Mākena State Park

Mākena State Park

Mākena State Park is made up of Oneloa beach, also known as “Big Beach” and Pu’u Ola’i or “Little Beach” and is one of Maui’s most breathtaking beaches. There is a large cinder cone, Pu‘u Ola‘i, on the north end of the beach that separates “Big Beach” from “Little Beach.” Take Mākena Alanui Road through and past Wailea, and eventually you’ll find this gem.

Watersports: Known by locals for its massive shorebreak, where expert level surfers and bodyboarders get their thrills, Mākena can be dangerous at times and can be calm and ideal for swimming at others. It’s a good idea to sit and watch the ocean for 10-15 minutes before entering, even if it looks calm. There are lifeguards on duty who can give you information about current ocean conditions. If there is a South swell forecast, it usually means there will be big waves here. On Sundays, you’ll find sand volleyball courts set up that anyone can join. Little Beach is known as a clothing optional beach, though technically, you are required to wear a bathing suit in Hawai’i.

Shade: There are a few keawe trees that offer some shade along with their spiky thorns, but it’s best to bring a beach umbrella so you can find your spot along the 1.5 mile long and 100 feet wide stretch of white sand.

Food: You won’t find any food or drinks on the beach, so be sure to pack a cooler. There are food trucks across the road. The taco truck is especially tasty.

Parking/Hours: Beach hours: 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There are two gated parking lots. Admission is $5 per person and Parking is $10 per car. You can pay when you arrive at the kiosk in the lot, or online before you get there. There are porta-potties at each entrance but no showers.

What’s in a name: Oneloa means long or stretching sand which you’ll understand once you step onto these shimmering sands. Pu’u Ola’i means red hill which is fitting for the red cinder cone that you must climb over to access Pu’u Ola’i beach. 

Historical Opportunity: There has been controversy in recent years about developing the area of Mākena. So far, the beach remains one of the few on the island without any houses or resorts.

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