Kihei Gems: Top Beaches and Local Eats in Maui’s Haven

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Aloha! | E Komo Mai

I remember the first time I set foot in Kihei, feeling the warmth of its golden sun and seeing the humpback whales breaching off the coast. This beach town, on Maui’s southwestern shores, is the go-to for those seeking both adventure and tranquility. 

With Kihei as your backdrop, imagine days filled with azure waves at Keawakapu Beach or feasting on fresh sushi rolls after exploring local art scenes. It’s where Hawaiian history whispers through fish ponds and golf courses basking under West Maui mountains’ watchful eyes. 

Discovering Kihei: A Tropical Paradise on Maui

Sunshine is the best medicine, and in Kihei, it’s prescribed daily. Nestled on Maui’s southwestern coast, this beach town shines with more than just its consistently sunny weather—it radiates with its vibrant community spirit and is known for its many activities that can turn any trip into an adventure. 

What Island is Kihei On?

Kihei graces the shores of Maui—a gem in the Hawaiian archipelago known for its lush landscapes and rich culture. With less than 13 inches of rain each year, you’re almost guaranteed a sun-soaked visit every time you step onto its sandy beaches. Whether you’re zip-lining through West Maui Mountains or kicking back at one of South Kihei Road’s cozy cafes, there’s no questioning why so many are drawn to this slice of paradise. 

The coordinates might read ‘Kihei HI 96753’, but don’t let those numbers fool you—you’re entering a world where time slows down to match the gentle pace of rolling waves. It’s easy to see why folks from around the globe pin ‘Maui Hawaii Kihei’ into their travel maps when looking for that perfect tropical getaway.

The Sun-Kissed Beaches of Kihei

No matter how much we try to describe Keawakapu Beach’s tranquil beauty or Big Beach’s expansive sands, words always fall short—these spots need to be felt first-hand. Tucked away in South Kihei lies Keawakapu Beach, whose calm waters invite snorkelers and paddle boarders alike for up-close encounters with colorful marine life under an endless expanse of blue sky. 

If solitude is what your heart seeks then venture towards Makena State Park where Big Beach stretches out like nature’s own red carpet waiting for your footprints—minus the paparazzi except maybe an occasional curious sea turtle passing by. Here within these natural confines also resides part of our planet’s most significant environmental treasures—the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. In winter months humpback whales transform these coastal waters into a ballet stage only they could choreograph—and witnessing such grandeur leaves visitors spellbound long after they’ve returned home. 

Culinary Delights in Kihei

Forkfuls here aren’t merely eaten—they’re experienced. Dining options sprawl across town, serving up plates piled high with fresh catches alongside traditional favorites sure to make taste buds sing aloha. Café O’Lei, perched conveniently along South Kihei Road, is a must-visit for anyone looking to indulge in the local culinary scene.

Kihei Key-Takeaways

Kihei, on Maui’s sunny coast, offers more than great weather—it’s a hub for culture and adventure. Zip-lining or chilling at cafes, it promises a perfect tropical escape. 

Experience Kihei’s beaches firsthand: tranquil Keawakapu invites snorkelers while Big Beach provides solitude. Winter brings the sight of humpback whales to this environmental haven 

In Kihei, dining is an experience with fresh catches and traditional flavors that sing aloha—a feast for the senses at places like Café O’Lei.

The Sun-Kissed Beaches of Kihei

Uncover the charms of Kihei on Maui: pristine beaches, delicious eats, and vibrant local culture await in this Hawaiian paradise. Explore with us.

Keawakapu Beach

Dive into the heart of Kihei’s outdoor allure with its famous beaches that offer everything from relaxation to whale watching. 

Experience tranquility and scenic beauty at one of South Kihei’s most beloved shorelines.

Big Beach and Makena State Park

Explore the expansive sands and azure waters that make Big Beach a must-visit destination. 

Beyond Keawakapu lies Big Beach—one slice of heaven known for generous expanses of sand that seem to kiss infinity as they roll out towards a horizon stitched by blue sky and deeper blue ocean. 

  • Lose yourself amidst soft sands framed by lush greenery at Keawakapu Beach. 
  • Savor epic views along sprawling shores at Big Beach in Makena State Park. 

Culinary Delights in Kihei

Picture this: the sun sets over a tranquil Maui beach as you take that first bite of an island-inspired dish. In Kihei, every meal comes with a side of aloha spirit and views to die for. It’s truly an adventure for your taste buds. 

The Local Favorites: Café O'Lei and 808 Deli

Kihei is where you can find some seriously tasty eats at local hotspots like Café O’Lei. This place is practically legendary among both locals and visitors alike. They whip up everything from fresh fish to ribeye steaks, all kissed by Hawaiian flavors. 

Now let’s talk sandwiches because who doesn’t love a good sandwich? The answer lies within the walls of 808 Deli—a gem that offers gourmet delights between slices of bread or nestled in wraps. Unfortunately, there’s no link provided to show you their mouthwatering menu online but trust me when I say it’s worth the trip.

A Taste Tour Through South Kihei Road

Moving along South Kihei Road is like hopping from one culinary world to another—each eatery bringing its unique flavor profile to life. Start with sushi bars offering rolls so fresh they might as well have jumped out of Maalaea Harbor themselves. Then maybe go for something heartier at spots dishing out comfort food—think pulled pork sliders dripping with BBQ sauce made right here on the islands. 

No visit would be complete without savoring traditional Hawaiian dishes alongside innovative fusion cuisine. You’ll understand why people rave about these places once you’ve tasted how they masterfully blend diverse cultures into each plate served under the warm Hawaii sun.

An Evening Under The Stars At Beach Parks And Eateries

Evenings in Kihei are magical times when beach parks transform into dining spaces beneath starlit skies—and eateries come alive with vibrant chatter against a backdrop of waves kissing the shorelines called Kama’ole III Beach Park originally named after ancient fish ponds reflecting moonlight onto dry land.   This nightly transformation is more than beautiful scenery; it represents centuries-old traditions merging seamlessly into modern-day living—a characteristic deeply ingrained throughout Hawaiian history yet flourishing vibrantly within today’s culinary scene too.

Key Takeaway:

Feast on Kihei’s culinary wonders where every bite is an adventure and local hotspots like Café O’Lei and 808 Deli serve up legendary Hawaiian flavors.    Stroll down South Kihei Road for a taste tour from fresh sushi to hearty comfort food, all under the magic of starlit skies.

Engaging Activities Around Kalama Park

Kalama Park is a hub of activity in Kihei, where both locals and visitors flock to enjoy the South Maui sunshine. Nestled along South Kihei Road, this beach park offers an epicenter for sports, relaxation, and community events for locals and tourists alike. 

Beach Volleyball at Kalama Beach Park

If you’re itching to spike a ball over a net with the ocean as your backdrop, look no further than the volleyball courts at Kalama Beach Park. With nets set up for public use, it’s easy to join a pick-up game or cheer on others while soaking up that Vitamin D.    The gentle trade winds provide natural cooling making every set and dive all the more enjoyable. 

The atmosphere here is contagious—enthusiastic shouts blend with laughter as families and friends challenge each other under Hawaii’s azure sky. But if volleyball isn’t your thing don’t worry.

A Stroll Along Coastal Paths

For those seeking leisurely pursuits amidst greenery and ocean views can take advantage of paved pathways meandering through Kalama Park. These trails are perfect for morning jogs or sunset strolls when amber hues paint the horizon beyond the West Maui Mountains—a truly magical sight. 

As you walk along these paths lined by palm trees swaying in sync with soft sea breezes, keep an eye out for Hawaiian Island art installations dotting the landscape—the local culture weaves seamlessly into everyday experiences here in Kihei.

Paddleboarding Adventures Offshore

Gazing out from Kealia Pond near North Kihei one might spot stand-up paddle boarders gliding atop Maalaea Harbor waters—an invitation calling your name? Stand-up paddle boards can be rented nearby allowing adventurers to experience tranquility on water like never before; imagine floating above coral reefs teeming with marine life as humpback whales breach in distant waters during winter months.

Serenade Your Senses at Sunset Yoga Sessions

Imagine saluting the sun right where its last rays kiss land at dusk—that’s what yoga sessions offer against this idyllic setting within Kaluma Parks’ embrace. 

When evening descends upon dry land after another day spent under sunny skies practice deep breaths, and restore the balance between body and soul alike.

Key Takeaway:

Dive into Kihei’s Kalama Park for sports, strolls, and paddle boarding. Spike a volleyball, wander coastal paths or float on Maalaea Harbor waves. 

Finish your day with sunset yoga where the local vibe meets serene natural beauty.


So you’ve journeyed through Kihei, where sun-kissed sands meet culinary bliss. Remember Keawakapu Beach’s serene shores and Big Beach’s vibrant blues. Recall the humpback whales dancing in the distance—a spectacle courtesy of nature’s grandeur. 

Think back on Café O’Lei’s flavors that burst with local essence, a true taste of Hawaiian delight. Envision yourself unwinding at Kalama Park, where leisure meets play under Maui’s eternal sunshine. 

Let these memories linger as reminders: Kihei isn’t just a spot on the map; it’s an experience etched into your soul. Let this island art party inspire you long after you’ve returned home—because Kihei lives on not just in photos but in stories waiting to be retold.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I spend a day in Kihei?

Hit the beaches early, munch on local grinds for lunch, shop at boutiques, and cap off with sunset views.

Can you walk around Kihei Maui?

Kihei is pretty walker-friendly. You can easily walk along South Kihei Road to hit shops, beaches, and eateries.

Can you swim in Kihei?

Absolutely, with clear waters and gentle waves at many spots, swimming in Kihei is top-notch all year round.