“Budget friendly” typically isn’t part of our vocabulary when we talk about South Maui’s upscale Wailea district — with the exception of the Wailea Beach Path. Traversing this stunning section of coastline makes for an easy jaunt, and it’s a free island activity to boot.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I walk this path nearly every day when I’m visiting Maui. It’s safe to say that I’m more than familiar with this stretch of Wailea coastline.
Keep reading to find out what you can expect along the stunning trail.
In this post:
- About the Wailea Beach Path
- Public parking options
- Wailea Beach Path self-guided walking tour
- Wailea Beach Path FAQs
About the Wailea Beach Path
The Wailea Beach Path is a paved concrete walk that winds its way along the shoreline at Wailea, South Maui’s swanky resort row. The 3.2-mile out-and-back pathway passes some of the island’s world-renowned resorts, such as The Four Seasons and Hyatt’s Andaz. The good news is that you don’t have to be a resort guest to enjoy this stunning ocean view trail. The beaches and the beach path allow public access.
If you’re looking for a shorter jaunt, there are public parking lots at beach access points along the pathway. This means you can start at different points along the Wailea path and turn around when you’d like.
Public parking at the Wailea Beach Path
Except for Kaukahi Street at the south end of the walking path, you won’t find any street parking near the Wailea resorts. While you could opt to pay the expensive valet parking fees at one of the resorts, your best bet is to try the free public parking lots intended for beach access.
Polo Beach near the Fairmont Kea Lani
From Wailea Alanui Drive, turn onto Kaukahi Street going west, toward the ocean. You’ll pass the Fairmont building on your right.
The parking lot officially opens at 7 a.m., but I found the lot open when I walked by at 6.am.
If the lot is full, you can also try to find a spot along Kaukahi Street.
Wailea Beach access north of The Four Seasons
Just north of The Four Seasons lies the Wailea Beach parking lot. The entrance can be easy to miss if you aren’t paying close attention. Look for an unassuming stone sign for Wailea Beach near the turn. Look for the open yellow road gates and a small blue sign stating “Shoreline Access 106.” Keep in mind that the park opens at 7 a.m., and the yellow gates are locked every night at 8 p.m.
Ulua Beach parking south of the Andaz
South of the Andaz Resort lies Ulua Beach and its adjacent public parking lot. From Wailea Alanui Drive, turn onto Ulua Beach Road. Look for the stone sign for Ulua Beach and Mokapu Beach. The yellow road gate remains open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Beach Path self-guided walking tour
Now that you’ve found parking, listen for the sound of crashing waves that lead you to the beach path. Our self-guided walking tour starts at the southernmost point, from the Polo Beach parking lot.
Follow the sidewalk path toward the beach. Pass the resident wild chickens, along with crowing roosters, that loiter near the picnic benches. You have access to a public restroom and foot washing station here, as well. Facing the ocean, you’ll find a short, sandy path to a small beach if you’re anxious to step into the water. Otherwise, continue on the walking path toward the Fairmont Kea Lani.
Fairmont Kea Lani
On your right, you’ll see the white buildings of Fairmont’s Kea Lani Resort, which opened in 1991. On your left, find Polo Beach.
Wailea Point – private residences (no beach access)
Meander past the Fairmont Kea Lani between the lush tropical landscape. Large residential buildings perch on the cliffs above the water. This is Wailea Point, a private residential area.
The path gently slopes upward for a better view of the ocean. There’s no beach along this section of the trail. Instead you’re treated to a thrilling view of the waves crashing against the rocky coastline.
Wailea Point historical interpretive site
Along the Wailea Point section of the trail, pass a grass lawn with mounded rock and small boulders. Stop at the weathered plaque that explains the significance of the hale (house) structural remains.
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Keeping the rock wall to your right, the path winds around a corner to reveal The Four Seasons Resort. If it looks familiar, it’s because this was the filming site for HBO’s The White Lotus.
Cross the footbridge. If you’re feeling peckish, stop at the small sundry stand, Beachwalk Cafe. If you’d like to stop for a beach break, Wailea Beach begins in front of this resort.
Notice that the sidewalk path becomes a stone paver pathway. If you’re on the trail in the early morning hours, you may encounter some of the area’s furry residents waiting for breakfast. Caretakers feed the feral cats that live along this stretch of Wailea coastline.
North of The Four Seasons lies the expansive grounds of the Grand Wailea Resort. Pass the luxurious pools, cabanas, and chaise lounges for exclusive use of resort guests. Wailea Beach ends on the north side of the Grand Wailea Resort.
Whale’s Tale at Wailea Beach Resort
For light fare, smoothies, and snacks, the Whale’s Tale snack bar directly on the Wailea Beach Path makes for a relaxing pit stop. The oceanside spot recently updated seating with adirondack chairs and a fire pit, along with conventional outdoor tables.
Wailea Beach Villas: Destination Residences (private residences)
Just after the beach ends and the rocky coast begins again, you’ll pass the private residences of the Wailea Beach Villas. Notice that the paved stone path ends and the concrete sidewalk begins again here. This section of the path quickly leads to the Wailea Beach Resort grounds.
Marriott’s Wailea Beach Resort (no beach access)
The rocky coastline continues in front of the Wailea Beach Resort, but guests there don’t seem to mind. The resort features several ocean view pools.
As you near the end of the Wailea Beach Resort grounds (on the north end), keep left on the sidewalk down a slight slope. You may spy the memorial plaque for Rusty, a longtime feline favorite we’d often meet along this section of the Wailea Beach Path. Nicknamed the Mayor of Wailea, the friendly orange cat lived to the ripe old age of 22.
Wailea Elua Village
After passing Wailea Beach Resort, the sidewalk leads to the private residences of Wailea Elua Village.
Also, the beach begins again at this point. Ulua Beach lies in front of Elua Village. As you pass Elua Village, you’ll find a public restroom along the path, near the Elua Beach parking lot.
Andaz Maui at Wailea by Hyatt
The final resort along the Maui Beach Path is also the newest along this resort row. The swanky spot opened in 2013.
In front of the Andaz lies Mokapu Beach, where the path ends. Walk to the end of the boardwalk, which leads you to Mokapu Beach and the Andaz’s beach activity hut.
Then turn around and make your way back down the 1.6-mile path back to the Polo Beach starting point.
Wailea Beach Path FAQs
How long is the Wailea beach walk?
From the Polo Beach Park at the south end to Mokapu Beach on the north end, the walk is around 1.6 miles in one direction, or 3.2 miles out and back.
Where does the Wailea Beach Path start and end?
On the south end of the path, the Wailea Beach Path begins at Polo Beach near the Fairmont Kea Lani. On the north end, the trail ends at Mokapu Beach near the Andaz Resort.
Can you walk along the beach in Wailea?
Yes, the public has access to the beaches along Wailea — resort stay not required. However, you must use public access points to get to the beach. Scroll up to find the section on public Wailea beach parking areas, which provide access points to the Wailea beaches.
Where is the best place to park for the Wailea Beach Path?
To walk the full length of the path, the best place to park is at the Polo Beach parking lot on Kaukahi Street.