Makena/Big Beach is a great beach because of the size, the sand, and the waves.
The beach is definately a must see and worth the drive from wherever on the island. The beach is very large and lots of room to spread out. The sand is fairly large grained and, while it can be harder to walk on, feels great. The waves are medium in size but can get larger at times...which is one of the things that makes this beach so cool. The others is isolation (no resorts, homes,etc. just beach and lots of it). Definately a beach you would have to watch your kids at. Not a beach to start learning to boogie board or body surf as you may get tossed a bit. There are a few lifeguards.
A few tips for visiting:
1. Don't leave anything of value in your car
2. The parking lot is a walk from the beach so don't bring heavy stuff to carry
3. Bring a beach umbrella as there is no shade
4. No bathrooms or showers...just a few hot porta-potties and some woods that, from my families experience, we're not the most hospitable (my best guess was a wild boar or a dog but my son didn't stop to look back at it...lol)
5. Bring stuff to drink and be prepared to pack out what you pack in.
6. The Jaws taco truck is in the parking lot so bring some money.
7. The sand can get hot so you may want to bring the most substantial sandals you own.
8. You can get a good shot of the beach from the north headland so bring a camera.
9. Like all beaches on Maui, the best time to visit is in the morning and during a weekday (let the locals enjoy them on the weekends).
10. Don't loose your car keys or get locked out of the car...your outside of town here.
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