Kihei, Hawaii Travel Guide

A little off the beaten path, coastal Kihei gives visitors an affordable place to stay on beautiful, popular Maui. Kihei vacation rentals, especially Kihei condos, are an even more affordable option for travelers looking to take an inexpensive Hawaiian vacation. Western Maui, where Kihei is located, is scenic with long stretches of coastline and amazing views. Kihei sprang up in the past few decades from almost nothing, transforming from a sleepy town to an eclectic tourist destination with a little of everything. You'll find residences right next to commercial areas, condominiums beside shopping malls, with surprises at every turn. At the end of the day, enjoy a Kihei sunset from your Kihei vacation rental's lanai porch. Even though it's become more popular, though, Kihei has kept a lot of its sleepy-town atmosphere. Do you have ideas on how we can improve our Kihei travel guide? Share them with us.

Things to Do on A Kihei, Maui, Vacation

kihei beach vacationThe big draw of a Kihei vacation is Kihei's three seemingly endless beaches, called Kama'ole I, II and III. These beaches haven't lost any of their beauty despite their popularity, and they have the added plus of being very well watched over by lifeguards, making any Kihei beach a particularly safe place for families with kids. Just remember that lifeguards are no substitute for parental supervision! For more advice, read our handy article on visiting the beach with kids. Many Kihei vacation homes are conveniently within walking distance of a Kihei beach, which is perfect if you want to go back for lunch in your Kihei vacation rental's kitchen or just need to pick up something you forgot.

If you'd like to do more on your Kihei, Maui, vacation than just catch some rays or gather seashells, you're in luck. Enjoy Kihei's restaurants, take advantage of the area's plentiful shopping or go golfing on Wailea and Makena's championship golf course or Kihei's own public golf course. All of these options are just a short drive from any Kihei vacation condo or house. Try snorkeling or scuba diving to explore the water, or visit one of Kihei's many nature preserves and wildlife displays. Kealia Pond is a natural wetland perfect for birdwatching, which is undergoing constant habitat restoration to preserve Hawaii's native plant and animal life. The Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve also tries to preserve the natural habitat of the area, and it gives curious visitors the opportunity to snorkel and view underwater life or explore on land and discover the remains of an ancient Hawaiian fishing village. If you'd rather focus on sea life, the Maui Ocean Center offers live exhibits of Hawaiian ocean creatures: turtles, sharks, fish and more. And there's always the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, where you can (if you're lucky) catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures. If you stay home in your Kihei condo rental and you want to take a break from the salt water, you'll probably have a great Kihei pool to relax in (or sun yourself by). All in all, whether you choose to visit a Kihei beach or enjoy Kihei surfside attractions, you'll have a great time.

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What to See in Kihei

If you take a Kihei vacation during whale season, don't miss the chance to catch a sighting of a humpback whale!

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Kihei Shopping and Kihei Restaurants

Kihei isn't just a beach-lover's paradise; it's also shopping heaven. Ranging from outlets to upscale stores, ten shopping malls in the area will give even the most die-hard shopaholics enough to see and do. Try the Azeka Shopping Centers for great variety, or check out the eclectic goods at the Rainbow Attic. Rent a Kihei condo and you'll have plenty of space to store your great finds.

For Kihei dining, experience laid-back local culture at various family Kihei restaurants, like the South Shore Tiki Lounge. Eat where the locals do and you'll save money while having a true Kihei vacation. Kihei, Maui, restaurants include a wide range of casual and fancy choices, so whether you're taking a family getaway or a Hawaii honeymoon, you'll be well taken care of. Try the Ukelele Grill for authentic food, good prices and live entertainment. While you're in Hawaii, savor the local luau. The real thing is a far cry from tropical-themed birthday parties: a multi-course meal with traditional dancing and exotic drinks. While young kids may not have the patience for this, older kids will probably find the culture fascinating and exciting – a truly once in a lifetime experience. The Feast at Lele is one such luau, quite pricey but worth the cost. You'll be treated to food and dance from various Polynesian cultures. Tired of dining out? Kihei vacation rentals usually have full kitchens so you can prepare your meals at home, and local farmers' markets will let you sample local flavors without the cost of eating in Kihei restaurants.

If you've saved enough money by staying in a Kihei vacation rental and using its kitchen instead of eating out, and you want a really special meal to remember, go to Sarento's on the Beach for amazing Italian food and great people-watching. Stars come to dine here, so you never know who you'll catch sight of. It's definitely not cheap, but it will be a meal to remember.

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When to Take a Kihei Vacation

kihei hawaii vacationKihei boasts year round tropical temperate temperatures, always a little warm but gorgeous. In the winter, the waves can become stronger, making that season more suitable for surfers at the Kihei beach than for small children, but there's no bad season to visit Kihei. Many Kihei rental homes include air conditioning, and almost all feature ceiling fans and cool lanais to enjoy the breeze, so don't worry about being too hot even over a summer Kihei vacation.

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What to Know About Kihei

Be careful if you drive out of Kihei to the beaches of Makena! The beaches here are still beautiful and scenic, but "Little Beach" is known to have nude sunbathers. If that's not your sort of thing, you may want to skip this one and just go to a Kihei beach instead.

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What to Bring to Your Kihei Condo Rental

Bring your bathing suit, your sunscreen, and your patience to your Kihei surfside condo! Kihei is a casual, relaxed atmosphere and if you come here expecting to be in a hurry, you'll miss out on a lot of the area's appeal. Just relax and go with the flow, and you and your family will return home rested and rejuvenated. Kihei vacation rentals give you plenty of space to spread out in and enjoy yourself.

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Kihei's Local Services

Kihei offers many of the regular services you'd expect at any town, including childcare to make sure your little ones are taken care of while you enjoy a day at the beach or night on the town. You can also rent the gear you'll need for most sea excursions, whether you choose to go scuba diving or snorkeling. You can also opt for one of many guided tours around land or in the water. Getting around the island, you'll probably want a car, and you can find plenty of car rental services at the airport and around the island. Visit the Maui Dive Shop (Kihei location) to buy or rent gear; the Maui Dive Shop Kihei is the corporate location of this convenient chain for scuba and snorkeling enthusiasts, so you'll find absolutely everything you need.

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Getting to Kihei, Hawaii

Fly into Kahalui Airport on Maui – most international airlines fly there and Maui is small enough that you'll have a relatively quick and straightforward drive to your Kihei vacation rental. Rent a car from any of the numerous car rentals at the airport, then drive down Highway 311 until you get to Kihei itself. You'll do well to familiarize yourself with the basics of the area, by buying a map of Maui or taking one from the car rental agency; just be aware that speed limits in Hawaii and Maui are frequently slower than what you might expect in the rest of the US. Once you're in Kihei, you can ride the public bus between areas of the island, but be aware that the bus doesn't go to or from the airport.

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Why Kihei Vacation Rentals?

Kihei is a less expensive place to stay than much of Maui, and it also caters a little less to tourists, so a Kihei, Maui vacation is the affordable and authentic way to go. If you want to really experience the relaxed and relaxing environment of Kihei, consider Kihei vacation rentals as an inexpensive but comfortable way to live like a local. You'll have all the little touches that residents enjoy, because each Kihei rental home is set up personally by an owner to be livable and inviting. Hotel rooms and resorts are more expensive than Kihei vacation rentals (especially if you're renting for a group of people!), and the rooms are usually less comfortable, more impersonal and lacking the great Kihei vacation rental amenities like full kitchens and separate bedrooms.

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