Hawaii Maui Big Beach vacation landscape in Makena State Park

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Makena State Park

Kihei & South Maui

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 Hawaiian beach – beautiful and expansive, with virtually no development on the horizon. Although it's a state park, Makena remains pretty much as nature intended, with no facilities except for lifeguard stations and a couple of pit toilets and picnic tables.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kihei & South Maui attractions

1. Big Beach

0.16 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. Secret Cove

0.39 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…

3. Little Beach

0.51 MILES

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…

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

1.22 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. ʻAhihi-Kinaʻu Natural Area Reserve

1.25 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,…

7. Makena Bay

1.44 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…

8. Poʻolenalena Beach

2.15 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…