South of the Wailea Resort area the road becomes narrower and you enter a more rural part of South Maui, the Makena area. Makena is the area where the developed area of South Maui meets the site of the most recent (1790) lava flow from Haleakala volcano.
The beaches in this area of South Maui are less crowded, in many places wider, but no less excellent with great sun and swimming. You're likely to see many boogie boarders and surfers in this area. This is where many of the South Maui locals come to spend time in the sun.
Makena features two famous beaches, Big Beach and Little Beach. Big Beach, also known as Omeloa or Makena Beach is the largest beach in South Maui. It is worth a visit even if you're not planning on swimming. Little Beach is accessed by a small hike across the top of an outcrop from Pu'u 'Ola'i Crater. It is one of the most famous "clothing optional" beaches in Hawaii. While nude sunbathing is officially prohibited, enforcement is rare at Little Beach.
South of Big Beach you enter the 'Ahihi-Kina'u Natural Area Reserve where the road meanders through the lava flow until it ends at La Perouse Bay. You won't find much of a beach at the end of the road, but it is well worth a visit especially if you've never been close to a lava flow.
We hope that you enjoy our 60 photos of Maui's Makena Coast.