Makena Beach

Makena Beach

Makena Beach is by far one of the most beautiful beaches in Maui. The beach is located within Makena State Park and is often referred to as Oneloa Beach. At over a mile long and more than 100 yards wide, the beach is located just South of Wailea, which is a resort town that resides on the island of Maui.

The island has over 30 miles of majestic beaches, all of which feature colorful sands that can vary from black, red, and white. With a population of over 140,000, Maui is the second most populated island in Hawaii. The island has over 727 miles of diverse landscapes, which also features a dormant volcano and two additional beaches; Naupaka Beach and One’uli Beach. Naupaka Beach is covered entirely with black sand, which is located on the north end of the park. If you’re staying in Southern Maui then you should consider visiting Makena.


Makena Beach features a plethora of different activities including tours and other things to do while you’re visiting. If you love turtles and want to go explore the aquatic world, you should go on a snorkeling tour. Or if you’re someone who has ambitions of conquering a “killer wave,” yet you have no idea how to surf, you can easily make that dream a reality and take some surfing lessons. Makena Beach may not have all the perks and whistles that the expensive resort beaches have, but it does have plenty of free or inexpensive things you can do. You can also go on a kayak tour, which gives you a chance to witness the beauty of the ocean firsthand.


If you’ve visited Maui before, you probably already know that finding a parking spot isn’t always easy. Unlike most other beaches in Hawaii, Makena Beach has plenty of available parking. Unless you’re planning on taking a trip Sunday evening, you more than likely will have no problem finding a parking spot. There is a parking lot located at each entrance.


Makena Beach is not only the most visited beach on Maui but it’s considered by many travelers to be one of the most breathtaking Hawaiian beaches and provides views of the islands. The beach is covered with 1.5 miles of angelic white sand. The North end of the beach is bordered by steep lava outcroppings, almost resembling a large cinder cone, which is known as Puuolai. On the other side of Puuolai is Little Beach. The beach is a small 660ft beach, which often features drum circles and fire dancing performances; and if you’re feeling daring, you could go nude sunbathing. Little Beach is one of the only beaches that will tolerate nude sunbathers.

Big Beach is a great place for body boarding or if you’re a surfing enthusiast. The beach provides some of the best shore break conditions in the world. When it comes to swimming, surfing, or skimboarding, there is nothing more important than safety, which is why they have multiple lifeguard towers stretched across the beach. There are also lifeguards on duty around the clock. If you’re looking for a beach that isn’t located next to a large resort and isn’t packed full of people, then you should definitely consider taking a trip to Makena; the beach, being so massive, can absorb the crowds better. If you’re planning a family trip to Makena Beach then you’re in luck. The beach is packed full of amenities including picnic tables, trash bins, port-a-potties, and if you become hungry, just visit the food truck and a grab a taco or some BBQ.

Makena is known for its perfect sand and crystal clear waters, which is why it’s a great place for snorkeling and surfing. Or if you’re a diehard fishing fanatic like myself, you should consider planning a fishing trip to Makena Beach. Unlike many other beaches in Hawaii, Makena Beach doesn’t require a saltwater fishing license. Not to mention, there are few closed seasons, which means you can fish nearly all year round. There is nothing better in life than being able to catch a Barracuda while relaxing on a white sand beach.

Hotels & Places to Stay

The island of Maui has plenty of hotels that are within the vicinity of the beach including The Fairmont, Four Seasons Resort, and Hotel Wailea, which is walking distance to Makena Beach and features 3 golf courses. If you’re planning on staying for longer than a week, you might want to consider using Airbnb or Vrbo, which offers low-rate, short-term vacation rentals for families and people traveling alone. Staying at a hostel is another option, which may be a more cost-efficient alternative if you’re working with a limited budget.

How to Get There

One of the advantages of vacationing on Maui is the island is relatively easy to navigate. If you’re traveling from Lahaina, which is a community in West Maui, then you would simply head south on Honoapiilani Hwy and make a right onto Piilani Hwy. If you’re coming from Kihei, you would continue along Piilani Hwy, pass the golf resort, and continue to follow the signs until you reach Makena Beach.