Wailea
Wailea

Wailea

Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, 96753

The basics

In-the-know travelers start their visit with the Wailea Beach Path, an easy, 3-mile (5 kilometers) coastal trail with views of Molokini Crater, the West Maui Mountains, and the island of Kaho'olawe. While Wailea is more of a resort enclave than a tour destination, a handful of self-guided tours stop at its beaches, and some whale-watching outings explore the Wailea-Makena Coastline, near the heart of the Hawaiian Humpback Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

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Things to know before you go

  • The Wailea Beach path starts near Polo Beach at the south end of town, and Mōkapu Beach at the north end.

  • Ulua Beach Park has restrooms, showers, and a public parking lot.

  • From north to the south, five beaches line the coast in Wailea: Polo Beach, Wailea Beach, Ulua Beach, Mōkapu Beach, and Keawakapu Beach.

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How to get there

The best way to get around Maui is with a rental car: From Kahului Airport, it's a roughly 40-minute drive along highways 311 and 31 (Piilani Highway). On public transportation, the Maui Bus Public Transit System route #10 connects the Queen Ka'ahumanu Center shopping mall with Wailea. Other options include taxis, rideshares, independent airport shuttles, and shuttles run by resorts and hotels.

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When to get there

Wailea is packed with tourists during the summer season, so consider visiting in the spring or fall. Whale watching season in Maui runs from November to May, typically peaking between January and March. Also keep in mind, Wailea is known to be drier than the rest of the island, which has a very wet rainy season during most of the winter.

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Getting into nature near Wailea

Travelers interested in exploring outside of Wailea's resort-lined beaches can easily head out of town and into nature—if they have a car. Nearby are the Kula Botanical Gardens, the Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area, the Kula Forest Reserve, and the ’Āhihi-Kīna‘u Natural Area Reserve, a marine protected area with beautiful snorkeling spots along coastal lava fields, protected coves, and tidal pools teeming with sea life.

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