By Tim Cotroneo
For those considering Maui’s plush Wailea hotel zone for their next vacation, expect to pay $14 for a Mai Tai, $170 for Old Blue Golf Club greens fees, and $285 for a weekly rental on a Mustang convertible. The good news is there is one awe-inspiring Wailea activity that is not only healthy, it’s absolutely free.
Wailea is home to one of the most beautiful walking paths in all of Hawaii. The views, colors, landmarks, beaches, and people-watching far exceed the five-star rating for which Wailea is known. This exhilarating outdoor diversion is a great way to start your day, and it won’t cost you a nickel.
The best Wailea walk starting point is the entrance at the Polo Beach Club turn, and parking is free. The Wailea promenade wastes no time in wowing first-timers with a gorgeous beach scene to your left, a lushly-landscaped walkway dead ahead, and hotels carrying nameplates like Fairmont, Four Seasons, and Grand Wailea to your right.
An early morning on the Wailea promenade is an adrenaline rush even if you’ve yet to hoist your first sip of coffee. It’s hard not to notice the paddleboarders straddling the Pacific Ocean’s morning calm. As you move forward, every fourth individual you encounter is out for a daybreak jog and a welcoming Maui “Aloha.”
One of the close encounter dividends of your Wailea walk is seeing the best of the best oceanfront properties that are almost within touching distance. It’s easy to imagine inserting yourself on the deck of a so close you can taste it ocean view villa property. You’ll also observe the luxurious amenities of hotels with international reputations for luxury.
Surprises pop up regularly during your Wailea walk. Brush up on your Hawaiian language skills when reading a seaside plaque proclaiming “a hui hou kakou” (“until we meet again”). Keep your eyes open for a shrine to fishermen, a telescope for whale watching, and the gorgeous Wailea Seaside Chapel on the Grand Wailea Hotel property.
If you need to catch your breath, absorb the beauty, or spend a buck, then there are multiple breakfast huts serving coffee, juice, or a snack. A final thought in anticipation of your first walk on Wailea’s promenade — remember to bring a camera. Your promenade walk photo memories will be something to hold on to until you and Wailea meet again.
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