What: Sunny coastal area with six miles of beautiful beaches
Where: Southwest Maui, about 25 minutes from Kahului Airport
Kihei is beach-combing territory on Maui’s southwest shore, the sunniest, driest end of the island. Once a regular destination for sojourning Hawaiian royalty, Kihei features six miles of beaches, which offer clear views of Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lanai and West Maui. Along with swimming and surfing you can also find great snorkeling and kayaking, and you may even spot a giant humpback whale spouting or breaching the ocean’s surface.
Kihei’s Kalama Beach Park has shady lawns and palm trees dotting its 36-oceanfront acres. A blink away are Kalpolepo, Waipuilani and the three beaches of Kamaole. Birdwatchers and nature lovers will find what they’re looking for at Kealia Pond on the north end of Kihei. This National Wildlife Conservation District features endangered Hawaiian stilts and coots.
Also north of Kihei is Maalaea Bay, where pleasure boats launch to take visitors on whale watching expeditions, charter fishing excursions and snorkel trips to Molokini. Maalaea is also home to the family friendly Maui Ocean Center.
The town has a collection of affordable accommodations, with condominiums, small hotels and cottages to choose from along Kihei’s beach road. You can also browse small shopping malls, a bustling farmers market and a spate of restaurants, all of which cater to residents and visitors alike. Nightlife here includes karaoke spots, dance clubs and sports bars ensuring your Kihei nights are just as fun as your days.