8 Reasons Why You Should Stay in Kihei
Kihei, in South Maui, is a sprawling beachfront town known for its easygoing vibe, numerous beaches, and budget-friendly options for visitors. Here are some reasons why you should stay in Kihei and make this area your home base on Maui. (Kihei is pronounced KEY-hay. Here’s a map of Maui’s regions to help orient you to its location.)
8 Reasons Why You Should Stay in Kihei
Kihei’s Numerous Beaches and Beach Parks
Kihei has six miles of coastline featuring a dozen beaches and oceanfront parks bordering South Kihei Road — from Sugar Beach at the north end of town (towards Maalaea) to Keawakapu Beach, which starts in south Kihei and ends in Wailea. In Kihei, you’ll find plenty of beautiful beaches for morning walks, afternoon snorkeling, or sunset strolls, as well as County beach parks with restrooms, picnic tables, and other facilities. Three of Kihei’s beach parks (Kamaole I, II and III) have lifeguard stations. (Read more Beach Tips here.) Pictured: Kamaole Beach III
Kihei Provides Easy Access to Explore Other Areas of Maui
It takes only about 20 minutes (depending on traffic conditions) to drive from the Kahului Airport to north Kihei, and it’s easy to reach other parts of the island from Kihei. Compared to West Maui, which is more isolated from the rest of the island, Kihei places you within reasonable driving range to explore the attractions of the North Shore, Upcountry, Iao Valley, Maalaea, and Lahaina. If you’re wondering what the weather is like before you head out, check these live webcams from across the island.
You also have easy access to getting out on the water right from Kihei! The Kihei boat ramp is centrally located, with restrooms and parking available. Choose a 2 hour or 5 hour snorkeling tour, or jet out on a whale watch during whale season!
Kihei’s Vast Selection of Eateries
From fine dining to food trucks, shave ice booths, and roadside huli huli chicken stands (pictured), Kihei offers a greater variety of dining options than any other town on the island. (Lahaina is its closest rival for sheer number of eateries.) Simply said, Kihei has great restaurants . . . and lots of them. You won’t go hungry here!
Lots of Shops and Activities in Kihei
Kihei is a bustling beach town that exudes constant energy. It’s hard to be bored in Kihei; the town stretches for miles along the ocean, providing an eclectic mish-mash of shopping, dining, and activities like surf lessons, snorkel trips, and whale watching tours departing from the Kihei boat ramp. Whatever you’re looking for on Maui, you’ll likely find it in Kihei.
Tip: If you like staying right in the vibrant heart of a town, South Kihei is the place for you! If you prefer a more peaceful setting, North Kihei (the area heading towards Maalaea) fits the bill.
Kihei’s Weather – Warm, Sunny, Dry
The microclimates on Maui are diverse, and weather conditions can change frequently throughout the day depending on where you are on the island. Some areas are cooler, some hotter, some more prone to rain showers or windy conditions. Kihei is known for warm, sunny, dry weather. If it’s raining elsewhere on Maui, there’s a good chance it’s still sunny in Kihei! Pictured: a typical sunny day at Kihei’s Kalama Park.
Tip: Although the tradewinds efficiently cool the islands year-round, during the hottest summer months (July to mid-October) in Kihei, you might want to opt for accommodations with air conditioning.
Kihei’s Laidback Vibe
Kihei is a residential town—not a master-planned resort community—so, although it is busy and “touristy” in some areas, you’ll also be rubbing shoulders with locals on a daily basis. People live and work here in Kihei, right alongside vacationers. But whether you’re a visitor or a local, Kihei’s character is easygoing and casual. On any given day, you’ll see people in Kihei doing their banking, buying groceries, getting their hair done, shopping for souvenirs, or enjoying a beachfront lunch (like at 5 Palms Beach Grill, pictured above) – all dressed in nothing fancier than t-shirts and shorts.
Kihei is Budget Friendly
There are no big luxury mega-resorts or high-end shopping malls in Kihei. Accommodations, shopping, and dining tend to be more moderately priced here, compared to most other visitor areas on the island. So, Kihei is that rare creature — a budget-friendly destination on Maui! There are LOTS of affordable condos in Kihei, but you should also check out these great Kihei hotels, vacation homes, and b&bs. All of these accommodations on our site are book-direct with the property owner or management so you get the best possible price.
Kihei’s Beautiful Sunsets
Kihei is perfectly positioned with a western orientation, so the sunsets are spectacular from here. Just be aware that during certain times of the year (primarily summer months), the sun’s position has shifted so a view of the sun sinking into the sea from North Kihei may be blocked by the West Maui Mountains at Maalaea. If that’s the case, just head south towards Wailea and you’ll see it! Pictured: a North Kihei sunset.
Hope you’ve enjoyed these reasons why you should stay in Kihei! No matter where you stay, have a fabulous time on our beautiful island of Maui. Pictured below: Keawakapu Beach
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(Note: We recognize and respect the significance of the ‘okina and kahakō markings in the written Hawaiian language; however, we have omitted those diacritical markings on our site in order to integrate with the more common spellings used in online searches.)
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