Makena Today:

Makena’s Big Beach is just down the road from Wailea, but is quite different. It never completely lost the old "hippie" feeling, and today has the only nude bathing area, at isolated Little Beach. There is excellent swimming and body surfing. Small beaches nearby have good snorkeling, swimming, underwater caves for scuba diving, and one has a boat launch. As with all of Hawaii’s beaches, they are public, with public access. Japanese developers have created an 18 hole golf course, luxury hotel, and fine restaurants nearby.


Makena the Past:

As you continue past Makena the road suddenly ends when blocked by a large 250 year old lava flow. Here you can clearly see the foot-worn Piilani trail (Kings Highway), that in ancient times encircled the island. It was not Captain Cook, but Admiral Jean-Francois de Galaup, Compte de La Perouse, who was the first westerner to set foot on Maui. North of Makena is La Perouse bay, where he landed in 1786, to trade with the friendly Hawaiians. Later, in 1832, American missionaries founded The Keawala’i Church, which was completed in 1854, It is built of coral from the sea, and has walls three feet thick. Church services are still held weekly, spoken in both English and Hawaiian.


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