Situated in the rain shadow of the massive, looming Halekalā, Kihei and its notoriously luxurious, sandy beaches are the hottest and driest on the island. Though the dry climate protected this area from heavy tourist development until the late 1970s and early 1980s, walking down the beach will draw you by seemingly endless high-rise condos and fancy resorts.
Nevertheless, there are still quiet, hidden beaches tucked away under our noses, and Kihei Beach, also referred to as Kawililīpoa Beach, is one of them. The water here can sometimes be a bit murky thanks to a nearby discharge ditch at Kalama Park + Cove Beach Park—the nutrient-rich water can prompt algae blooms. Though this beach is usually unaffected, it’s definitely something to keep in mind. Even so, the ever-blooming hibiscus, morning glory, and bird of paradise that pepper the calm, sweeping shoreline make for a lovely morning walk, a beachy picnic, or a sandcastle-building competition. The spindly, reaching kiawe trees, or algaroba, provides nice shade and a touch of color with its greenish-yellow flowers. Be aware that they produce sharp thorns.
This is a generally underutilized beach, so there are no amenities of which to speak.
Though there are few points of access (an obstacle that successfully keeps most of the tourist traffic away), driving to Shoreline Access 118 at the end of West Lipoa Street near the Aloha Aku Inn and Suites will serve up some parking opportunities. There are several restaurants and businesses up the road with plenty of parking.