In a nutshell: Consistently rated one of the world’s best beaches.
Minuses: Crowded with resort guests and their accouterments.
Sound-bite: “Hey, is that Paris Hilton?”
Wailea Beach is unquestionably a study in beach perfection, and if you don’t mind a resort vibe (and a crowd to go with it) this is a truly outstanding beach.
The beach is wide, the sand perfect, and the ocean inviting. Views of Kaho’olawe, Molokini, Lana’i and the sights (and sounds) of whales are common in winter.
When the ocean is calm, snorkeling is very good around the rocky outcroppings that define both ends of the beach. Boogie boarding and body surfing are also fun in the typically regularly formed, small waves and gentle slope.
Wailea means “the water of Lea”, the goddess of canoe makers. Prior to resort development, this beach was called Kahamanini, and the name Wailea referred only to the rocky point defining the south end of this beach. Original Hawaiian place names often reveal deeper insight to locations, and this is no exception – the name Kahamanini means “place of the surgeon fish.”
The Four Seasons and the Grand Wailea resorts sit like jewel-encrusted Maltese-Falcon bookends smack on either end of this beach. So, unless you show up at the crack of dawn, the beach will be crowded with people, beach chairs and cabanas.
As a result of the original approval for development of this area, visitors will find well maintained public access and facilities, including a paved walkway that runs the length of the beach (and beyond.) Bathrooms, showers and plenty of free public parking are also provided for all to use.
Note: During south swells the surf can get big and rip currents and hazardous water conditions form. Check out the ocean safety page
Mile Marker: #0.4 – Wailea Alanui Rd.
GPS Coordinates: 20.681288,-156.441944
Facilities: Showers, bathrooms. No lifeguards.
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