Makena State Park, more commonly known as "Big Beach", goes by many names including Makena, Big Beach, and the Hawaiian name "Oneloa". Getting to Big Beach is easy from Kahului, just take State Highway 31 (Mokulele Hwy) towards Kihei, follow for 7.2 Miles, then highway will turn to the right at the end, turning into Wailea Ike Drive, follow for 0.6 miles and turn left onto Wailea Alanui Drive for 2.6 miles and Big Beach's first entrance will be on your right. There are two entrances to this beach, the first fills up fast so if you'll want to be early for this one, otherwise second entrance is normally at half capacity throughout the day. The park is open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and has restrooms at the first entrance as well as garbage cans and recycling at each entrance.
When your toes touch the sand of this magnificent 164.4 acre park you'll realize what a true paradise Maui's beaches really are. With a mile and a half stretch of beach and around 100 feet wide, you'll find out the beach is not as crowded as the parking lot. The white sugary sand is soft and light, flowing evenly till about 10 yards from the ocean where it slops down to the waters edge. The water is clear and aqua blue, sometimes crashing to shore, other times gently rolling in and out. Big Beach is tucked away from any resorts and butts up against Pu'u Ola'i , a large cinder prominent cinder cone on the northern side. This is also where you will find the trail to "Little Beach" the beach that is known for its toloration of nudity as well as body surfing. To the south a rocky outcropping ends the beach with good body surfing over the reef as well as at the second entrance. This beach is very popular amoung tourist and locals alike, you'll find everyone out sunbathing, snorkeling to the north shore, and body surfing. There are two life guard towers watching over Big Beach and they'll have information on how the surf is that day, as the surf at Big Beach can be quiet big, and they'll advise you on if you should go out or not.
Weather at Big Beach is normally sunny, however you do have adquate cloud coverage towards the end of the day stretching from the summit of Haleakala to Kaho'olawe, the smaller unihabited island to the east of Big Beach. This provides a welcoming cooling shade to beach goers in the afternoons. If your looking to try out body boarding, this is the place to do it! Summer offers the best conditions for surf, the best wind direction will come from the northeast and the best swell direction is from the west southwest. The swell is tends to get a bit strong at times and can pull unexperienced swimmers and body surfers into the sand when breaking so always be sure to check with the lifeguards before going out.