Staying in Wailea Maui for your next Hawaiian vacation? Scroll to find out the best things to do in Wailea for families, couples, adventurers and more!
This things to do in Wailea Maui post was originally written January 15, 2020 and was updated November 5, 2021 and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
Are you looking for a place to stay on your next trip to Maui?
Wailea is one of the most popular places to stay in all of Hawaii. It’s located about 25 minutes from Kahului Airport and offers world-class golfing, amazing shopping, beautiful beaches, outdoor activities, and more!
I’ve come up with some of the most popular things to do in Wailea Hawaii for your next vacation. Be sure to add these fun activities to your itinerary!
You’ll never run out of things to do here – there are so many great restaurants and bars that offer live music every night.
And if you’re looking for something extra special while visiting this island paradise, be sure not to miss out on our exclusive luxury hotel recommendations! Wailea, HI is located on the south shore and is one of the most popular places to stay on Maui for people looking for the ultimate resort vacation.
We have handpicked only the best hotels on Maui that will make your vacation unforgettable.
If you want an experience like no other while visiting Maui then look no further than our list below! These are just a few examples of what we can help you find when planning your perfect Hawaiian getaway.
Our team has been working hard at finding even more unique experiences that we think will be perfect for families traveling with kids or couples who want something different during their visit.
Keep scrolling to find out some of the most popular things to do in Wailea Hawaii for your next Maui vacation.
Be sure to add these to your Maui itinerary!
Don’t have time to read a bunch of Hawaii blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Maui.
Popular Maui Tours/Activities
- Sunrise at Haleakala (this is great to book for your first morning on Maui and the views are unsurpassed)
- Reverse Road to Hana Tour (this is the BEST way to do this iconic Maui scenic drive without arguing with your spouse)
- Molokini Snorkel Tour (this is one of the best places to snorkel on Maui)
- Surf Lessons for Kids (this is the BEST way for your kids to learn how to surf in Hawaii)
- Old Lahaina Luau (the is the most popular luau for families)
- Book a Photo Shoot (this is a Hawaii souvenir you’ll treasure forever)
Favorite Maui Resorts/Hotels
Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Maui Itinerary complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.
Wailea Maui FAQs
Wailea is located about 30 minutes South from Kahului on the island of Maui.
While they are both resort areas, Wailea is a bit more luxurious than Kaanapali. And Wailea is more centrally located on the island of Maui. But, Kaanapali is right next to Lahaina, which has lots of Maui tourist attractions.
It can be hard to choose Lahaina or Wailea in terms of best resort towns. Wailea has more upscale resorts and high-class restaurants than Lahaina. But Lahaina is more budget-friendly and there are more resorts, restaurants, and attractions.
21 Amazing Things to do in Wailea Maui
1. Shops At Wailea
Because I love shopping, I had to start this list with one of the prettiest outdoor shopping malls in Maui. It tops my list of Wailea things to do.
Head to The Shops at Wailea for an amazing, high-end resort shopping experience. You’ll find designer stores like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada. But, you’ll also find Lululemon, Billabong, SoHa Living, Honolua Surf Company, and more.
It’s also one of the few places on Maui to find Honolulu Cookie Company (the place with the adorable pineapple-shaped cookies!) Plus, they have a Lappert’s Ice Cream shop.
2. Maui Kayaking Tours
There are so many great places to kayak on Maui and Wailea makes the perfect jumping-off point. It’s close to Turtle Town and Molokini Crater and visitors love to kayak in the ocean.
It’s one of the best Maui things to do for adventurous families.
3. The King’s Trail (Hoapili Trail)
If you are looking for a Maui hike that is unusual, head to the Hoapili Trail. It’s not your typical tropical hike with lush greenery. Instead, this South Maui hike is full of lava rock!
The trail has actually been around for hundreds of years. It was built by King Pi’ilani and his son (hence the name “the King’s Trail.”)
What’s cool about Hoapili Trail is that hikers can see the site of a Hawaiian village named Keone’ō’io and other ancient sites. It also has great views of the coast.
The entire trail is about 10 miles long, but many people just do part of the hike and come back. It’s a great place for Wailea sightseeing.
Read more about hiking on Maui
4. Makena Beach State Park
For a gorgeous, white sands beach that’s almost 2/3 mile long, head to Makena Beach State Park. It’s one of the largest beaches in Maui that hasn’t been developed yet.
Actually, there are two beaches here: Big Beach and Little Beach.
What’s cool about Makena Beach is that it’s protected from the wind and you can see Molokini Crater and Kahoolawe island.
5. Sea Scooter Snorkeling
Adventure seekers will love exploring Maui on this sea scooter snorkeling tour.
On these Wailea tours, you can snorkel faster and further with the use of the sea scooter, which means you can see more sea life and reefs (Wailea reef and more.)
There’s also a chance to swim with Hawaiian green sea turtles! Check out the latest prices and more details.
Whether you are an experienced snorkeler or you are trying it for the first time, there’s a sea scooter snorkeling tour designed just for you.
It’s definitely one of the most unique Wailea activities.
Book your discounted Sea Scooter Snorkeling tour
6. Monkeypod Kitchen
They specialize in food that is locally grown and sustainable. It’s a great place to try Maui beef, Kauai shrimp, and island fish. Plus, they have kalua pork pizza, fish tacos, burgers, poke and basically something for everyone.
Parents of younger kids will be happy to know that they offer free noodles and cheese for kids under 3 years old. And they have a decent kids menu for older kiddos.
It’s one of the tastiest Wailea restaurants.
7. Horseback Riding at Makena Stables
Did you know that Hawaii has a large cowboy culture? Hawaiian cowboys are called paniolos and there are several places to ride horses on Maui.
Makena Stables is the best option for people staying in Wailea. They keep their tours small and it’s more than just your average trail ride. Makena Stables actually was the first place to offer sunset horseback ride tours on Maui.
For families with kids ages 13 years old and older, try a morning or sunset horseback ride. You won’t regret it!
8. Dinner at the Four Seasons Maui
One of the most romantic places to eat in Wailea is the Four Seasons Maui.
While they have several different restaurants on their property, Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante is the only ocean-front dining in Wailea. Plus, it’s Zagat-rated!
The cuisine is primarily Italian, but they incorporate Hawaiian items like poke, ahi tuna, and Hawaiian seabass.
They even offer live music during dinner on Tuesdays-Saturdays. It will be a dinner to remember!
9. Polo Beach
It between the Fairmont Kea Lani hotel and the Polo Beach Club, you’ll find Polo Beach. It was originally called Dead Horse Beach (yikes!)
It’s a really convenient beach if you are staying at the Fairmont Kea Lani, but it’s also an easy beach to drive and park if you are doing a day trip in Wailea. They have showers, bathrooms, picnic tables, barbecues, and a small grassy park.
When the water is calm, Polo Beach is a great Maui snorkeling spot.
10. Golfing at Wailea Golf Club
If you’re looking for the best golfing on Maui, the Wailea Golf Club should be at the top of your list.
This is where you’ll find 3 top-rated Maui golf courses: Wailea Emerald, Wailea Gold, and Wailea Blue. They’ve been featured in both Golf Magazine and Golf Digest for the incredible amenities, breathtaking ocean views, and spirit of Aloha.
Wailea Gold is the former site of the Champions Skins Game and has been named one of the 100 best golf courses in America.
11. Visit Wailea Beach
Wailea Beach is an awesome resort beach located between the Grand Wailea and the Four Seasons. Because it’s so close to these resorts, the beach gets crowded quickly.
It’s a nice beach for snorkeling, boogie boarding, and body surfing. And they have a paved walkway (great for stroller walks), bathrooms, showers, and lots of free parking.
12. Day Trip to Molokini Crater
Molokini Crater is a crescent-shaped volcanic crater lying between Maui and Kahoolawe. It is a tiny uninhabited islet with an area of 23 acres and you’ll need to take a boat to get to it.
The protected waters of this island are a treasure trove of underwater creatures. Molokini perfect for watching marine life like Moorish idol, parrotfish, black triggerfish, yellow tang, and moray eels. Plus, you might even see a whale shark!
It’s no wonder it’s one of the top Maui attractions.
Read my full post on snorkeling at Molokini Crater
13. See the Dolphins at La Perouse
La Perouse Bay is one of the best places to see dolphins on Maui. The bay itself is protected from strong currents and is made up of smaller coves and tide pools.
Spinner Dolphins like to hang out here and there are several snorkeling tours each morning. These are some of the best things to see in Maui. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Just north of La Perouse is the Ahiki-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. It’s a popular snorkeling and diving spot and features several Hawaiian cultural sites, including the start to the King’s Trail.
Because fishing is prohibited at the reserve, visitors are able to see lots of endangered sea life, marine mammals, tropical fish, and coastal plants. It’s also a great spot to see Hawaiian green sea turtles!
Book your La Perouse Bay Maui Snorkeling Tour
14. Wailea Tennis Club
For those who enjoy tennis, you’ll want to set aside time to check out the award-winning Wailea Tennis Club.
The United States Tennis Association named it one of the country’s most outstanding facilities and Tennis Magazine has rated it one of the best tennis clubs in the United States for more than a decade.
They have 11 Sportsmaster courts, a full-service pro shop, equipment rental, and instructional programs. Plus the Wailea Tennis Club also offers Pickleball, one of the fastest-growing racquet sports in the United States!
15. Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Speaking of fastest-growing sports, Stand Up Paddleboarding (also called “SUP) is one of the most popular ocean activities in Hawaii.
It’s low impact and less intense than surfing. It’s great for kids and grandparents alike.
You can rent your own SUP equipment or you can join a tour. Tours are a great way to go if you are new to the sport and would like a skilled SUP instructor to help you get started. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Get your discount Stand Up Paddling tour tickets
16. Feast at Mokapu Farm-to-Table Luau
Set on a grassy lawn by the sandy shore of Mokapu Beach, the Feast at Mokapu takes you on a journey into Polynesian history. You’ll learn about the arrival of Polynesians on Maui through stories, hula dancing, and fire dancers.
Adult tickets start at $200 and children’s tickets start at $100. The focus of this luau is on the menu created by Executive Chef, Isaac Bancaco. They even have handcrafted cocktails that are personalized to your liking.
This is definitely one of the activities in Wailea worth splurging on. You can read my full Feast at Mokapu luau review.
Get your discount Mokapu Farm-to-Table Luau tickets
17. Wailea Coastal Walkway
Maui is such a gorgeous place to take a romantic sunset walk (or an early morning stroller walk) and the Wailea Coastal Walkway is one of the best places to do that.
The paved pathway takes you past 5 white sand beaches, 8 world-class resorts, and in the winter, you can see humpback whales!
It’s a great way to walk between resorts, take an after-dinner stroll, or do a bit of exercise. There are cute coffee shops, snack stands, and photo ops along the way.
Plus, the pathway is just 1.5 miles long, so totally doable for people of all abilities. It’s one of the best things to do in South Maui for families.
18. Mandara Spa
For an extra dose of luxury on your Maui vacation, book a spa day at Mandara Spa at the Wailea Beach Resort.
The spa looks out on the ocean, where you can spot Molokini Crater and the island of Kahoolawe. They offer a relaxation area, steam room, facials, body treatments, massages (including Hawaiian lomi lomi massage), and more!
It’s a great way to unwind after a long airplane ride!
Plus, they have couple’s suites for a romantic date idea as well as a full-service salon for hair, makeup, and nail services.
19. Wailea Healing Center
Besides massage therapy, visitors can take a yoga class, relax with acupuncture, get chiropractic adjustments, and even try a belly dancing class at Wailea Healing Center
They also offer mobile massage services where they will come to you.
20. Grand Luau at Honua’ula
This is definitely one of the best things to do in Maui. You can read our full Grand Wailea Luau review HERE.
Guests can check in early to get wristbands and then hang out at the pool bar or the beach until luau doors actually open. This saves you precious time waiting in line so you can soak up more of your Hawaiian vacation.
What really sets this luau apart from the rest is that it focuses on Hawaiian stories and incorporates those stories into the performance. These stories involve mermaids, ancient gods/goddesses, voyagers, and more.
Because of that, the show features a mix of traditional dancing as well as unusual and impressive feats that will entrance families with kids of all ages!
They also have an extensive menu including allergy-friendly dishes and vegetarian/vegan options.
Read more about the top 12 Maui Luaus
21. Scuba Diving At Keawakapu Beach
Another fun thing to do in Wailea HI is going scuba diving! Keawakapu Beach is a great spot because it has a shallow reef where you can see beautiful tropical fish and Hawaiian sea turtles.
You can rent your own scuba equipment or you can join a scuba diving tour on Maui with a PADI certified instructor. Check out the latest prices and more details.
What’s awesome about this Maui scuba tour is that your 2-hour dive counts toward your own scuba certification!
Book your discounted Scuba Diving at Keawakapu Beach tour
Best Wailea Maui Resorts
Now that you’ve seen some top Wailea attractions, let me show you some awesome places to stay in Wailea Maui.
Whether you are heading to Maui on your honeymoon or with your family, the Grand Wailea Resort is the epitome of luxury. And it’s one of the top Wailea resorts. Check out the latest prices and more details.
It’s on 40 acres of tropical Hawaiian gardens and extends to Wailea Beach (which was voted one of the best beaches in America.)
They have fine dining, a world-class spa, and they recently renovated their rooms. It’s definitely where you want to stay in Wailea HI if the budget isn’t a concern.
What I love about Fairmont hotels is they are always gorgeous and have unsurpassed customer service. The Fairmont Kea Lani is no exception.
As Hawaii’s only all-suite and villa luxury resort, the Fairmont Kea Lani is right on Wailea’s Polo Beach and features a state-of-the-art spa, four amazing restaurants, and three swimming pools.
You can’t go wrong with a Fairmont hotel for your Wailea vacation. Check out the latest prices and more details.
A more budget-friendly option for families is the Residence Inn by Marriott. It’s actually the first one in Hawaii.
This hotel feels more like a condo and their suites have fully equipped kitchens, so you can cook in your unit. They even have grocery shopping services available.
Other Fun Things to do on Maui
Now that you know what to do in Wailea Maui, let’s talk about the rest of the island. There are SO many amazing things to do in Maui Hawaii.
If you’re looking to do a day trip from Wailea, here are some popular options:
This national park on Maui is very barren and rocky. And it’s very cold, so bundle up.
You can drive up yourself or take a guided tour. And some people even bike down Haleakala after sunrise.
Get all my Haleakala National Park tips!
Another thing to do on Maui for families is going for a hike. From waterfall hikes to hidden beaches, there are so many places to explore on Maui.
A few top hikes are located in Haleakala National Park, off the Road to Hana, and ‘Iao Valley (which is great for beginners.)
Read more about Maui hiking trails
Road to Hana
They sell t-shirts that say “I survived the Road to Hana” and once you do it, you’ll understand why!
This windy road offers some of the most breathtaking views of the North Shore of Maui. You can take a tour, get the audio guide app, or just wing it and have a wonderful time. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Read my full Road to Hana guide
You won’t want to come to Maui and not see a waterfall. It’s an iconic thing to see in Hawaii.
Some of the top Maui waterfalls include Twin Falls (on the Road to Hana), Honokohau Falls (the tallest waterfall in Maui), and Waimoku Falls.
Read more about Maui waterfalls