Kihei is a town on Maui's South Shore. Overrun by developers in the 1970s and 80s, 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 does get breezes in the summer that can blow as hard as 25 mph (40 km/h) every afternoon. This is usually during the months of April till September and early October. October is known as the season change and the temperatures will go to 80 °F (27 °C) and slightly over during the day. Don't let anyone tell you it doesn't get windy in Kihei. Without it, it would be in the 100's during the summer.
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.
- Maui bus 15 from Ma'alaea takes ~25min
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.
The Pi'ilani Highway (Highway 31), about half a mile inland, runs parallel to South Kihei Road and connects with the Mokulele Highway coming down from Kahului. There are quite a few streets that connect the highway with South Kihei Road, so if you're looking to go anywhere other than Kihei, this is the road to take. When asking for directions, no locals will know what "Highway 31" is, they will know it as Pi'ilani Highway. The numbers of highways are seldom posted, and are not known by anyone on island.
Both South Kihei Road and the Pi'ilani Highway have bike lanes, so cyclists should have a bit of space on the roads.
- During the winter months, whales can be spotted from the shore.
- Kai Kanani Sailing Charters, 34 Wailea Gateway Pl Ste A105, ☏ .
- 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 a local shops like Snorkel Bob's and Maui Dive Shop. For info on snorkeling south of Kehei visit the Maui page.
- 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
- Shayla Massage.
- Maui Massage.
- Luau. Luaus feature Polynesian music and dancing. Several resorts host them on various nights of the week. Most feature a buffet dinner.
- Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge. 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.
- Maui Brewing brewery tour, 605 Lipoa Pkwy (<30min walk from Kihei Center), ☏ . 11AM-10PM. 6 tours a day, but they fill up fast. Tour includes a souvenir glass, a 4-beer tasting and a pint. $15.
Most of Kihei's restaurants and grocery stores are strung out along South Kihei Road.
There are 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, ☏ .
- Longs Drug Store, 1215 S Kihei Rd, ☏ . Limited groceries and a good wine selection.
- Star Markets, 1310 S Kihei Rd, ☏ . Has a good selection of cooked food to make your own meal and eat on the nearby beach.
- Safeway, 277 Piikea Ave, ☏ .
- Cafe O'Lei, 2439 S Kihei Rd #201A, ☏ . 10:30AM-3PM, 5PM-9PM. There are several Cafe O'Leis 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, ☏ . 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, ☏ .
- Moose McGillyCuddy's Pub & Cafe, 2511 S Kihei Rd (across from Kamaole Beach Park II), ☏ . 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.
- [formerly dead link] Spices Restaurant, 2259 S Kihei Rd, ☏ . 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, ☏ .
- Nalu's South Shore Grill, 1280 S Kihei Rd, ☏ . 8AM-10PM. Open daily for breakfast and brunch with some breakfast items available all day. You go up to the counter to order and find your own seat. Portions are large here.
- Ambrosia Martini Lounge, 1913 S Kihei Rd, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 5PM-2AM daily.
- Dog & Duck, 1913 S Kihei Rd #N, ☏ .
- [dead link] Joe's, 131 Wailea Ike Pl, Wailea, ☏ , fax: . On-line reservations available.
- Kumu Bar & Grill, 3700 Wailea Alanui Dr.
- Oceans Beach Bar & Grill, 1819 S Kihei Rd #A.
- South Shore Tiki Lounge, 1913 S Kihei Rd #J, ☏ .
- Sports Page Bar & Grill, 2411 S Kihei Rd #B4.
- Maui Brewing Co, 605 Lipoa Pkwy (<30min walk from Kihei Center), ☏ . 11AM-10PM. Brewery and tasting room with happy hour from 3-6PM and food trucks daily. Since they brew on site, there are many more beers here than are available elsewhere.
Motels and inns
- Maui Coast Motel, 2259 S Kihei Rd (across the street from Kamaole Beach I), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Check-out: noon. Has a pool, fitness center, tennis courts and will rent out bikes, plus a restaurant and poolside bar. $200-400.
- [formerly dead link] Maui Oceanfront Inn, 2980 S Kihei Rd (on Keawakapu Beach), ☏ .
Hotels and resorts
- Kamaole Sands, 2695 S Kihei Rd, ☏ .
- Kihei Beach Resorts, Sugar Beach, toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Deluxe one and two-bedroom Maui condos are a stone's throw from the ocean on 6 miles of white sandy beach.
- Maalaea Surf Resort, S Kihei Rd, toll-free: . Beach front and ocean view condo and townhouse rentals.
- Mana Kai Maui Resort, 2960 S Kihei Rd. One of the few condos in Kihei that is on the ocean instead of across the street from the ocean, it's on a rocky shore adjacent to Keawakapu beach.
- Maui Sunset, 1032 S Kihei Rd, toll-free: . Across a beach park from the ocean.
- Sugar Beach Resort, N Kihei Rd, toll-free: . Condos on a beach northwest of Kihei on the road to Lahaina. $225-405 (high season through website).
Rentals and condos
- Hale Kamaole, 2737 S Kihei Rd. Condos across the street from Kamaole Beach III. Units are typically rented through an agency, online or from the owner directly.
- Kihei Garden Oasis, ☏ , ✉ Kihei.Garden.Oasis@live.com. Four-bedroom house within walking distance of the beach, restaurants and shops.
- Koa Lagoon, 800 S Kihei Rd, toll-free: , ✉ stay@KoaLagoon.com. Private deluxe condominium right on the beach.
- Maui Kihei Condo Rentals at Kihei Kai Nani, 2495 S Kihei Rd (approx. 1 mile South of Alanui Kealii Dr. on S Kihei Rd), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. 1-bedroom condos (sleep 4) across from Kamaole II beach. Fully equipped, free Wi-Fi and Parking. Has a pool, BBQ's, shuffleboard and laundry. $90-130.
- Maui Vista Condo Rentals by Owner, 2191 S Kihei Rd (across the street from Kamaole Beach), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 1- and 2.5-bedroom affordable vacation condos (sleep 4, 6 respectively) in Maui Vista. A beautiful 10-acre resort, lush gardens, 3 pools, 6 tennis courts, BBQ & picnic areas. Fully equipped including washer/dryer, TV/DVD & air-conditioning.
- Shores of Maui, 2075 S Kihei Rd (cnr of Kanani and S Kihei Rd), toll-free: . Ocean view condos across from Cove Park. Fully equipped 1 bedroom. Has a pool, tennis courts, barbecues. Call for seasonal specials.
- PMI Maui, 115 E Lipoa St #107, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Maui condo and home rentals with beachfront access and pools.
Maui isn't a large island, so you can go anywhere from Kihei as a day trip.
Nearby, heading south on the Pi'ilani Highway, is the resort community of Wailea and the beautiful beaches of Makena. Further south, with snorkeling and hiking opportunities, is Ahihi Reserve and La Perouse Bay.
Heading out of town on North Kihei Road will provide access to the old whaling town of Lahaina and the resort areas of West Maui.
Heading north on the Mokulele Highway will bring you into the central part of the island, where you can hike or catch the sunrise (or sunset) in Haleakala National Park, drive the Road to Hana, hit the beaches on Maui's north shore or head upcountry and visit Maui's only winery.