Wailea in Maui marks a sweet transition from miles of condos in Kihei into absolute luxury, with resorts featuring enormous spas and villas, grand artwork, polished limestone tile and granite boulders imported from Mount Fuji. The mile-and-a-half-long ocean walk of Wailea, three times the size of Oahu’s famous Waikiki, encompasses five crescent beaches, with an elegant mix of hotels, condominiums, internationally acclaimed golf courses, tennis courts and water sports, and is considered by some the very best of what Maui has to offer.
Adjacent to Wailea is Makena, a quiet and less densely populated area with several small condominiums with similar resort facilities to those of Wailea and Kihei. Makena Landing, now a serene harbor, was once a busy port (much like Lahaina) where ships would stop and resupply during the California golf rush, making it a lively hub for trade.
Both Wailea and Makena are renowned for shopping and dining experiences that will treat any visitor. Be sure to stop through the shops at Wailea to pick up something fun to bring home, and grab a bite at one of its restaurants.
Past Makena Landing, is a black sand beach called Oneuli. While some might call it a red sand beach, and others may call it black, it’s certainly unique and is a great stop along the coast for impossibly blue waters and fine, dark sand, and is especially serene in the early afternoon.
If golden sands are more your speed, continue down the coast to Oneloa Beach, an massive gold sand beach with vivid blue, crystal clear waters. While not a snorkeling beach, its medium sized waves make it a great spot to take a dip and soak up the sun.
Photo by Shutterstock/Pierre Leclerc