This time we travelled to Kihei on the southern coast of Maui – another enchanting coastal town to discover what it has to offer that’s completely worth experiencing.
If you are thinking, what could be there other than more beaches? To that, we say so much more!
Yes, Kihei has many breathtaking beaches, but they are accompanied by many different places that will amplify the thrill for any outdoorsy traveller.
So, let’s jump right in.
1. Go Bird Watching At Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge
You can find this famous bird sanctuary along the south-central coast of Maui. It homes over 30 types of birds, including native and endangered ones. The park covers a 704-acre region, and it’s one of the few remaining wetlands in Hawaii.
The location is very calm and scenic. The perfect getaway from the Maui crowds. The best time to visit is from August to April. You’ll get to witness many diverse migratory birds as well.
The Visitor Centre also offers a lot of fascinating information. Come during the early hours to spot more birds and escape the mid-day heat.
It’s open daily from 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
2. Enjoy A Brewery Tour At The Maui Brewing Company
This place is one of Hawaii’s most popular craft breweries. Located very close to the town of Kihei, this is where you head for a unique beer-tasting adventure! Visitors can choose between doing a lunch (10:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) or dinner (4:45 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.) tour.
Obviously, the tour includes tastings of various craft beer creations – if you are lucky, limited editions will be available when you visit, and maybe you could even take some home.
There’s live music too! Even if you’re not a beer fan, you’d find yourself enjoying this one.
4. Explore The Kealia Coastal Boardwalk
It’s a peaceful and scenic destination just a ten-minute drive from the town of Kihei. The hike is not very long (roughly 1.6 kilometres), but it’s a fantastic wooden trail filled with plenty of captivating scenery and diverse birdlife (wildlife too!).
As the trail is closely located to the coast, you’ll also be able to spot birdlife that resides around marshy areas, like the Hawaiian Black-necked Stilt and the Hawaiian Coot – which are also threatened species.
During the summer, make sure to come very early, as it gets quite heated closer to mid-day.
This trail is open daily from 6.00 a.m. -7.00 p.m.
4. Shop And Eat At The Kihei Kalama Village
This is an excellent place to get front-row seats to the local scene. It’s basically a bustling shopping village located in the heart of Kihei.
Whether it’s shopping or trying out the local street food that captures the local culture in so many ways or both! This is where you do it.
You’ll find so many different cafés and restaurants (try out their yummy shaved ice! – it’s a discovery!), and gift shops. It’s just a vibrant spot to hang out while you are taking a break from your bigger explorations of Kihei.
It’s open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.
5. Enjoy A Relaxing Stroll At The Kalama Park
Beach parks are some of the best features of an island destination. This park is also in the heart of Kihei town, right next to the Paia Fish Market. The area is spacious and carpeted with grass.
Perfect place to let your kids run loose. There are plenty of crowd activities going on, it also has bathroom facilities. Some visitors enjoy it, some find it underwhelming. You can be the judge of that if you get the chance to drop by.
6. Visit The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Sanctuary Visitor Centre
The Maui waters are known to be breeding grounds for the North Pacific Humpback Whales during winter. This famous sanctuary offers fascinating knowledge about whales.
Set up at a scenic beachfront location, you can learn a lot about other marine life too here – like the green sea turtles.
Friendly staff, you can ask a lot of questions. They are ready to make it as intriguing as possible. There’s no entrance fee, but you can make a small donation. Come early if you want to avoid any parking issues.
It’s only open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
7. Go Snorkelling At The Molokini Crater
The Molokini Crater is found in Makena Beach, which is a 20-minute drive from Kihei. It is truly one of the best experiences Maui has to offer.
This solid crater is said to be roughly 23 acres in size with over 250 fish species and approx. 38 coral species for you to observe. Most snorkelers visit in the morning because of fewer winds and calmer waters.
There are snorkelling tour options for kids too! The clear and calm waters allow you to enjoy your underwater explorations on a whole other level.
8. Party On The 4th Friday Kihei
If you are at the heart of Kihei on the evening of the 4th Friday of the month, then get ready to PARTY!
Crowds are to be expected. But so are live entertainment and different mouthwatering street food spots.
It’s not just local cuisine – you can expect a range of different cuisines, like Thai, Japanese, Mexican and so much more. You will easily find over 15 different food trucks selling some incredible food, that’s worth lining up for.
The music keeps flowing in, that just makes shakes-up your cheery vibe. It’s definitely a Maui-style Street party that only happens every fourth Friday of the month! So we advise you not to miss it.
9. Kihei Farmers Markets
If you stay in Kihei for a week or more, then you’ll find yourself visiting this place more than twice.
You are going to find yourself surrounded by the freshest produce Maui could offer, to local dishes that will send your taste buds on a new blissful trip.
Home-made and freshly baked goods. We suggest coming early, walking around, enjoying the lazy morning crowd, and having your breakfast here, because the choices are ample and soul-soothing. It’s just 10 minutes away from the town.
It’s open on weekdays only from 8.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
10. Visit The Maui Raceway Park
If you love race cars or just want to do something different while in Kihei, the Maui Raceway Park is definitely worth a visit. It’s ¼ mile drag strip, with concrete barricades installed.
You can have a walk around, look at some of the incredible cars on display, learn about their incredible history, and maybe reserve tickets to come and enjoy a drag-race show, which usually becomes a memorable trip for most visitors, who come to enjoy this one-of-a-kind car show.
It’s just a 15-minute drive away from the town of Kihei.
11. Go Snorkelling And Surfing In Kihei
Beach activities are a huge part of the Kihei experience. While there is an abundance of stunning Kihei beaches, the opportunities to engage in different water activities are equally countless.
But the top choices are Kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving and of course surfing!