The Wailea / Makena area on Maui is known for beautiful beaches, world-class golf, resort amenities, and abundant activities in nature. It is South Maui’s must see and do area. We’ve put together a few of our favorite Wailea highlights for you to check out.
Lava and Dolphins at La Perouse
We are starting your South Maui tour a bit past Wailea, where you might want to make an early morning stop at LaPerouse Bay. While viewing remnants of Haleakala’s most recent lava flow, you might catch a glimpse of spinner dolphins playing in the surf. Take a deep breath, and observe the sun starting to highlight the ocean as Maui nui greets a new day.
Backtracking toward Wailea, you’ll continue your sunny morning at Makena Beach State Park, aka “Big Beach,” a must-see 1.5 mile long, 100ft. wide beach with gorgeous views. Makena State Park comprises 165 acres and is one of the largest undeveloped recreation areas to enjoy on Maui, and one of our favorite beaches on the island. Surf can be large, so be cautious. There are actually two beaches, with Puʻu Olai, a 360 feet tall dormant volcanic cinder cone in the center of the park. On the other side of the pu’u is “Little Beach,” where you might encounter an occasional nude sunbather. At Mākena State Park, non-residents will pay $5.00 to park. There are no water fountains, so bring some bottled water.
Shops At Wailea
The Shops at Wailea are a perfect blend of ocean view restaurants and luxury shops, plus tropical stores like Tommy Bahama and the Aloha Hat Co. It’s fun to browse luxury brands, art galleries and jewelry stores, but the hidden secret is the free entertainment. There are pop up cultural demonstrations, like lei making, hula and coconut husking. But the centerpiece is WOW- Wailea on Wednesdays, where (most) Wednesday afternoons from 4:30 to 6 you can catch top local musicians at no cost. The Shops at Wailea is on our list of best overall shopping experiences on Maui.
The south Maui coastline and neighboring islands, provide a stunning backdrop for a kayak tour. Ocean sports tour operators offer private, group and combination tours at various launch spots along the coast. Or you might try a sail, paddle and snorkel adventure with Maui Sailing Canoe, located in Wailea.
Golfing and Tennis in Wailea
If you’ve come to Maui to play a round or two, don’t miss the Wailea Golf Club courses. There is a reason golfing is the #1 most popular luxury activity in all of Hawaii, and Maui is known to have the best courses around. At Wailea Golf Club you’ll find three award-winning courses (our fav is Emerald), two full-service pro shops, and the outstanding Wailea Golf Academy. Plus, enjoy some of the most stunning vistas from each course.
Racket sports more your game? Next door is Wailea Tennis Club, where you can play all day for a reasonable fee. There are on-site racket rentals and a tennis shop too.
Both the golf course and tennis club have recommended on-site restaurants. Recharge after a day of playing in the sunshine!
Where to Stay in Wailea
We admit we are biased, but once you see our condominiums at Wailea Ekahi, we think you’ll love them too. On the north end of Wailea, you’ll find resort amenities without the extra-high price tag of Wailea luxury hotels. These upscale condominiums are among 34 park-like acres, with lush Hawaiian landscaping, dotted with 4 swimming pools. Near the beach, you’ll find a pavilion with full kitchen and BBQs. What you will really love is the 1.5 mile long golden sand Keawakapu Beach. Or, have a little friendly competition on the shuffle board or pickle ball courts. You’ll appreciate the spaciousness of these condos too, with two lanais extending living to outdoors. There is AC, full kitchens, and an in unit washer/dryer. Explore Wailea’s fine dining, golf, tennis and shopping, just moments away. All the top shelf amenities without the crowds, or the price tag!
But don’t take our word for it, check out Wailea Ekahi and 16 other resort properties on DestinationMauiVacations.com.
Catch Dinner and a Show at Mulligans on the Blue
When in Wailea, you should check out the famous Irish pub, Mulligans on the Blue. Located on the edge of the Wailea Blue course, not only is this a lively spot to catch a midday game on screens all around the bar, but the venue has some of the best live music and stage shows around. Many a fantastic party has erupted at this watering hole oasis.