There’s a resort here, with a well-manicured golf course, but Makena still feels wild, like a territorial outpost that hasn’t quite been tamed. It’s a perfect setting for aquatic adventurers who want to escape the crowds, offering primo snorkeling, kayaking and bodysurfing, plus pristine coral, reef sharks, dolphins and sea turtles galore.
The beaches are magnificent. The king of them all, Big Beach (Oneloa), is an immense sweep of glistening sand and a prime sunset-viewing locale. The secluded cove at neighboring Little Beach is Maui’s most popular nude beach – you will see bare buns. Don’t stare. Together these beaches form Makena State Park, but don’t be misled by the term ‘park,’ as they remain in a natural state, with no facilities except for a couple of pit toilets and picnic tables. No one on Maui would have it otherwise.