With six miles of sandy shoreline, a host of ocean activities and reliably sunny days, there’s no wonder Kihei is synonymous with beaches. Add to that a bounty of dining options and entertainment for all ages, and you’ve got a place where rest and relaxation is practically sport.
Our resident advisors:
- Kirk Surry, cofounder of the school-garden program Grow Some Good
- Liza Pierce, blogger at AMauiBlog.com
What makes Kihei distinctive?
KS: The beach is an extension of the town. You have easy access to surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddling, snorkeling or scuba diving.
Do you have a favorite beach?
KS: I love Keawakapu Beach. There’s a long stretch of sand that you can walk along, and since that area is lined with homes rather than resorts, it’s less crowded. It’s also a pet-friendly beach with nice showers and easy parking.
Any dining recommendations?
LP: There are so many ethnic places to eat within Kihei — from Indian and Filipino to Mexican and Asian. One of my favorites is Chez Meme [Bistro & Bakery], which is located in an industrial area. I know it’s an unusual spot, but they’ve created an atmosphere that feels like you’re in a little cafe in Paris. Everything is homemade and they have a really yummy trio of French toast.
KS: My answer is partly selfish because it benefits Grow Some Good. Every Friday night, Duo at Four Seasons [Resort] does Market Night, where they feature a salad bar of all local produce. For every salad sold that night, a dollar goes to Grow Some Good. I can order the salad and split an entree, making it a fancy yet affordable evening out.
LP: I never liked shave ice because I figured it’s just flavored water, but when I tasted Ululani’s [Hawaiian Shave Ice], I was hooked. Their flavors are filled with natural ingredients, so if I order a liliko‘i [passionfruit], I can taste the actual fruit. With add-ons like mochi and coconut, it becomes truly gourmet.
Where’s a good place to grab a drink?
KS: The [Maui Research & Technology Park] is becoming a trendy happy-hour area. I love taking people to Maui Brewing Company, then heading across the street to Cow Pig Bun, where you can get a good burger and whiskey or bourbon. They have an after-hours, so if you’re coming off the plane late, it’s one of the few places [with] quality food that’s open late.
What’s your perfect Saturday?
LP: I love going to farmers markets in town, especially the one on Lipoa Street on Saturdays. You can find some produce that you cannot find elsewhere, it’s usually fresher and cheaper, and you’re supporting local.
They also recommended:
Grabbing a hearty breakfast at Kihei Caffe . . . then strolling to nearby Cove Park for surf or stand-up paddle lessons . . . or Kamaole I, II or III for sun worshiping close to amenities . . . enjoying live entertainment, vendors and food trucks at the monthly Fourth Friday Kihei . . . shopping for a tasteful aloha shirt at Tori Richard in The Shops at Wailea . . . catching pub fare and live music at Mulligans on the Blue . . . or dancing the night away at Ambrosia Martini Lounge. — LA