Things To Do - Maui Vacation Activities

There are plenty of sites to see and activities to choose from during your Maui vacation. You can be as active or relaxed as you want to be. The following is a just a sampling of some of our favorites:


Keawakapu Beach—just steps away from the condo

Keawakapu Beach

This is rated one of the best beaches in Maui, with half a mile of beautiful golden sand, just steps away from the condo behind the neighboring Mana Kai Resort. This beach is great for sunbathing, snorkeling and boogie boarding. Bring the gear from the condo and have great afternoon.

Kama'ole Park ("Kam") I, II & III

The Kama'ole beach parks line the coast of downtown Kihei along S. Kihei Rd. They are separated from one another by rocky outcroppings which can make for good snorkeling when the weather is calm.

Kama'ole Park I

Kama'ole I has the largest and loveliest beach of the three with fine white sand and great swimming conditions. There's a grassy area at the south end for picnics and playing.

Kama'ole Park 2

Kama'ole II is just south of Kam I, across the street from the Denny's on S. Kihei Rd. There's no parking lot, but there's parking along the ocean side of South Kihei Road. There's a concrete wall with a stairway in it that leads to the beach.

Kama'ole Park 3

Kama'ole III is very popular with the locals but does not have a lifeguard. It does have restrooms, showers, picnic area and a playground. The waves here are more consistent making it a great place for boogie boarding. The sandy beach is small but it has a large grassy area, perfect for kite flying, picnics, and relaxing. You can see the Kihei Surfside off in the distance in the south.

Kalama Beach aka Cove Park

Kalama Beach

You will see the whale statue as you drive down S. Kihei Road. The park offers great picnic facilities and a small sandy beach that is popular for surf lessons.

LaPerouse Bay Sanctuary

LaPerouse Bay Sanctuary

Located in the 'Ahihi Kina'u Natural Area Reserve, this bay is a protected area. The entrance to the water is very rocky but the snorkeling can be excellent during calm seas. There is a pod of dolphins that frequent the area - usually in the early morning hours. If you are lucky they will swim with you like they did with us! This area is covered in rough lava from the last eruption of Haleakala in 1790. Several trails inland traverse the area. King's Highway, an ancient Hawaiian footpath, continues toward Cape Hanamanioa from the bay. To get there follow S. Kihei Road past Wailea and Makena into the Reserve to the end of the road and park.

back to top


If you love golf, you have picked the best part of Maui to stay for your vacation. Within a 10 minute drive of our condo, there are several world class golf courses. Here are links to just a few, with fabulous views of the slopes of Mt. Haleakala and the Pacific Ocean:

Wailea Golf Club, which offers three championship courses designed by Robert Trent Jones.

Makena Golf Course, also designed by Robert Trent Jones.

Wailea Old Blue Golf Club is part of the Wailea Golf Club and was the first golf course built in Wailea.

back to top

Scuba Diving

Ed Robinson's Diving Adventures (879-3584 or 800-635-1273 from the mainland) We highly recommend them if you are a certified diver. They launch their boats early each morning from the boat ramp that is just north of the Kihei Surfside building (it's a long walk as a state park is in between the condo and the boat launch, so you may want to drive, especially if you are packing gear.) The dive masters are very friendly and well-informed. They make frequent trips to Molokini crater which you can view from your lanai. The diving in the crater is fantastic, and the back wall of the crater is a sheer cliff around which you can often see some of the larger sea animals. You should probably reserve your booking before you arrive in Maui, as their boats are small and fill up fast.

Dive and Sea Maui (874 1952 or 1-800-526-9915 from the mainland) is another fine diving outfit that sails out of the Kihei boat ramp. They come highly recommended by friends who have been diving with them for the past 15 years. They are very focused on the customer experience and more than 50% of their clients are return customers.

back to top

Surf Lessons

Big Kahuna Adventures (875-6395 or 877-747-2875 from the mainland) says that Kihei is the best place on Maui to learn how to surf thanks to the semi-shallow water and the slow wave break. They offer surf lessons Mon-Sat at 8am and 10:15am at Kalama Beach (aka "the Cove") in Kihei town - just a 5 minute drive north of our condo. They also discount equipment rentals after you take their class.

back to top

Boating/Whale Watching

Trilogy (874-5649 or 1-888-225-MAUI from the mainland) offers some fantastic sailing tours that leave from either Lahaina or Ma'alaea. You can sail to the island of Lanai, visit Molokini crater, set out to find whales or dolphins, or just relax on the water with great food and see the sites.

Maui Classic Charters (879-8188 or 1-800-736-5740 from the mainland) offers fun boat trips for snorkeling or dolphin/whale watching. Most of their tours sail from Ma'alaea harbor, about 30 minutes north of the condo. They offer a discount if you book through the internet at least a week in advance.

back to top


Maui Eco-Tours (891-2223) will take you on guided kayak tours designed to view marine life. They have various meeting places between Lahaina and Kihei depending on the tour you choose, so your average drive is 30 minutes north.

You can rent your own kayaks from South Pacific Kayaks (875-4848 or 800-77Ocean) at Makena Landing beach, just 15 minutes south of the condo. They also offer guided kayaking tours (recommended if you have no ocean kayaking experience), and hiking tours and surf lessons. We've not tried them, but they have great testimonials.

Kihei Canoe Club invites Maui visitors to paddle with club members Tuesdays and Thursdays for a $25/adult suggested donation (tax deductible). Be at the club site by 7:15am and expect to be finished about 9am. The club provides instruction and equipment, no previous experience required. This is a popular activity and is first-come, first-served.

back to top

Horse-back riding

Makena Stables (879-0244) is a 15 minute drive south of the condo toward LaPerouse Bay. We haven't personally tried them yet, but they are on our to-do list, as they get good reviews and we love the area they tour. If you try them before we do, let us know what you think.

Pony Express (667-2200) We loved their tour of Haleakela Crater (see more on Mt. Haleakala). This was a fabulous tour with other worldly sights like the Silversword plant that grows only on this one place on earth. Nice picnic lunch provided in the crater before riding back out.

back to top


We love LaPerouse Bay, so of course this is our favorite hiking area. Drive south from S. Kihei Rd to the end of the road at the south end of the island and park. You are there. You can watch for dolphins as you hike south along the beach and, if you are adventurous, climb over the rough outcropping of rocks to continue hiking to the end of the island over the otherworldly lava rock. Do wear hiking boots and watch your step as footing can be very treacherous. Bring lots of water whenever you hike.

back to top


Kihei Community Yoga Center (874-5270) located at 1847 S. Kihei Rd, #103 was recommend by a friend who said the teachers were fantastic. We plan to drop in for a $15 class next time we're there.

back to top


Warren & Annabelle's Magic

We have been multiple times to Lahaina to see Warren & Annabelle's Magic. We've laughed until we cried. Your evening begins as you are invited into Annabelle's secret chamber (she's a ghost) to discover the hidden passage into Annabelle's Parlor. Once inside the club, you can order cocktails, scrumptious appetizers and desserts, while Annabelle entertains you by playing your requests at the piano. Then... it's Showtime! You can bring your cocktail with you into the intimate theater where you will laugh and be amazed by Warren's comedic magic show. Performances are Mon-Sat evenings starting at 5pm or 7:30pm. The entire evening runs about 4 hours. Guests must be 21 or older. We highly recommend it.


Ulalena at Maui Theatre, in Lahaina, is a musical theatre production which tells the story of Hawaii's people and mythology. Hula is combined with modern dance, with vibrantly colored costumes and fantastic music. Chris and Leslie loved it. We plan to see it soon. 1-877-688-4800.

Maui Ocean Center (270-7000) at 192 Ma'alaea Rd in Wailuku is a great aquarium to visit - especially if you're traveling with kids. It's a 25 minute drive north from the condo. They're open everyday from 9am to 5pm (6pm in July and August) Admission is pricey ($25/adult, $18/child) but you'll feel good about helping their educational mission.

back to top


The Shops at Wailea mall provides upscale shopping and dining in a beautiful setting only a 5 minute drive south from the condo. The shops range from Whalers General Store with basic sundries and great deli sandwiches to art galleries, gift shops and Tiffany & Co. There are several good restaurants here as well including Tommy Bahama's Tropical Cafe in Wailea.


Lahaina is about a 45 minute drive north. The drive is very scenic and curves along the coast. It is worth a trip to stroll down the boardwalk in this historic whaling village, where the old grog shops and ships' chandlers have been transformed into more than 40 art galleries, tourist shopping and a wide range of restaurants. While you are there you can cool down in the shade of one of the largest banyan trees in the US - it sprawls out for an entire city block.

There are a number of grocery stores in Kihei. Here are some of the larger stores:

  • Safeway, 277 Pi'ikea Avenue in the Pi'ilani Shopping Center:
    Mini-shopping area that includes a Blockbuster, Hilo Hatties, ABC Store, Outback Steakhouse, Coldstone Creamery, etc. This is our favorite place for grocery shopping. They have a good selection and if you have a Safeway Club Card, you can enjoy the same sales on the island that you enjoy at home. Trust me; this is a deal since groceries are much more expensive on the island than back home. Be fore-warned... food is expensive in Hawaii.
  • Foodland, 1881 S. Kihei Road at the Kihei Town Center:
    Foodland is well known for having a good selection of poke that is fresh and reasonably priced. They also bring in some locally grown produce that Safeway may not carry. The store is open 24 hours so you can find what you need anytime of day.
  • Times Supermarket, 1310 S. Kihei Road, off Lipoa:
    This was the old Star Market, which closed its doors late in 2009, and we haven't been to the new store yet. Times Supermarkets are a Hawaiian chain, and appear reasonably priced in looking at their weekly flyers. They had a number of varieties of locally caught fish and locally grown produce. If you check out the store, please drop us a line and let us know what you think.

back to top


Kihei Caffe

Across from the beach park, on the corner of Alahele St at 1945 S. Kihei Road in the Kihei Kalama Village (879-2230), we think Kihei Caffe is one of the best breakfast places on the island. It's open at 5am daily. The banana & macadamia nut pancakes or french toast are fabulous (especially with the coconut syrup)! This is not your hotel coffee shop. The ordering process is reminiscent of Seinfeld's Soup Nazi (cash only). We could eat here every morning while on the island, selecting a different meal from the menu. You can sit at tables (shaded or in the sun) and watch the people and cars go by. Great lattes and some of the best fried rice on the island.

Cafe O'Lei (891-1368) Our favorite fine dining for lunch or dinner that won't break the bank is less than 5 minutes north at 2439 S Kihei Rd (upstairs at the Rainbow mall). They serve fantastic salads, have a wood-fired pizza oven, and feature a sushi bar with some of the freshest fish in town. Reservations recommended as this place is popular.

Fred's Mexican Cafe

Fred's Mexican Cafe located at 2511 S. Kihei Road in beautiful Kihei Hawaii is our favorite Mexican restaurant. It's just a 3 minute drive north of the condo, or a healthy walk - advisable with fresh margaritas flowing from the blenders and expertly prepared Mexican fare. It has a great outdoor deck where you can sit and view the water (we've even watched the whales ... when in season). We recommend Fred's for Taco Tuesday from 4pm until closing because they offer $3 - $4 soft tacos including Calamari, Carne Asada, Mahi Mahi, Baja Fish, Buffalo Chicken or Shrimp Tacos. They also offer 20oz $3.75 Bud Light Drafts or $4.95 House Margaritas (blended or on the rocks).

LuLu's Restaurant

LuLu's Restaurant is located at 1945 S. Kihei Rd in the Kihei Kalama Village and is a retro-surf themed restaurant/sports bar with Island-Asian-American cuisine and a fabulous view of the ocean from their 2nd floor open air bar. The menu ranges from Burgers to Steaks, Sushi to Catch of the Day. In the evenings they offer live music, karaoke, or salsa dancing.

Tommy Bahama's Tropical Cafe at The Shops at Wailea is a great place for a refreshing tropical drink and delicious appetizers like coconut shrimp. The restaurant has outdoor seating on the second floor, ocean end of the mall. Like everything Tommy Bahama, it is pricey but it's a great treat after a long plane ride to toast the start of your Maui vacation.

Cinnamon Roll Fair located at 2463 S. Kihei Road below the Denny's. We consider ourselves cinnamon roll connoisseurs and these are some of the best we've ever had - much better than Cinnabon's. They do not have nuts or raisins in the roll but you can order a side of Macadamia Nuts to sprinkle over the top.

Jawz Fish Tacos

Jawz Fish Tacos started out as a mobile taco stand near Makena beach (still operating), and have since opened up a restaurant in Kihei's Azeka mall, mountainside (beside the Bank of Hawaii, off Pi'ikea) Their fish tacos and shaved ice make them a local favorite. I like the topping bar where you can get extra spicy pepper sauces. Great smoothies too.

Stella Blues Cafe

Stella Blues Cafe (874-3779) Located at 1279 S. Kihei Road in the Azeka II Shopping Center, Stella Blues is open daily from 7:30 am to 11:00 pm. We enjoy their breakfast menu best.

back to top


There is much more to do in Kihei and on Maui, the list above is just a small sample. Of course, part of the fun of a vacation is discovering new favorite adventures and great meals. If you find your own new favorites while in Maui, please let us know about them!