View of the gorgeous Little Beach in Maui with gorgeous blue waters and soft white sand and some mountain views.

Little Beach Maui: A Complete Guide

Little Beach Maui, also known as Pu’u Ola’i Beach, is unofficially an optional clothing beach located in Makena State Park. Makena Beach comprises of Big Beach (also known as Oneloa Beach) and Little Beach.

Little Beach is a small cove with white sand on the south side of Maui, just past Wailea.

Makena Beach attracts both locals and tourists and has been featured in several travel magazines — and it’s considered one of the best on the island by many.

If you are wondering how to get to Little Beach, you are in the right place. We have all the information you need — from how to get there, when it opens, and so much more!

Before we dig into this article, I wanted to mention that the State Park regulations prohibit nudity even though people continue to do it here. If nudity is not your thing, reconsider going to this beach or stick with Big Beach.

It’s also worth mentioning that the local authorities have made it harder to access the beach since it opened back up.

Gorgeous ocean views at Makena Beach in Maui with soft white sand and blue water

Why is Little Beach Popular?

Little Beach Maui is famous because it’s a clothing-optional (unofficially) beach and is surrounded by lush tropical scenery. Hawaii doesn’t have legal nude beaches, making this beach sought after due to supply and demand.

Social media such as Instagram has also helped with the popularity of the beach. I will be the first to admit that I first found out about Little Beach on Instagram, and I just had to go and experience it for myself.

Getting to Little Beach Maui

Getting to Little Beach is relatively easy. We recommend driving there or taking Uber/ Lyft.

We included some notes on how to get there by bus, but we do not recommend this option as you will have to walk four miles after getting off at the shops at Wailea.

By Car

The best way to get to Little Beach is to rent a car and drive there yourself.

Little Beach is in Makena State Park, located near Kihei (about 15 minutes) and Wailea (about 9 minutes). If you’re coming from either of those areas, keep traveling south until you see signs for Makena State Park.

If you’re coming from somewhere else on Maui, keep traveling South until you reach Kihei and follow the directions above.

You can also type the address in your GPS for an easier way to get there. I am the type of person who does better by inputting the address in the GPS than by someone giving me directions. This option will work better for you if you are anything like me.

Uber/ Lyft or Taxi

If you don’t want to drive or take the bus, you can use these services to get to Little Beach. We have taken Uber or Lyft multiple times in Hawaii with no issues.

If you plan on using this option, make sure to download the apps before going so you can easily order your ride once you are ready.

By Bus

From Kihei: The closest bus stop to Little Beach is near the Shops of Wailea.

If you want to go to the Makena State Park area, you will have to walk down Banyan Tree Lane, which is about four miles long. We recommend Uber, Lyft, or having a car if you plan to go there unless you find it fun hiking four miles to go to the beach.

Parking at Little Beach

Makena State Park has parking available for $10.00 per vehicle. Be sure to check the State Parks website for updated pricing.

Below is the pricing for commercial PUC Vehicles:

  • 1-7 passenger vehicle = $25
  • 8-25 passenger vehicle = $50
  • 25+ passenger vehicle = $90

There is also a $5.00 entrance fee per person. Children three and under are free.

Once parked, you will need to take a short easy hike to Little Beach from Big Beach.

Walk towards the beach, turn right, and walk to the cliff at the end of the beach. This path is rocky, so make sure to wear the right shoes.

Little Beach Map

Makena State Park Hours

Below are the posted hours of operation. You can also check the State Parks website for updated information.

Parking: The gates open every day from 7:00 am to 6:45 pm.

Little Beach Hours: 

  • Weekdays – 5:00 am to 6:00 pm
  •  Saturday and Sunday – 5:00 am to 4:00 pm

Big Beach Hours:

  • Weekdays – 5:00 am to 6:45 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday – 5:00 am to 6:45 pm

Little Beach Facilities/Amenities

  • Restroom
  • Picnic tables
  • Trash cans
  • Food Concession

Things to do at Little Beach Maui

There are so many things to do at Little Beach. You can swim (if the surf conditions allow it), surf, sunbathe, body surf, boogie board, and even snorkel when the water is calm.

Maui has some of the best snorkeling in the world, so be sure to indulge in this at Little Beach if you can.

At a bare minimum, we recommend bringing a towel, sunblock, water, snacks, and sunglasses.

Also, every Sunday evening, fire dancers and other performers provide free entertainment on the beach. Be sure to check it out if you’re in the area; you won’t be disappointed!

Places to Stay close to Little Beach Maui

Here are some suggestions on where to stay:

  1. Makena Surf Resort is one of the closest hotels, and it is only a 5-minute drive away from Little Beach!
  2. Maui What a Wonderful World Bed and Breakfast is a quaint option and is one of the cheapest we could find.
  3. Airbnbs in Kihei, Wailea, or any hotels in that area are ideal if you want to be close to the beach.

Tips for Visiting Little Beach

Here are some tips for visiting Little Beach Maui:

  • Pack plenty of reef-safe sunscreen and stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Please dispose of your garbage properly.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings while swimming in the ocean.
  • Keep an eye out for any dangerous currents that may exist in certain areas.
  • Stay respectful of other beachgoers, and enjoy your time at Little Beach Maui!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Little Beach on Maui open?

Yes, Little Beach is now open.

Why was Makena Beach closed?

Makena Beach is now open, but it was closed due to some illegal activity done by a group of beachgoers. If you decide to go to this beach, please keep in mind that there are signs that prohibit drinking and nudity.

View of the gorgeous Little Beach in Maui with Crystal clear waters and soft white and mountain views
Little Beach with very clear blue water and soft white sand with some gorgeous mountain views

Is Little Beach Maui safe?

Little Beach has a much gentler shore break and is suitable for swimming compared to Big Beach.

If you are an inexperienced swimmer and decide to swim, please take extra precautions and know your comfort level.

Is Big Beach Maui safe?

Big Beach Maui is located in Makena, right next to Little Beach. Swimming here is not recommended for inexperienced swimmers in winter due to high surf conditions.

A few trees by the ocean at little beach with clear blue water and some rocks

As always, take caution and know your comfort and experience levels before getting in the water.

The Wrap-Up: Little Beach Maui

One of the most popular clothing-optional beaches in Maui is Little Beach.

This beautiful beach has become a hotspot for both locals and tourists alike. You can do many things here, such as swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

Little Beach is known for its breathtaking views and stunning landscape. The emerald-blue water is perfect for swimming and even snorkeling. The beach offers a great place to relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

We hope this blog post has helped you learn more about Little Beach Maui. Enjoy your stay and have fun! Until next time, Aloha!

See Also: 25 Best Beaches in Hawaii For A Spectacular Trip