Just as Kihei and Wailea beaches have their own tone and vibe, so do the Makena beaches. Drive south past the Wailea resorts, and the landscape changes dramatically. The further south you drive (the road ends seven miles past the Grand Wailea, at La Perouse Bay), the stronger sense you’ll have of old Maui beach life. The timeless shoreline geography contrasts explosive development on both sides of the narrow two-lane asphalt road that meanders past some of the world’s highest-dollar real estate.
You can find every beach indulgence here, from secluded, hidden stretches, to mass expanses of sea-lapping sand, to a weekly Sunday drum party that would be a strong “R” if it were a movie. Makena is magical, and even more so on the weekdays than weekends. Snorkel Ahihi Preserve if you get the chance (bring rubber footwear).