If you’re heading to Maui this fall or winter, you know you’re going to be hitting a beach. The beaches in Maui range from the famous black sand (volcanic ash) to perfect white sand, and even a red sand beach. They can also be full of tourists, since many of them sit in front of resorts or rows of timeshare condos and bungalows. For a change of pace, and just maybe a little space and privacy, don’t hit the Big Beach. Choose Po’olenalena instead.
Pronounced “po-oh-leba-lena,” Po’olenalena is a half-mile curve of soft sand with lava outcroppings at each end. It’s tucked away between the South Maui resorts and the Makena Big Beach. It’s better known by locals than tourists, so it’s quiet. This little piece of paradise in Paradise is great for bathing or playing, with water over a sandy bottom for swimming, volcanic and coral reefs for some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii, and perfect waves for surfing or bodyboarding. If you’re snorkeling, remember you don’t want to step on the reefs, and don’t want to touch the water life! It’s all fragile.
There is paved parking at both ends of the beach, and there are porta-potties and showers. There isn’t a life guard on duty, so be sure to swim or snorkel with a buddy, and if you bring your kids, keep a close eye on them. Because of the quiet, the view of sister islands, and the gorgeousness of the setting, Po’olenalena is slowly becoming a popular wedding spot. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of room for beach-goers!
In Hawaii, all beaches, including Po’olenalena are free and open to the public, even those right in front of hotels or resorts, so don’t worry about paying an entry fee. Take a beach tote like this one by Gravis, that’s both pretty and practical, and fill it with everything you need for the day. Slip on this Sexylicious One Piece from Body Glove Smoothies and don’t worry, from behind, they’ll think it’s a bikini! Keep your feet cool in these Chaco Flips from EcoTread, and you’re set for the perfect beach day.