Declaring a top beach on Maui is like choosing which child is your favorite, you just can’t do it. There are qualities and pleasures found at some beaches that aren’t offered at others. Whatever it is you are looking for in a beach, I encourage you to start you journey at arguably the most popular beach on Maui, Makena’s Big Beach.
Big Beach may have gotten its name from the long (2/3 mile) sandy coastline that fronts the beach, which is actually kind of rare for Maui beaches. Most beaches on Maui, besides Ka’anapali Beach, are smaller and have some lava or rock formations that break up the beach. Big Beach may have also derived its name from the enormous waves that consistently pound the shore. On any given day, especially Saturday and Sundays, you are bound to see a swarm of local body boarders cutting up the waves and performing aerial acrobatics on their boards. Sometimes, when waves are really coming in, surfers will head to the far left end of Big Beach where they can paddle out 20 to 30 yards for a great surf break.
If the waves begin to bore you, simply walk down the beach and back. A roundtrip walk will probably take you about 30 minutes. As you sink into the sand, enjoy spectacular views of the crescent island of Molokini just offshore. While walking, you can also enjoy the simple pleasures of people-watching, as different groups of people down the long beach will be playing volleyball, football, paddleball, etc.
Finally, Big Beach is a short 5 minute hike to one of Maui’s most “free spirited” beaches. Little Beach, accessed be hiking up a small sea cliff to the right of Big Beach, is Maui’s official nude beach. Tourists are usually surprised to find out that a nude beach is located within such close proximity to one of Maui’s top beaches.
So, if for some bizarre reason you only visit one beach on Maui, I think Makena’s Big Beach might be your best option. It really does look like a location that would be featured on a postcard or computer’s wallpaper.
[Photo source: davidandnasha]