What To Do In South Maui
When planning a day in South Maui, be prepared for a day full of Maui’s glorious sunshine. Definitely start off your day by exploring La Perouse Bay, located at the end of Makena Alanui Road (Hwy. 31). Here, you’ll find a beautiful bay decorated by a black rock ridden coastline. This bay is site to Maui’s most recent volcanic activity (approx. 1480-1600 AD), and home to some of Hawaii’s playful Spinner Dolphins (best seen during the early mornings). La Perouse Bay, also known as Keone’o’io in the ancient Hawaiian language, is also one end of Maui’s historic Kings Trail.
Heading back towards Kihei, guests should stop at Ahihi Keanau Reserve in Makena. The best time to check out this South Maui snorkel spot is in the morning before any crowds or large groups show up (parking can be challenging). This is a great place to snorkel with small children because the water is shallow, and there’s an abundance of colorful coral and tropical fish to see. Makena Beach is a must-see on Maui, whether you just go for a beautiful beach walk, or planning to spend more time in the surf and sand. Makena is also a wonderful place in South Maui to enjoy sunset* All beach-goers should be careful when swimming at Makena, and never turn your back to the ocean! Makena’s Big Beach is notorious for rogue waves.
Shopping in South Maui is truly fabulous, where guests can enjoy a full spectrum of gift shops, art galleries, surf shops, boutiques, and many places to pick up Maui souvenirs. Shops at Wailea is definitely the creme de la creme of shopping in South Maui, offering a beautiful 2-floor outdoor venue; high end stores are on the upper level, and mainstream retailers and local boutiques are on the lower level. If you’re craving a bite to eat while Shops at Wailea, Longhi’s is a great choice, and Tommy Bahama’s Bar offers a gorgeous selection of tropical cocktails. If you are looking for places to shop in Kihei, head to South Kihei Road for a selection of cute stores and boutiques. Kalama Village offers a little bit of something for everyone with a variety of souvenir vendors, art galleries, a tattoo studio, Local Boy Shave Ice, and specialty boutiques like Mahina and the Love Shack.
Dining in South Maui is never disappointing. In Wailea, guests should definitely check out Monkeypod, Peter Merriman’s newest culinary masterpiece. This is a perfect restaurant to choose if your traveling with a large group, and a great place for tasting a variety of Maui’s locally grown foods throughout the menu. Other great restaurants in South Maui include Morimoto’s, DUO Steak & Seafood, Capishe?, Coconut’s Fish Cafe, Mulligans, the Paia Fish Market (new Kihei location), and Sansei.
South Maui is not only a Maui destination for long days of sunshine, fun in the sun and shopping, but also for having a popular bar and nightlife scene. Mulligan’s On the Blue is a great venue for those that want to enjoy an ocean view with a cold one, Irish folk music, and local Hawaiian musicians throughout the week. Maui Brewing Company just opened their second brew pub on Maui in North Kihei. Here, guests can tour the brewery and taste delicious craft beers ranging from pale ale’s to their famous coconut porter, while munching on some yummy pub fare. Surrounding the Kalama Village there are a variety of popular bars with live music and DJ’s that play late into the evening. The best bars in South Kihei are the South Shore Tiki Lounge, Diamonds, Dog & Duck, Ambrosia, and Haui’s Life’s a Beach.
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