Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
No
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
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If there’s one word to aptly describe Wailea almost end to end, it’s "posh." Luxurious resorts shoulder up next to one another and overlook long stretches of soft, spongy sand with quiet, lapping waves. You’ll notice the difference in development tactics when juxtaposed with Kihea, characterized by a smattering of developers all vying for a spot to build. Instead, Wailea was developed under the oversight of a single owner whose principal goal was to build a lush, exotic paradise stuffed to the brim with amenities… and golf. Lots of golf. Needless to say, he succeeded.

Wailea Beach flawlessly upholds the area’s reputation—it’s consistently rated one of the world’s best beaches, and you’ll have to squeeze in next to fancy resort guests, umbrellas, and recliner chairs to get yourself some beach real estate. It's well worth your trouble. Here, rocky outcroppings bookend the wide beach, and snorkeling is a fan favorite. The snorkeling near the rocks is best; sandy bottoms pad the bottom of the ocean the farther away from the outcropping you get.

Wailea’s namesake, Lea, the goddess of canoe making, must have been a watersports-woman herself—during south swells the surf can get quite big, and while local surfers typically steer clear because of the resorts, there are some good opportunities for boogie boarding, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and the like. You won’t have to look very far if you’re interested in renting for the afternoon. Wailea has also historically been a popular spot for scuba diving from the beach as well. If you're interested, again, you won’t have to try very hard to find someone eager to sell you on a day trip.

As might be imagined, while there are no amenities specifically provided to the public on this beach, nearby restaurants, shops, and entertainment abound—this is a highly developed area. If nothing else, plan a trip in the evening for dinner to check out the sites. And be sure to stick around for a bit if you visit in the winter—the chances are quite high that you'll spot a herd of humpback whales.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Broad sandy beach. Adjacent lodging, restaurants and bars.

Cons

Very crowded. Very developed. Limited public parking.

Features

Picnic tables
Lodging

Location

Field Guide

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