Little Beach
Little Beach

Little Beach

Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, 96753

The basics

Also known as Pu’u Ola’i Beach (after the prominent cinder cone behind the beach) and Little Makena Beach, Little Beach offers a gentler shore break than other area beaches, including Big Beach next door, which makes it ideal for swimming, bodyboarding, shore fishing, and—when the conditions are calm—snorkeling. It’s also an unofficial clothing optional beach. Visit independently or as part of a kayaking or snorkeling tour from Makena that passes by the beach.

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Things to know before you go

  • Non-residents must pay an entrance fee and parking fee.

  • Bring sun protection and plenty of water.

  • Wear sturdy shoes, as the trail to Little Beach goes over lava rock.

  • There are no lifeguards on duty at Little Beach.

  • Although nudity is officially prohibited within the state park, Little Beach is known for nude sunbathers.

  • There are no toilets on Little Beach, but you can use the portable toilets at Big Beach.

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How to get there

Little Beach is located in South Maui, just north of Big Beach in Makena State Park. Take the Piilani Highway to the Shops at Wailea and turn south onto Wailea Alanui Drive until it turns into Makena Road and you reach the turn-off for the park. There are several parking lots, with the northern lot the closest. From Big Beach, follow the trail over a small, rocky cliff of volcanic rock to Little Beach.

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When to get there

Little Beach is open during the week from early morning until early evening, and on Saturdays and Sundays from early morning until mid-afternoon. Crowds aren’t usually an issue at Little Beach. Afternoons are better times to visit for sunbathing, as the Pu’u Ola’i Cinder Cone casts a shadow earlier in the day. Sunset is a great time to be at the beach. The Sunday evening fire dancing and drum circle is no longer held at the beach, and has moved to the nearby Chang’s Beach.

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What to see at Oneuli Beach

Located north of Little Beach, on the other side of the Pu’u Ola’i Cinder Cone is Oneuli, one of only a few black sand beaches on Maui. Although it’s not ideal for swimming, there is great snorkeling and scuba diving, especially on the north end of the beach. When the water is calm, it is also possible to snorkel around the cinder cone to Little Beach.

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