In the tiny area of Kihei in Maui it’s hard to tell fantasy from reality as you look out over clear water while feeling the softness and warmth of sand between your toes. Surf, swim or relax as you would at any beach. Bring your sunscreen and a camera to make your own postcard of the gorgeous setting.
Any trip to Kihei centers on the Kamaole Beach Parks in the south half of Kihei. Pristine sand, handsome palms and breathtaking spreads of volcanic rock make these beaches you’ll always remember. Linger in the water all day or find the best place to read a book and wait for the sunset.
The water in Kihei is delightful. Rent snorkeling gear and swim with the turtles. Scuba dive in the company of friendly dolphins or visit the ocean floor and examine urchins and other sea creatures. Paddleboard across the surface and spot colorful varieties of fish. Make a trip to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Sanctuary Visitor Center to deepen your understanding of the area’s precious wildlife.
Stroll along the boardwalk of the Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge and enjoy the quiet meadows. This refuge is a favorite among bird-watchers, who lie in wait to spot coot, stilt and other species. Watch for nests while you’re here. These delicate bird homes tend to be at ground level and are full of colorful, delicate, variegated eggs.
For a change of pace, stand at the sidelines of the Maui Raceway Park. Hot rods, drag racers and muscle cars come together here to create a spectacle that’s truly out of the ordinary. Check before your visit for fees and scheduling.
Fly into Kahului Airport and drive south 12 miles (19 kilometers) to reach Kihei. Rent a car at the airport so that you can continue exploring Maui afterward. Once you sit down for a fresh plate of seafood and tropical juice, you may be tempted to extend your stay in Kihei.