Makena Beach
Makena Beach
4.5
About
One of the largest undeveloped beaches in southern Maui located away from the resorts. This white sandy beach is sandwiched between black lava outcroppings.
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  • Gates P
    Toronto, Canada141 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not great for swimming
    Very nice and large beach area. Not great for swimming as there is always a lot of surf. Three lifeguard stations. Have to pay to get in. $10.00 per car, $5.00 per person. Port a Potty is a ways from the beach. Very windy in the afternoon with the trade winds as is the case for most of the beaches.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written October 22, 2023
  • jane2001
    Columbus, Ohio200 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Now, About The Admission Fees
    Depends on the day but during our visit the waves were manageable. Once we swam beyond the break there was plenty to see while snorkeling. I won't list them all but pretty common species and very beautiful. The beach was nice and there were lifeguards (3 stations) watching over the place. I would probably avoid this place if I had little kids because it does seem like the break was rough both times we stopped here. We arrived early and stayed most of the day - we left for lunch and returned to watch the sunset. Now, about the admission fee: $10 per car and $5 a person is silly when you can 1) park outside the entrance and walk in or 2) drive further down the road and find free parking towards the end of the park. You have exit and return privileges during the time you purchased which is nice. That said, the money does go to the parks department which overall helps keep this area clean and lifeguards on duty.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written December 3, 2023
  • Elizabeth H
    Doylestown, Pennsylvania54 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful beach
    The beach is very pretty and easy to get to. There is a paid parking lot and then it is a short walk to the beach. There is a nude portion of the beach, so keep that in mind if you walk up/over the rocks and back off of the main beach.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written January 23, 2024
  • Christi S
    North Richland Hills, Texas33 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice to look at but rough undertow
    This beach is nice but has a rough undertow. I would not drive any further than this beach. The road to LaPerouse Bay gets very narrow and there are not spots to turn around. In addition, the road is not wide enough for two cars. It is not picturesque so best to just avoid all together.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written January 29, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,040 reviews
Excellent
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Very good
263
Average
48
Poor
15
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19

GeneralShamu
New York City, NY1,140 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
Super quiet and clean beach in the south of Maui. We went on a weekday to avoid weekend crowds and it was perfect. There is proper shade cover as well, for those who do not have beach umbrellas. Definitely go for the shaved ice from the Mexican food truck along the main road - it is bar none!
Written May 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Martha C
28 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Friends
Makena Beach is considered one of the best beaches in Maui. It is simply beautiful. Big and expansive. The undertow is fierce so be very mindful with your young children. There is a $5 fee to park there, as well and many other beaches have no fees. Something to be aware of.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Debbie
Seattle, WA2 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
Wonderful Beach, WARNING on parking.. they advertise 10.00 and then the machine doesn't work. They sneak around after you have left and put the bill on your windshield. No big deal right? They say just pay online--the 10.00 rate. But then online you have to pay an additional $5 for a "convenience fee". It is a clever extortion plan. For me $5 doesn't matter that much but its the principal of the matter and frankly when I encounter businesses and people like this (DIAMOND PARKING) it spoils an atmosphere of Paradise. Easy to just park outside and boycott this way of doing biz.
Written January 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chelsea C
Arlington, VA38 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
This wasn't our favorite beach on Maui - there are no facilities & it is rather rustic & dry. There were huge waves when we went, which made it too hard to swim or snorkel comfortably (would be great if you're a surfer!). There is a large parking lot (you have to pay $10 to park there or park on the street) & the beach is right off the parking lot, which is nice. It's a much bigger beach than a lot of the other beaches on the island, so there is more room to spread out, which is good for social distancing.
Written April 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael A
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
I recently had the opportunity to go Snorkeling with a couple of other local friends who live on Maui. this was my first time to go Snorkeling at Makena Beach and it was truly out of this world amazing. I highly recommend getting some snorkel gear and heading out for an experience of a lifetime
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grizeagle
Terrace, Canada345 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
The longest stretch of sandy beach in Makena State Park is Makena Beach also known as Big Beach. The 3,000 feet of soft, golden -white sand stretches between two lava rock outcropping. The 100 ft wide beach has shade trees along the backend of the beach. The sloping beach sees large rollers crashing and pounding the sand hard along the beachfront. This is a great place to swim, boogie board and snorkel when the waters are not too rough. The scenic beauty is top notch on this laid back, rural, non-developed and rustic beach in south Maui. The cinder cone of Pu'u Olai is at the north. end and Secret Cove is at the south end of this gorgeous beach. There are three parking lot entrances , two life guard stations and plenty of space at this usually uncrowded gem of a beach. A lot of locals come here to relax and the atmosphere here is not touristy.This area is on the drier, rain shadow side of Maui where even cactus plants flourish, The trail to Little Beach is on the northend over the side of Pu;u Olai. A great place to see the coastal beauty and eco-systems in a natural setting with turquoise seas, golden sand and bluebird skies over distant islands to the west. A must see beach environment for the naturalist in you 6 miles south of Kihei.
Written July 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FukuBonsaiPlant
Toronto, Canada42 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
Hawaii is beautiful, but they charge tourists huge taxes and user fees ( Here is another new user fee) Makena beach at the south end of Maui is a lovely huge beach ( not the best for casual swimming ) For 15 years we have gone to this beach at least once , but now they have implemented for tourists a $10.00 vehicle parking fee and a $5:00 per person entry fee to the actual beach . This beach has no extra services and is not worth this extra tourist fee.
A family of 4 would have cost $30.00 and we probably only were staying a couple of hours. Just stick to the free beaches in Kihei, easier to get to and much better swimming beaches .
I purposely do not take my wallet ( cash , credit cards to the beach ) so I wonder how many people just leave because they are unaware of this extra cost or like us are just so insulted by yet another Hawaii tourist fee,
A public beach should be free for all, plus there is a witch of a woman who works the parking lot and just looks for tourists and uses language that might shock a sailor .
If your a Tourist I’m sure your shocked about how many user fees that Hawaii ( Maui) has, no need to give them any more
Bye Makena beach, your not worth that extra fee
Written February 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

77Rlee
Eatonville, WA37 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Pros: beautiful beach that was not as busy as others. Intense waves that crash in to the shore; my teens loved it but probably no good for little ones. Lifeguards on duty.

Cons: they charge tourists $10 a car to park, plus $5 for each person. We paid $40 for 6 of us to visit the beach for a few hours. No bathrooms or showers on the second lot side (not sure about 1st lot area)-if you’re going to make people pay those fees you should at least have a bathroom. Lots of other beautiful beaches in Maui that are free. The waves and currents are intense; we had planned on snorkeling and boogie boarding but we’re unable to with our kids. The waves just drove the boogie board right in to the sand and with the heavy currents I did not want my kids swimming out over their head.
Written July 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Previa1994
Chicago, IL6,667 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Makena Beach is a beautiful long and wide beach south of Kihei. The beach is a short walk from the large parking lot (feed the meter). We walked up to the hill on the other side of which is supposedly the nude section of the beach. We enjoyed our walk on the lovely soft sand. The beach was worth the drive from Kihei. Did not stay for the sunset, but this would be a good spot for sunset viewing.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

P29M
Medford, MA28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
The best beach on Maui for Sunset. Wide long beach with plenty of space. Surprisingly not crowded at all. The sand turns pinkish orange at sunset. Little beach is to the right as you face the ocean and a moderate hike up over the rocks. It is very quaint. Be prepared for nude sunbathers intermingled among clothed sunbathers.
Written February 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Makena Beach - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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