Puu Olai Beach (Little Beach)

Little Beach (Puu Olai Beach) – The Go-To Unofficial Clothing Optional Beach in Maui
The Bottom Line:

Not much more than a rather secluded cove, Little Beach serves as Maui’s one and only unofficial clothing optional beach. Public nudity is illegal on the island, but that doesn’t stop people from coming here for nude sunbathing year-round. Prefer to keep your clothes on? That’s okay, too, although you’ll be one of the few, for sure.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

A not-so-hidden treasure in Kihei, Little Beach serves as a great spot to throw caution to the wind and let it all hang out. People come from all over the island for a chance to strip down to their birthday suits in the wild. It’s the one and only unofficial clothing-optional beach in Maui, after all, making it a hot spot for daredevils to gather. Public nudity is still illegal, which makes stripping down to nothing rather risky.

The authorities rarely enforce the public nudity laws at this tiny stretch of land, likely because it’s so far off the beaten path. To get to the beach, you must pay to park at Big Beach and walk north along the shoreline to Little Beach. Then, you have to pass through the gate and carefully climb up and over the steep rocky hill to reach the protected cove.

The moment you crest the hill, you’ll see all the action playing out before you. The beach stays plenty busy all through the year, especially on the weekends. People stretch out on the sand to sunbathe, hit the water for a refreshing swim, and come together for drum circles on the regular.

Most popular activities include:

More often than not, visitors arrive at this beach intent on stripping down to their birthday suit and soaking up the sun. You definitely can do so as well, although you should know that public nudity remains quite illegal. The law doesn’t usually get enforced here, but there’s always a chance of getting a fine. Just don’t forget to apply reef-safe SPF 50+ sunblock every two hours or risk getting sunburnt unmentionables.

Drum Circle
On Sundays, you can often find locals and tourists alike vibing in a drum circle. Singing, dancing, and general merrymaking is the norm, so don’t be surprised to see a wild party ahead. You’re welcome to join in on the fun as long as you help maintain the chill vibes. After sundown, expect to see people demonstrating their skills with fire poi, and be sure to give them plenty of space for their performance.  

With rocky outcroppings protecting either side of the beach, the water often feels perfect for swimming. The summer months, in particular, do not see very big waves, allowing you to kick about with ease. There’s always a risk of conditions changing, however, so keep a close eye on the weather and surf reports. Since it’s quite secluded, this beach does not have any lifeguards on duty either.

When the water is at its calmest, you can enjoy snorkeling around and watching all the action beneath the waves. You’re likely to see plenty of sea turtles flitting about through the water plus colorful fish of all kinds. Bring a waterproof camera to capture the scene before you and share it with the world after returning from your trip.

The waves can get wild at times, especially during the winter months. When that happens, this is a great place to surf your heart out. Bodysurfing is popular, too, so don’t be surprised to see people riding the waves in all sorts of ways. If you’d just like to watch all the action all around, park yourself on the beach and enjoy the show.

Authorities occasionally lock the gate to Little Beach on weekend evenings. If the gate is locked, you’ll need to skip the trip. Thankfully, you can still enjoy Big Beach to the fullest when that happens. Or you can go to the next activity on your itinerary and continue on all your island adventures.

Insider Tips:
-You should never leave any valuables in your car while parked in public lots. Even putting items in the trunk leaves them vulnerable to thieves.
-When taking pictures, be careful not to breach other beachgoers’ sense of privacy. Although they’re in a public place, it’s unkind to capture their birthday suit in your photos.