Maui, Hawaii has become a second home to me; since I was a small child, my family and I have visited this beautiful destination every year. With each visit, I gain new experiences and a greater appreciation for what is now my sanctuary. Over the years, my family has explored different areas of this island and we have found Kihei to be our favourite spot. Whether you are the type of person who wants to surf the gnarly waves, take in the ocean from the comfort of your lounge chair, or simply hit the best restaurants, Kihei has something for you!
Getter Done Guru
Don’t be fooled by the relaxing, serene reputation that Kihei has. This small area of Maui offers an abundance of exciting activities, from day to night there is always something going on.
Starting with my favourite, every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, drop in roller-skating is offered in Kalama Park. For only $5, you can rent skates and spend hours skating around with friends and family.
In true Hawaiian style, why not give surfing whirl? You can rent gear or take lessons from Maui Wave Riders. No matter what level you are, their instructors are prepared, professional, and ready to make sure you have a fun time hitting the waves.
Are you more of a self-directed adventurer? Rent a moped from Maui Scooter Shack. No matter which direction you take off in, you are guaranteed picturesque views along the way. Consider taking a quick trip to Wailea to check out the local shopping mall.
Last but not least, nightlife. Despite being a family friendly area, fun party zones are offered; locals refer to the most popular bar area as “The Triangle,” a buried courtyard in Kihei. During the day it is a marketplace for tourists, but at night it comes alive, as the locals and tourists join together to go bar hopping. Due to no covers being charged and the close vicinity of the six bars, it makes it an optimal location to jump around. Our night started at Life's a Beach, which is tropical themed and showcases live music, cheap drinks, and fun times. We were blown away when the bartender told us that it was open mic night, as we believed the performers were professional with how amazing they were. After having a few drinks we decided to head out, but as we were making our way towards the exit of The Triangle we were drawn in by amazing house music coming from the Tiki Lounge – we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to check it out. Once inside, we were met by only a few individuals, which wasn’t too surprising with it being a weeknight. The lack of people was no issue though, allowing me to have full control of the dance floor. I pulled my friends in to join me for a few songs, before we decided to head home. Be warned, it is classified as illegal to dance outside of the designated areas in Maui’s bars and clubs. Also, no drinks are permitted in these dance areas, but don’t let that stop your fun - ditch your drinks, grab your friends, head into the roped area, and dance your pants off!
Of all the places I have travelled, the beaches of Maui are some of my favourites, with Charley Young Beach topping the list. The beautiful white sand, crystal clear water, gentle waves, and breathtaking 360-degree view sets the scene for a relaxing day.
For your low-key time at the beach, be sure to pack a beach chair, towel, hat, sunscreen, your favourite book, and some snacks and water to keep you full and hydrated. After all belongings have been obtained, you are ready to go; depending on the amount of stuff you are bringing, you can either walk or drive to the beach – there is an abundance of designated parking, allowing for easy access. Quickly set up your beach gear before making your way down to the pristine waters for a dip. I would suggest submerging your head under water – if you are lucky you might even catch the whales singing to each other. Relax the rest of your day away, by alternating between reading your book, catching some rays, and cooling off in the salty water. The beach is equipped with shower facilities, allowing you to rinse off the salty residue before heading home. If you decide to close out the day at Charley Young, you will be afforded the luxury of one of the most stunning sunsets!
Handles the Heat of the Kitchen
Although small in area, Kihei flaunts a diverse food scene. From food trucks serving the freshest poke you have ever tasted, to hole in the wall shops selling refreshing shaved ice.
Wake up early and check out Kihei Café’s breakfast, their menu consists of pancakes, Huevos Rancheros, and more. You seriously cannot go wrong with anything they offer! Order at the counter and then snag a table on the outside patio for the perfect people watching opportunity. It’s a great way to start your day when you can eat a delicious breakfast in sunny paradise.
For lunch, stop at The South Maui Fish Company. This food truck was one of my absolute favourites. Be aware though, you must arrive early to choose from their full menu, as items are on a ‘while quantities last’ basis and it’s a popular spot. I ordered their fish tacos and my brother had the spicy poke – both were a complete hit! The fish in the tacos was moist and flaky, the sauce added the perfect pop of flavour, and everything inside was fresh and served a purpose for the dish. The spicy poke was phenomenal quality by any standards, but definitely the best I have seen from a food truck.
In need of a sweet treat and cool down? Grab some shaved ice from Uluani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice. Known for their mouth-watering flavours, this is a must to check out before you leave Maui. My personal favourites are the pineapple or coconut. Easy to transport, these treats are perfect to take on a stroll to the beach, keeping you cool in the blazing sun.
If you are fortunate enough to be in Kihei on the last Friday of the month, check out the market in Kihei Marketplace. Wander through the shops, get some fresh fruit, and talk with the local vendors. Everyone is super friendly in Maui and this is an amazing place to get to know the people and find out about the hidden gems of the island.