Complete Guide To Maui’s Ultimate Vacation Spot

Complete Guide To Maui’s Ultimate Vacation Spot

There are many reasons everyone should visit Maui as soon as possible. And Wailea is one of those reasons. Located in South Maui between Kihei and Makena, Wailea is one of the most beautiful and affluent areas on the island. With 1,500 acres of beautiful beaches, luxury resorts and amenities, and unique outdoor activities, Maui’s ultimate vacation spot offers so many fun things to do.

From snorkeling with sea turtles, kayaking, and surfing to golfing with gorgeous views, playing tennis, shopping, and dining on delicious, local Hawaiian cuisine—a trip to Wailea is truly a trip worth taking. No matter what time of year, Wailea promises pristine sandy beaches, crystal-blue water (and gorgeous waterfalls), tropical flora, Mai Tais, and amazing opportunities for adventure in the sun.

Wailea is the perfect destination for first-time visitors to Hawaii. Take advantage of all the fantastic attractions in Wailea with our complete guide and list of things to do.

Top Things To Do in Wailea

The rocky coast in Wailea, Maui
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

The rocky coast in Wailea, Maui

Opportunities for fun in Wailea are endless; Maui is often a frontrunner in the competition against Oahu and Kauai, and for good reason!

13 Go Golfing

Wailea Golf Course with palm trees and the ocean in the distance
Ndavies2, released into the public domain by its author.

Wailea Golf Course with palm trees and the ocean in the distance

The Wailea Golf Club is a golf resort with unobstructed views of the coastline. There are three courses: Gold, Emerald, and Blue. The award-winning Gold course is stunning and has been honored on more than one occasion as one of the top 100 best resort courses in the U.S.

The Emerald course has expansive ocean views, a lush landscape, and can be tailored to individual skill levels as there are a few tee boxes on every hole. The Blue course offers a classic Maui golf experience, has unique views of Wailea, and is challenging but fair.

  • Address: 100 Wailea Golf Club Drive, Wailea (Gold and Emerald Courses); 100 Wailea Ike Drive, Wailea (Blue Course).
  • Cost: Varies.
    See Fee Schedule

12 Visit Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach in Maui
Photo by Alan Rodriguez on Unsplash

Wailea Beach in Maui

This beautiful beach sits between two lush green rocky points at the front of the Four Seasons Maui and the Grand Wailea Resort. Whether the day calls for lounging, swimming, snorkeling, or surfing—a day at Wailea Beach is beautiful, especially when the hibiscus trees are flowering.

The nearby 1.5-mile Wailea Coastal Walkway runs from Ulua Beach to Polo Beach and is a great place to stroll or take a jog. An evening stroll is even more special as tiki torches line the path. Public parking is available, as are outdoor showers and restrooms.

  • Address: Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea

11 Spend The Day At Makena Beach

Beautiful sandy beaches at Makena beach, Wailea
Photo by Joanna Kozik on Unsplash

Beautiful sandy beaches at Makena beach, Wailea

There are so many beautiful beaches in Hawaii, and many of them are right here in Wailea. The largest and widest beach in the state, Makena Beach, is spectacular. It’s composed of Big Beach and Little Beach. Big Beach is 2/3 of a mile long and is a great spot to swim, bodyboard, or snorkel.

Tourists can get to Little Beach from the far right of Big Beach, but they’ll have to hike over a few little lava rock formations. The water at Little Beach is a little calmer, and there are both shaded and sunny areas for lounging.

10 Go On A Tour With Maui Kayak Adventures

A whale in the ocean in Maui
Photo by Abigail Lynn on Unsplash

A whale in the ocean in Maui

Maui Kayak Adventures offers kayak, snorkel, and whale-watching tours. All tours are equally fun and a wonderful way to explore the crystal-clear Hawaiian water. The company is Eco-Tourism Certified, and their guides are all Certified Marine Naturalists.

This is a great opportunity to see green Hawaiian Sea Turtles and tropical fish and to really explore the beauty of Maui.

  • Cost: All tours are $109 per person

Related: Embark On An Underwater Adventure At Maui Ocean Center

The Shops at Wailea in Maui

The Shops at Wailea offer high-end shopping, like Gucci, Coach, and Louis Vuitton, mixed with art galleries, surf shops, cute cafes, and fine dining. Spread out over two floors, this outdoor venue is a lovely spot to spend the afternoon.

There are even weekly events worth checking out, like lei po’o making, coconut frond weaving, and ukulele lessons.

  • Address: 3750 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea
  • Hours: 10 AM to 9 PM

8 Attend The Grand Luau At Honua’ula

Luau dancers at sunset in Maui

One of Maui’s most famous attractions, this luau features storytelling, dancing, traditional hula and freeform dance. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the ancient Hawaiian gods and goddesses.

The food is traditional for a luau, and it’s delicious. Expect kalua pig, papaya salad, and fresh fish.

  • Address: 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea
  • Cost: $265 per person (13+); $200 per person (12 and under)

7 See The Sunset At Keawakapu Beach

Keawakapu Beach in Maui

Keawakapu Beach in Maui

Maui sunsets are magical, and the Keawakapu Beach sunset is a must-see event. One of the most beautiful beaches in Maui, Keawakapu Beach is about .7 miles long and is excellent for swimming, boogie boarding, and snorkeling.

Located between Wailea and Kihei at the end of South Kihei Road, the beach is perfect for a stroll, but be aware it can be quite windy in the afternoons. It’s also a good spot for whale watching in the winter months.

6 Play At The Wailea Tennis Club

A man playing tennis in the sun
Photo by Renith R on Unsplash

A man playing tennis in the sun

For tourists looking for a little exercise, hit the courts at the Wailea Tennis Club. This complex is a great place to book a court for a friendly match or take a few tennis lessons.

The Wailea Tennis Club was voted one of the most outstanding tennis facilities in the U.S. by the United States Tennis Association.

  • Address: 131 Wailea Ike Place, Wailea
  • Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 1 PM, 3 PM to 6 PM; Saturday & Sunday, 7 AM to 4 PM
  • Cost: $28 per player per day for a court (guarantees 1.5 hours of play)

5 Best Time To Go to Wailea

Wailea Beach and popular paved walkway in Maui
elena_suvorova via Adobe Stock

Wailea Beach and popular paved walkway in Maui

The best time to visit Wailea is from May to September. Between November and April, tourists run the risk of rain. But overall, with temperatures in Wailea ranging from the mid-60s to the high-80s year round—there really is never a bad time to visit.

Two significant seasonal events held in Wailea are the Maui Film Festival from June 28th to July 2, 2023, and the Maui Songwriters Festival (Dates for 2024 coming soon).

4 Best Ways To Get Around Wailea

Resort in Wailea, Maui
Photo by Alan Rodriguez on Unsplash

Resort in Wailea, Maui


For tourists planning to explore the island, renting a car is the best option. For tourists who plan to stay near their resort, they may not need a rental car. Most hotels offer shuttles from the airport, and tourists can rely on public transportation if they really need to go anywhere.

Related: Haleakalā National Park’s Scenic Drives: How To Take In Maui’s Beauty From The Road

A car rental is also ideal for scenic drives along the Maui coast.

Book rental cars when booking flights. During busy times, rental companies may run out of vehicles.


The Maui Bus public transit system has fourteen routes, and it’s not expensive. Multiple stops make the bus a slower alternative to traveling by car.

  • Cost: $2 per person for a one-way fare; $4 for a Daily Pass

3 Where To Eat In Wailea

Green bags of Kona Blend Coffee from Honolulu Coffee
Theodore Trimmer /

Green bags of Kona Blend Coffee from Honolulu Coffee 

From fine dining to casual eateries, Wailea has tons of options for a delicious meal.


Honolulu Coffee

Start the day with a Kona coffee and a sweet pastry! Honolulu Coffee is located in the Shops at Wailea. Fuel up before a little morning shopping.

  • Address: 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive, #25-EW, Wailea
  • Hours: Daily, 7 AM to 1 PM


Island Gourmet Markets

This market and kitchen serves food from local Hawaiian farms. From Kim Chee Fried Rice to Mahi Mahi Tacos and traditional market finds, the Island Gourmet Markets is an excellent spot for lunch, snacks, and culinary essentials for a picnic at the beach.

  • Address: 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea
  • Hours: Deli, 6 AM to 3:30 PM; Store, 6 AM to 10 PM
  • Recommended: Try the Kalua Pork Loco Moco (Kalua pork and two eggs over rice, smothered in brown gravy and garnished with green onion)


Monkeypod Kitchen

Wood-oven pizza, 36 beers on tap, and live music make the Monkeypod Kitchen a fun place to have dinner. Try Happy Hour from 3:30 PM to 5 PM. Cocktails are $4 off, and pizzas are only $12!

  • Address: 10 Wailea Gateway Place, Kihei
  • Hours: 11 AM to 10 PM
  • Recommended: Poke Tacos, Hand-Tossed Pizzas, and the Mai Tais.

2 Where To Stay In Wailea

Wailea Beach Resort in Wailea, Maui
Photo by Alan Rodriguez on Unsplash

Wailea Beach Resort in Wailea, Maui

Wailea is known for its luxury resorts. In fact, some of the most expensive hotels in Hawaii are right here in Wailea!


Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Just a four-minute drive from Wailea Beach, the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is the ultimate beachfront luxury accommodation.

  • Address: 3900 Wailea Alanui Drive, Kīhei
  • Amenities: Water sport on-site; infinity pool; fitness center; bar/lounge; spa and wellness center; restaurants.
  • Cost based on double occupancy:


Related: Escape To Paradise: The 10 Most Luxurious Spring Vacation Spots For Ultimate Pampering


Wailea Beach Resort

The Wailea Beach Resort is just a few steps from the ocean.

  • Address: 3700 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea
  • Amenities: Private beach; outdoor pool and waterslide; fitness center; bar.lounge; water sports on-site; restaurant.
  • Cost based on double occupancy: $$


Palms at Wailea Maui by Outrigger

Stylish Condos set among lush tropical gardens feature patios and barbeque grills. The Palms at Wailea Maui by Outrigger is just a short drive to the Shops at Wailea and the beaches.

  • Address: 3200 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea
  • Amenities: Outdoor pool; Free Wi-Fi; spa; restaurant; free parking; kitchen; terrace/patio.
  • Cost: $

Related: Book Your Getaway To Paradise Today: 10 Iconic Maui Hotels For Spring Break

1 How To Spend The Perfect Day In Wailea

View of palm trees and black lava rock on the beach in Wailea
eqroy via Adobe Stock

View of palm trees and black lava rock on the beach in Wailea 

Every perfect day starts with the perfect breakfast. Stop by Honolulu Coffee for a hot drink and sweet pastry before heading to Wailea Beach. Stroll and sip along the Wailea Coastal Walkway. Wander up the paved path and enjoy the gorgeous ocean views, the smell of the salt water, and possibly even the scent of flowering hibiscus trees (in later summer).

Next up, get ready for an afternoon on the beach. Whether tourists are in the mood to lounge, swim, snorkel or surf, Wailea Beach promises a fun-filled afternoon and so many cool things to do. For those looking for a little extra adventure, try a Maui Kayak Adventure. They offer snorkeling tours, kayaking tours, and even whale-watching tours. And all are equally fun!

After a day at the beach, head over to the Shops at Wailea to grab a bite to eat, pick up a few souvenirs, and maybe even catch some local Hawaiian entertainment.

As the sun starts to set, rush to Keawakapu Beach. One of the best places to see the sun dip into the ocean, the colors in the sky must be seen to be believed. A sunset at Keawakapu Beach is simply stunning.

There are many fantastic restaurants in Wailea. When choosing where to eat dinner, visitors really can’t go wrong. Enjoy local cuisine, and maybe a Mai Tai or two, to celebrate a day well spent in paradise.


Q: What is Wailea known for?

Wailea is known for its beautiful beaches, its gorgeous golf courses, and its luxurious resorts. Some of the fanciest and most expensive hotels in Hawaii are located right here in Wailea.

Q: Is Wailea in Maui a good place to stay?

Absolutely! For tourists looking for luxury accommodations and an ultimate vacation spot for a little pampering, Wailea is the perfect destination. Wailea also offers great shopping, dining, and lots of opportunities for fun outdoor adventures.

Q: Can you walk around Maui?

Yes. The coastal path near Wailea Beach is three miles roundtrip. It’s a paved path that’s never too crowded and offers gorgeous ocean views. The path takes travelers along the coast past Wailea’s many beautiful beachfront resorts.