Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wailea Beach; Wailea, Maui

[Note - I've reviewed this beach before and having visited again today, I feel my previous review was too kind. Read it here.]

Wailea Beach is something of an odd creature; a picture perfect tropical beach at first glance but hides something of a sinister underbelly. Okay, maybe not ‘sinister,’ but Wailea Beach isn’t everything the hotels that flank it – The Grand Wailea, the condos at Wailea Point and The Four Seasons  – would like you to believe it is.

Wailea Beach before 9am.
At first, Wailea Beach appears to be a beautiful quarter-mile stretch of smooth sand. This is true. However, if you think this is a great place to relax, then you must be a tourist: Wailea Beach is the most tourist-trafficked beach on Maui’s south side, which is okay if that’s your thing. Wailea Beach is a perfectly good spot to be crowded alongside other tourists and play in the typically soft waves that lap the shore here. It’s also a good place for novice snorkelers who are afraid of the water to practice, novice divers making their first dive, and novice stand-up paddleboarders eager to run over the former two groups of novices.

What ruins Wailea Beach besides the tourists, at least for me, is the ocean off of beach; it’s polluted, clear at shore but murky beyond 100 feet, has terrible coral growth and hardly any fish when compared to almost every other beach on Maui. Much of this has to do with the number of tourists spraying sunscreen on and then running right into the ocean, to say nothing of the run off from the development right on shore. With the ocean being no good here, is there really any reason to go to Wailea Beach?

The people watching can be good; it’s a little bit like watching zoo animals
Don't fall into the gorilla's cage!
who think they’ve been freed run amok. You can even people watch from afar as there is a nice grassy hill between the beach and its public beach parking access hardly anyone uses. Other than that, I don’t feel as though Wailea Beach has many redeeming qualities. You may have to travel further afield if you want to hit a better beach, though I will warn you that Polo Beach – a little further to the south along the Wailea beach path – is actually a worse beach than this one. Oh well, it’s the price you’ve paid too much for convenience. 

PS - Have you heard about the shark attacks here? No? Yeah, the hotels and tourist industry try to keep that kind of stuff under wraps...

Parking: Public Parking is the very next right after passing the Grand Wailea's parking area. There is limited spaces up front closer to the beach but there is overflow parking which will take you an extra -gasp!- minute or two to walk from.