Stretching along the shoreline between south Kihei to the north and Makena to the south, Wailea is one of the most beautiful and affluent areas on Maui. Sunny beaches with crystal clear water are backed by luxury resorts, gorgeous landscaping, and some of the poshest shopping and dining on the island.
Located at the very north end of Wailea, Keawakapu Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Maui. Light tan, soft sand, clear, calm water, and stretches of dark black lava rock provide a fantastic wash of tropical colors. Views of Lana’i, Kaho’olawe, and Molokini just offshore provide an excellent backdrop for sunsets. During rare south swells, surfers test their agility on a fast break near the north entrance of the beach. Whales close to shore are a common sight during the winter months.
Located in front of the Wailea Elua Village, Ulua Beach is protected by large lava outcroppings to the north and south giving it an isolated feel. The small parking lot means the beach is often empty, despite its relatively close location to Kihei. Calm surf and natural protection from the trade winds make this a great beach for kids. The point on the north end provides fantastic habitat for many reef fish and is great for snorkeling and shore diving.
Shared by the Wailea Beach Villas, the Grand Wailea Resort, and the Four Seasons Resort, Wailea Beach can occasionally be a bit crowded. Despite that fact, it still remains one of Maui’s best beaches. The clear, calm water is great for swimming or starting a paddle boarding adventure. There are public showers and restrooms, and easy access to the Wailea Beach Path which leads to all the major resorts, restaurants, and shopping areas in Wailea.
Just to the south of the Fairmont Kea Lani, Polo Beach has public restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and BBQ grills on the lawn. Although the sand is a bit coarser than many of South Maui’s beaches, ample parking and reliable sun make this a great place to spend a day. The beach also provides great views of Kaho’olawe, and no one seems to mind if you borrow the Fairmont’s beach chairs for a few hours.
Dining in Wailea, Maui
At The Shops at Wailea
• Cheeseburger’s Island Style Wailea – American
• Kai Wailea – Sushi and Japanese Tapas
• Longhi’s – American
• Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse – American
• Tommy Bahama’s Cafe – Island cuisine
Wailea Gateway Center
• Sprout Vegan Cafe – Plant-Based – 10 Wailea Gateway Place, B102
Sprout features a variety of plant-based cuisines, including vegan twists on local favorites like poke. Fares ranging from Thai to Greek to Mexican also grace their menu, made primarily with locally sourced ingredients. Visit them from 10 am to 8 pm daily.
- Pita Paradise – Mediterranean
- MonkeyPod Kitchen
At the Four Seasons Resort Maui
• Duo – Steak and Seafood
• Ferraro’s – Italian
• Spago – Hawaiian and Californian Cuisine
At the Grand Wailea
• Humuhumunukunukuapuaa – Seafood
At the Fairmont Kea Lani
• Nick’s Fishmarket – Seafood
At the Hotel Wailea
• The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea and the TreeHouse
• Gannon’s – Island cuisine – Wailea Golf Club
• Matteo’s Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant – 100 Ike Drive
Wailea has many high-end resorts and vacation rentals available. There are countless reasons to stay in Wailea, so also consider legal vacation rentals.
• Fairmont Kea Lani
• Four Seasons Resort Maui
• The Grand Wailea
• Hotel Wailea
• Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa
• Wailea Beach Villas
• Wailea Elua Village
• Wailea Ekolu Village
Wailea Beach Path
Stretching from Ulua Beach to the north and Polo Beach to the south, the Wailea Beach Path is a great way to enjoy the Wailea shoreline. Beautiful landscaping, and easy access to the major resorts, restaurants, and shopping, make the path a great alternative to hopping in the car. Runners often enjoy the path in the early morning or evening hours, and it is not uncommon to spot whales as you walk along during the winter months. The section just south of the Four Seasons Resort has been replanted with native Hawaiian species, and there are a few interpretive signs along the way.
The Shops at Wailea are one of the few primary shopping venues on Maui. Luxury brands such as St. John Boutique, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. have found homes next to less pricey options like Gap, Pac Sun, Honolua Surf Co., and the Sunglass Hut in a bright open-air mall. There are a variety of dining options including ice cream at Lappert’s Ice Cream and Coffee. Live music, Polynesian fire dancing, hula, and fashion shows are often part of the Shops at Wailea experience.