Best Things to Do in Kihei

Top 5 Things to Do

Our Top 5 Things to Do in Kihei should help as you plan your trip to Maui.

The southwest shore of Maui is home to the lovely town of Kihei, one of the sunniest places on the island- with only about a foot of rain per year. As the climate is very hot and dry, it was once called Kama’ole, which means ‘barren’. Today, however, Kihei is anything but barren and boasts a wide variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages.

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Snorkel at Molokini Crater

Located about 2.5 miles off the coast, Molokini is an amazing crescent-shaped volcanic crater which boasts crystal blue waters and spectacular visibility. In fact, it has been named one of the top ten dive spots in the world. Colorful tropical fish, manta rays, eels, and Hawaiian sea turtles abound- about 250 species of fish can be found here, some of which exist nowhere else on Earth. It is also a designated Hawaii State Marine Life and Conservation District. And for the best Molokini snorkeling adventure, we recommend our friends at Pride of Maui. With over 30 years of snorkeling and diving at Molokini, they know every nook and cranny and will make your adventure unforgettable. 

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Surf and Stand Up Paddle Board

Because ocean conditions in Kihei tend to be somewhat calmer than on the rest of Maui, it’s a great place to learn the ropes in a relatively predictable environment. Check out Kihei Cove, a favorite spot for both the beginner and intermediate crowd. Swells here can roll in 100 yards or more and are ideal for surfers and SUP-ers alike. And because we know you want to concentrate on having fun and not worry about dragging your equipment with you, we suggest renting a top-quality board from Island Surfboard Rentals.  They offer professional advice and recommendations and even have free delivery and pick-up.

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Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

A division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the sanctuary aims to protect the humpback whales and their Hawaiian habitat through education, research, resource protection, and outreach. The Visitor’s Center offers exhibits related to all aspects of these majestic creatures, including humpback whale songs, weather and climate change, coral reef health, native Hawaiian plants and culture, and more. For anyone who loves these fascinating creatures, the sanctuary should definitely be on your to-do list.

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Kihei Fourth Friday Town Party

This family-friendly community event is held every month on (you guessed it…) the fourth Friday. There really is something for everyone here, with live music, dancing, out-of-this-world food trucks and stands, and a special Keiki Youth Zone full of kid-centric fun. You’ll also find a large number of local crafts and artwork for sale, so it’s a great place to pick up gifts for folks back home. The festivities begin later in the day, so this is the perfect evening out for the whole family. Best of all, admission is free!

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Hit the Beach in Kihei

Ok, so this is a no-brainer, but we have to make sure you take some time to sit back and relax, or take a leisurely swim, or picnic and watch the sunset. Kihei has over six miles of spectacular beaches, so you’re sure to find the perfect spot to take in the beauty of Kihei’s shoreline. Some of our favorites are Keawakapu, Charley Young, Kamaole Beach III, and Poolenalena Beach. Remember, if you’re looking for some quiet time, weekdays early in the mornings and later in the day tend to be a bit calmer, so consider spreading out your beach blanket during those times. Honorable Mention: Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge- Encompassing several hundred acres, this protected area is one of the few remaining natural wetlands in the Hawaiian Islands. Many endangered Hawaiian waterbirds utilize the area and are joined by migratory birds in winter, with some coming from as far away as Asia. During the summer, the pond shrinks dramatically and a salty residue is left behind; earning it the name ‘Kealia’, meaning ‘salt-encrusted place’.  There is a Visitors’ Center and a boardwalk that allows you to get close to the birds on a self-guided tour. It’s the ideal place to learn about, observe, and photograph some amazing birds. Keep in mind this is just a small sample of all the fun things to do in Kihei; but no matter what you choose to do, by all means, leave the umbrella at home.

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Article Edited/Contributed by: Victoria Derrick & Michele Lopez
Published/Updated:

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