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Taking a stroll on Maui's Wailea Coastal Walk

taking_stroll_Wailea_Coastal_Walk_MauiEach resort was responsible for building and maintaining its own section of the path—but not only for guests. The idea was to provide beach access for all. Along this mile and a half, there are five public beach access areas. All have parking and showers; three also have restrooms, barbecue facilities and picnic areas.

You can use this path to get from one of the Wailea resorts to another. Many people walk to and from dinner in the evening. In the morning, the path is full of joggers. I once spotted actor Eddie Murphy running down the path backwards, shadow-boxing.

To me, the best use of the path is strolling. If you start from the Keawakapu end, the path is sand. It traverses a dune here, and it’s illegal on Maui to pave a dune. By the time you reach the Renaissance Wailea Resort, the path is a boardwalk. From then on, the path is paved, with a few small bridges to make getting around easier.

The walk eventually climbs Wailea Point—the most interesting part of the journey. The heights make this a perfect whale-watching spot in season (November through May). The area’s been planted in native vegetation, the kind that thrives seaside. There’s even the ruin of an ancient Hawaiian homestead.

Imagine it in your mind’s eye: On the one side, you have the manicured grounds of a condominium, on the other, the blue Pacific beating on rugged lava shore. You’re out in nature—vast sky, native greenery, islands, some of the most beautiful coastline on the planet.

Yet, all along the walk, you are just steps from civilization—any time you want a drink, a cup of coffee or something to eat, you can stop at a beach concession or hotel restaurant.

(To read the entire “Wailea Coastal Walk” feature, featuring more detail on various scenic spots along the path,, pick-up the January/February 2010 issue of HAWAII Magazine. It’s on sale now in bookstores and on newsstands nationwide, or available by subscription here.)

Photos: Ryan Siphers

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