Often voted the #1 beach in Maui, Big Beach has captured the hearts of those lucky enough to experience it. Makena Beach is huge and offers perfect white sand, turquoise water and gorgeous scenery. As far as tropical paradise goes, you won’t find much better.
Breaking waves on the steep sloping sand, however, cause a seriously dangerous shorebreak, resulting in broken necks and serious injuries every year. While we love this beach, we definitely warn against it for children and inexperienced swimmers.
Big Beach Makena Characteristics
- Best Beach for: Scenery and Experienced Swimmers
- White sandy beach, turquoise water
- Can be crowded, but enough room to spread out
- Great water quality and visibility
- Fun for experienced body surfing and skim boarding
- Steep entrance into water
- Good for swimming on calm days, extremely dangerous shorebreak on other days
- Not good for snorkeling or scuba diving – sandy bottom, not much to see
- Can rain here often due to cloud cover from Haleakala
- Kiawe thorns line entrance – wear your slippahs!
- Not good for children unless calm and accompanied by a parent
- Great whale watching and sunset views
- Remote location creates fun atmosphere
- No restaurants within walking distance, but a food truck is usually stationed in the parking lot of first entrance
- No showers, but several porta-potties available for restroom facilities
- Picnic tables at entrance of beach
- Lifeguards on duty
- Parking available in first and second entrance lots, with third entrance offering street parking only
None, unless you have a friend who lives in a home nearby. The closest resort is Makena Beach & Golf Resort.
World Traveler, Digital Nomad, Small Business Enthusiast, and Lover of words! Originally from Austin, Texas, I’ve lived on Maui for many years. Currently in Los Angeles.
Note the extremely dangerous shorebreak. I witnessed a drowning recently, happened in seconds. Not the beach to go to if you’re not experienced.
Absolutely true! It’s pretty dangerous. If you’re not experienced in the ocean, or have little ones, choose a different beach.