Oneloa or Makena Beach
Also known as Oneloa Beach (its true Hawaiian name) or Makena Beach*, Big Beach is probably one of the prettiest beaches on Maui, and certainly south Maui.
It is nearly 2/3 mile long and over 100 feet wide. The gorgeous sand and pristine waters attract snorkelers, swimmers, and sunbathers. As with most beaches on Maui, pay attention to the rip tides. Enter the water where the locals are; they know what they are doing.
You can also get great views of Molokini and Kaho'olawe from here. If you look to your right you will notice a large hill. This is 360-foot Pu'u Ola'i, the legendary spot of a violent eruption before the one in 1790. Because of its location near the ocean, the pressure from the cool water and hot flowing lava built up massive pressure, resulting in a powerful explosion that propelled lava high into the air. The lava eventually fell and formed Pu'u Ola'i.
*Makena Beach is actually just north of Oneloa (Big) Beach, but the name has seemingly stuck and the beach is often referred to by this name as well.
There are restrooms here but no fresh water for drinking and showering. There is also a $5 parking fee here.
This beach, like many, closes in the evenings and the gate is locked. Makena Beach is accessible via a short road at mile marker 4 on Makena Alanui Road and another access just past mile marker 4 in South Maui. Big Beach is connected on the right by a small path over the hill and lava to Little Beach, which is a favorite spot for nude sunbathers.
Our Other Maui Suggestions
The Valley Isle is brimming with beautiful beaches, places to visit, and activities for the entire family. Check out just a few of the highlights here.