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Nestled along the sunny southwest coast of Maui lies the vibrant town of Kihei, one of Hawaii’s best kept secrets. With swaying palm trees, stunning beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere, many visitors find themselves asking: where exactly is Kihei?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Kihei is located on the island of Maui in the state of Hawaii, on the western shore of the island facing the Pacific Ocean.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about the location of this island paradise. You’ll learn about Kihei’s geographic coordinates, what island and county it’s situated in, what major towns and cities surround it, how to get there, and what makes its position along Maui’s coastline so ideal.

Geographic Coordinates of Kihei

Latitude and Longitude

Kihei is located along the southern coastline of Maui, Hawaii at geographic coordinates 20°45′N 156°27′W. This puts Kihei at around 20.75° north latitude and 156.45° west longitude. The town spans approximately 8 miles of coastline, with the northern boundary near Maalaea and the southern boundary at Wailea.


Kihei’s Location on Maui

Southwest Coast of the Island

Kihei is located on the southwest coast of the island of Maui in Hawaii. It stretches for around six miles along the sunny shores of the island, nestled between the blue Pacific Ocean and the West Maui Mountains.

The town lies roughly halfway between the two larger resort areas of Wailea to the south and Maalaea to the north. This prime location allows visitors easy access to popular attractions and activities across south and west Maui.

Between Wailea and Maalaea

To the south of Kihei is the posh resort area of Wailea, known for its luxury hotels, world-class golf courses, and high-end shopping and dining. Driving north from Kihei along South Kihei Road, you’ll soon reach Maalaea, a small harbor village and launching point for snorkeling tours and whale watching cruises.

So Kihei enjoys the perks of being centered between these two popular destinations. It provides a more laid-back and affordable alternative to Wailea, while still being close to conveniences like grocery stores and the harbor in Maalaea.

The total driving distance from one end of Kihei to the other (Wailea to Maalaea) is only around 15 miles. So it’s easy to explore the whole southwestern region of Maui with Kihei as your home base!

Part of Maui County

One of Hawaii’s Five Counties

The island of Maui is part of Maui County, which is one of the five counties that make up the U.S. state of Hawaii. The other counties are Hawaii County (Island of Hawaii), Honolulu County (Oahu), Kauai County (Island of Kauai), and Kalawao County (Kalaupapa Peninsula on Molokai).

Maui County encompasses the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai (except for Kalaupapa Peninsula), Kahoolawe, and Molokini Crater. It covers 1,159 square miles and is the second largest county in Hawaii after Hawaii County. As of 2021, Maui County has an estimated population of 167,207 residents.

Includes Entire Island of Maui

Maui County includes the entire island of Maui, which is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands after the Island of Hawaii. Spanning 727 square miles, Maui is known for its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, historic towns like Lahaina, and popular resort areas like Kaanapali and Wailea.

Some key facts about the Island of Maui:

  • Nicknamed “The Valley Isle” due to the large isthmus between its northwestern and southeastern volcanoes
  • Home to Haleakala National Park, which includes the dormant Haleakala volcano rising 10,023 feet above sea level
  • Three main population centers: Kahului (largest city), Lahaina, and Kihei
  • Main industries: tourism/hospitality, agriculture (sugarcane, pineapple, coffee, etc.), aerospace/defense contracting
  • As of 2021, has an estimated population of 159,010 residents, making up over 95% of Maui County’s total population

Accessible from Kahului Airport

15 Miles from Kahului

The vibrant beach town of Kihei is located just 15 miles south of Kahului Airport (OGG), making it an easy 20-30 minute drive depending on traffic conditions on the Piilani Highway (Hwy 31). The airport serves as the main gateway to Maui island, welcoming over 6 million passengers in 2021 according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Given the short travel distance, visitors flying into Kahului Airport will find themselves relaxing on the sunny shores of Kihei’s beaches in no time. Renting a car is the most convenient way to make the quick and scenic drive along the coastline.

Public bus routes also connect the airport to Kihei for a low-cost option.

Easy Drive on Piilani Highway

The direct route from Kahului Airport to Kihei is on the Piilani Highway (Hwy 31), a smooth and panoramic coastal road offering spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Driving conditions are favorable, with two lanes in each direction and a 50 mph speed limit for most stretches.

The highway passes through verdant valleys and windswept lava fields. Midway through the drive is Maalaea Harbor, a popular spot to see humpback whales during winter months. Continuing south, the road enters North Kihei before reaching the core of Kihei near the Kamaole beach parks.

Distance Driving Time (Normal Traffic) Driving Time (Heavy Traffic)
Kahului Airport to Maalaea Harbor 13 minutes 16 minutes
Maalaea Harbor to Central Kihei 12 minutes 19 minutes

The Hawaii Department of Transportation provides real-time traffic conditions and web camera feeds along Piilani Highway to help travelers better gauge driving times ( With favorable road conditions and moderate traffic, visitors can expect to be enjoying Mai Tais with their toes in the sand about 20-30 minutes after landing 😎🌴🏖️👙

Ideal South Maui Location

Sunny Weather Year-Round

Blessed with stunning beaches, luxury resorts, and fabulous weather all year round, Kihei is one of the most popular destinations in sunny South Maui. Located on the leeward side of Haleakala Volcano, Kihei enjoys significantly less rain compared to other parts of Maui.

The annual precipitation averages a paltry 10 inches, allowing visitors to bask in the glorious sunshine almost every day. Daily high temperatures hover between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit regardless of season, making Kihei an ideal place to relax on gorgeous stretches of sand or partake in thrilling water activities.

According to climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Kihei gets a whopping average of 263 sunny days per year [1]. Compare this to Honolulu, which sees an average of 218 sunny days annually.

The warmest months in Kihei are August and September, when highs average 88°F. The “coldest” months are January and February, when average high temperatures remain a comfortable 80°F. Thanks to Kihei’s reliably warm weather and abundance of sunshine all year long, visitors can comfortably swim in the sparkling Pacific Ocean no matter what time of year they choose to travel.

Gateway to Popular Beaches and Towns

Flanked by gorgeous beaches, Kihei offers easy access to some of Maui’s most popular attractions. World-famous Wailea Beach is just minutes to the south, renowned for its golden sand and calm protected waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Travel fifteen minutes north and you’ll reach lively Lahaina town brimming with art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Wander down Front Street and watch spectacular sunsets over the harbor—a quintessential Maui experience.

The beaches and towns of West Maui are also easily accessible via the Honoapiilani Highway just minutes from Kihei. Drive twenty minutes north to visit the whale sanctuary at Ma’alaea Bay, or thirty minutes further to explore the resort area of Ka’anapali.

For an idyllic escape, journey 50 minutes past Ka’anapali to Honolua Bay. This marine life conservation area offers superb snorkeling and surf breaks for experienced wave riders.

Thanks to its central location, visitors staying in Kihei can conveniently explore the whole island while benefiting from South Maui’s phenomenal weather and wealth of attractions right on their doorstep. It’s undoubtedly one of the best places to stay for an unforgettable Hawaiian escape.


With swaying palms, stunning beaches, and a relaxed tropical vibe, the town of Kihei has become a beloved destination for visitors from around the world. Its prime position along Maui’s southern shore places it close to world-famous beaches, scenic lookouts, and lively resort towns.

We hope this outline has helped shed light on exactly where this island paradise is located. The next time you find yourself dreaming of a Hawaiian vacation, consider adding Kihei to your itinerary. With its sunny skies, warm turquoise waters, and welcoming spirit, you just may find your own slice of paradise along Maui’s beautiful southwest shore.

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