Your Guide to the Perfect Day at Makena Beach State Park

Maui view at night - download our free vacation guide (4)Maui packs more natural beauty and landscapes onto one island than you can possibly imagine. There are so many great places to see that you won’t be able to fit everything into one trip! Makena Beach State Park is one of those attractions that every first-time Hawaii visitor needs to experience. With beaches, a dormant volcano, and plenty of fun to be had, this is a great place to spend a day with the family! Go download our free Vacation Guide to discover other can’t-miss attractions around the beautiful island of Maui!


Things to Do at Makena Beach State Park


Makena Beach

This 1.5-mile long beach, also known as ‘Big Beach’, is an excellent spot to dig your feet into the sand or take a dip in the crystal-clear Maui water. This is frequently listed as one of the best beaches on Maui (which is renowned for its beaches), so make sure you get here early to claim a spot for a day of gazing out over the Pacific Ocean. Parents can also rest assured knowing that lifeguards are posted up and down the beach.

Pu’u Olai Beach

“Little Beach”, on the other side of the Pu’u Olai Volcano Cinder Cone, aptly fits its name. This half-mile-long beach provides excellent open ocean views in a picturesque setting. It fills up even faster than Makena Beach, so make sure you arrive extra early if you are wanting to park yourself on this little piece of paradise. However, this is a nude beach and is definitely geared toward couples looking to let loose away from the kids.

Pu’u Olai Volcano Cinder Cone

Look down at the two beautiful beaches or out across the ocean at Lana’i, Kaho’olawe, and Molokini from the top of this small mountain on the south shore of Maui. Prime 360 degree views make the relatively short hike up to the top worth the journey.

Activities at Makena Beach State Park



Both beaches boast excellent swimming and are famous for inclined shorelines. This creates a large shorebreak, making it ideal for skimboarding, bodyboarding, and body surfing. That being said, make sure to take caution when swimming here, as the ocean is very powerful. Pay attention to posted signs about ocean conditions when you visit.

Snorkeling and Diving

There are plenty of snorkel spots on the edges of the beaches. La Perouse Bay is a three-mile drive down the coast and is one of our Top 4 South Maui Diving Spots. You’ll likely see many variations of tropical fish, turtles, and, if you’re lucky, dolphins.


The main hiking trail in Makena Beach State Park revolves around the Pu’u Olai Volcano Cinder Cone. Try the Pu’u Olai Cinder Cone Trail for a two-mile trek to the top.

Tip: The park does have a concession stand but no drinking fountains, so bring bottled water and snacks with you.


Experience Everything the Valley Isle has to Offer with PMI Maui

View of a PMI Maui Rental - living room viewEnd your perfect day at Makena Beach State Park with a perfect night at one of PMI Maui’s unique and luxurious South Maui vacation rentals. Our property at 485 Kumulani Drive sleeps up to eight people and is only a short drive from Makena Beach, Wailea, and Kihei. World-class shopping, dining, and beaches are all just minutes away from your quiet little paradise with its own pool, hot tub, and beautiful sunset views.


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