Launiupoko Beach Park is a popular family beach area that is located just south of the town of Lahaina. This is a county park that includes a nice array of amenities that make a beach day in Maui just a bit more comfortable and accessible, and the beach itself has plenty to draw visitors on its own.
This county park covers nearly seven acres, but don’t let that smaller side dissuade you. Launiupoko Beach Park is so frequently visited that they needed to create an overflow parking for the beach across the street from its primary parking area. There are two big reasons why so many choose this park as their beach day destination is because despite there not being a posted lifeguard, there is a unique feature that makes an area of this beach exceptionally friendly, and second, the surf conditions here can get ideal for many types of boarding activities.
Let’s go over that first big draw. Launiupoko Beach Park is considered one of the most family-friendly beaches on Maui despite not having a lifeguard because what it does have is a natural protective pool. This protected pool or lagoon at the center of the park’s beach line is formed by partially buried lava rocks. When the tide comes high, it fills the area between the rocks with water that lingers on throughout the day. This temporary lagoon then becomes an ideal place for children to play and swim as it remains separate and protected from heavy currents and high surf.
And the surf does get wonderfully high. Launiupoko Beach Park is a renowned spot for surfers, and should you sit here on the beach all day long, it would not be uncommon to experience a constant rotation of newcomers taking on the waves here. Surfers love this location because of how the surf breaks just offshore and becomes three unique and distinct surf breaks that are all within 100 yards of the shoreline. This draws in tons of longboarders, paddle boarders, boogie boarders, and more, all eager to join the steady rotation. If you are new to surfing in Maui, it is a good idea to hang back and watch how this rotation plays out before jumping in line.
Surfing and the young kid lagoon are certainly the biggest draws of Launiupoko Beach Park, but there are some other good reasons to come here. Or at least things that will keep you here once you do visit.
The grassy knolls, over a dozen picnic tables, and soft white sand all make for wonderful places to sit and enjoy the views — and there are quite the views from Launiupoko Beach Park. Anywhere you sit here and face the beach will have you catching a clear view of the island of Lanai across the channel. This big green island is beautiful in its own right, but come here during a sunset, and it becomes especially gorgeous with the way the setting sun’s colors drape the island and the waters surrounding it. Make a full day out of your adventure by taking advantage of one of the five barbeque set-ups for a full picnic.
Of course, while there is a lot Launiupoko Beach Park has to offer, there are likewise some reasons why one might pass on it. You won’t find any good snorkeling spots, for one. And all offshore swimming is generally discouraged as the offshore area does tend to get taken over by surfers and other types of boarding enthusiasts.
If you are planning a picnic, be sure to stop by the Living Earth Systems Farm Stand that is often set up across the street from the overflow parking on Kai Hele Ku St. This stand is often an exceptional place to get fresh fruit and vegetables that can be added to a picnic or BBQ spread, and sometimes they will have more prepped and ready-to-go foods.