The sunniest and driest place in Hawaii, Kihei once served as a vacation spot for Hawaiian royalty. You’ll find some amazing beaches and snorkeling opportunities in Kihei, located at the southwest end of Maui.
Did you just book your trip to Kihei last minute?
You want to make sure you have lodging ahead of time if you’re traveling last minute to Kihei! Our top picks for places to eat in town are listed below!
The best activities and tours in Kihei include:
- Kihei’s top-rated snorkel and lunch tour at Molokini and Turtle Town.
- The 5-hour snorkeling trip in Molokini Crater is highly recommended.
- Molokini Snorkeling Adventure from Ma’alaea Harbor
- Observe whales from Ma’alaea Harbor in an eco-friendly manner
- Coral Gardens or Molokini Crater snorkeling in the afternoon
- The sunset dinner cruise leaves from Ma’alaea Harbor
The best hotels in Kihei/Wailea are:
- The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (the ultimate luxury experience!)
- Greetings from Maui, Mana Kai
- Wailea Resort at Andaz Maui
- The Grand Wailea Resort and Spa (a Waldorf Astoria Resort)
Many tourists visit the area to swim, surf, kayak, snorkel, watch whales, and observe other wildlife. Even if you don’t have children, you shouldn’t miss a trip to Kihei.
Hotel and condominium options abound in Kihei, and you will find plenty of restaurants and clubs to keep you entertained.
When visiting Maui, be sure not to miss these amazing beaches in Kihei. What beautiful Kihei beaches did we miss? We’d love to hear from you.
The best beaches in Kihei (and nearby!)
There is no doubt that Sugar Beach is Maui’s longest stretch of sand. Despite its long shoreline, there is plenty of space for activities without being overcrowded.
The island also provides stunning views of Lanai, Kaho’olawe, and Molokini, which are three nearby islands.
Sugar Beach is not only known for its amazing views, but also for the canoe clubs that are located there.
There are two Hawaiian canoe clubs, one of which offers guest paddle programs.
There are shallow, calm waters along the beach where visitors can observe whales as they glide gently beneath the surface. Stand-up paddleboarding and swimming are popular in its calm bay.
A defunct stone wharf can be found at North Kihei Road, the beach’s southernmost end. In case you aren’t careful, you can suffer injuries.
The Maui Canoe Club also provides picnic tables on the beach. Those who aren’t strong swimmers need to be careful since there are no lifeguards on duty.
Kalepolepo Beach Park
A key cultural and archaeological site for native Hawaiians, Kalepolepo Beach is still a prominent place of worship for the Hawaiian people.
The beach is located close to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary on South Kihei Road. Whales can be viewed by visitors while they are on the island.
There is an old fishpond on Kalepolepo Beach that makes it a favorite in Kihei. A former leisure spot for royalty, the fishpond was built between 1400 and 1500.
This site was restored by local volunteers and is now maintained as a tourist attraction. Flowing just beneath the pond are natural hot springs that keep it warm all year.
Royals used to cover the pond in the old days for this reason. In addition, children can swim safely and comfortably there.
There are plaques that highlight the importance of the area and teach about its history and culture.
Kamaole I Beach Park
There are three beach parks at Kamaole. The longest shoreline of the three is nearly 600 yards long. Because it was used to practice beach landings during WWII, there are few rocks.
There are few beach parks on Maui Island that are as well equipped as this one. The beach volleyball court includes a lifeguard tower, large parking areas, restrooms, showers, and picnic tables with barbeques.
There are picnic tables set up on the lawn above the sand on the far left edge of the park, perfect for those who want to eat and watch the ocean.
Restaurants and stores selling health foods can be found on South Kihei Road, which is just a short walk from the beach.
Kamaole II Beach Park
There are three Kamaole beach parks, but the second is the most hidden and the smallest there are approximately half as many people living on Kamaole II compared to Kamaole I.
There are no rocks on the beach. This beach is one of the best in Kihei because of its gentle slope and good photography spots.
There are picnic tables and a grassy lawn behind a lifeguard tower in the center.
The facility also offers showers and restrooms. It also has relatively few amenities and facilities due to its relatively small size.
The parking lot at Kamaole II does not have a designated area for vehicles, so visitors should park by the oceanside of South Kihei Road.
Kamaole III Beach Park
Kamaole Beach Park is known for its beautiful atmosphere, and it is the third of three great beaches in the Kamaole area.
Visitors, both foreign and local, are attracted to the golden coast for its clear water and large playing fields.
There are about 100 yards of beach park in the giant park. Restaurants, grocery stores, condominiums, and lodging are all within walking distance, as well as barbecue grills, picnic tables, and a large grassy area.
The lifeguards are always on duty, providing an additional layer of safety. Parking is also available at the park.
There is an elevated grassy area on the left end of the park from which visitors can view the whales and the setting sun.
There is a beach park called Mai Point ‘Oe It’s.
Mai Point ‘Oe I’s Beach Park is a very spacious beach with strong winds and large waves that allow visitors to enjoy surfing all year round. Many visitors also enjoy taking long morning walks or watching the gorgeous sunset.
Despite its popularity, it’s always free from crowds. Essentially, it’s not as noisy as other Hawaiian beaches. It has no lifeguards and is an extension of Sugar Beach.
There are restrooms, showers, and picnic tables, as well as a grassy park. Be aware, however, that the beach can get rather windy in the afternoon.
Many condominiums are within walking distance from the beach, so you can have a comfortable place to stay in the meantime.
Along South Kihei Road, which lines the north end of the beach, visitors have plenty of room for parking.
Charley Young Beach
Charley Young Beach is ideal for those who want a secluded place to relax. It is located at the northern, quiet end of Kam I Beach.
The ironwood trees surrounding the beach give it a wilder and more shaded look.
Despite its small size, it’s still one of the best beaches in Kihei. Its shallow waters, gentle waves, and fine, soft sand are ideal for kids in particular.
The beach stretches for about 600 yards, allowing enough space for a long stroll. It has a large parking lot about a block away from the beach and an outdoor shower, but no lifeguards.
At the far end of this beach, it is common to come across sea turtles swimming in the calm water.
Waiohuli Beach is one of the smallest beaches in Kihei. Not many people know about it, so it is also never loud or crowded.
It’s ideal for those who want a remote, secluded space with shallow water that allows for snorkeling and swimming.
The oceanfront condo complex near it, Waiohuli Beach Hale, is much more popular and a great place to stay if you’re in the area.
The complex provides one- and two-bedroom condos, laundry facilities, a barbecue, and free Wi-Fi.
From the condo, you can see the long, white sandy beach, the activities on its shores, the beautiful waters of the Pacific Ocean, and, during wintertime, a school of whales playing above the water.
Best Beaches for Snorkeling near Kihei
There are beautiful reefs in Kihei’s waters, making it a top snorkeling destination.
The coral reefs and tropical fish at Sugar Beach make it a great snorkeling spot when the water is calm.
Besides snorkeling, visitors are also attracted to the three Kamaole Beaches because of their distinct locations.
The calm waters and beautiful reefs make it particularly ideal for snorkeling with children.
The island’s volcanic caldera, the third in the world, makes Molokini a great snorkeling spot.
More than 250 marine species live here and the waters are incredibly clear for snorkeling.
The underwater volcanic eruptions that formed Turtle Town made it one of the most popular snorkeling locations on Maui.
The Hawaiian green sea turtle lives on the coral reef at Turtle Town, making snorkeling tours here especially popular.
Where to stay in Kihei
Check out our top picks for oceanfront hotels in Kihei below!
- Kihei Kai Nani Resort
- Nona Lani Cottages
- Kauhale Makai Condo
- Nani Kai Hale
Do you have a favorite beach in Kihei? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
Travel Guides for Maui
- Things to do in Kihei
- Maui 7-day itinerary
- The best snorkeling in Maui
- Top places to visit in Maui
- Gorgeous Maui beaches
- Best waterfalls on Maui
- Sea turtles in Maui
- Maui bucket list