Little Beach

Kihei & South Maui

Those folks with the coolers and umbrellas, walking north from the sandy entrance to Big Beach? They’re heading to Little Beach, which is part of Makena State Park. Also known as Puʻu Olaʻi Beach, this cozy strand is au naturel. Nudity is officially illegal, though enforcement is at the political whim of the day. The beach is hidden by a rocky outcrop that juts out from Puʻu Olaʻi, the cinder hill marking Big Beach's northern end. Take the short but steep trail over the outcropping.

Little Beach fronts a sandy cove that usually has a gentle shorebreak ideal for bodysurfing and boogie boarding. When the surf’s up, you’ll find plenty of local surfers here as well. When the water’s calm, snorkeling is good along the rocky point. For parking, use the northern lot at Big Beach.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kihei & South Maui attractions

1. Big Beach

0.44 MILES

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…

2. Makena State Park

0.51 MILES

Makena State Park should be high on every traveler’s itinerary. Its crowning glory, Big Beach, is the scene that people conjure up when they dream of a…

3. Secret Cove

0.79 MILES

This lovely, postcard-size swath of sand, with a straight-on view of Kahoʻolawe island, is worth a peek – although it’s no longer much of a secret. The…

4. Maluʻaka Beach

0.99 MILES

Dubbed ‘Turtle Beach,’ this golden swath of sand behind the closed Makena Beach & Golf Resort is popular with snorkelers and kayakers hoping to glimpse…

5. Keawalaʻi Congregational Church

1.24 MILES

One of Maui’s earliest missionary churches, its 3ft-thick walls were constructed of burnt coral rock. In the seaside churchyard take a look at the old…

6. Makena Bay

1.42 MILES

Want to kayak along the coast? Then drop into this pretty bay. There’s no better place on Maui for kayaking – as you might surmise from the collection of…

7. ʻAhihi-Kinaʻu Natural Area Reserve

1.65 MILES

Although scientists haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact date, Maui’s last lava flow probably spilled down to the sea here between 1480 and 1600 CE,…

8. Poʻolenalena Beach

2.08 MILES

This long and lovely crescent-shaped beach, south of the resorts, is a favorite of local families on weekends. It's rarely crowded though, and the shallow…