Makena Cove

Makena Cove – A Gorgeous Oceanside Wonder Hidden Behind a Rock Wall in Kihei
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Although just a tiny piece of paradise, Makena Cove is well worth the trip. Also known as secret cove due to its location behind a large rock wall along Makena Road, this Kihei beach offers amazing views that serve as a great backdrop for photos. Many people arrive ready for their nuptials, adding to the magic of the landscape.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Makena Cove is a true hidden gem along the coast of Kihei. With only a small doorway in the rock wall inviting you in, you’ll miss it if you blink too long. So, keep your eyes peeled for the cove as you mosey down Makena Road. You’ll likely see cars lining the shoulder as you get close, letting you know that you’re near a truly spectacular piece of paradise.

With its location behind the tall rock wall, this beach has earned it the moniker, “Secret Cove,” but really, it’s anything but. People come from far and wide for a chance to see the gorgeous views all around the cove. On top of that, they put it on their list of dream wedding venues and end up coming here once it’s time to say, “I do.”

Large photoshoots are common as well, especially for those who love to share their adventures online. The golden sands, jet black lava rocks, and crisp blue waters never fail to serve as the ideal backdrop for the photos. You’ll often see people dressed more for the ballroom than the beach as they attempt to capture themselves enjoying paradise to the fullest.

So, if you’re looking for a chance to say your vows or just get a few good photos of your trip, be prepared to wait it out. You can queue up behind the other eager visitors for your chance to take full advantage of the cove experience. Otherwise, just stand back and watch all the action in awe to see how people interact with this landscape. Prefer a quieter visit? Plan your trip for the mid-morning hour to skip all the excitement in favor of pure serenity.

Most popular things to do:

Enjoy the Sunset Views
The picturesque landscape perfectly frames the ocean beyond, making it a great place to catch sunset views. The black lava rocks, golden sands, and palm trees all around always look amazing against the bright blue ocean waters. As sunset hues light up the sky in the evening hours, it completes this picture of perfection.

Get Married on the Beach
The intimate cove setting serves as a beautiful place to say your vows and start a lifelong union with your love. Don’t expect to be the only ones with that idea, however. All throughout the year, couples set their sights on this beach as the ideal spot to officially begin their life together. So, although you might have to wait your turn to say your vows, love will definitely be in the air.  

Do a Full Photoshoot
Whether you’re getting married or just want phenomenal photos for the ‘Gram, let the cove serve as your perfect backdrop. No matter which direction you turn, the stunning landscape and ocean beyond never fails to set the stage for great photos. Be sure to time your photos for the golden hour to get the best lighting. If you’re lucky, you might even get sea turtles or other wildlife willingly photobombing your masterpieces.

There are no facilities on site, so plan accordingly. You can bring a bag for your trash, and then throw it out once you get back to your hotel. If you’re going to enjoy a picnic lunch, bring along a big blanket to throw down over the sand. As for bathrooms, you’ll need to jet on over to Big Beach to the north.

Insider Tips:
-You’re welcome to park along the outer shoulder on Makena Road. Make sure to park as close as possible to the rock wall to allow cars to pass through unhindered. Never block nearby driveways.
-The sunset hours bring out the special events and photographers in droves, so don’t be surprised to see it get plenty busy then.
-Stay out of the water during the visit. The powerful waves hit the lava rocks hard, so it’s not a good spot to swim, surf, or otherwise enjoy the surf.  
-Watch out for steep areas along the shore. It’s best to wear a sturdy pair of shoes with good grip.