Palauea Beach is on Maui's south side, just past Polo Beach in between Makena and Wailea. It's tucked away in a semi-residential area with gorgeous private estates, off Makena Road. You'll have to look for this beach because it's not easy to find; however, it's a fabulous small cove with soft brown sand. It's usually not that crowded, but as word has gotten out, it's not as secluded as it once was. You'll find more locals here than tourists. This beach is really great for swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and boogie boarding. A portion of the beach is rocky (white rocks), but is set back from the wind. When the seas are calm, it's wonderful for children to play, swim, and learn to body surf. During storms, the current can get especially rough and unsafe, so beware!
Since it's flanked by lava rock, the snorkeling tends to be really good. Around the lava rock is where fish tend to congregate. You're probably going to see some turtles too. The gentle slope of this beach is very welcoming to swimmers and anyone who loves to walk on the beach. It's also terrific for sunbathers, and just relaxing or lounging around.
You'll have to park on the side of the road since there is no designated parking lot. There are a few public access trails leading from the street to the beach. There are no facilities or lifeguards.