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Overview

Except for a lone, V-shaped structure, little has changed here since French Admiral La Perouse visited in 1786. Under Haleakala at the edge of the wilderness, a Tokyo tycoon built Makena Beach Hotel, a contemporary ryokan, and two 18-hole golf courses on 1,800 acres, and called it good. It's more than good. After trafficky Kihei and grand Wailea, the isolation is welcome.

Facing a gold sand beach, 300-room Makena Beach and Golf Resort embraces a 30-foot waterfall that spills into Japanese koi ponds; the soothing splash cools all. Golfers tee off at 36-hole Makena Golf Club with a three-island view. Kayakers paddle to 360-foot ...

Except for a lone, V-shaped structure, little has changed here since French Admiral La Perouse visited in 1786. Under Haleakala at the edge of the wilderness, a Tokyo tycoon built Makena Beach Hotel, a contemporary ryokan, and two 18-hole golf courses on 1,800 acres, and called it good. It's more than good. After trafficky Kihei and grand Wailea, the isolation is welcome.

Facing a gold sand beach, 300-room Makena Beach and Golf Resort embraces a 30-foot waterfall that spills into Japanese koi ponds; the soothing splash cools all. Golfers tee off at 36-hole Makena Golf Club with a three-island view. Kayakers paddle to 360-foot Pu'u Olai cinder cone and 3,300-foot long Big Beach, biggest on Maui; its neighbor, Little Beach, is clothing optional.

Visit Makena Landing, where Ulupalakua paniolos barged cattle for O'ahu market. Hear Hawaiian spoken at Keawalai Congregational Church services. Snorkel jade green tide pools at 2,000-acre Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. Ride a horse over black fingers of lava last spilled in 1790. Hike Hoapili Trail, once reserved for royals. At Perouse Bay, a brass plaque on a stone cairn commemorates the first European's footfall.

Rick Carroll
About the Expert

Rick Carroll has written dozens of articles on Hawaii and the Pacific. His books include Great Outdoor Adventures of Hawaii, Madame Pele: True Encounters with Hawaii's Fire Goddess, and Travelers' Tales Hawaii.

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Rick Carroll for Triporati

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