Wailea Beach

Consistently rated one of the world's best beaches.

Rating: ★★★★★

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

Wailea Beach

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

Key Info:
Mile Marker: #0.4 – Wailea Alanui Rd.
GPS Coordinates: 20.681288,-156.441944
Facilities: Showers, bathrooms. No lifeguards.
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  1. Is this beach near the cruise port? How much does it cost per person to get into the beach? My mom and I will be on a cruise and will want to go to the beach so, just wondering if it’s close to the port where the carnival miracle will dock. Also cost per person to get into the beach.

    • Hi Marcy – Unfortunately this and all of the best beaches for most visitors are not close to where the ship docks. The cruise ships dock in Maui in the least interesting part of the island for visitors. I would *strongly* suggest renting a car or taking an Uber to see the sights, folks that just wander off the ship are in for a pretty boring time in our otherwise amazing island! As far as cost, there is no cost to access any beach in Hawaii, they are all public land by law. Aloha!

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