Best Beaches In Kihei: Ultimate Guide To Hawaiian Beach

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Are you looking to catch rays on soft, golden sands with the soothing sound of Pacific waves as your vacation soundtrack? Kihei, located on Maui’s sun-kissed southwestern shore, is a beachcomber’s dream.

With a bevy of beautiful beaches offering unique charm, Kihei invites you to find the perfect spot to unfurl your towel. Crystal-clear waters, vibrant marine life, and an array of aquatic activities await you in this Hawaiian haven.

Are you wondering where to start your sandy escapades in Kihei? From the calm and family-friendly waters of Kama’ole I, affectionately known as Kam 1, to the quiet charm of Keaka Beach, there’s a shoreline for every beachgoer.

With up to 15 named beaches in Kihei alone, you’re spoilt for choice – and the best part? You can visit a different one every day of your trip. So, pack your sunscreen, grab your favorite beach read, and let’s make some waves in Kihei!

Exploring Kihei’s Top Beaches

Lucky you! I am looking for the best spots in Kihei to soak up the sun! Whether you aim to catch some waves or bask in the warm Hawaiian sun, Kihei’s beaches are treasured spots you’ll surely adore.

Charley Young Beach

Charley Young Beach, Kihei
Charley Young Beach, Kihei (Flickr)

Charley Young Beach is your hidden gem at the north end of Kamaole I Beach Park. Picture yourself with your toes in the soft sand, gazing at the crystal-clear waters; it’s the perfect place for an early morning swim or a chill sunset picnic.

Kamaole Beach Parks I, II, and III

The Kamaole Beach Parks I, II, and III are among Kihei’s pride and joy. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Kamaole I: Also known as Kam I, it’s the largest and often buzzing with people playing beach volleyball. Its golden sands invite for a perfect day under the sun.
  • Kamaole II: Slightly smaller but just as sweet, Kam II is a great midpoint with its charm, perfect for a leisurely swim.
  • Kamaole III: Kam III is known for its grassy areas and is a favorite for family picnics. Its natural rocky outcrops are great for a bit of snorkeling.

Keawakapu Beach

Keawakapu Beach, Kihei
Keawakapu Beach, Kihei (Flickr)

Are you craving tranquility? Keawakapu Beach awaits with its half-mile of soft sand and relatively peaceful atmosphere. Whether you’re longboarding, snorkeling, or simply enjoying the views of Molokini and Kaho’olawe, you’ll understand why both locals and visitors treasure it.

Every beach here offers paradise; you’ll find that perfect spot to match your beach day mood!

Beach Activities in Kihei

Kihei’s beaches are playgrounds for water sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just looking to try something new, there’s an activity here to suit your pace and taste.

Surfing and Windsurfing

Are you ready to ride the waves? Cove Park is the hotspot for surfing, especially if you’re starting. The gentle rollers here are perfect for beginners. For the more experienced, Mai Poina Beach Park offers a challenge when the wind picks up, making it ideal for surfing, especially windsurfing.

The steady trade winds along Kihei’s coastline make this a world-class destination for those looking to harness the power of the wind on the water.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Don’t forget your underwater camera! Kihei boasts fantastic snorkeling spots, with Molokini Crater, a partially submerged volcanic crater, being the crown jewel. You can immerse yourself in vibrant marine ecosystems just a short boat trip away.

Closer to shore, Kamaole Beach Park is another snorkeling haven where you can gaze upon tropical fish and maybe even a sea turtle or two. For scuba enthusiasts, various dive shops offer excursions that will take you deeper into the Pacific’s hidden worlds.

Paddleboarding and Kayaking

How about a peaceful morning on the water? Paddleboarding, also known as SUP (stand-up paddleboarding), is a fantastic way to glide over the clear waters and enjoy the view of Mt. Haleakala in the distance.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, why not grab a kayak and explore Kihei’s coastline up close? Waipuilani Beach Park is a fabulous choice for paddlers of all skill levels, and keep an eye out – you might just be kayaking alongside whales during the migration season!

Wildlife and Natural Beauty

If wildlife spotting is on your agenda, you’re in for a treat. Kihei’s beaches are rich with natural spectacles, providing ample opportunities to see sea turtles and whales.

Sea Turtle Sightings

Kalepolepo Fishpond, Kihei
Kalepolepo Fishpond, Kihei (Flickr)

Have you ever locked eyes with a sea turtle? They frequent Kihei’s shores, particularly near the Kalepolepo Fishpond.

The ancient Hawaiian fishpond offers a calm environment where these graceful creatures often visit. Snorkelers can share the water. Remember to give turtles space, as they are protected by law.

  • Best Beaches for Turtle Encounters:
    • Charley Young Beach
    • Keawakapu Beach

Whale Watching Opportunities

If you’re here from December through April, prepare for the majestic humpback whales. Their acrobatic breaching is a sight, and Kihei’s coastline provides front-row seats.

The shallow channel between Maui and neighboring islands creates an ideal nursery, making Kihei a hotspot for whale watching.

  • Tips for Whale Watching:
    • Bring binoculars for a better view.
    • Early morning or late afternoon are prime times for sightings.

Did You Know? The waters off of Kihei are part of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Please keep your eyes peeled for these gentle giants; you might witness their legendary leaps.

Amenities and Facilities

When planning a beach day in Kihei, knowing about the amenities and facilities can make your day hassle-free and more enjoyable. From where you can set up your perfect picnic to ease of access, let’s unpack what you’ll find at Kihei’s beaches.

Picnic Areas and Pavilion

Picnic Tables: You won’t have to worry about sitting on the sand while munching your sandwiches. Kihei’s beaches offer picnic tables, making enjoying a meal with a view easy.

Are you looking for shade? Many areas have pavilions, which provide a comfortable, relaxing spot away from the sun.

  • Sugar Beach: Known for its ample space, you’ll likely find a picnic table for that impromptu lunch.

Parking and Accessibility

Parking: If you’re driving, you’ll find parking spots near the beaches. This is perfect for those who don’t fancy a long trek to the shoreline with all their gear.

  • Options: Ample parking spaces are a common feature, often free of charge.

Accessibility: Buses run along South Kihei Road, so access to these beautiful spots is convenient and straightforward, even if you’re not driving.

  • Lifeguards: Not all beaches have lifeguards on duty, but many popular spots do. Swimming at beaches with lifeguards is always a good idea for your safety.

Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and prepare for a memorable beach experience enhanced by the convenience of well-thought-out amenities and facilities. Are you ready to find your spot in the sun?

Local Insights

When planning to hit the beaches of Kihei, knowledge from those who live and breathe the Maui vibe daily can elevate your experience.

You’re about to learn how to navigate the crowds and pick up the best local tips to maximize your beach days in Kihei.

Crowds and Best Times to Visit

Are you curious about when to claim your spot on the sand for maximum serenity? Mornings are your golden ticket.

Most Kihei beaches, including the renowned Keawakapu, tend to have fewer visitors early in the day, so set that alarm and head out to soak up the tranquility. If you’re aiming for a quiet time, weekdays are typically less crowded than weekends.

  • Weekday mornings: Less crowded, ideal for a peaceful beach experience.
  • Weekend afternoons: Expect more people; families and friend groups fill the beaches.

Tips from Locals

Alright, let’s dive into those nuggets of wisdom straight from the Kihei connoisseurs:

  • Sunset Delight: Keawakapu is a spectacle at dusk. Join locals for a sunset selfie, but remember to keep your eyes peeled for the occasional whale during whale-watching season (December to May).
  • Snorkeling Spots: New to snorkeling? Kamaole offers a friendly introduction to the underwater world. Always check weather conditions for safety.
  • Exploring on Foot: If you love long beach walks, head to Sugar Beach. Stretch those legs on its lengthy shore, a local favorite for morning jogs or strolls.
  • Parking Pro Tip: Parking can be tight near popular spots. Arrive early to snag a spot, or if you’re late to the party, try residential areas within walking distance for overflow parking options.

Keep these insights in your back pocket, and you’re well on your way to enjoying Kihei’s beaches like a true local!

Kihei Beach Culture and Nightlife

View from Five Palms Restaurant, Kihei
View from Five Palms Restaurant, Kihei (Flickr)

Ever wondered what makes Kihei’s sunset even more spectacular? It’s the vibrant atmosphere that emerges as the daylight fades.

You’re not just here to sunbathe; Kihei’s beaches transform into culinary delights and exciting entertainment hubs as stars take over the sky.

Beachside Restaurants

Have you got an appetite for ocean views with your meals? Kihei doesn’t disappoint. Beachside restaurants here offer a variety of cuisines that are as diverse as the marine life.

For instance, imagine indulging in fresh Mahi-Mahi as you gaze out at the Pacific. Here are a couple of spots you can check out:

  • The Five Palms Restaurant: Enjoy a mouth-watering Pan-Asian and Pacific Rim menu.
  • Sarento’s on the Beach: Dive into Italian dishes while the waves serenade you.

Nightclubs and Entertainment

Looking for a way to dance the night away or enjoy a cocktail under the Hawaiian sky? Kihei’s nightlife has got your back. With its selection of nightclubs and entertainment venues, there’s no shortage of places to let your hair down. Get ready to mingle with locals and travelers alike at spots like:

  • The Triangle: A home to various clubs offering live music and DJ sets.
  • Moose McGillycuddy’s: A favorite for its vibrant scene and themed nights.

Remember, you’re in the heart of Maui’s coastal charisma. Whether you crave a tranquil dinner with oceanic vistas or a night filled with rhythmic beats, Kihei’s beach culture presents an eclectic mix, ensuring your Hawaiian evenings are unforgettable.

Planning Your Beach Day

Heading to the beach in Kihei, Maui, is a smart choice! Whether you’re swimming or surfing, preparation is key. Let’s get you set up for a perfect day by the shore.

Safety and Regulations

Talk about safety and regulations before slapping on that sunscreen and dashing into the waves. Did you know that ocean conditions in Kihei can change rapidly?

Always check the local weather and surf reports. Riptides are no joke; you need to be aware of them, especially if you plan to swim.

Here’s a quick list to ensure your safety:

  • Look for lifeguards: Swim at beaches with lifeguard services.
  • Understand the flags: Observe beach warning flags and signs.
  • Sun protection: Apply and re-apply sunscreen, and consider UV-blocking swimwear.

As for regulations:

  • Keep beaches clean: Whatever you bring, you take back.
  • Respect marine life: Enjoy from a distance, especially if you spot a sea turtle!
  • Follow all local rules: Certain beaches may have specific regulations.

Creating a Beach Day Itinerary

Planning an epic beach day can be the difference between “meh” and “Aloha-amazing!” Let’s create your Kihei beach day itinerary:

  1. Morning Dip: Hit the beach early! The water’s calm and it’s an ideal time for a swim.
  2. Surf’s Up: If surfing is your thing, check which beaches offer the best waves for your skill level.
  3. Lunch with a View: Pack a picnic or plan a stop at a nearby beachfront cafe.
  4. Afternoon Adventure: Explore, snorkel, kick back, and enjoy the sun.

Flexibility is part of the island vibe, so adjust your itinerary as you go. Happy planning!

Katie, the founder of

Written & Published By:

Katie created this blog to provide helpful tips and guides about beaches and beachgoer fashion. She shares her wealth of knowledge and offers practical advice and insider recommendations to make every beach trip memorable. From destination suggestions to essential packing tips, ABeachz covers various topics to cater to beach lovers' needs. Katie's expertise extends to fashion, helping readers find the perfect swimwear and beach accessories for any seaside occasion.