The true Hawaiian name for Big Beach is Oneloa and it is also referred to as Makena Beach. It's one of the longest, at about .75 mile, and widest beaches in the islands. It's also one of the most popular, especially with locals for family gatherings and picnics. The large parking lot fills quickly on the weekends.
The swimming is fair and conditions can get rough. There's a steep drop-off into the ocean. Body surfing and boogie boarding are popular here.
At the northern end of Big Beach there is a rocky outcropping to reach Little Beach which is more properly called Pu'u Ola'i Beach, after the huge cinder cone behind it. This is one of Maui's unofficial nude beaches.