Po’olenalena Beach

A long, often uncrowded sandy beach.

Rating: ★★★★½

In a nutshell: A long, often uncrowded sandy beach.
Minuses: Has become more popular in recent years.
Sound-bite: “You may now kiss the bride!”

Po’olenalena Beach

Po’olenalena Beach

Also known as Paipu Beach, Po’olenalena is a nice, long sandy beach, that until recent years was mostly known only by locals. Because it has spectacular sunset views, and often becomes uncrowded late in the day, it is a favorite location for wedding photographers and ceremonies.

Po’olenalena means “yellow head” and is said to refer to a longtime landmark, a yellow-streaked rock on the golf course mauka the roadside.

Mostly popular with local families, during the week it is less crowded. To read other guidebooks you’ll think you’re going to end up all alone on a spectacular deserted beach all day long – but you’ll need to come during the week early or late in the day for that. The main parking lot is big, but on weekends you’ll often have a tough time finding a spot to park.

The south end of this beach fronts the Makena Surf Condos, and the north end fronts several high-end houses located on on Makena Rd. The central portion of the beach, directly off of the main parking area, is currently undeveloped and is popular with locals, families and fishermen.

Snorkeling is excellent around the rocky outcroppings at the south end of the beach. Boogie boarding is also decent during south swells and perfect for kiddies or beginners when seas are calm. The sandy bottom entry is sloped gently for pleasant swimming and playing. Note: During Kona storms or large swells the ocean here can become unsafe with rip currents.

There is a port-a-potty at the north parking lot and a shower at the south entry.

Video: Ocean Kayak POV

Key Info:
Location: Makena Alanui between Wailea Golf Club Dr. & Makena Surf. (see map below)
GPS Coordinates: 20.663646,-156.441042
Facilities: Port-a-potty, shower, no lifeguards.
Get directions

View Po’olenalena Beach in a larger map

  1. Celebrating our anniversary on this beautiful beach where we were married. So happy to be back!

  2. Michelle Humphreys says:

    We were married here and cannot wait to come back. It is sacred ground!

  3. The protector of the aina says:

    Ho I’m one of the locals that come here and I need to express a couple things, because I’ve come to this beach all my life and seen it degrade over the years. My main issue is littering. We don’t go to your home and disrespect it and feel like it’s ok. Please, if you are visiting, there is a trash can at the beginning of the beach for this reason. Whatever you bring, you take with you when you’re leaving, and even if it’s a candy wrapper or a bottle, that’s one more issue that our islands do not need. Thanks for understanding

    • Donald Cox says:

      Good advice.
      Having lived in Wailea for four years and visited many times since returning to OZ, I love and respect the islands as much as locals do and hope your friendly advice is respected. Aloha.

  4. we were married on this beautiful beach and looking forward to returning.

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