|Kihei is a town located on Maui's South Shore. Once known as one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, it's now a jumble of hotels, condos, shops and houses. While lacking charm, Kihei makes amends in its functionality and location. The central location makes it easy to get to other parts of the island and Kihei is known to be one of the hottest places to stay on Maui (temperature-wise), because it doesn't get the breezes that other parts of the island get (perfect for that winter getaway).
|Kihei is a sprawly place, strung out along the coast for several miles but never more than a mile wide. The main road north-south along the ocean is South Kihei Road and it contains almost all the hotels, condos, restaurants, shops and beaches. If you are staying in the area and don't mind a bit of walking, you can probably get to most things you need without needing a car. If you do drive, the strip malls have their usual adequate free parking although individual restaurants and beaches may not.
Maui's main airport, Kahului Airport, will be the primary access to the island. From Kahului, follow the signs to Kihei, and it should lead you to Highway 311 (Mokulele Highway). Once you reach Kihei, it becomes Highway 31 (Pi'ilani Highway). It is about 10 miles (16 km) from the Airport to Kihei and it will take 20-30 minutes to drive.
Both South Kihei Road and the Pi'ilani Highway have bike lanes, so cyclists should have a bit of space on the roads.
Heading out of town on North Kihei Road will bring you to Maalaea, where you will find several oceanfront condos and Maalaea Harbor, continue on the road West and you will access to the old whaling town of Lahaina and the resort areas of West Maui, Kaanapali, Kahana, Napili and Kapalua.
Big Beach Makena by John Anklam Photography
Other adventures offered include:
To get in relaxation mode, select from the many Spa Massages and Treatments available near Kihei. Be sure to check out the Maui Discount Activities for specific information on available activities.
- * Go sailing, Kai Kanani Sailing Charters, 34 Wailea Gateway Pl Ste A105.
- * Go snorkeling. There is some nice coral around Kamaole Beach Park III or take one of the snorkel cruises that depart from the Kihei Boat Ramp. You can rent or buy snorkel gear at local shops like Snorkel Bob's, Boss Frog's and Maui Dive Shop. For info on snorkeling south of Kihei visit the Maui Discount Activities page.
- * Go swimming at one of the many beaches. The trio of Kamaole Beaches - Kamaole Beach Park I, II and II - are probably the nicest (and busiest) of the Kihei beaches. They each have their own changing rooms although parking is limited if you bring a car.
- * Go to a luau which feature Polynesian music and dancing. Several resorts host them on various nights of the week. Most feature a buffet dinner.
- * Visit Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge - is a good place observe Hawaii's endangered wetland birds, along with a diversity of feathered visitors from as far away as Alaska and Canada, and occasionally from Asia. Best season to visit is the winter. Best time of day is in the morning.
- * Walk along the beach.
- * Watch the sunrise at the top of Haleakala Crater.
Charley Young Beach by John Anklam
There are both supermarkets and smaller food shops along South Kihei Road. Some of the supermarkets can also serve as a restaurant as they sell warm cooked food that is cheaper (and sometimes tastier) than what you find in restaurants.
- * Foodland, Kihei Town Center, ☎ 808 879-9350.
- * Longs Drug Store, 1215 S Kihei Rd, ☎ 808 879-2033. Limited groceries and a good wine selection.
- * Star Markets, 1310 S Kihei Rd, ☎ 808 442-4750. Has a good selection of cooked food to make your own meal and eat on the nearby beach.
- * Safeway, 277 Piikea Ave, ☎ 808 891-9120.
Restaurants ideas, plenty more available:
- * Cafe O'Lei, 2439 S Kihei Rd #201A, ☎ 808 891-1368, . 10:30AM-3PM, 5PM-9PM. There are several Cafe O'Lei's on Maui and all of them have wonderful food. The food is a high quality and prices are reasonable. The Kihei branch has lunch and dinner hours, and the one at the Dunes at Maui Lani has a breakfast menu.
- * Coconuts Fish Cafe, 1279 S Kihei Rd, ☎ 808 875-9979. Great fish tacos plus things like fish burgers cooked to order. Eat in or take out.
- * Fat Daddy's Smokehouse & BBQ, 1913 S Kihei Rd, ☎ 808 879-8711.
- * Fred's Mexican Cafe, 2511 S Kihei Rd (located above Moose's), ☎ 808 891-8600. Don't miss out on Fred's Taco Tuesday - seems to be the place to gather.
- * Moose McGillyCuddy's Pub & Cafe, 2511 S Kihei Rd (across from Kamaole Beach Park II), ☎ 808 891-8600. Restaurant on one side and bar on the other. Good to place to go if you want background noise and cheap pub-style eats. Has a three-hour happy hour every day and different special each night of the week.
- * Spices Restaurant, 2259 S Kihei Rd, ☎ 808 891-8860. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The small appetites breakfast is good value (for example - 2 eggs, toast and coffee for $4.95); dinner is more expensive.
- * Three's Bar & Grill, 1945 S Kihei Rd Ste G, ☎ 808 879-3133. They have a great Happy Hour that starts at 3pm. Sushi, Appetizers and Drinks.
South Maui Beach by John Anklam Photography
Keawakapu Beach Sunset by John Anklam Photography
Maluaka Beach by John Anklam Photography
Keawakapu Shoreline by John Anklam Photography