The 22 Very Best Things to Do in Kihei for 2024
Having lived on Maui since 2010, I've been lucky enough to get to try almost every activity and experience. around the island. While I can't say I have a 'favorite' area of Maui per se, Kihei does hold a special place in my heart with its beautiful beaches and laid back lifestyle. Kihei offers residents and visitors alike plenty of amazing experiences to enjoy.
Located on Maui's South shore, Kihei is the ultimate destination for everything from ocean sports like snorkeling and surfing to more leisurely activities like great dining, shopping or getting a massage. Having gotten to personally experience just about everything in Kihei, here are some of the best things to do, places to eat, and best services to use. I stay very specific to Kihei in this article, check out this link if you're looking for things to do in Wailea.
Pickleball at Waipuilani Park
Waipuilani Park spans 20 acres and includes a gorgeous beach and numerous outdoor sports facilities. In addition to the tennis courts, volleyball court and multi-purpose sport field, five pickleball courts are available. The courts open at 8 a.m. daily and are free to use. These courts are illuminated in the evening, and they feature permanent lines and nets.
Pickleball has really taken off on Maui, there are courts just about everywhere now.
Snorkel Molokini with Redline Rafting
Located just a few miles off the coast, Molokini Crater is among the most popular and recognizable attractions in the area. This crescent-shaped island formed through volcanic activity more than 230,000 years ago, and it is now covered with lush, tropical vegetation. The true appeal of Molokini Crater lies just under the water’s surface. There are more than 250 species of fish as well as octopus and turtles that call the waters home. Redline Rafting is one of Maui's best tour companies and offers both 2-hour and 5-hour snorkeling tours to Molokini Crater.
What makes Redline Rafting special? Their friendly crews are one reason, but they also have the coolest boats. These high speed inflatable rafts are super fun to ride on!
Get Beach Gear from Auntie Snorkel
If you are looking for things to do in Kihei on the beach, a trip to Auntie Snorkel is in order. One of Auntie Snorkel’s two Maui shops is conveniently located in Kihei. Here, you can load up on all of the beach gear you need for fun in the sun on your terms. The shop offers reef-safe sunscreen, wet suits, sunglasses and hats. It is also your source for boogie boards, umbrellas, beach chairs, stand up paddleboads, surfboards, skim boards and other essentials. While you are at Auntie Snorkel, you can book amazing Maui experiences like snorkel trips, helicopter rides and luaus.
Grab a Pau Hana at Maui Brewing Company
Maui Brewing Company is among the most popular breweries on Maui, making it the perfect spot for a few cold ones on a beautiful day. This craft brewery is well known for its vibrant atmosphere and its ever-changing offerings. Whether you stop by for happy hour, also known as Pau Hana, or you drop by earlier or later in the day, you can also sample its signature sodas and delicious menu options.
I like going to MBC around sunset and sitting outside in their large outdoor area, the place is a great vibe and the beer isn't bad either.
Oceanfront Yoga at the Mana Kai with Maui Yoga Path
There is no better way to start your mornings in Kihei than with yoga on the beach. Maui Yoga Path has a beachfront studio at the Mana Kai Resort. The two instructors offer yoga sessions to suit all levels of practice, and they offer personalized assistance to help you get the most out of your morning yoga sessions. Pre-registration on the Maui Yoga Path website is required.
Morning Beach Walks on Kamaole I
Kamaole I is a beach park in Kihei that is recognized for its pristine beach and expansive views. The water at Kamaole I is teeming with aquatic life, and it is typically clear and calm. This adds to the serenity of the area and makes it a top spot for a relaxing morning stroll to get your day off on the right foot. Stay for a bit to enjoy world-class snorkeling after your stroll.
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Breakfast at Kihei Caffe
Kihei Caffe is recognized as the best breakfast spot in the area. It offers both indoor and outdoor dining and is adjacent to Kalama Beach Park. With an opening time at 5 a.m., it is well-suited for early morning surfers. The breakfast menu includes everything from a light fruit plate to a huge breakfast burrito, eggs benedict, chicken fried steak and eggs and more.
Other great breakfast locations include Nalu's or Wow Wow Lemonade if you're looking for a delicious Acai Bowl.
Coffee and Pastries at Java Cafe
Java Cafe is a low-key coffee shop with indoor and outdoor seating areas. It is most well-known for its coffee and pastries, and it also offers smoked salmon, peanut butter toast, cold-pressed juices, humus, paninis and other treats. With its serene atmosphere, it is the perfect place to enjoy downtime while refueling.
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Post-Beach Ahi Club Sandwich at Nalu's
Nalu’s is a popular casual restaurant in the heart of Kihei, and it is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Happy hour is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. One of its most popular dishes is the Ahi Club, which features caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon, seared rare yellow fin tuna, tomato and butter lettuce on sourdough bread. This is the perfect meal to cap off an amazing day at the beach. Seriously, this sandwich is worth the trip alone and they have those delicious homemade potato chips too.
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How Do I Spend a Day in Kihei?
If you're visiting Maui and are looking to spend the perfect day in Kihei, I'd recommend you start your morning with a paddle board session at Kamaole I. You can grab a paddleboard at Auntie Snorkel across the street from the beach and just walk it over. Keep an eye on the wind though, if its windy, you may want to opt out of this and settle for a nice walk down the beach there. Afterwards, head to Kihei Caffe and try a Loco Moco or the banana and macadamia Nut pancakes, so good!
Once you're fueled up, either head back to the beach for a beach day at either Keawakapu Beach or find a fun activity like golf, tennis, or pickleball to enjoy. When you've had enough sun, it will be time to find that early afternoon Pau Hana somewhere. Moose's and Fred's at Kamaole II beach make the perfect place to go for a quick snack and a beverage.
After the afternoon fun has been had, maybe head back to your condo or hotel to shower up and find a good place for dinner. There are so many options you'll have to figure that out on your own, but Roasted Chiles is one of my personal favorite places for a low key Mexican dinner.
Kihei is not particularly known for its nightlife because there are just so many things to do during the day, but I have heard the Triangle at Kalama Marketplace is the place to be, wink wink. I may have been there a few times when I was younger!
Is Kihei Worth Visiting?
1000% Kihei is worth visiting. Even if your staying on West Maui or Northshore, or anywhere in Hawaii, come visit Kihei for its perfect weather (95% of the time) and wonderful beaches. During the winter months there is a lot of great whale watching and surfing as well.
Can You Walk Around Kihei Maui?
If you're staying in South Kihei at a condo like the Royal Mauian, Maui Banyan, or Kamaole Sands, its very walkable. If you're staying in North Kihei, there just isn't a lot of sidewalk up there and not as many commercial areas or beaches to walk to.
What is the Difference Between North Kihei and South Kihei?
While North Kihei and South Kihei are very close, you will discover a lot of differences about the areas that could affect where you will want to stay or possibly own a property. For instance, South Kihei has the best beaches and a little bit better weather. North Kihei has the longest beach, Sugar Beach, but it can get pretty windy there during the middle of the day and it isn't the calmest water. The further South you get on South Maui the better the weather gets surpisingly. This is due to the orientation of the coast and the prevailing wind patterns that come through Central Maui.
South Kihei has more commercial areas with restaurants and shops, while North Kihei has more residential areas. One of the best ares in North Kihei is around Waipuilani Park where Maui Sunset, Koa Resort, and Kauhale Makai are. Menehune Shores is also nearby.
Volleyball at Kalama Park
Kalama Park is well-known as a hotspot for casual and serious athletes alike. Spanning more than 36 acres, it has amenities for skating, picnicking, basketball, tennis, softball, baseball and a playground. In addition, it is one of only three parks in the area that have volleyball courts. These courts are available throughout the day. Pickup games are available Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings as well as after 4:30 p.m. daily.
Surf Lessons with Maui Waveriders at the Cove Beach Park
Cove Beach Park is among the most popular surfing spots in the area. While you can catch big waves on select days, the park’s’ popularity is based on its consistent supply of friendly waves. Because conditions here are so ideal for surfing, it is the perfect place to take a few surfing lessons. If surfing is not your thing, the beach is also popular for paddle boarding and boogie boarding.
Shave Ice at Beach Street at Rainbow Mall
Beach Street has been an institution in Kihei for more than 23 years. It is a family-owned establishment that is most famous for its shaved ice. Dozens of popular and unique flavors are available. The ice can be added on top of gummy bears, ice cream and other treats. The delicious toppings include caramel, snowcap, haupia, whip cream and li hing mui.
We're blessed with a lot of great shave ice places on Maui. If you're in North Kihei and don't want to go to South Kihei, check out the famous Ulalani's next to Sugar Beach Bake Shop.
Get a Pump at Maui Powerhouse Gym
Alright, I have to be honest with you, while I do workout semi-regulalrly, I'm not a workout every day on vacation kind of guy. But, I know some people are and maybe where you're staying doesn't have everything you'd want in a workout. If that's the case, go check out Maui Powerhouse Gym. It is the ultimate fitness center in Kihei. In this 15,000-square-foot facility, you can enjoy high-quality equipment and plenty of space to elevate your fitness on your terms. There are also fitness classes and personal training sessions available at convenient times throughout the week. You can select a 12-month membership or take advantage of a visiting guest membership.
E-Foil Lessons on Sugar Beach
The newest way to have fun on the water is e-foiling, while still not easy, its an easier version of wingfoiling on Maui. Sugar Beach is located along Ma’alaea Bay close to the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge. It boasts a wide, flat beach that stretches for miles as well as usually calm water. E-foil lessons for beginners are available on the beach. If you are experienced, you can also find vendors renting and selling equipment.
Tee It Up at Maui Nui Golf Course
Maui Nui Golf Course is recognized as an affordable, quality golf course, and it is only minutes from the center of Kihei. It is the only Toptracer range on the island, making it a great spot to practice. In addition, it offers children’s programs, prizes, drinks and food for a great day of golfing. You can take advantage of affordable loaner clubs, and no reservations are required.
Maui Nui is a budget friendly course and that usually means the conditions won't be what you would expect at one of the Wailea Golf Courses, however, it is a good course and a fun place to make a few bogeys! Here are the best golf courses on Maui.
Get the Best Poke Bowl on Maui at Tamura's
Tamura’s Market is a family-owned supermarket that carries locally sourced foods and products. One of the highlights in the market is the well appointed poke counter. If you're not familiar with poke, its basically the best thing that's ever happened to fish. It's cubes of raw Ahi that are mixed with a variety of sauces and then served over rice in what we call a Poke Bowl.
On the surface, Tamura's is a liquor store, so it doesn't immediately look like the best place to get raw fish, but it is so, so good and way better than the supermarkets. You can also pick up anything you might need beverage wise while you're there as well.
Shop for Gifts at Kalama Village
Kalama Village is a vibrant shopping destination in the heart of Kihei. This indoor market is the ideal place to pick up gifts for the folks back home, and you can also find a few things for yourself. Jewelry, clothes, bags, trinkets and ukeleles are only a few of the many products available. There are also numerous restaurants and bars in the area that feature Irish fare, barbecue, burgers, Chinese food and more.
Visit the South Maui Gardens Food Truck Park
The South Maui Gardens Food Truck Park is an open-air venue with picnic tables, canopies and more than a dozen food trucks. The fare includes pizza, coffee, pastries, hot wings, Thai food, burgers, Greek food, Argentinian food and a variety of other specialties to suit all palates. Every Wednesday afternoon, visitors can enjoy a live hula performance. Family movie nights are also hosted periodically throughout the year.
Lately, they have participating in Second Saturday where live musicians come to the park and a lot of people gather for a good time. For a really delicious and unique meal, try the Kitoko Maui food truck.
Explore the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
The Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary’s visitors center is located in Kalepolepo Beach Park in Kihei. From November to April, humpback whales occupy the warm coastal waters for breeding and raising their young. The sanctuary protects this important ecosystem while also providing safe observation opportunities for visitors. This is also a great spot for kayaking, snorkeling and fishing.
Grab Sushi at Koiso Sushi Bar
Koiso Sushi Bar is recognized as the top authentic sushi bar in Kihei. This is a casual dining area that only seats 14 people at a time, so reservations are recommended. The sushi is exclusively made using freshly caught fish. In fact, it has usually been caught earlier that day. The renowned sushi chef puts on a mesmerizing show, so make sure to get a seat at the bar.
Spend the Day at Keawakapu Beach
Keawakapu Beach, pronounced kay-ah-va-kuh-poo, is the perfect destination for a fun-filled day with surf and sand. The wide beach provides ample space to throw down a blanket even on the busiest days. Vendors offer bikes, snorkel gear, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and other gear. There are tide pools at the northern end of the beach. Snorkeling and casual swimming are best at the southern end.
Treat Yourself at Maui's Best Massage + Spa
If your idea of great things to do in Kihei involves pampering and relaxation, spending a few hours at Maui’s Best Massage + Spa should be in your plans. Maui’s Best Massage + Spa has waxing and facial treatments as well as couple’s massages, deep tissue massages, foot renewals, hot stone massages and more. Reservations are recommended.
With so many things to do in Kihei, you can easily spend your days enjoying a different aspect of island life throughout your trip. Some of these things to do require reservations, so plan ahead for the best experience. Above all, share in the Aloha spirit and enjoy yourself in Kihei.
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