- According to legend, two cloud warriors battled with each other until a truce was called. The resulting clear piece of blue sky was known as “Alanui o Lani”
- or the “Highway to Heaven”, above what is today the sunny Kihei.
- The first inhabitants of Kihei were fishermen who supplemented their fish diet with sweet potato and poi.
- Kihei´s tourism took off in the 1960s when water was pumped over from the Central and West Maui.
Things to See and Do
The weather in Kihei is great all year round, so most of what you´ll want to be doing will be done outside. Here are a few suggestions of some active and relaxing things to do at day and at night.1) Take a walking tour of the town to really get a feel for its culture and history. You will come across the open-air church, now called the Trinity-by-the-Sea Chapel, which was built in 1853 as a memorial to David Malo, a renowned historian.
2) Arrange a snorkelling trip with one of the local companies. The friendly ‘Redline Rafting’ get great reviews and provide plentiful food for during the trip, and information on the local wildlife you´re bound to encounter on your trip underwater.
3) Go swimming at one of the three main beaches, Kamaole Beach Park I, II and III. The latter is especially good for snorkelling as there is some coral in the area. Surfing, as anywhere in Hawaii, is another popular pastime and there is a popular spot for beginners at Kihei Cove.
4) Kihei is a lively spot at night, with most of the action centring around an area called The Triangle. For a laid-back place with lower prices that´s frequented by the locals, head to Kahale's Beach Club. For the largest selection of beers on all of Hawaii, head to Monkeypods, just at the entrance to Wailea. It serves 36 beers on tap!
Kihei´s Food Delights
If you want to go out for food on Kihei, head along the South Kihei Road, which is where most of the restaurants are located. There is a great variety of international food on offer, from pizza at Antonio´s, to great burgers at Peggy Sue´s, and great sushi at Sansei and Sushi Paradise. The Local Boy snack shop is a good place to get shaved ice in all flavors. Try pineapple, papaya, mango or kiwi, or if you fancy sweet and sour, choose the Li Hing Mui and vanilla flavor,
If you are staying in self-catering accommodation, there are also a number of grocery stores and supermarkets along the same road, eg. Safeway and Foodland. Times Market offers a plentiful selection and also cooked meals, which can be a cheaper and sometimes tastier option than eating out. You can also try the local farmers market, one is held every Saturday morning from 7-11am outside Long´s Drugstore. Here you can find lovely fresh Maui produce. A good tip is to buy your beef from Long´s store, as this is the only store on the island to sell meat from the Maui cattle ranch. Also try the amazing Haupia flavored ice cream from the Roselani Ice Cream rack at the back of the store (‘Haupia’ is a coconut pudding). If you want to try a real Hawaiian breakfast staple, go for the steamed rice with eggs and spam. Fresh fish is also a treat not to be missed during your stay on the island!
Getting To and Around Kihei
You can get to Kihei by plane from Hawaii, which lands at the Maui´s main airport Kahului Airport. From there it is about a 20-30 minute drive to Kihei. The town is only a mile wide at most but stretches for miles along the coast. If you don´t mind a bit of walking, then this is a good option for getting around ,or else you could hire a bicycle or moped if you´d like to get a bit further afield. If you have access to a car, there is plenty of free parking available at the strip malls for when you need some shopping. The Pi´ilani Highway, which connects up with the South Kihei Road along a few streets, is the main road to take to other destinations on the island. Both the highway and South Kihei Road have bicycle lanes.
Accommodation and Apartments for Rent in Kihei
There are small hotels, condominiums and cottages available in for staying overnight in Kihei. Another option would be to choose one of the self-catering rentals that we have on Wimdu, such as an apartment, villa or maybe even just a room with bed and breakfast, where not only will you get to enter the home of a local person living in Kihei, and see what it really is like to live as an islander, but you will also have the benefit of local knowledge right on your doorstep. Your friendly host most likely has some recommendations that you´ll not find in any guidebook!