You landed on Maui and just dropped your bags off at the hotel, now what to do in Kihei? Kihei is located on Maui’s South shore and is one of the driest and sunniest parts of Maui. Filled with gorgeous coast lines, tasty restaurants and surf shops there are plenty of things to do in Kihei that will ensure a memorable Hawaiian vacation.
Kihei is a popular part of the island that offers many Kihei Airbnbs and more budget friendly places to stay on Maui. Whether you’re on Maui for a romantic honeymoon, looking for a tropical adventure or a relaxing vacation there’s an activity in Kihei that appeals to everyone. The South shore is a must stop on anyone’s Maui itinerary.
In no particular order here are 20 of the best things to do in Kihei.
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1. Snorkel Molokini & Turtle Town
Molokini boasts some of Maui’s best snorkeling opportunities. Taking a snorkel trip Molokini is a perfect excursion for the whole family. This is a redline rafting excursion so be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Molokini is the horseshoe shaped volcanic crater you can see from Maui’s South shore and the only way to reach this fish sanctuary is via boat. Being that it is a fish sanctuary, people aren’t allowed to fish in this area which ensures that you’ll be able to see an array of fish and marine life.
If you are as fascinated with sea turtles as I am, this is the place you’re almost guaranteed to spot this ancient animal. So much that they named this specific snorkeling spot turtle town. Make sure your GoPro is charged and prepare to have one of your best days exploring Maui on the water.
2. Attend a Luau
A top experience that one wants to have when they travel to Hawaii is to attend a luau. South Maui has some of Maui’s best Luau’s including ‘Aha’aina Wailea at the Grand Wailea and Te Au Moana at the Wailea Marriott.
A luau takes you through Hawaii’s history and legends by showcasing the beautiful Hula dance, music and chants. Come with an appetite because a luau a is dinner and show. Taste local, Hawaiian cuisine and sip mai tais as you get a taste of authentic Hawaiian culture.
3. Find your Perfect Beach
Maui is known for her beaches, with over 120 miles of coastline it won’t be a problem finding a beach to your liking. South Maui has some of Maui’s best beaches and spending the day at one of these iconic beaches is one of the best things to do in Kihei.
A few of the best beaches that you can’t miss are Big Beach, Secrets and Kam |||. Kihei and Lahaina are the guaranteed towns in Maui to always have sun. Pack a cooler, bring your reef safe sunscreen and let you worries slip away. Because time wasted at the beach, isn’t time wasted at all.
If want to see several beaches in one day, opt for a private guided tour that takes you to all the best beaches on West and South Maui.
4. Sample Beer at Maui Brewing Company
You can’t visit Kihei without stopping at the Maui brewery and restaurant. The space is beautiful, wide, open, large patio and over 20 beers on tap. This is also one of the best things to do in Kihei at night because they have live music daily during sunset hours.
Don’t know which beer to pick, no problem opt for a flight and sample 4 different beers at once. The menu offers a basic fair for lunch including artisan pizzas, fish tacos and nachos. But you don’t come here for the food, you go to Maui Brew Co. for the beer, atmosphere and the live music.
5. Go on a Whale Watch
How does a whale tell time?!?! On a whale watch! 🐳⏱.
If you are traveling to Maui during whale season (December through April – the best time to visit Maui), one of the greatest experiences you can have is to witness these majestic creatures up close and personal. One of the best ways to do this is by taking a whale watching tour.
There are several boat companies that offer tours to see the humpback whales. The tours usually last a couple hours and snacks and open bar are included. The guides are very knowledgeable and you’ll learn tons of fun facts about the Pacific humpback whales that make the trek from Alaska to the warm waters of Hawaii every year.
This is one of the best Kihei attractions and is fun for the whole family. There are boats that depart from the Kihei boat ramp, Ma’alaea Harbor, Lahaina Harbor and also from Ka’anapali. So even if you aren’t staying in South Maui, enjoying a whale watching tour is a must do and budget friendly activity when exploring the island of Maui.
6. Kayak with the Whales
Looking for a little more adventure? Opt for a kayaking tour to see the whales at eye level. This is by far the most exciting and thrilling way to experience the whales. There is no better way to start the day.
7. Explore Makena
Located 10 minutes past Kihei, Makena is the southern most area in South Maui and home to my favorite beach on Maui Big Beach. Once past Big Beach the road narrows and hugs the coast line. The curvy road takes you past beautiful ocean views, palm trees and volcanic rocks jutting out of the ocean.
You’ll see locals fishing and soon you’ll start to drive through a volcanic lava fields. This part of the island is very similar to most of the Big Island as its lava fields every which way you look.
8. Splurge at a World Class Resort
One of the best things to do in Wailea is live it up in paradise at one of the luxurious resorts that line Wailea’s breathtaking beaches. Spend your days sipping a pina coladas by the pool and taking dips in the ocean. Finish a book in a day. However you choose to spend your resort time, make sure its relaxing and let your stress melt away.
9. Eat Sushi at Miso Phat
Maui is an island, surrounded by water which means there is never a shortage of fresh caught fish. Miso Phat in the heart of Kihei is one of, if not the best sushi establishment on island. If you LOVE sushi, this is where to go.
The fish is caught daily by the owner and the rolls are out of this world. Some of my favorite items are MISO the Bomb & MISO pretty.
There is also a Miso Phat in West Maui, about 20 minutes North of Lahaina in the town of Kahana. Both restaurants are small in size so seating is limited but I promise it will be worth the wait.
10. Take a Sunset Cruise
One of the best things to do in Kihei is take a sunset cruise on the Pacific Ocean. It just doesn’t get better than this. Departing directly from South Maui this sunset cruise offers stunning views of the Molokini Crater, the neighboring island of Kaho’olawe, white sand beaches and of course the sunset.
This cruise is dinner and a show featuring live ukulele music and island-inspired menu items such as the seared ahi. This tour is perfect for a romantic evening or a night out with friends. Toast to the good life and cruise in style aboard a spacious catamaran.
11. Take a Surf Lesson
12. Enjoy a Mai Tai at Monkeypod
You can’t visit Maui without sampling at least a couple Mai Tai’s right? Monkeypod Kitchen is one of the tastiest restaurants on Maui. Not only is the food delicious but so are the Mai Tai’s.
The Monkeypod Mai Tai is a twist on the traditional Mai Tai that is more spirit driven and topped with a honey-lilikoi foam! Yum! You will see this style of Mai Tai is fairly popular on Maui as many restaurants have their own version of a foam topped Mai Tai.
A few other must hit up restaurants for the Mai Tai’s are Merrimans and Fleetwoods on Front Street, two of the best restaurants in Lahaina. The Mai Tyler from Fleetwoods is pictured above.
13. Experience 4th Friday in Kihei Town
Every ‘Aloha Friday’ on Maui, a free town party is put on in different locations throughout the island. Depending on what Friday it is will depend on where the party is hosted.
Every1st Friday of the month is held in Wailuku town, 2nd Friday’s in Lahaina and 4th Friday’s in Kihei. This is by far one of the best ways to celebrate Maui’s culture, community, art, and music. This is one of the best things to do in Kihei with kids as these are family-fun events. Shop for local art and sample locals foods at the Maui Friday town parties.
14. Golf in Wailea
Fore ⛳️! Wailea is home to not 1, not 2 but 3 beautiful 18-hole golf courses. Take your swing at either the Wailea Blue course, Wailea Gold course or Wailea Emerald course.
If you are golfing on the Blue course make sure to grab a cold pint at Mulligan’s after your rounds. It’s one of the best Irish bars on island. If you golfing on the Gold course, Gannon’s restaurant has a great happy hour.
15. Happy Hour at Three’s Bar and Grill
Locate in central Kihei, Threes Bar and Grill has one of the best happy hours in Kihei. Every Monday through Sunday from 3-6 pm is this awesome happy hour.
The happy hour menu is fairly large offering items such as coconut shrimp, kalua pork nachos and the crispy pork belly. Plus there’s a variety of sushi rolls for under $6 dollars.
16. Go Deep Sea Fishing
There are dozens of companies offering fishing charters on Maui. You will fish offshore and expect to catch all types of Hawaiian fish such as ahi, mahimahi, ono, uku, swordfish and barracuda. Spend the day on the ocean chasing game. It always taste better when you catch your own dinner.
17. Get a traditional Lomi Lomi Massage
Lomi lomi is a traditional Hawaiian massage that uses a combination of massage techniques, nut oils like macadamia and breathing and dance. The massage is meant to restore energy and soothe the body. A traditional lomi lomi massage costs around $120-200 at a quality spa.
This is worth the splurge on your budget. Your best bet will be to book one with a hotel/resort to ensure the quality. Sit back, relax, and get your zen on. This is one of the best things to do in Maui when it rains.
18. Watch the Sun Set over the Water
You can never have a bad sunset especially on Maui. In Kihei the sunsets hit a little differently as its sets over the water, opposed to West Maui where the sun sets over the neighboring islands of Lanai or Molokai.
Check out more things to do in Maui on a budget.
19. Grill out at Kamaole Beach Park III
Kamaole Beach Park is a beautiful beach with great facilities including showers, grills, restrooms. And there’s a large lawn optimal for gatherings or birthdays.
Kam III has the most consistent South Maui shore breaks, perfect for boogie boarding. This is a great beach for snorkeling, plus there’s always turtles feeding around the lava rocks that surround the beach.
Beware of crowds on holidays and the weekends, this makes the best beaches in Maui list because of its popularity with tourists and locals alike.
20. Try Supping
Take your workouts outside and try stand up paddle boarding. One of the best places to try SUPPING is at Makena Beach State Park. This beach has golden sands which makes it easy for any paddleboarder to launch their board in the water.
Paddle boarding here means being near two large black rock lava outcroppings which makes it easy to find your bearings no matter where you are. The large lava rocks also shelters you from strong winds making this the ultimate place to get your stand up on.