Discover the Best Things to Do in Wailea: Embrace Paradise on the Shores of Maui
When it comes to idyllic destinations in Hawaii, Wailea stands out as a true tropical paradise. This beautiful resort community, located on the sunny shores of Maui, offers a wealth of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on pristine beaches, indulging in world-class dining experiences, or exploring the wonders of the ocean, Wailea has something to offer.
From luxurious resorts, beautiful shopping and dining experiences to championship golf courses, from rejuvenating spas to captivating cultural experiences, there is no shortage of things to do in Wailea.
Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of this Hawaiian gem as we explore the top activities that await you in Wailea. Only a 25 minute drive from Kahului Airport, Wailea is the sunny and luxe destination on Maui and is in my viewpoint above the resorts areas of Kaanapali.
How to get to Wailea, Maui
To get to Wailea, Maui, there are a few options available:
Fly into Kahului Airport (OGG): Most visitors to Maui will arrive at Kahului Airport, which is the main airport on the island. From there, you can rent a car or take a taxi or shuttle to Wailea, which is approximately a 30-40 minute drive depending on traffic.
Rent a car: Renting a car is a popular choice for getting around Maui, as it provides flexibility and convenience. From Kahului Airport, you can easily rent a car and drive to Wailea via the main highway, Route 311 (Piilani Highway).
Airport shuttle: Some hotels and resorts in Wailea offer complimentary airport shuttle services for their guests. Check with your accommodation to see if this option is available and make arrangements in advance.
Taxi or rideshare: Taxis and rideshare services are also available at Kahului Airport. You can simply request a ride to Wailea, and the driver will take you directly to your destination.
Once you arrive in Wailea, it’s recommended to have a rental car or utilize transportation services to explore the area. The resort community of Wailea is spread out, and having a vehicle or relying on transportation services will make it easier to access the beaches, restaurants, and attractions within the area.
Top things to do in Wailea, Maui
World Class Dining venues in Wailea
Wailea is renowned for its world-class dining scene, offering a plethora of exquisite restaurants that cater to discerning palates. Here are a few top-notch dining venues in Wailea that are sure to tantalize your taste buds:
Morimoto Maui: Created by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, this upscale restaurant combines contemporary Japanese cuisine with the freshest local ingredients. From sushi and sashimi to creative fusion dishes, Morimoto Maui offers an unforgettable dining experience.
Ka’ana Kitchen: Located in the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Ka’ana Kitchen showcases farm-to-table cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant emphasizes local and sustainable ingredients, creating innovative dishes that celebrate the flavors of Hawaii.
Humuhumunukunukuapua’a: Situated at the Grand Wailea Resort, this oceanfront restaurant offers a stunning setting with its thatched-roof huts set over a saltwater lagoon. The menu features Pacific Rim cuisine, including fresh seafood and tropical flavors, making it a favorite for romantic dinners.
DUO Steak and Seafood: Nestled in the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, DUO Steak and Seafood offers a sophisticated dining experience. Indulge in prime cuts of steak, locally sourced seafood, and an extensive wine list while enjoying breathtaking ocean views.
Spago: Led by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, Spago brings a taste of California cuisine to Wailea. The restaurant features a fusion of international flavors and local ingredients, serving up dishes like wood-fired pizzas, fresh seafood, and delectable desserts.
Matteo’s Osteria: For an authentic Italian dining experience, head to Matteo’s Osteria. This family-owned restaurant focuses on traditional Italian flavors, serving homemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and classic Italian dishes with a contemporary twist.
Gannon’s: Located on the Wailea Golf Club, Gannon’s offers panoramic ocean views and a menu inspired by Hawaiian, Asian, and European cuisines. Enjoy a diverse selection of dishes made with locally sourced ingredients while soaking in the breathtaking vistas.
From elegant fine dining establishments to relaxed beachfront eateries, Wailea boasts an array of dining venues that cater to various tastes and preferences. No matter where you choose to dine, you can expect exceptional culinary experiences that showcase the best of Hawaii’s flavors and international influences.
World Class golfing courses in Wailea
Wailea is a golfer’s paradise, home to several world-class golf courses that attract golf enthusiasts from around the globe. Here are some of the top-notch golfing venues in Wailea:
Wailea Golf Club: Consisting of three meticulously designed courses, Wailea Golf Club offers a premier golfing experience. The Gold Course is known for its challenging layout, the Emerald Course features stunning ocean views, and the Blue Course offers a more forgiving experience. Each course showcases manicured fairways, strategic bunkers, and breathtaking scenery.
The Dunes at Maui Lani: Located near Wailea, The Dunes at Maui Lani is a championship course that provides a unique golfing experience. This links-style course incorporates natural dune formations, native grasses, and rolling fairways to create a challenging and visually striking layout.
Makena Golf & Beach Club: Situated just south of Wailea, Makena Golf & Beach Club offers an exclusive golfing experience. The course features stunning oceanfront views, rugged lava rock terrain, and challenging holes that cater to players of all skill levels. The private nature of this club ensures a tranquil and intimate golfing atmosphere.
These world-class golf courses in and around Wailea provide an exceptional golfing experience. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to improve your skills, these courses offer stunning scenery, challenging holes, and impeccable facilities that make for an unforgettable golfing adventure on the beautiful island of Maui.
World Class resorts of Wailea
Wailea is renowned for its world-class resorts, offering luxurious accommodations, exceptional service, and breathtaking oceanfront settings. Here are some of the top resorts in Wailea that epitomize luxury and provide an unforgettable vacation experience:
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea: This iconic resort offers a blend of elegance, comfort, and impeccable service. Set on a stunning beachfront location, the Four Seasons Resort Maui features spacious rooms and suites with private lanais, award-winning dining options, a renowned spa, and a variety of activities and amenities to ensure a memorable stay.
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort: Known for its modern design and laid-back atmosphere, the Andaz Maui offers a stylish and contemporary experience. With spacious rooms and suites boasting ocean or garden views, guests can enjoy a range of amenities including multiple pools, a full-service spa, farm-to-table dining, and access to the picturesque Mokapu Beach.
Fairmont Kea Lani: Situated on 22 acres of tropical landscape, the Fairmont Kea Lani provides an upscale resort experience with its all-suite accommodations. The resort features three swimming pools, including an adults-only pool, a world-class spa, several dining options, and access to Polo Beach, making it an ideal retreat for relaxation and indulgence.
Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort: As one of the largest resorts in Hawaii, the Grand Wailea offers a grand and opulent experience. With its impressive architecture, extensive grounds, and top-notch amenities, guests can enjoy multiple swimming pools, a renowned spa, waterslides, a championship golf course, and a range of dining options.
Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui: This beachfront resort boasts contemporary rooms, breathtaking ocean views, and a host of amenities. Guests can unwind at the stunning infinity-edge pool, rejuvenate at the luxurious Mandara Spa, savor culinary delights at various on-site restaurants, and enjoy direct access to Wailea Beach.
These world-class resorts in Wailea provide guests with a blend of luxury, comfort, and stunning natural surroundings. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a destination for relaxation and rejuvenation, these resorts offer exceptional service, upscale amenities, and the perfect setting to create lifelong memories on the beautiful island of Maui.
First rate shopping at the Shops at Wailea
Wailea Shops is a premier shopping destination that offers first-rate retail experiences in the heart of Wailea, Maui. With its upscale atmosphere and beautiful architecture, this shopping center attracts both locals and tourists alike. From luxury brands to boutique shops, Wailea Shops showcases a wide range of retailers, including high-end fashion, jewelry, home decor, and unique Hawaiian gifts. Visitors can indulge in a day of shopping, exploring a variety of stores, and discovering the perfect souvenirs or stylish additions to their wardrobes.
With its excellent selection of shops and its picturesque surroundings, Wailea Shops promises a delightful shopping experience for all.
Snorkeling venues around Wailea area
The Wailea area in Maui is surrounded by stunning snorkeling venues that offer an abundance of underwater beauty to explore. Here are some top snorkeling spots near Wailea:
Molokini Crater: Located just off the coast of Wailea, Molokini Crater is a popular snorkeling destination known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life. This crescent-shaped volcanic crater offers excellent visibility and the opportunity to encounter a variety of colorful fish, coral reefs, and even the occasional sea turtle.
Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve: Situated south of Wailea, this protected marine reserve boasts a diverse underwater ecosystem. Snorkelers can explore the rocky lava formations, swim alongside tropical fish, and marvel at the unique coral formations. Be sure to practice responsible snorkeling and avoid touching or damaging the delicate marine life.
Ulua Beach: Located in the heart of Wailea, Ulua Beach is known for its calm and clear waters, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling. The coral reef close to the shore teems with colorful fish, and you might even spot an occasional Hawaiian green sea turtle gliding through the water.
Maluaka Beach (Turtle Town): Situated a short drive from Wailea, Maluaka Beach, also known as Turtle Town, offers a high chance of encountering sea turtles during your snorkeling adventure. The turtles are attracted to the rocky reef area where they feed on algae, making it a memorable experience to observe them up close in their natural habitat.
Polo Beach: Another picturesque beach in Wailea, Polo Beach offers excellent snorkeling opportunities. Venture into the calm waters and discover a variety of marine life, including colorful tropical fish and fascinating coral formations.
Best beaches around Wailea area
The Wailea area in Maui is blessed with several beautiful beaches that offer pristine sands, crystal-clear waters, and stunning coastal views. Here are some of the best beaches around Wailea:
Wailea Beach: Located in the heart of Wailea, this picture-perfect beach boasts soft white sands and calm waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. The beach is lined with palm trees and offers excellent amenities, including showers, restrooms, and beachfront resorts.
Makena Beach (Big Beach): Just south of Wailea, Makena Beach, also known as Big Beach, is a long stretch of golden sand with clear turquoise waters. It’s one of Maui’s largest beaches, offering plenty of space for sunbathing and beach activities. With its scenic beauty and impressive waves, it’s a popular spot for bodyboarding and bodysurfing.
Little Makena Beach: located next to Big Beach is separated by a small hill that you have to climb to reach the beach. It seems more tame with waves that make it easier to swim compared to the rough surf on Big Beach. Little Beach is also considered the alternative beach with clothing optional on the beach along with drum circles and other relaxed social activities.
Polo Beach: Nestled between Wailea and Makena, Polo Beach offers a more secluded and peaceful atmosphere. This crescent-shaped beach is known for its tranquil waters, gentle waves, and stunning sunsets. It’s a great place to relax, snorkel, or take a leisurely stroll along the shore.
Keawakapu Beach: Just north of Wailea, Keawakapu Beach is a long stretch of sandy paradise that offers a more uncrowded and laid-back experience. The beach is ideal for swimming, paddleboarding, and enjoying a peaceful day by the ocean. It features pristine waters, scenic views, and easy access to beachfront restaurants.
Ulua Beach: Situated in front of the Wailea Elua Village, Ulua Beach is a small but beautiful beach that is favored by both locals and visitors. Its calm waters and vibrant marine life make it perfect for snorkeling and swimming. You might even encounter sea turtles or colorful fish near the rocky outcroppings.
Each of these beaches has its own unique charm and allure, ensuring that beach lovers will find their perfect slice of paradise in the Wailea area. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, water activities, or simply a stunning backdrop to soak up the sun, these beaches offer something for everyone to enjoy.
Wailea Beach Path
The Wailea Beach Path is a scenic coastal pathway that stretches along the beautiful shores of Wailea, Maui. This paved trail runs parallel to the shoreline, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and access to some of the area’s most stunning beaches.
The path begins near Wailea Beach and meanders its way past luxurious resorts, manicured gardens, and palm-lined beaches. Along the 2 mile pathway, visitors can enjoy the gentle sea breeze, the sound of crashing waves, and the sight of turquoise waters glistening in the sun.
The Wailea Beach Path is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a refreshing morning jog. It provides a tranquil escape, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area while staying active. The pathway is well-maintained, making it easily accessible for walkers, joggers, and even families with strollers.
Wailea Tennis Club
The Wailea Tennis Club is a premier tennis facility located in the Wailea resort area of Maui, Hawaii. Situated amidst the stunning natural beauty of the island, this club offers a top-notch tennis experience for players of all levels.
The Wailea Tennis Club features 11 meticulously maintained courts, including nine Plexipave courts and two classic Har-Tru clay courts. The courts are surrounded by lush tropical landscaping, providing a serene and picturesque setting for a game of tennis. There are also newly added pickleball courts for those that love this popular sport played on the islands.
More inside tips to visiting Wailea, Maui
When visiting Wailea, Maui, here are some inside tips to enhance your experience:
Timing is key: To make the most of your trip, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring or fall when the weather is pleasant, and the crowds are thinner. This allows for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience at the beaches, restaurants, and attractions.
Plan beach hopping: Wailea is home to several stunning beaches, so take the opportunity to explore them all. Consider beach hopping and spending time at different shores, each offering unique characteristics and scenic beauty.
Snorkel gear and beach essentials: If you plan on snorkeling, consider bringing your own snorkel gear or renting it from a local shop. Additionally, pack essentials such as sunscreen, towels, hats, and reusable water bottles to stay protected and hydrated during your beach visits.
Indulge in local cuisine: Wailea offers an array of fantastic dining options, including both upscale restaurants and local eateries. Don’t miss the chance to savor traditional Hawaiian dishes, fresh seafood, and farm-to-table delicacies that showcase the island’s vibrant culinary scene.
Explore beyond Wailea: While Wailea has much to offer, don’t limit yourself to just one area. Take the time to explore other parts of Maui, such as the Road to Hana, Haleakala National Park, and the charming town of Lahaina. Renting a car or joining guided tours can be great ways to venture beyond Wailea and discover the island’s diverse attractions.
Embrace the aloha spirit: Maui is known for its warm hospitality and laid-back atmosphere. Take the time to engage with the locals, learn about their culture, and embrace the aloha spirit. This will not only enhance your overall experience but also create meaningful connections and memories.
Check for local events in Wailea: Keep an eye out for any local events or festivals happening during your visit. Maui often hosts cultural celebrations, live music performances, and food festivals that offer a glimpse into the island’s vibrant culture and community.
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Conclusion of things to do in Wailea
In conclusion, Wailea on the beautiful island of Maui offers a wide range of activities and attractions for every type of traveler. From pristine beaches and world-class golf courses to exceptional dining and luxurious resorts, Wailea provides a memorable vacation experience. Whether you’re seeking beach relaxation, golfing adventures, culinary delights, or simply a place to unwind, Wailea has it all. With its natural beauty, warm hospitality, and the aloha spirit, Wailea captures the essence of Hawaii and leaves visitors with unforgettable memories.