South Maui has tons of great beaches, but Po’olenalena is my favorite. When I’m at work, I daydream about this beach more than any other. It’s never crowded, probably because it’s past (south of) the developed area of Wailea. There’s only one small resort on it, way at the south end. Instead, I strongly recommend climbing over the rocks to the hidden northern part of the beach. It’s a dreamily secluded place, especially for Maui. There are several of large, black volcanic rock bands that cut into the beach and create small coves – which makes it feel even more remote. If you’re lucky, you might have one of these sections all to yourself.
Swimming has been great every time we’ve been there. The bottom is sandy and the waves are small, although a little body surfing is sometimes possible. If you arrive early in the morning when it’s still calm, the snorkeling is excellent along the rocks at the very north end of the beach. Head out along the point and you have a good chance of swimming with sea turtles (in addition to the rainbow of fish that live there).
I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Maui without building in some time at Po’olenalena. It would be worth driving across the entire island just for a morning at this idyllic place. Let me put it this way: I can imagine nicer beaches than Po’olenalena, but I haven’t found any of them yet. Let me know if you do.