I swear, one warning was for me the other day. I was standing on the edge of the lava rock at our local beach, in search of sea turtles, when suddenly I was drenched. The waves took a swift turn for the worst with no warning, and suddenly, I heard the lifeguard yet again, warn the tacky tourists in their kind way to GET THE CRAP OUT.
I ran. 🙂
And every single time I hear the bullhorn broadcasts all the way to our condo, I wish I was at Makena’s Big Beach.
But not to swim!
Makena Beach, or Big Beach, is notorious for its wild, dangerous waves. But you’d never know it by these pictures alone.
This beach is MASSIVE. It actually runs along the coast, connecting to other various beaches. But this guy is the biggest.
Big Beach is located about 25 minutes from Kihei, past Wailea.
The first time we dropped in, we anticipated to swim. But we soon found that sitting on the sand was the only safe way to take this one in. So… best to go here if it isn’t so hot a swim is absolutely necessary. This is a spectator beach for those that aren’t knowledgeable.
Other than the miles and miles of the cleanest sand I’ve ever seen, the beach is backed by this volcanic mountain with shrubs and huge trees. Just imagine this running the entire length of the beach behind you.
Like this. But taller.
And the growing vegetation on it is icing on the cake. It’s really gorgeous! And naturally, these pictures do not do this justice.
Just trust me when I say, this is a spectator beach you don’t want to miss.
I did take some videos of it, but with wifi sooooo sluggish here, they take forever to make. So I may add some once I return home. I’ll be sure and alert you if I do!
But here’s how dangerous it is. Last year, a local started screaming from the shore… it appears a wave caught her wrong. She made it to shore, but couldn’t pull herself completely out of the water. Beach goers ran to pull her out. Then I held an umbrella as a few other folks stood like a wall, protecting her from the sun and high winds until help could arrive. The lifeguard was off duty at the time.
This local that knew what she was doing broke her leg. Earlier that day, someone had fractured their spine.
The problem isn’t generally that you can’t pull yourself on shore though. The bigger issue is when the wave catches you, then pulls you out and under, then as you finally surface for air, it pounds you again before you have a chance to catch your breath, while pulling you out even more.
Scary stuff for newbies. Just gotta listen to the lifeguards. Unfortunately, many don’t.
I wasn’t all that successful in capturing huge waves this given day. They came, but I by the time I ran out there, they were of course gone.
It isn’t abnormal to see them 12 feet high… on a non stormy day. The above pic is about half that. Even so, those are too big for me!
Regardless, this beach is a great stop that is totally worthwhile to take in.
After the beach, if you keep following the road, it eventually ends. But what you see on the sides of the road near the end will startle you. You go from extreme, lush tropical growth to suddenly… just lava.
It helps you better understand what Hawaii really is. It’s miraculous to realize, all the lush, tropical growth is growing on top of a lava base.
I also love the curvy, tight drive over here. Right before you hit the lava fields, you go through this impossibly beautiful roadway (where you can’t pull over to take pics!) that is one car wide, but curves around the most beautiful growth, and private beaches many locals frequent, edged with homes along the ocean.
So here’s a few tips if you plan to make this Makena – lava field drive…
Choose a nice day if possible.
You won’t know how deep the pot holes are if they are filled with water. Not a good plan for a low rider rental. (a reason we upgraded!)
Bring beach gear.
Actually, you should always bring beach gear wherever you go so you can spontaneously stop and enjoy! At the very least, always leave chairs in your trunk. But try out some of these beaches. They are so small and unique!
Go to the very end. At least once. 🙂
There are some stops along the way that are worth checking out, but if you go right to the end, you’ll come to a surfer beach with plenty of turn around room.
Consider upgrading your cheap rental
Just putting this out there, because if you rent the low riders, you really shouldn’t be driving underdeveloped roads.
Be SUPER curious when you drive through the Makena area
And by curious, I mean, take every road that leads toward the ocean to check things out. It’s the BEST way to find un-signed beaches and areas you hear about (many don’t have signs posted), quaint little churches (gonna show you my fav soon!), or basically just discover things on your own.
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In other news, the vacation must be working to a point. I walked in to get an impromptu pedicure, and was questioned like a local, because I apparently ‘looked so relaxed’. Who knew!
My son is on a health kick, so we aren’t indulging in all the things we did last year. At least we aren’t gaining weight this round… I hope! There sure is a LOT of romaine lettuce and chicken in our fridge…
I haven’t touched a thing DIY related. Honestly, it’s hard walking into thrift stores that won’t allow you to take pictures, or walking out with things that need paint when you aren’t stocked where you’re at. So I think I’m going to bring my treasures home, and make things with them there. Unless some brainstorm magically happens of course!
If nothing else, this trip has really encouraged me to take better care of myself once home. The dramatic scenery changes have triggered a need for change, which you’ll pick up on in some of my Instagram posts HERE. I’m not feeling as strong as I could be, and things hurt more (as we… age?), and with my son’s health kick, this is the time to roll with it. Just gotta say NO to what’s hurting me, and start living to our fullest potential. I’ve allowed tough circumstances to sway me away from… me. I’m putting ‘me’ back on the day planner… because feeling good feels so good!
(Ok, moving here to magic land would feel good too, but… yeah.)
And if that realization is all I come home with, I will have achieved what I came for.
Ever have a vacation trigger change in you?
Visit all posts of Hawaii 2016 HERE
And if curious for more, find ALL MAUI POSTS HERE over the last 3 years