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Posted on Sep 25, 2013 | 3 comments

A Beach Tour of South Shore Maui

A Beach Tour of South Shore Maui

As you drive out to the Lava Fields of Maui you will take the most scenic and beautiful beach tour of South Shore Maui. With the sunniest and driest area of Maui, South Shore is home to many extraordinary beaches, including one of the island’s best, Makena Beach, also known as “Big Beach” by the locals. Blessed with miles of sandy beaches, crystal blue water, and spectacular views of the islands of Molokini, Kahoolawe, and Lanani the drive is half the fun.

Take a Drive Along the South Shore of Maui

Drive past Kihei and then the Wailea area. Continue driving south on Makena Road, past the big resorts until you reach the Big Beach (Makena) parking area on your right. This is one of the largest beaches on Maui, with golden sand stretching almost 2/3 of a mile long. It provides a secluded alternative to the more crowded beaches of West Shore with protection from the trade winds. A great place to swim or snorkel in pristine waters or catch some sun rays on the golden sand, Big Beach will make for a sun-filled morning.

Beach Tour of South Shore Maui

The golden sands of Big Beach.

When you get back on the road to continue on your beach tour of South Shore Maui, make sure to take your time to enjoy amazing panorama views over turquoise waters of some of the smaller islands of Maui county. You’ll also want to take your time to be able to stop at the street vendors along the way. They are great to grab a bite to eat, get something cool to drink, or sip from a coconut.

The drive is definitely worth the effort with all the pull-over areas to take pictures. While pulled over, you might as well park the car for a bit to enjoy some of the little beaches along the way. This is exactly how we found our favorite little beach on Maui.

Beach Tour of South Shore Maui

Our favorite beach.

Our favorite Little Beach on Maui

Still no idea if this little beach has a name or not, we go back to this beach every time we are on Maui. Depending on the tide, there’s tide pools with fish caught in them and a sandy beach. Other times there are just large rocks perfect for sitting on and dipping your feet in the waves.

Snorkeling at Ahihi-Kinau Natural Reserve

Further down the road, just a little before the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Reserve, you will see an area with cars pulled over on the side of the road and usually people snorkeling. If it’s not too busy, take the time to snorkel here. There’s an abundance of different sea life to be seen and you’ll be happy that you did. Regardless of which beaches you decide to stop at along the way, how you spend your time, and which places you snorkel, a beach tour of South Shore Maui is a must. There’s so much to see and do there, you may even want to break it into more than one day. Especially, if you find your own favorite beach along the way.

All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013.

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About Kimmy Hayes

Kimmy Hayes is the founder and editor-in-chief of AfterGlobe; a site on becoming debt free and traveling the world as a married couple. In 2012, she planned and coordinated her own do-it-yourself destination wedding on the beautiful island of Maui while serving as a moderator for the on-line community, The Knot. She is passionate about traveling to experience new cultures, snorkeling the waters of the world and reading with her toes in the sand.


  1. Oh how I love Maui! It’s such a fantastic island with so much to do and such gorgeous beaches. I can’t remember if I went to this exact one, but I’m sure I drove by it on a scenic drive around the island. You’re making my toes itchy…and I need to be studying. What I wouldn’t do for a day on the beach this weekend…
    Jessica J. Hill recently posted…Cooking with Purpose: Chocolate Scotcharoos to Sweeten a Public CritiqueMy Profile

  2. I love the rugged beaches of South Maui. I found a quiet little cove just before the lava flow fields and had it almost all to myself.

    I don’t recommend this to everyone, but I had the most fantastic experience swimming alone in the ocean, just me and the waves. The sun was setting, and life was just magical. Those moments alone in nature can be life changing.

    I hope it is somewhere I can return frequently.


  1. Romantic Getaways: Maui the Most Romantic Island in the World - AfterGlobe - […] a picnic to take a romantic drive along Maui’s scenic South Shore to spend the morning snorkeling at Ahihi-Kinau …

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