Makena's peaches and cream, sugar-sand beaches are located on the south side of Maui, near ritzy Wailea, Maui's wealthiest neighborhood. Although residents pay more than a pretty penny for property, everyone can enjoy the million-dollar views from Makena's beaches for free. Volcanic rock cliffs, pristine beaches, endless sunshine, frequent rainbows and warm, crystal-clear turquoise waters combine to make Makena home to three of the absolute best beaches in Hawaii. Watch your step when entering Makena's beaches, though. While the sand is super soft, trees near the edges drop sharp, large thorns that can pierce the sole of a shoe.
World-famous Big Beach is the biggest beach on Maui, measuring nearly a mile long. The waves are known for their immense size. However, the beach rarely is frequented by surfers because the surf breaks so close to shore. The waves support boogie boarding and body surfing, however. Grab a board or use your own body to surf Big Beach's big waves, which come in hard and fast. Always dive under the wave; never stand to face it or you could get hurt.
Walk north up Big Beach to find the path that leads to infamous Little Beach. The path rises up and over the volcanic rock toward one of the most unique and amazing beaches in America. Little Beach is a clothing-optional beach. Plenty of beachgoers opt to keep their bathing suits on. Once you swim suitless in Makena's buoyant, bathwater-warm water, you may wonder why anyone bothers with the Lycra. Everyone is respectful, and the beach is immaculate. A drum circle gathers every Sunday, culminating with fire shows starting at sunset.
Take a walk along Makena Alanui road, which runs along the beaches and coast. Look closely into the natural growth along both sides of the road. You may find ancient altars called Heiaus once used for sacrifice and burial repositories for ancient rulers. Walk to Black Sand Beach on the other side of Little Beach if you want to find seclusion. This beach is primitive. The black sand is coarse, the water is more rocky and coral can be seen growing all the way up to shore.
No private beaches exist on Maui. Anyone can visit any of the resort beaches anywhere on Maui, including affluent Makena. Visit some of the most fabulous resort beaches in the world without having to pay for the stay. Officials request that visitors be respectful of the environment, other people and the resort facilities.
- Maui Information Guide: Best Maui Beaches
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- Maui Beach Guide: Black Sand Beach-Makena
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