Poolenalena (Chang’s) Beach

Jan 29, 2021 | General Information

Probably due to the fact that Po’olenalena Beach is not located directly in front of, or not particularly close to a major resort hotel it is remarkably unpopulated by beachgoers with the exception of local residents. There is a large parking lot, albeit dirt, abutting the only Wailea/Makena thoroughfare traversing the coastline and so it is fairly easy to find with its green and very official Department of Parks and Recreation sign designating the spot. It’s a fairly dusty lot and has a public portable bathroom highlighting its northern quadrant and hence the initial appeal at entry is not all that impressive. Books of course can’t be judged by their cover so with a bit more perseverance you might discover one of the Wailea/Makena areas largest and most beautiful beaches.

Poolenalena Beach
Po’olenalena Beach is about two-thirds of a mile in length from tip to tip of its white sand crescent and it is wonderfully wide providing lots of space for those who choose to enjoy its splendors. The white sand is luxurious as it backs up to the vegetation line. This you will have to watch out for because it is lined with Kiawe Trees that drop enormous thorns in the sand. Step on one once and you will always remember a Kiawe Tree. Irrespective of that one transgression, the beach itself is fabulous with golden hued sand extending into the water itself making ocean access easy. There is still plenty of sand left once in the ocean and one can swim fairly long distances along sand bottom with only the occasional rock or coral obstruction to force you out of your imaginary swimming lane, but keep an eye out as you swim.

Parking at Po’olenalena Beach
Snorkeling is also a great activity at this beach. The areas at the tips and around the points are excellent and as is the case with many Wailea beaches the middle part as you swim away from shore can be fabulous as well. This particular portion of the coastline is known for its turtle population and Po’olenalena Beach is no exception. With some luck you’ll be able to swim with one on your snorkel adventure. The coral formations and fish life in this area are formidable as well so consider Po’olenalena a good snorkeling find. Keep in mind however that this beach has no lifeguard tower and no lifeguards on duty so, as always in Hawaii, you swim at your own risk.

Ocean Caution
Please be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be potentially dangerous including this location. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering the water and of course, never turn your back on the ocean when you are on the shoreline. It should also be noted that all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water.


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