Makena is perhaps best known for its many beautiful beaches along Makena Bay including the expansive Big Beach at Makena Beach State Park as well as Maluaka Bay and Beach and Makena Landing Beach Park. Nearby are the posh resorts of Makena and Wailea with lots of shopping and dining opportunities as well as Makena Golf Course and the Wailea Golf Courses. About 6,000 people live in the Wailea-Makena region, which is one of Hawaii’s premier luxury resort destinations.
Maluaka Beach is adjacent to the Makena Beach & Golf Resort and has a grass lawn and picnic areas that provide a nice place to relax and enjoy the Maui day. The rugged and natural layout of the Makena Golf Course winds its way though the foothills of Haleakala Volcano amidst tropical surroundings with great ocean views.
Kayaking excursions of tour companies often begin at Makena Landing Beach Park which is a good place to launch boats and other watercraft. For more seclusion and privacy visit Poolenalena Beach which is lined with sand dunes and kiawe trees. Lava rocks at each end of the beach create great snorkeling opportunities.
Overlooking a sandy cove in Makena is the historic Keawalai Church which was built in 1855 with three-foot-thick lava rock walls using mortar made with coral. The church still holds services and is also a popular wedding site.
Just south of Makena is the Ahihi Kinau Marine Preserve which encompasses the shoreline region from Ahihi Bay to La Perouse Bay. This area is a paradise for snorkeling and scuba diving with extremely clear water and rugged underwater lava formations created by the 1790 eruption of Haleakala Volcano.
Visible about 3 miles (4.8 km) offshore of Makena is Molokini Islet where the pristine waters provide an excellent snorkeling site teeming with colorful fish within a crescent moon shaped volcanic crater that rises 165 feet (50 m) from the sea.