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Maui Sights

Makena Beach State Park

  • End of Wailea Alanui Dr. Map It
  • Wailea
  • Park (National/State/Provincial)
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 02/24/2014

Fodor's Review

Although it's commonly known as Big Beach, this part of the shoreline is correctly called Oneloa, meaning "long sand." That's exactly what it is—a huge stretch of heavenly golden powder without a house or hotel in sight. More than a decade ago, Maui citizens campaigned successfully to preserve this beloved beach from development. It's still wild, lacking in modern amenities (such as plumbing) but frequented by dolphins and turtles. And sunsets are glorious. At the end

of the beach farthest from Wailea, skim boarders catch air. On the opposite end rises the beautiful hill called Puu Olai, a perfect cinder cone. A climb over the steep rocks at this end leads to Little Beach, which, although technically illegal, is clothing-optional. On Sunday, it's a mecca for drummers and island gypsies. On any day of the week watch out for the mean shore break—those crisp, aquamarine waves are responsible for more than one broken arm. Check the parking lot, where often you'll find food trucks hawking ono kine grindz.

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Sight Information


End of Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, Hawaii, 96753, United States

Map It

Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Weekdays 6–6

Updated 02/24/2014


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What's Nearby

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
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Feb 18, 2004

Seen Better

I've seen more impressive ocean centers. The one in Myrtle Beach, and Orlando blow this one away. Sea Life Park in Oahu is the place I recommend when visiting Hawaii. Go on a whale watching tour or to turtle town.

By Robert

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Aug 22, 2003

Pacific Whale Foundation

The Pacific Whale Foundation has its shop and boats at Maaleea Harbor. PFW is an excellent vendor for snorkeling at Molokini and at Lana'i. The boats are well appointed, clean and comfortable. We were on the Ocean Odyssey with Capt. John and his crew. Excellent. They have two lifeguards on sit-on-top kayaks patrolling the areas used for snorkeling so help is always right there! The masks, snorkels and fins are excellent. I cannot say enough good

things about these folks. Plus, they give lectures on history, marine ecology, marine mammals and the reef fish while in transit. They even have a special one for kids! Highly recommend and would do it over and over again.

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By d

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Jan 31, 2003

Only if you don't snorkle

If you will be snorkeling in Maui, you will see most of the fish in the wild. If you don't snorkle and have never been to an Aquarium, this is the place for you. It was a good learning experience to get exposure to the local marine life. Good for kids.

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