Upscale resort hotels and condos with manicured grounds line this series of South Maui beaches, giving the strip a chichi character. A paved beachwalk edges the grassy resort front yards just above the sand. Power walkers and joggers burn calories there early in the morning or late afternoon.
Jumbled lava rocks reaching into the ocean separate each of these sandy stretches. Identical twin beaches Mokapu and Ulua mark Wailea’s north end. Mokapu is good for snorkeling and Ulua attracts beginner scuba divers for its shore dives. Access is at the north end of the Wailea Marriott.
Wailea Beach, the longest of the red-gold sand strips, runs from the Marriott to the Four Seasons with the mega Grand Wailea Resort ballasting the center. Beach craft, including outrigger canoes lay scattered like giant beach toys. This is a high activity beach. Early mornings may find people concentrating on the slow ballet of tai chi. Later kids romp in the low waves and build sand castles.
Snorkeling is good at the south end of Wailea Beach where sea turtles may be spotted among the rocks in front of the Four Seasons. Just beyond these rocks is Polo Beach, a smaller and quieter gem in front of the Fairmont Kea Lani. Hungry at the beach? Tie on your pareo, wash the sand off your feet, and pop into any of the hotel terrace cafe. Public access north of the Four Seasons and south of the Kea Lani.