Palauea Beach (aka "White Rock")

Palauea Beach Wailea Maui White Rock
Overview: There once was a time when Palauea Beach was an undeveloped stretch of sand within steps of Wailea resort.

That all changed when the sandy shoreline was gobbled by private homes, and the days of bonfires and guitars on the beach are long gone in lieu of private security cameras and gates.

Nevertheless, Palauea Beach remains public (since all Maui beaches are public), and it's still one of the nicest spots to spend a day in Wailea. On calm days the snorkeling is fantastic, and the boogie boarding can be really fun when there are waves breaking in summer.

The best part of visiting "White Rock," however, is simply escaping the crowds, and it's a place more frequented by locals than visitors—it feels like your own "secret" beach.

Good For: Snorkeling, boogie boarding, sunbathing, swimming, escaping the resort area crowds.

Not So Good For: Lack of facilities, kiawe thorns, overbearing homeowners who wish the beach was private.

Maui Expert Tip For Palauea Beach (aka "White Rock"): There aren't any facilities here, but there are showers and restrooms at Polo beach just a two-minute drive down the road.

Directions and Parking Situation: Free public parking is available on the side of Makena Road. You can't really see the beach from the road, but just look for the designated beach access path that leads back through the kiawe trees. There's a port a potty and large boulders where the path meets with the road.

To find "White Rock" from the road through Wailea, turn on Kaukahi Street past the Fairmont Kea Lani, and when the road bends to the left at the bottom continue for one more minute.

Facilities: There's a port a potty right by the trailhead, but you really need to be desperate.