Launiupoko State Wayside Park has long been a favorite on the west side of the island. It offers visitors a beautiful green grass park setting complete with picnic tables and barbecue stations but it also has a small beach to enter for a short swim and water activities. Located right off the Honoapiilani Highway (Rt 30) a couple miles south of the town of Lahaina this has been a popular gathering place over the years.
Name: Launiupoko Beach Park.
Length: Approximately 350 ft.
Sand Type: Fine.
Bottom Type: Reef.
Schedule: Opening time: 7AM, closing time: 8PM.
Baldwin Beach is best for: Barbecuing, tanning, swimming, boogie boarding, surfing, photography/admiring the natural beauty, SUP, kayaking, sunset, yoga.
Facilities: Restrooms, BBQ pits, picnic tables, showers, beach park.
Hazards: Partially buried rocks, falling coconuts, strong currents, sharp reef, sea urchin.
Parking Situation: Paved.
Access: Paved road.
Difficulty to get there: Easy.
Not only is Launiupoko Wayside Park a wonderful place for a quick dip but it is also a wonderful place for surfing. During the summer months this is a location that is often blessed with a very well formed and consistent break that is a sought after surf break. Even when it is not so large it works well as a break for beginning surfers and surf schools often teach here. In addition to wave surfing it has also become very popular among stand-up paddlers when the seas here are flat to medium surf. This is one of the last beach parks on the west side to get the wrap-around trades from the north so it will often remain calm, without white-caps well into the afternoon hours.
One of the very best things about Launiupoko is the view. From the park you have a clear view of Lanai across the channel. Lanai is a full eight miles away but you feel that you could almost swim there because it appears so close. Sunsets are particularly delicious from Launiupoko as well and it makes a great location for an evening barbecue.
Amenities at the Launiupoko State Wayside Park are an excellent parking lot with additional parking across the street, a restroom and showers, picnic tables and barbecue stations and often, depending upon the tide, a small wading pool excellent for young children.
Getting to Launiupoko Beach Park is extremely easy. Located about 5 minutes south of Lahaina town off the Honoapiilani Hwy. Easy access and paved parking. The main parking lot is very small but there is additional parking across the street. Keep in mind that this is a very popular weekend spot for families so you may have to park a short walk away from the beach.
Tips to avoid the reef: If surfing fall as flat as possible. If you are new to the area, wear protective footwear (booties) in the water. Avoid sea urchins that live on the reef.
Tips to avoid high surf: Keep and eye out for high surf advisory warning signs. Watch the ocean for a good half hour or so before entering. Keep in mind the ocean is very powerful.
Tips to avoid falling coconuts: Always look up when coconut trees are around and be aware of which ones are currently carrying nuts. Make sure you are not parking or setting up a spot to hang out underneath a tree carrying nuts.
Please be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be potentially dangerous including Launiupoko Beach Park. To be safe you need to be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering the water and of course, never turn your back on the ocean when you are on the shoreline. It should also be noted that all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water. If possible, always leave any area as clean or cleaner than you found it. Have fun but be safe!
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