Kihei and Wailea—how different can we be?

I go to a sweet Hawaiian church in Kihei on the South Coast of Maui. And, since it was my day off I decided after the service to drive through Kihei to the next district of Wailea. Oh my, what a distance a few miles make in both scenery and vibe.
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The town of Kihei is very family oriented and has a distinctive local vibe. There is an abundance of parks, beaches, little shops with quaint names like Snorkel Bob’s and Boss Frogg. They rent anything a beach goer might need from snorkel equipment to sand chairs; paddle boards to surfboards. There are a lot of little restaurants for pizza, tacos, shave ice or the standard local fare…the plate lunch. Cars park everywhere and bicycles are definitely the secondary mode of transportation.WP_20140831_001

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However, Kihei gets very little rain so is often very hot and dry. It’s the perfect place for beach activities but the heat gets to me in a very short time.

Kiawe and palm trees thrive, but little else

Kiawe and palm trees thrive, but little else


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So onward into Wailea. The feeling immediately changes from local style to tourist elite. Here is the home of the four star hotels…The Andaz, The Grand Wailea, The Four Seasons and the Marriott Wailea Beach. The streets are manicured, the trees are trimmed, flowers are planted everywhere. The temperature drops about 20 degrees! It’s beautiful but feels like a fine sculpture behind velvet ropes. Only a few get to touch and the others can only dream.
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The Grand Wailea Hotel...the grounds are just spectacular

The Grand Wailea Hotel…the grounds are just spectacular

I decided to go to the Shops of Wailea–oh my..way out of my league, but fun to visit.
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Even the parking area was nice and cool. My little car fit right in!

My car sat in the shade while I walked through Gucci, LV, Tiffany's, and upscale art galleries. The second floor is a little more "local" with a surf shop, ABC store and an ice cream shop.

My car sat in the shade while I walked through Gucci, LV, Tiffany’s, and upscale art galleries. The second floor is a little more “local” with a surf shop, ABC store and an ice cream shop.

All in all my day was a good one. Today, I went to another amazing Botanical Garden…soon!

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3 thoughts on “Kihei and Wailea—how different can we be?

  1. Oh I love the pictures. And the writing is very fine. This is a wonderful travelogue and I look forward to receiving them. It’s interesting that there would be such differences from one section of a small island to another. This is a first hand look at exclusive Hawaii, where the tourists thrive if they’re in the upper one percent – right? Is your car electric? It looks like it. There’s quite a few electric cars around here.

  2. Very different! My Aunt lived in Wailea but had to move because she had too many children living with her in the apartment. Children like me, my 2 sisters and my cousin. The neighbors didn’t like it that we were all teenagers who loved reggae music. She moved to Kihei and that apartment allowed her to have teens in her apartment.

  3. Well as beautiful as Wailea is, it seems stiff and elitist. Kihei is a little too hot for me but it’s a lot more family friendly. I like to go salsa dancing at Three’s Bar & Grill. It’s also more senior friendly!

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