Invested in a piece of South Maui real estate and you are not sure what to do next? With a significant amount of white sandy beaches and breathtaking landscapes to explore, it might feel a little overwhelming with all the options for recreation. If you have just recently purchased a North Kihei condo for sale or home listing and you are wondering what you can do to occupy your free time, we invite you to check out these top things to do in the area.
South Maui is home to the best beaches
Beaches are, of course, one of Kihei’s most popular attractions, and if you like yours kid-friendly and without plenty of crowds, Kalepolepo Beach fits the bill. The water here –freshwater flowing right from underground natural springs – is protected by a stone wall that used to be an ancient Hawaiian fish pond for the royalty, walling off the waves and creating a calm, shallow pool where children can safely wade and have fun. Watch out for kite surfers though when the trade winds blow: Kalepolepo Beach is one of the best places in Maui for advanced kite surfers to freestyle and enjoy big air.
One of North Kihei’s main draws is Sugar Beach, which to some estimates stretches for as long as six miles. While you can easily guess where the name of the beach comes from when you walk its length, it’s actually named from the wharf built here in 1899 to service the Kihei Sugar Plantation that just started operations. As the sugar industry headed towards its peak, so did the activity around the pier, which gave rise to Kihei Township. Over a century later, the commercial center that emerged from this wharf expanded to include Wailea and Makena farther south.
Only remnants of the original pier today can be seen in North Kihei. While it’s no longer used for its intended purpose, it now marks the area where the Kihei Canoe Club practices and holds competition against other clubs from around Maui.
Compared to South Kihei, North Kihei gets more than its fair share of trade winds, so when they whip up the waves and make swimming less than ideal, droves of wind surfers come here instead. The winds are strong enough to carry them all the way over to Maalaea Harbor. Early in the morning though, when conditions are calmer, a contemplative walk on Sugar Beach makes for a great start to your day.
As humpback whales migrate to Maalaea Bay’s warm waters this winter, North Kihei real estate is well-located for residents to witness whales breaching offshore right from the comforts of their private lanai. In fact, the Hawaiian Island Humpback Whale Sanctuary is right here in the north adjacent to a historical fishing pond at Kalepolepo Beach. Not only can you learn more about these gentle giants of the deep, you’ll also get a much clearer view of their antics from the telescopes mounted on the viewing deck of the sanctuary.
If you’d rather get a closer look at our favorite finned friends, you’ll be that much nearer to whale-watching expeditions leaving Maalaea Harbor. Diving and snorkeling trips and fishing adventures also leave from there, making up for the scarcity of snorkeling grounds in North Kihei’s shores as it often requires you to venture farther out to the outer reef. But some beachfront condo resorts here have condominiums for sale looking directly down to the water, allowing owners to spot turtles coming ashore.
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge
Located between Maalaea beachfront condo sales and North Kihei, Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is home to ‘aeo’ or long-legged Hawaiian stilts, and the ‘alae keokeo’ or Hawaiian coot. Black-crowned night herons also make regular appearances in the refuge, along with migratory shorebirds called sanderlings and wandering tattlers, the latter seen most frequently between August and April. The refuge is ADA-accessible, as a boardwalk has been installed along with interpretive panels that educate the visitors about the birds they see. From here, there’s a gap in the boardwalk providing access to the beach.
North Kihei is the happy medium between the quiet atmosphere of Maalaea and convenience of bustling South Kihei. The long stretches of sandy shoreline paired with relaxing make these Hawaii real estate properties some of the most covetable. But living in Hawaii is a lot more than just lounging in the warm Hawaiian sunshine with a tropical drink, although that is definitely one of the perks. Get in touch with Mark Harbison or Lisa Oyama to experience it for yourself!