There are five hotels tucked into the town, including opulent resorts like the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa and the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. This resort community also includes distinctive condominiums and stately private homes.
The area’s signature beaches include Wailea Beach, named “America’s Best Beach” in 1999, Polo Beach, with excellent swimming and snorkeling, and Ulua Beach Park, where early morning and sunset walkers and joggers abound. The Wailea Blue, Wailea Gold and Wailea Emerald courses make up the 54 holes of championship golf that have made Wailea so famous.
Drive south about 6 miles down the coast and you’ll reach Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve, which boasts a renowned snorkeling area and coastal lava field. Or continue for a couple more miles and you’ll come to La Perouse Bay, where lava from Maui’s last eruption flowed into the sea. The site has some nice hiking trails, including the Hoapili Trail, which winds its way along the coast through some shade and then strikes inland over the lava fields to Kanaio Beach 2 to 2.5 miles away.
Back in town, The Shops at Wailea is a destination in itself, featuring world-class restaurants and shops, along with regular entertainment programs. Wailea is also home to events such as the Maui Film Festival, February’s Whale Week, as well as award-winning restaurants serving the best of Hawaii Regional Cuisine. Wailea’s world-renowned spas round out an unforgettable Maui community.
Kihei is beach-combing territory on Maui’s southwest shore, the sunniest, driest end of the island. Once a regular destination for sojourning Hawaiian royalty, Kihei features 6 miles of beaches offering clear views of Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lanai and West Maui. Along with swimming and surfing, you can also find great snorkeling and kayaking — and you may even spot a giant humpback whale spouting or breaching the ocean’s surface.
Kihei’s Kalama Beach Park’s 36 oceanfront acres are dotted with shady lawns and palm trees. The park is home to “the Cove” surf spot, beach volleyball courts, a roller-skating rink, a skate park, basketball and tennis courts, two baseball fields, picnic pavilions and a playground designed for younger kids.
A blink away are Kalpolepo, Waipuilani and the three beaches of Kamaole. Birdwatchers and nature lovers will find what they’re looking for at Kealia Pond on the north end of Kihei. This National Wildlife Conservation District features endangered Hawaiian stilts and coots.
Also north of Kihei is Maalaea Bay, where pleasure boats launch to take visitors on whale watching expeditions, charter fishing excursions and snorkel trips to Molokini. Maalaea is also home to the family friendly Maui Ocean Center.
The town has a collection of affordable accommodations, with condominiums, small hotels and cottages to choose from along Kihei’s beach road. You can also browse small shopping malls, a bustling farmers market and a spate of restaurants, all of which cater to residents and visitors alike. Nightlife here includes karaoke spots, dance clubs and sports bars ensuring your Kihei nights are just as fun as your days.
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