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!
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Maui is one of the most popular Hawaiian islands for visitors looking for the perfect mix of relaxation, and adventure.
Wailea 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.
Located about 25 minutes from the Kahului Airport, Wailea offers world-class golfing, picturesque beaches, outdoor activities, amazing shopping, and more!
I’ve come up with some of the most popular things to do in Wailea for your next Maui vacation.
Be sure to add these to your Maui itinerary!
Wailea Maui FAQs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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!
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.
Book your discounted Sea Scooter Snorkeling tourRESERVE NOW
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 TourRESERVE NOW
14. Wailea Tennis Club
For those who enjoy tennis, you’ll want to set aside time to check out 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 Paddle boarding (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.
Get your discount Stand Up Paddling tour ticketsRESERVE NOW
16. Feast at Mokapu Farm-to-Table Luau
If you want a luxury luau experience (read PRICEY) than the Feast at Mokapu at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is worth looking into.
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 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.
Get your discount Mokapu Farm-to-Table Luau ticketsRESERVE NOW
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.
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
If you’d rather enjoy an outdoor massage, head to Wailea Healing Center where you can get a massage near a golf course.
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
If you are lucky enough to stay at the gorgeous Grand Wailea Hotel, you have an easy walk to the Grand Luau at Honua`ula.
Guests can check in early to get wrist bands 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 is go 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.
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 tourRESERVE NOW
Best Wailea Maui Resorts
Grand Wailea Resort
Whether you are heading to Maui on your honeymoon or with your family, the Grand Wailea Resort is the epitome of luxury.
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.RESERVE NOW
Fairmont Kea Lani
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.RESERVE NOW
Residence Inn by Marriott Maui Wailea
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.
Another cool feature is their local area shuttle service.RESERVE NOW
Other Fun Things to do on Maui
If you’re looking to do a day trip from Wailea, here are some popular options:
One of the most talked about experiences on Maui is seeing the sunrise at Haleakala Crater. People liken it to a spiritual awakening.
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.
Another thing to do on Maui for families is go 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.
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