What may be the most popular beach on Maui is Makena Beach or “Big Beach”. Makena is located south of Wailea on the southwestern tip of the island. When you pass the resorts in Wailea you’ll be entering Makena. When you pass more than one refreshment stand, look for the “limited sight distance” signs.
After you pass the gated dirt road on the right, Makena Beach will be the next right. There are no big signs. You probably won’t see the beach on the way in. But there is usually a fish taco stand of some sort immediately across from the entrance. Most of the time, you'll see other cars turning in and parking. Makena Beach is a wide, long white sandy beach.
The water here has got to be some of the clearest water on the island. Makena Beach offers the closest views of the Molokini Crater and the island of Kaho'olawe. It can get very rough during summer swells. The shore break can reach up to 10 feet and more, which makes it one of the most dangerous beaches on the island, and one of the most popular for body boarding. Winter is the best time to swim here.
The bottom is mostly sand with reef in some spots. The left side of the beach has reef that can provide scenery for snorkeling. The right side of Makena Beach has a lava rock wall that wraps around to one of Maui’s most secluded beaches called “Little Beach”. This is a nice beach, also called "Naked Beach", it's great for swimming as well. Waves break on the shore a little milder here if you want to practice your body surfing. Be aware, however, that most beachgoers here like to hang around in the “buff” so use your own discretion.