Things to Do in South Maui
E komo mai (welcome) to paradise! South Maui is one of the island’s most popular vacation spots. Swim and bask in the sun on the picture-perfect crescent of Polo Beach, close to renowned snorkeling at ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘u Natural Area Reserve. Golf, shop and whale-watch in exclusive, serene Wailea or relax in sleepy Kihei.
There’s so much to see and do in South Maui! We’ve put together this guide to share some of the can’t-miss experiences available to you.
Discover Ocean Wonders
Learn about Hawai‘i’s underwater ecosystems at Maui Ocean Center in Ma‘alaea. Put your hands into touch pools, take a behind-the-scenes tour, watch the tide pool ebb and flow, and see creatures like jellyfish, stingrays, sharks, sea turtles and corals in 60-plus exhibitions. Watch some 2,000 fish glide above the tunnel under the 750,000-gallon Open Ocean display.
Visit La Perouse Bay
Just south of Wailea, Keoneʻōʻio Bay, or La Perouse Bay, in ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘u Natural Area Reserve is a must for snorkeling. Explore the coves and tide pools in turquoise water along the sheltered rocky northern end shore, and look for spinner dolphins and wild goats. Few visit this beautiful historic area, dubbed Maui’s Forbidden Coast, named after the French naval officer/explorer who landed here in 1786. The Haleakalā volcano erupted here in 1790; see the archaeological ruins and monument to the Hawaiian villagers who perished on the black-lava shore.
Snorkel at Molokini Crater
Snorkel the clear-blue sheltered waters around this striking partially submerged volcanic caldera — a marine preserve teeming with coral and thousands of fish and sea creatures found nowhere else — that resulted from an eruption 230,000 years ago. Ancient Hawaiians fished here and you’ll feel as if you’re inside an aquarium. Swim with green sea turtles or scuba dive along the sheer back wall plunging 300 feet down.
Hit the Amusement Park
Head to Maui Golf Sports Park with the kids — or just kids at heart — for an afternoon of old-fashioned fun and games. There are tropical island bumper boats, two 18-hole miniature golf courses, a 25-foot climbing wall and bungee trampoline.
Shops ‘til You Drop
Indulge in some vacation retail therapy at The Shops at Wailea. The offerings span the gamut — from arts and crafts and original Hawaiian gifts and collectibles to global brands such as Louis Vuitton and local favorites like Honolua Surf Company. Shop, grab an island-roast coffee at a café and dine out at this pretty indoor-outdoor center set amid palm tree groves. There are 70 shops, restaurants and galleries, plus Polynesian nighttime entertainment, concerts and workshops like coconut frond weaving, wood carving, lei making and ‘ukulele lessons.
Work on Your Swing
Play 18 holes at both Golf Magazine and Golf Digest’s pick for the country’s best courses at Wailea Golf Club. Choose from three celebrated championship courses, famed for their gorgeous tropical island scenery, with the Pacific’s top outdoor training facility and two full-service pro shops. This is Hawai‘i’s largest and most acclaimed golf facility — and it’s just minutes from the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui resort.
Ready to Explore South Maui?
Our concierge team is ready to help you with information, ideas, insider tips and reservations. Email [email protected] or call us at 1 808 875 4100, ext. 290 for more information.