Slaughterhouse Beach

Also known as Mokule'ia Beach - a dramatic cliff-framed beach and bay.

Rating: ★★★★½

In a nutshell: A dramatic cliff-framed beach and bay.
Minuses: Beach can vanish and surf can become dangerous in winter.
Sound-bite: “Will we get Slaughtered surfing here?”

Winter surf break at Mokule'ia Bay aka Slaughterhouse Beach

Winter surf break at Slaughterhouse

The name “Slaughterhouse Beach” comes from the Honolua Ranch slaughterhouse and tanning/storage shed that were (oh, so conveniently) located on the cliff’s edge above the ocean. The buildings were torn down in the 60’s, but the lovely name stuck. In contrast, the Hawaiian name Mokule’ia means “district of abundance”, and like most Hawaiian names, is a very accurate description.

Mokule’ia Bay is part of the same preserve as its neighbor Honolua Bay: the Honolua-Mokule’ia Bay Marine Life Conservation District. But unlike its rocky neighbor to the north, much of the year this bay has a nice sandy beach to relax on.

During the winter months there are often large well-formed waves that are perfect for the more experienced boogie boarders and surfers. But the large surf can often become dangerous, and even the most experienced need to keep a healthy respect for the ocean in mind. In summer months the waves are much more mellow and are often suitable for beginners. When the ocean is tame there is also very good snorkeling around the the north point and into Honolua Bay.

Slaughterhouse Beach (aka Mokule’ia Beach)

Much nicer beach than Honolua Bay next door

The cliff faces and trees give shade early and late in the day. Parking is on-street and minimal. There are concrete stairs with a railing that will take you from the ~100′ elevation parking down most of the way to the beach. This area suffers from break-ins so take your valuables with you and leave your car unlocked so you don’t lose a window.

Key Info:
Mile Marker: #32.2 (Hwy 30 aka Honoapiilani Hwy)
GPS Coordinates: 21.01106,-156.642144
Facilities: None
Get directions

(Note: Many information sources, including the Google Map below, spell the name of the bay wrong.)

View Mokule’ia & Honolua Bay & Slaughterhouse Beach in a larger map

  1. Bob Simmons says:

    It isn’t named Slaughterhouse Beach because they used to dump garbage there. It’s so named because there used to be a slaughterhouse at the top where the road is.

  2. Very Beautiful Beach! Clean clear water with Fun Big Waves! Nice sand too! Not very crowded and where the locals go. Snorkeling is pretty good here also. Swam with a few turtles! 🙂 Parking can be crazy but it works. Nice walkway down to the beach and some shade is provided in the afternoon. Great beach to body surf and boogie board!!
    Don’t miss this beach!!! 🙂

  3. Jara Downs says:

    Love this beach, a lot less crowded and great waves for playing in! Great snorkeling too, saw turtles here! Shade available but minimal parking, people are usually coming and going though so it’s ok! Lovely spot!

  4. tom simpson says:

    I was there in 1977 and body surfed every day for two weeks after a native surfer should me how to body surf without killing myself. He said the reason why it was called Slaughterhouse was because they used to dump garbage there and the sharks would come in and eat remains. Then we would drive down to Don Drysdales bar and have goodies and best drinks in Lahaina. Wonderful place. I understand now that Drysdales is gone now, tis a pity. It was a wonderful honeymoon two weeks and we stayed on the Kahei golf course, in a hut. Couldn’t believe I was looking at This Beach during the Golf Match on TV…Big winds cancelled portions of the tourney and I remember our last day there when Kona was blowing and it ate up all the beach at bottom of stone stairs. Wonderful spot, thank you very much Maui…..Tom Simpson

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