Road there is a parking lot.

Additional Links: Sample Shoot | Google Maps TripAdvisor