Little Beach, Maui: Ultimate Guide with Secret Tips

Ever felt the urge to break free from the mundane and embrace your wild side? Tucked away in the picturesque island of Maui, Little Beach isn’t just your typical sandy retreat.

In this article, we will uncover the secrets of Little Beach, from its breathtaking beauty, exciting activities, and the best time to visit.

Pack your sunscreen, beach gear, and whatever clothes you feel like wearing (or not wearing), and get ready for a unique day at Little Beach!

Little Beach in Makena State Park Maui HI
Little Beach in Makena State Park Maui HI

About Little Beach

Nestled on the south side of Maui, just past Wailea, lies a hidden paradise known as Little Beach.

Officially called Pu’u Ola’i Beach, this small cove is part of Makena State Park and boasts pristine white sand and turquoise waters.

Don’t be surprised if you notice something a bit different from other beaches – Little Beach is unofficially a clothing-optional spot, so visitors can work on that all-over tan!

But it’s not just the sun lovers who flock to this beautiful location. With lava rock framing the shoreline and the calm crystal-clear waters, Little Beach is an ideal place for swimming, snorkeling, and body surfing when the surf is gentle.

When you’re done with your ocean adventures, you can relax under the trees that surround the golden sands and enjoy the lush, tropical scenery that makes Maui so enchanting.

Getting to Little Beach

If you’re wondering how to reach this unique beach, look for its big brother, Makena Beach. Once you’re there, you’ll find an overland trail that playfully teases you towards Little Beach.

When you finally set foot on this sandy shore, you’ll notice its beautiful white sand inviting you to relax and unwind. As a bonus, Little Beach is an excellent spot to body surf, swim, and snorkel when the conditions are just right.

Parking and Access

The good news is you can park at the Makena Beach parking lot (also known as Big Beach). There’s plenty of well-paved parking spaces ready.

Once you’ve parked, you’re only a few sandy steps away from Little Beach. To reach the beach paradise, stroll towards the ocean, turn to the west, and follow the beach westward.

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Hiking the Trail

Now that you’ve found the access point, it’s time to conquer the path up the lava rocks. This mini hike is like a treasure hunt, leading you to the ultimate prize – Little Beach! But don’t worry, the trail is pretty simple and manageable.

As you scale the lava rocks and make your way through the stunning landscape, feel free to strike that adventurous pose for an Instagram-worthy photo.

Before you know it, you’ll be soaking in the golden sands and turquoise waters of your new favorite beach hotspot.

swimming at Little beach at Makena State Park
swimming at Little beach at Makena State Park

Things to Do at Little Beach

All set to enjoy the wonders of Little Beach? Pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and head on down to this captivating corner of Maui – fun in the sun awaits you!


Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Little Beach and bask in the warm embrace of the ocean. Don’t let the name fool you, the waves here may be gentle, but the fun you can have is off the charts!


Pack your snorkel gear and get ready to explore the stunning underwater world. Glide alongside colorful fish as they dart in and out of the lava rock formations that frame the shoreline.

This underwater playground won’t disappoint – you might even find yourself lost in the beauty of it all.

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Golden sand and a breathtaking ocean view? Yes, please! Recharge your batteries while basking in the radiant Hawaiian sun.

But remember, you need to stay protected under that tropical sun, so don’t forget your sunblock and a trusty hat. You’ll leave Little Beach with a sun-kissed glow and a heart full of memories.

Sunday Drum Circle

As the sun starts to set, a rhythmic thumping in the distance calls your attention. What could it be?

It’s the famous Sunday Drum Circle at Little Beach! Watch as drummers, fire dancers, and hula hoopers gather to celebrate the end of the week.

Groove along to the beats, or join the dance. You won’t want to miss this unique blend of culture, music, and community.

Pu'u Olai Beach
Pu’u Olai Beach

Best Time to Visit Little Beach

Early mornings at Little Beach are just chef’s kiss. With the sun gently rising, the beach isn’t too crowded yet, allowing you to pick out a spot you’ll absolutely love.

We recommend heading to the beach around 10 AM – just in time for a heavenly sunbathing session overflowing with relaxation vibes. You can even hang out till sunset and witness a mesmerizing spectacle of nature’s own light show.

Speaking of sunsets, Little Beach is widely known for its Sunday sunset drum circle parties. This weekly event is the time to visit if you’re into vibrant, energetic vibes with fire dancing and rhythmic drumming.

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Shake a leg, meet new friends, and of course, don’t forget to capture those magical moments when the sun dips below the horizon and paints the sky with a breathtaking blend of colors.

While early mornings and Sundays are particularly fantastic, the truth is that there’s rarely a bad time to visit Little Beach.

However, it’s worth noting that weather-wise, the drier months (April to October) offer the most pleasant climatic conditions for beachgoers. So, if you want clear skies and sunshine galore, this period will be your best bet.

That said, who can truly resist the allure of a hidden cove with white sand surrounded by lush greenery and a backdrop of the azure Pacific Ocean?

So whenever you decide to visit Little Beach, rest assured that you’re in for a treat, a rejuvenating dose of Vitamin Sea, and an undeniably good time!

Safety Tips

Planning a trip to the stunning Little Beach? Well, let’s get you ready for an outstanding time with some safety tips to keep you smiling under the sun. Ready? Let’s dive in!


Maui’s weather can be just as cheeky as the fun you’ll have on Little Beach. Stay ahead of the game by monitoring weather conditions before you head out.

Keep your eyes peeled for any unexpected changes – staying informed will let you dance with the waves without them crashing your party!

Currents and Tides

Ah, currents and tides; these oceanic dance partners can be either your best friends or your fiercest rivals. But no worries, we’ve got the scoop on how to mingle with them safely.

Remember the golden rule shared by Hawaii’s surf legend Duke Kahanamoku: Never Turn Your Back on the Ocean.

Keep your wits sharp and respect the ocean while enjoying its warm embrace. There you go, you’re now the ocean’s new favorite dance partner!

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Legal Considerations

Little Beach, also known as Pu’u Olai Beach, is known for being an optional clothing beach. While local authorities generally turn a blind eye, it’s essential to understand that public nudity is technically illegal in Hawaii.

Keep that fun-loving attitude, but also remember to be respectful and aware of your surroundings. You don’t want that pesky little thing called the law to rain on your beach day, do you?

Amenities and Facilities

As a hidden paradise on the south shore of Maui, you’re probably wondering what amenities and facilities are available at this golden-sand oasis.

While there aren’t any restrooms or showers directly, rest assured that at Big Beach, just a quick stroll away, you’ll find restrooms, showers, and trash cans to spruce up and be environmentally friendly.

Although there aren’t any lifeguard stations at this hidden slice of heaven, remember to keep your wits about you and practice good ocean safety.

When it comes to shopping for snacks and beach essentials, head over to the nearby town of Wailea or Kihei to stock up on everything you need for your day at Little Beach.

And let’s not forget about the pièce de résistance, the clothing-optional status of Little Beach. Embrace the freedom to enjoy the sun, surf, and sand as nature intended. But remember, only lose the threads if you feel comfortable; there’s no pressure here!

Makena Beach Maui
Makena Beach Maui

Nearby Attractions

Little Beach Maui is not just a slice of paradise on its own, but it’s also surrounded by some great nearby attractions.

First things first, if you’re soaking up the sun at Little Beach, you should also check out its big sibling, Big Beach. These two beaches together make up the stunning Makena State Park.

Big Beach is just a short walk away so that you can explore more sandy goodness without breaking a sweat.

Now, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, grab your snorkel gear and head to the breathtaking Molokini Crater.

The crystal-clear waters are home to an array of colorful marine life. You can even book a lunch cruise to make your snorkeling adventure a full day of fun.

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For those who prefer to keep both feet firmly planted on dry land, the south Maui coast has some unique experiences up its sleeve, like exploring the lush Wailea coastal walk or discovering picturesque hidden coves.

Let’s not forget about food; satisfy your growling tummy at any of the first-class restaurants dotting Wailea’s five-star resorts. Who wouldn’t love a refreshing, ice-cold beverage after a day of beaching and exploring?

Little Beach Maui is undoubtedly a terrific destination with plenty of attractions to fill your days. Get out there, and let the sands of Maui serenade your soul while adventure and deliciousness await!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Little Beach clothing optional?

Little Beach in Maui, also known as Pu’u Olai Beach, is an unofficially clothing-optional spot nestled in the beautiful Makena State Park.

But remember, it’s not an officially designated nude beach, so make sure you’re okay with baring it all—and seeing others do the same—before getting too comfy in your birthday suit!

What is the etiquette at Little Beach?

This playful, yet low-key beach demands some basic etiquette to ensure that everyone has a splendid time.

First and foremost, be respectful of others and their choice regarding clothing (or lack thereof).

Keep your distance from fellow sunbathers and refrain from staring—after all, no one likes to feel gawked at, especially in such a vulnerable state.

Next, remember to pack out any trash you create—leave no traces. This way, the pristine beauty of Little Beach remains unspoiled for generations to come.

Lastly, since Little Beach is part of Makena State Park, the usual park rules apply, so no camping, alcohol, or glass is allowed.

Final Thoughts

And so, we bid adieu to the barefoot paradise that is Little Beach, Maui. Oh, what a playground it has been!

But wait, we’re not setting sail into the sunset just yet. If the allure of Little Beach has tickled your fancy, then why stop the beach-hopping odyssey here?

If secluded beaches that even Google Maps would struggle to find are your jam, then you won’t want to miss our next article that spills the coconuts on the most tucked-away beaches in Maui.

Trust us; it’s like finding Waldo, but with more sand and less stripes. So go ahead, grab another umbrella drink and let’s keep this tropical escapade rolling!