Kihei is a town located on Maui's South Shore. Overrun by developers in the seventies and eighties, 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).
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 from the Airport to Kihei and it will take 20-30 minutes to drive.
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.
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.
- Go 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 changerooms although parking is limited if you bring a car.
- Go snorkeling. There is some coral around Kamaole Beach Park III or take one of the snorkel cruises that depart from the Kihei Boat Ramp.
- Walk along the beach.
Most of Kihei's restaurants and grocery stores are strung out along South Kihei Road.
There are both 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, ☎ 808 879-9350.
- Star Markets, 1310 South Kihei Road, ☎ 808 442-4750. Has a good selection of cooked food to make your own meal and eat on the nearby beach.
- SAFEWAY Lipoa Parkway
- Alexander's Fish, Chicken & Chips, 1913 South Kihei Road(across the street from Kalama Park), ☎ 808 874-0788. Popular takeaway fish and chips place with some outside seating. Fish can be cooked traditional deep fried, grilled or dusted with Cajan spices.$8-12.
- Bada Bing, 1945G South Kihei Road, ☎ 808 875-0188. A self-described Jersey-Italian eatery decorated with clippings, pictures and paraphernalia from the New York/New Jersey area. Serves mostly Italian and pizza dishes. $8-18.
- Moose McGillyCuddy's Pub & Cafe, 2511 South Kihei Road(across the street from Kamaole Beach Park II), ☎ 808 891-8600, . 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.
- Spices Restaurant, 2259 South Kihei Road, ☎ 808 891-8860. 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.
- Maui Coast Motel, 2259 South Kihei Road, ☎ 1-800-895-6284 (toll-free) or +1 808 874-6284(fax: +1 808 875-4731), . checkout: 12PM. Hotel located across the street from Kamaole Beach I. Has a pool, fitness center, tennis courts and will rent out bikes, plus a restaurant and poolside bar.$200-400.
- Hale Kamaole, 2737 South Kihei Road. Condos located across the street from Kamaole Beach III. Units are typically rented through an agency, online or from the owner directly.
- Mana Kai Maui Resort, 2960 South Kihei Road, . 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 South Kihei Road, ☎ 1-800-233-3310, . Across a beach park from the ocean.
- Sugar Beach Resort, North Kihei Road, ☎ 1-800-822-4409, . Condos located on a beach north-west of Kihei on the road to Lahaina.$225-405 (high season through website).
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.