Top 12 Things to Do in Wailea

The Island of Maui is full of so many wonderful places to visit and things to do in Hawaii! Next time you’re exploring South Maui, spend some time checking out all the best things to see and do in Wailea.

Best Maui Wailea Vacation Activity

This locale offers a bounty of remarkable restaurants, shopping opportunities, Maui golf resorts, gorgeous beaches, and fun activities to do in Wailea. Take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that you find during your next vacation in Maui!

Top 10 Things to do in Wailea Waliea on Map of Maui

Makena Beach State Park

Makena Beach is one of the largest beaches on Maui, and undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking locations in all of Hawaii. Composed of Big Beach and Little Beach, this area has only been accessed by road since resort infrastructure began in the early 1980s. Before that, Makena Beach was only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles that had to travel through Makena’s native Kiawe forests and Mango groves. Although that was over 30 years ago, the Makena Beach area still resolves to be slightly untouched terrain compared to other parts of the island.

Whether you decide to spend a day at Makena or are just cruising down to South Maui, you have to at least stop for a photo opportunity at Makena Beach. Big Beach is almost 2/3 of a mile long, and approximately 100 yards wide. This is a perfect beach for swimming, bodyboarding, skimboarding, and snorkeling (depending on the time of year) on Maui.

When visiting Makena Beach, visitors should be extremely conscious of the ocean conditions at all times. Please do not turn your back on the ocean and make sure to observe the wave sets. Makena Beach can be calm and flat with smooth rolling waves, and out of nowhere a huge rogue wave will toss you flat on your okole! If you’re visiting Makena with small children, there is a sweet little cove at the southernmost end of the beach (third entrance); check that spot out!

Little Beach is accessible from the far right of Big Beach, but you must endure a bit of a hiking adventure over some lava rock formations. Make sure to keep your phones and cameras tucked away as you’ll need your hands to climb carefully. Over the hill and down a trail, you’ll find the lustrous Little Beach with calmer ocean conditions, sunny and shady grove areas, and a parade of locals enjoying Maui life.

  • lifeguard on duty 8am-4pm (Big Beach)
  • picnic areas
  • public restrooms (Porta-Potty near first entrance)
  • shower (last entrance)

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Shops At Wailea

When on Maui, or while venturing down to the South Side, the Shops at Wailea is a shopper’s Shangri-La, where you can find luxury brands, island-style fashion, art galleries, jewelry stores, restaurants, entertainment, and more.

Conveniently located near a host of 4+ star resorts, Shops at Wailea is the only high-end shopping center on Maui that houses designer brand name boutiques like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, St. John, Coach, and Barron & Leeds.

For a more casual-to-dressy assortment, shoppers can visit Banana Republic, BCBG, Betsey Johnson, The Gap, White House Black Market, or the Enchantress Boutique. If you’re seeking some fashion fit for relaxation, check out Maui Waterwear, Billabong, Honolua Surf Company, Quicksilver, Roxy, or the Sandal Tree. If you want more of an island-inspired style, visit Tommy Bahama or Blue Ginger for the most up to date Hawaiian-style resort fashions.

Dolphins Galleries provides a diverse assortment of local art, including fine art, jewelry, sculptures, woodworks, art glass, and more. Longhi’s and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse are two great options for a meal and have the best ice cream in all the Hawaiian Islands.

Shops at Wailea is one of the best places to find the most current styles and emerging fashions in Hawaii, and caters to a diverse market. Shopping in South Maui is truly fabulous; guests can enjoy a full array of gift shops, art galleries, surf shops, boutiques, and many places to pick up Maui souvenirs. Shops at Wailea is the crème de la crème of shopping in South Maui, offered in a beautiful 2-floor outdoor venue. You’ll find high-end stores on the upper level, and mainstream retailers and local boutiques on the lower level.

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Kayak Tours

When exploring the beautiful areas of Wailea and Makena on Maui’s South Shore, ocean adventure is easily within arms reach. One of the best ways to explore the south shoreline is on a Maui kayak tour. There are a few ocean sports tour operators that provide private, group and combination tours.

Ideal for families, couples and even large groups, Maui Kayak Adventures is an awesome Maui activity company that provides kayak tours, whale watching, and snorkel tours in South Maui. What makes them stand apart from the rest is their mission, “To Explore the beauty of Maui, Connect with a spirit of Adventure, and Inspire a lasting Respect for the ocean and its inhabitants.” Their guides are Certified Marine Naturalists, and their company is Eco-Tourism Certified. On a Maui Kayak Adventures kayak expedition in the Makena area, guests can travel to Makena’s Turtle Town to explore over a dozen gorgeous reefs. The tours operate in the morning sunshine (7 am-10 am), offering optimal weather conditions for a comfortable cruise with the clearest ocean visibility. Tours are limited to eight guests, which makes this a perfect choice for those who want a mellow Maui kayak tour with lots of individual attention. Each guest is also provided with free digital photos of their tour.

With Hawaiian Paddle Sports, prospective kayakers have many tour options pending the season. Guests can choose from two South Maui tours that leave from Makena Landing: a Whale Watch Kayak Tour, or a South Maui Turtle Town Kayak Tour. No matter which you choose, kayaking with whales or turtles, this is most definitely a special kind of Maui kayaking adventure. Without a doubt, guests will leave the tour with lifelong memories of one of the most beautiful ocean sports experiences of their lives. Both Hawaiian Paddle Sports kayaking tours are private and can accommodate five or more guests. They do not combine parties, so rest assured that you will only be kayaking with your group.

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Golfing at Wailea Golf Club

Golfing is the #1 most popular luxury activity in all of Hawaii. On Maui, where it’s said to be best, golf sports enthusiasts have the best selection of golf instruction, and annual golf events from which to choose. Most importantly, Maui has an incredible selection of top Hawaii golf resorts including the Wailea Golf Club in South Maui.

For guests seeking a fabulous Hawaiian vacation while focusing attention on their golf game, the Wailea Golf Club is perfect for a myriad of golf instruction at all levels. With unobstructed views of the South Maui coastline, the Wailea Golf Resort consists of the Gold, Emerald and Blue courses. From all corners of this Maui golf resort, guests will be surrounded by 360-degrees of gorgeous island views and while enjoying top-of-the-top levels of service.

This Maui golf locale offers a wide array of golf services and amenities, not the least of which being the famous David Leadbetter Golf Academy. The Wailea Gold Club is, without a doubt, the most excellent choice on Maui for those interested in refining their golf game at a world-class golf resort.

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See the Dolphins at La Perouse

When planning a day in South Maui’s Wailea area, be prepared for a day full of Maui’s glorious sunshine! If you want a chance to see the elusive and beautiful Spinner Dolphins, we suggest that you start your day early and explore La Perouse Bay.

Located at the end of Makena Alanui Road (Hwy. 31), you’ll find a gorgeous lava rock ridden bay decorated by a magnificent azure coastline. This bay is the site of Maui’s most recent volcanic activity (approx. 1480-1600 AD), and home to some of Maui’s most playful Spinner Dolphins, who are best seen in the early mornings.

La Perouse Bay, also known as Keone’o’io in the ancient Hawaiian language, is on one end of Maui’s historic King’s Trail. We encourage you to journey through this area, see wild goats, and catch a glimpse of ancient Hawaii in pure form. Please DO NOT walk off of the trail, or disrupt any of the coral or lava rock formations; this area is a legally protected Hawaiian historical site, and it must remain respected.

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Dinner & Shows at
Mulligan's on the Blue

When in Wailea, you should check out some of the fantastic live music offerings at Mulligan’s. We love this venue for so many reasons, and they also have the most fantastic St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Maui!

Mulligan’s is one of the best Wailea venues for enjoying dinner and a show on Maui, and offers a fantastic vantage point of the South Maui coastline. When considering a night at Mulligan’s, think about what you’d like to experience because they provide so much! Guests can surely enjoy Mulligan’s famed Happy Hour any day of the week, but don’t sleep on their nightly entertainment! They offer music almost every night of the week, and you never know who will come through this fabulous South Maui locale.

On Tuesday nights, guests will surely be pleased by Mulligan’s Magic Show, and on Wednesday nights, guests can enjoy sounds and lots of laughs from Maui’s very own Uncle Willie K during his weekly dinner show, aka the “Best Dinner Show on Maui.” Dinner begins around 5:15 pm, and the show starts around 6:30 pm. Here, guests can enjoy the smooth sounds of Willie’s ukulele fused with Hawaiiana and the Blues. On Thursday nights, guests will love the sounds of the Makai Jazz Group, and be thrilled throughout the evening in the presence of Trish Da Dish for her excellent Pub Quiz. Every Friday night, check out the legendary sounds of Soul Kitchen, one of Maui’s most unique and popular bands. It’s a great night to schmooze with some regulars and enjoy a night full of great music! Saturdays offer rotating musical guests, and Sundays are super awesome with Irish music by the Celtic Tigers.

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Mulligan's on the Blue

Wailea Healing Center

Located on a beautiful South Maui vista, and surrounded by pristine fairway and ocean views, the Wailea Healing Center is a collective of conscious-minded therapists, practitioners, and teachers of a variety of healing modalities. While spending time in Wailea, a visit to this Maui wellness center should undoubtedly be on your to-do list.

Wellness services provided at the Wailea Healing Center include various massage options, acupuncture, intuitive life coaching, cupping therapy, professional wellness training, and rotating weekly classes. Weekly classes include men’s and women’s circles, free form dance, mantra singing, breath work ceremonies, and more.

One of their most highly rated services is an outdoor massage with an ocean view. It’s an incredible experience where clientele can breathe in the fresh air and relax to the sounds of Maui’s natural environment while receiving a decompressing Maui massage. Massage types include Acupressure, Reflexology, Lomi Lomi, Swedish, Prenatal Massage, Hot Stone, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Lymphatic Massage, and Golf Rehabilitation Massage.

Wailea Healing Center also offers outcall Maui massage services. Without a doubt, this is a fantastic service for those who would like to take advantage of receiving a massage at their resort, vacation rental, or private accommodation.

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Wailea Tennis Club

Do you love the game of tennis? If you answered “yes,” you have many amazing surprises in store for you on Maui! It may be hard to distract yourself from beaches and sunshine, but when on-island, you can enjoy spectacular Hawaiian weather and incredible island views while perfecting your tennis game.

Maui offers a host of tennis facilities and clubs throughout the island, all focused on specific demographics and learning levels. The best tennis club on Maui has to be the Wailea Tennis Club in South Maui. The Wailea Tennis Club facility is world-renowned for their up-to-date facilities, the best tennis instructors on Maui, luxurious services and amenities, and impeccably landscaped grounds.

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Sea Scooter Snorkeling

A Sea Scooter Snorkeling Tour is perhaps one of the most innovative ways to snorkel in Maui. With professional guides, and assisted by underwater scooter devices, visitors travel throughout South Maui waters to explore vibrant reef formations, tropical fish and marine life.

The tours start from a beach in Wailea. After learning basic, necessary snorkeling safety information and reviewing how to operate the sea scooters, underwater explorers go to a remote location away from the crowds.

Operated by a button, the sea scooters can travel up to 3 miles per hour. Moving faster than most people can swim, sea scooters allow users to venture forth without having to work too hard. Sea scooter snorkelers can cover more ground and maximize their time enjoying Maui’s underwater sights, alleviating the need to fight the tides.

While scooter snorkeling, guests have an opportunity to view a variety of marine life in their natural environment: a variety of tropical fish, Hawaiian green sea turtles, manta rays, spinner dolphins, and possibly even humpback whales swimming gracefully in Maui’s oceans during the winter season. Provided gear includes an underwater sea scooter, mask, snorkel, fins, life jacket, and boogie boards.

With Sea Scooter Snorkeling, guests of all ages can choose from a Group Snorkeling Tour (2 hours), First Time Snorkeling Lesson and Tour (2.5 hours), or a Private Guided Snorkeling Tour (2 hours).

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Sunset At Keawakapu Beach

Not all sunsets are created equal! That becomes quite obvious when observing one at Keawakapu Beach. While on Maui, there are so many beautiful views to explore. When scheduling your daily plans, make sure to plan an opening around dusk so you don’t miss the epic Maui sunset views. No matter where you are, you have a fantastic chance to see at least part of a sunset! If you want to check out the sunset at Keawakapu Beach, make sure to include it in your plans for the best opportunity possible.

We want to guide our readers to the most fabulous sunsets in Hawaii no matter what. Wherever you hope to view it, find the exact sunset time before going, and arrive early!

On Maui, you can expect to see much more than a colorful sunrise or sunset. It does not matter if you are Hollywood chic or some Maui hippie; we all see the same beauty. A Maui sunset cannot be replicated. Don’t put off catching a sunset tomorrow if you can watch nature’s best show tonight. A Maui sunset may seem basic to those of us who live on the island, but it’s truly unparalleled.

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Visit Wailea Beach

No trip to Maui’s Wailea area is complete without a visit to Wailea Beach. It’s easy to see why Wailea Beach rates as one of the world’s best beaches. With vast stretches of soft sand and crystal-blue waters nuzzled in-between two lush green rocky points, Wailea Beach is indisputably one of Maui’s most gorgeous beaches. There is a lovely flagstone path that borders the beach between the Grand Wailea Resort and the Four Seasons Resort. This is a great place to take a stroll.

In the evenings, tiki torches line the path, and you can hear the sound of drums playing at a nearby luau in the background. Wailea Beach is the perfect spot for a breathtaking Maui sunset, offering amazing views of Molokini, Lanai, and Kaho’olawe. This Beach is an excellent option for enjoying a relaxing day sunbathing and is also a wonderful spot for kid-friendly activities with its golden-white sandy beach and clear, calm waters. At the water’s edge, there is a shallow, sandy entrance, making it the perfect beach for beginner snorkeling and family fun. Snorkeling can be excellent here in the early mornings around the rocky points when the wind is a light breeze, and the waters are calm. Body surfing and boogie boarding are also good here with small, easily ridden waves. Visitors will find easy public access and public parking areas as well as outdoor showers and restrooms near the well-maintained beach on Maui’s South Shore.

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Dinner at the Four Seasons Maui

From dining on the lanai with panoramic ocean views at Spago to oceanfront seating under the stars at Ferraro’s Italian restaurant, the Four Seasons is magical. DUO’s casual poolside offers fresh seafood and premium steaks while Master Chef Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant is a spectacular fusion of Hawaiian and Californian cuisine that truly highlights locally sourced Hawaiian ingredients. The specialty cocktails served in the intimate lounge here are an inspirational version of Hawaiian classics.

If you’re craving Italian on a bluff overlooking Wailea Beach, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Ferraro’s is where you should be. You will be delighted with the open-air beachfront atmosphere while enjoying authentic Italian “Cucina Rustica” cuisine at its finest. Offering an extensive wine list, breathtaking sunset views, and top-notch service, it easy to see why Ferraro’s is known as one of the world’s most romantic restaurants.

If you’re craving fresh seafood and superior steaks in a more casual, yet inviting atmosphere, DUO is an excellent choice. One night a week, they offer a fantastic “Raw Bar” night. This is an all-you-can-eat raw bar buffet, including oysters, poke, ceviche, king crab legs, snow crab claws, shrimp, and when in season, Kona Lobster. The seafood here is delicious and full of fresh ocean flavor. Duo’s “Market Night” is a Hawaiian Churrascaria, (BBQ in Portuguese, roughly) with choices of ribs, lamb chops, bacon wrapped chicken thighs and steaks. If you prefer to order off the dinner menu, there are deliciously aged and seasoned premium steak cuts and fresh local daily catch. All Four Seasons Maui restaurants feature a sommelier who will happily aid you in finding the perfect pairing to your cuisine of choice from their impressive wine list. Your biggest problem will be deciding which of these three outstanding restaurants to enjoy first.

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We hope that you make tons of cherished memories, and have the best time of your life during your next vacation to the Island of Maui. Share this article with your friends and family!

Alexandra Mitchell

Alexandra is a marketing professional with a passion for writing about travel to the Hawaiian Islands, vacation rentals, and luxury real estate. She exposes readers to glimpses of 'Old Hawaii,' new destinations to explore, local events, and all the best things to do on Maui.