The South Maui region is favored by locals and visitors for its access to some of Maui’s best beaches, dining options, and sumptuous views. The area covers approximately 37.6 square miles and includes the areas of Maalaea (to a degree), Kihei, Maui Meadows, Wailea, and Makena.
With so much to see and do, here is a quick guide for exploring the South Maui coast.
8am: Don’t Skip Breakfast
Starting off the day right with breakfast will make sure of plenty of energy to make the most of the entire day. Options abound with quick bites to go like an acai bowl or protein shake, while a more hearty breakfast at a cafe will be a nice way to spend a relaxing morning.
- Kihei Cafe: highly regarded as Kihei’s best and most popular breakfast spot. We suggest going early than later as the lines can tend to pile up. With everything from macadamia nut french toast and benedicts to breakfast burritos and waffles, Kihei Cafe will hit the spot.
9:30am: Traverse the La Perouse Lava Fields
Tucked away on another windy road past Maui’s famous Big Beach is La Perouse Bay or the Ahihi Kinau Reserve. Note La Perouse is not an ideal swimming beach like Big Beach, but is an oceanfront hike. There are natural wonders on the mauka (mountain) side of the reserve, while on the makai (ocean) side is teaming with ocean wild life.
12:00pm: Shops at Wailea
Opened in 2000 as the hub and heart beat of the Wailea resort, the Shops at Wailea are the preferred shopping destination for visitors with more than 70 stores, restaurants, offices, and art galleries. The shops are the perfect place to take a break from the sun and grab a bite to eat. With a variety of options, it’s a great place to relax before heading back to the beach.
3:00pm: Head to Big Beach
Just off of Makena Alanui Road is quite possibly the best beach in Hawaii. Big Beach stands heads and shoulders above some of Maui’s best beaches. You’ll find just under a mile of perfect sand, the beautifu backdrop of lower Haleakala, and water that’s a virbant blue green. It is one of the largest beaches in Maui, extending nearly 2/3 of a mile long and 100 yards wide of golden Maui sand.
7:00pm: Eat Dinner
Cap off a long day of shopping and fun with a dinner at a South Maui favorite. With many options dotted along South Kihei Road and into Wailea, there are many price points for all. Wailea will be home to your fine dining options, while Kihei will have a mix.
- Pita Paradise: The Wailea location is now their flagship location that succeeds their previous Kihei Kalama Village restaurant. Tucked away at the beginning of Wailea in the Wailea Gateway shopping center, Pita Paradise is serving a mesh of Mediterranean and Italian recipes with dashes of Hawaii to round out their menu.
- Cafe O’lei Kihei: Dana Pastula is the creative genius behind the popular establishment of Cafe O’lei which has been in business for over 10 years now. It has grown from a small six table operation and into three restaurants operating under the Cafe O’lei name, a thriving catering business, and two other fine dining restaurants under original restaurant names.
- Ko: Executive Chef Tylun Pang heads the culinary masterpiece of Kō restaurant in Wailea, boasting the only fine dining menu on Maui to offer cuisine inspired by the sugarcane plantation era. The ample menu size features local island favorites inspired out of family recipes that have been passed down for generations, including Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese favorites. The utilization of the island’s fresh produce, meat and seafood, allows Chef Pang to gives these authentic recipes a farm-fresh, contemporary twist.
Contact a Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Specialist
The view from Hoolei Villa A6, the ultimate privacy and seclusion in the Wailea Resort
Please consider me to be your trusted Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Advisor. I was born and raised on the island, and spend a considerable amount of time to inform my clients about the best deals currently on the market. Please do not hesitate to call me for your Maui real estate needs. I am more than happy to assist you in your home search.
Anthony Sayles R(S)