Who doesn’t want the luxury of Hawaii as a vacation destination?
I know I do!
Well, if you’re considering Hawaii for your next trip, let me recommend Wailea to you.
This beautiful resort community has some amazing beaches. Here’s my take on the best ones.
1. Wailea Beach
As you might expect, Wailea Beach itself is the most popular. This soft, white sandy beach is breathtaking, and the calm waters mean you can enjoy a relaxing swim.
It’s also great for snorkeling and paddleboarding if that’s something you enjoy doing.
Personally, I prefer a quiet beach day sunbathing and I leave all of that energetic stuff to the kids!
Wailea beach is around 1.5 miles long and is bordered by lush vegetation. Even though it’s a popular tourist destination with high-end resorts, the beach still feels natural and secluded.
Here are some other selling points of Wailea Beach:
- It’s close to both Ulua Beach and Mokapu Beach if you fancy a stroll or want to explore further afield without traveling too far.
- There are typical beach amenities like showers, restrooms, and beach rentals. You’ve even got lifeguards during peak hours.
- The water is generally calm and safe for swimming.
2. Mokapu Beach
Despite Wailea Beach’s secluded feel, it’s still quite large.
If you’re looking for something a little less crowded and smaller, Mokapu Beach is much more peaceful and is right next door.
This area is a real scuba diver and snorkeler’s delight. It has fantastic coral reefs full of all sorts of marine life like sea turtles and tropical fish.
With the clear and calm waters, you get a really great view of all of the underwater creatures making their home here.
Besides snorkeling, you can try your hand at bodyboarding, kayaking, and paddleboarding. If you don’t have your own equipment, there are places available to rent it locally.
Though there aren’t as many amenities here compared to Wailea Beach, there are still some basic facilities like picnic tables, restrooms, and showers.
If you’re a shade-seeker like me, this beach does have shaded areas too.
3. Polo Beach
Even more secluded than Mokapu Beach is Polo Beach.
This stunning setting is quiet and has fewer crowds than many of Wailea’s beaches. There are basic amenities like restrooms and showers but there are no lifeguards.
This beach is also home to Fairmont Kea Lani Resort, which is a luxurious resort with three pools, a fitness center, and a spa. It also has restaurants and bars as well as golf and tennis facilities.
If you want upscale resort accommodation, this is it! What’s more, it’s also known for being eco-friendly and sustainable.
The Polo Beach Club is also situated here and offers beachside condos, a pool, a barbecue area, and a jacuzzi.
Though there is a lot of parking, you will have to walk a short way to get here too. Also, be mindful that a section of the beach is clothing optional too.
4. Keawakapu Beach
For another less crowded alternative to the beaches in Wailea, Keawakapu Beach is around 1 mile long and offers clear waters and soft white sand.
Keawakapu is my kind of beach, here’s why:
- There are restaurants along the beach.
- It’s a good mix of locals and visitors.
- There’s a public parking lot as well as several access points.
- There are showers, restrooms, and picnic tables.
If you’re interested in snorkeling, you’ll see the best sights on the right-hand side.
Other popular activities include exploring tide pools, looking at lava rocks towards the north end, sunbathing, swimming, and bodyboarding.
Despite being less crowded, you still have hotels and condos dotted around. These include the Andaz Wailea Hotel, the Wailea Ekahi Village, and the Maui Oceanfront Inn.
5. Palauea Beach
This beach is known as White Rock Beach and is situated in a residential area between Wailea and Makena. This is a shorter beach at only 300 yards long.
It’s the sort of beach I like taking my kids to because I know they won’t try and go too far! Also, because there is a gentle slope, even young, non-swimmers can feel comfortable paddling here.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll love the local feel of Palauea Beach – I like going to beaches to mix with the locals!
However, there are no on-duty lifeguards so you’ll need to be careful. This is especially true when the sea is rough as there can be dangerous currents.
What’s more, as this is a local area, it can be quite difficult to find the beach in the first place – you need to go through the grove of kiawe trees to get there.
Finally, there are no amenities here save for a porta-potty!
6. Chang’s Beach / Po’olenalena Beach
Chang’s Beach is the colloquial name for Po’olenalena Beach, which is a remote and golden sandy beach.
Though this is one of the region’s quieter beaches, if you come on Sunday, you’ll find it awash with both tourists and residents – and clothing is optional!
This is because the Sunday Drum Circle gathers here weekly for recreation and music.
Besides the nudity, you’re also likely to encounter alcohol and recreational drugs being consumed at this time so if you’re coming with a young family, you might want to leave by lunchtime or come on a different day!
Chang’s Beach is picturesque, offering views of the mountains of West Maui to the north and to the south, of the Makena caldera.
The beach has two separate sections with a trail in between. The northern section is best, in my opinion, as it is more picturesque.
Amenities-wise, there are two parking lots here as well as roadside parking. The only lavatory, however, is a portapotty close to the parking area.
Final thoughts on the best beaches in Wailea
That’s it covered, the best beaches in Wailea. For me, the clear winner is Palauea Beach because I love that rough seclusion, no amenities-type affair.
If you’re less that way inclined, I recommend Mokapu Beach for its quietness but cool vibe.
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