H.A. Baldwin Beach is on the windy, or east side of Maui about a mile from Paia, a little town known for being a tourist spot on the Road to Hana. There is a lifeguard during beach hours, also restrooms, showers, picnic area and large sports field.
This is my favorite beach on Maui, and I go there to walk about 5 days a week. This beach is fairly flat, compared to most of the others, and the sand varies from hard to very soft. Great for a workout walk, especially since round trip from end to end is about 3 miles, if you go through the woods, and walk all the way down to Paia Bay Beach. In between that hike you will also run into Paia Secret Beach, known for clothing optional. There will definitely be a lot of different beach types to encounter along the way. Even if you skip the long hike and just stay on Baldwin Beach, you will still get about 40 minutes of sand walking in. There is also a lot of natural shade offered by the trees along the entire stretch of beach. And because it’s so big, never seems busy.
I visited Maui many times as a tourist, always staying at the big resorts on the west side ( I call them the Westworld resorts), and loved their beaches for the amenities offered by the resort, and the fact you could just walk up to your room when you wanted. I had stopped at Baldwin Beach a couple of times, and it always felt a bit awkward to be there. It is definitely a “local beach”, with all sorts of strange characters who frequent and camp out in the woods in tents, whom I have now grown to appreciate living here. Since I used to be one, I can use the word Hippies, which I feel best describes their look and carefree nature.
The south end of the beach (the Paia side) is where most of the locals hang out. Here they will be playing music, smoking pot, and the girls sometimes are without tops. You aren’t supposed to drink alcohol on any public beach, but many people do, and they won’t bother you if you don’t get rowdy. There is also a small cove that breaks the waves, good for swimming. If you have small children, this end may not be the one for you. Then you will want to turn left at the lifeguard station, and head that direction to the more tourist part.
Since it is the windy side of the island, the waves are usually not good for swimming, but are great if you are an experienced boogey boarder. No surfers go here, but there are always wind surfers taking off from the beach. The wind can sometimes be a problem, the worst being sandblasted by the drifting sand.
At the north end of the beach is a swimming area perfect for kids. It’s called Baby Beach. There is a break wall that protects a rather large area. You can park here too, but there isn’t a parking lot or restrooms. Your restroom is the water.
I have never seen a whale on this side during season, but there are always lots of big Sea Turtles. They crawl up on both ends of the beach to warm in the sand and lay eggs. You can see them swimming in the water between both ends every day. The rule is to stay at least ten feet from them, and never touch them. They don’t seem to mind people and dogs (of which there are plenty), and you can walk right by one and they won’t even look up.
Sea Turtle resting by Baby Beach.