Big Beach

Top choice in Kihei & South Maui

The crowning glory of Makena State Park, this untouched beach is arguably the finest on Maui. In Hawaiian it’s called Oneloa, literally ‘Long Sand.’ And indeed the golden sands stretch for the better part of a mile and are as broad as they come. The waters are a beautiful turquoise. When they’re calm, you’ll find kids boogie boarding here, but at other times the shorebreaks can be dangerous and suitable only for experienced bodysurfers, who get tossed wildly in the transparent waves.

There are lifeguard stations here. No drinking water is available, so bring your own.

In the late 1960s, this was the site of an alternative-lifestyle encampment nicknamed ‘Hippie Beach.’ The tent city lasted until 1972, when police finally evicted everyone. For a sweeping view of the shore, climb the short trail to the rocky outcrop just north, which divides Big Beach from Little Beach.

The turnoff to the main parking area is a mile beyond the closed Makena Beach & Golf Resort. There’s a portable toilet here. A second parking area lies 440yd to the south. Thefts and broken windshields are a possibility, so don’t leave valuables in your car in either lot.

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