Charley Young Beach

Charley Young Beach -- Cozy Neighborhood Beach Away From the Resort
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Charley Young Beach is a small beach but one with a lot of character. Tucked away behind residential neighborhoods, this is a popular local's beach boasting calm waters, lively snorkeling opportunities, and a nice grassy knoll upon which to sprawl and picnic. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

When it comes to beautiful beaches and amenity-packed resorts, no one quite does things like the island of Maui. Especially if you are traveling with children. Maui is a wonderful playground for all ages, but certain places like the aptly named Charley Young Beach seem perfectly suited for the young.

Charley Young Beach is a small county park that includes a gorgeous stretch of sand on Maui’s southwestern side. Emphasis on small. You will find very limited dedicated county park and beach parking at the corner where Kaiau Place turns a corner and becomes Illili Road. Visitors can additionally do street parking on both of these roads. Or, alternatively, you might park further south at the larger dedicated parking for Kamaole Beach Park and walk north along the beach until you hit the rounded corner that is Charley Young Beach.

The stretch of beach or rather this corner of beach named Charley Young Beach sits at the very northern end of a larger cut of sandy shoreline, most of which is considered technically Kamaole Beach. And certainly, for some, all of this sandy shoreline looks the same. However, there are some very interesting aspects of Charley Young Beach that sets it apart and makes it deserving of its own visit — and certainly its own name. 

First, the name of Charley Young Beach comes from a local resident who was a bit of a local celebrity and had a home very neighboring park.  Where many homeowners might want to keep such a beautiful beach more to themselves, Charley Young made it easy for people to enjoy their time swimming by offering a hose for beach-goers to wash their feet of sand and salt and keeping the pathway past his home clear.

Today, this beach and beach park are still beloved by locals thanks to that location near residential neighborhoods and it being set back from more of the bigger hotel resorts. As such, visitors will often see local families spreading out a picnic and playing beach volleyball in the wider, flatter stretch of sand here. But don’t feel put out! The atmosphere here is very positive and welcoming, and you’ll find just as many visitors to the island and Hawaiian-grown locals partaking in the unique beauty of Charley Young Beach.

There is a large rock formation that borders Charley Young Beach on the north and serves to both protect it from the worst of ocean swells as well as to provide a home to sea turtles and other creatures. Snorkeling in and around this rock formation is one of the big draws of Charley Young Beach. Meanwhile, the calmer waters here make it popular for paddleboarders and swimmers of all ages. But parents be wary, there are no lifeguards posted at this beach. You will, however, find a lifeguard during busy hours at Kamaole Beach just to the south. 

During the afternoon hours, the trade winds sometimes pick up to the point that sitting on the beach here can become uncomfortable when they blow from the west and kick up the sand. But when the winds blow from the east, the nice garden of palm trees and other plant species keeps things calm. 

While Charley Young Beach is now a county park, the amenities here are sparse. No dedicated lifeguard and limited parking are the most obvious things lacking. But you will find some desirable amenities. Gone is Charley Young’s hose and in its place is a nice outdoor shower and portable toilet. 

Insider Tips:
-Charley Young Beach is an excellent spot to watch the sunset. This is a quiet beach and the nice grassy knoll just above the sand makes for a good place to roll out the blankets and enjoy the changing colors with a border of palm trees, sand, and surf. 
-If you do go snorkeling, watch out for sea urchins! These lava rocks and formations here are truly popular with the marine life, but not all that marine life is going to swim away from you! Likewise, make sure to give sea turtles their space as this is a popular place for them to hunt and feast on urchins and other sea creatures. Disturbing or otherwise harassing them during such meal times isn’t just mean, it is illegal. Enjoy from a distance.