Things To Do In Ka'anapali Beach
Ka'anapali Beach, Maui
For Exciting Seaside Activities ~ It’s Hard to Beat This Beach
Originally occupied by members of high society as a private retreat, Ka’anapali Beach was the first area in the Hawaiian islands that was specifically developed into a resort destination. Maui can lay claim to more than 30 miles of total beach, but this little 3-mile stretch of pristine sand and a convenient boardwalk can confidently claim it’s one of the best. That’s because Ka’anapali Beach remains a vibrant modern resort area just bustling with a multitude of activities at your disposal. Here are just a few of our favorite things:
There are no shortage of great restaurants lining Ka’anapali Beach. Duke’s Beach House offers a casual, delicious dining experience with sweeping views of the Pacific, and happens to be right on the grounds of the Honua Kai resort. Looking to take it up a notch? Head towards Whalers Village for a more upscale meal, or just grab a drink at the bar at Leilani’s On the Beach. You’ll find the name is remarkably accurate. If something more informal is more your speed, grab some apps or a burger at Hula Grill. And don’t forget the most important meal of the day. Slappy Cakes serves creative breakfasts right across the street from the beach. And if you’re a late sleeper, you’ll be happy to know they’re open until 2:00pm.
Snorkeling along Ka'anapali is the ideal place to see all the ocean has to offer. Follow the lava rock edge on the north side, which is called Black Rock, and you’ll experience crystal clear waters even at greater depths. That’s because the surf is relatively calm, but the sea life activity is anything but. All kinds of species can be spotted when snorkeling around these parts including: the colorful parrotfish, the feisty reef triggerfish, the majestic coral – and everyone’s favorite – the giant sea turtle. They just love the overhang of the cliff’s ledge. And you’ll love everything about this West Maui snorkeling adventure.
When you’re not snorkeling in Black Rock during the day, it’s also a great place to hang out at night. Why? A local cliff diver is tasked with a ceremonial lighting of the torches along the cliff, and diving off in a grand fashion. This ceremonious reenactment pays respect to King Kahekili’s legendary 18th century dive to prove his bravery and has become a nightly celebration.
Four! That’s the number of rounds you will screaming for when you see Ka’anapali’s courses. Sharp shooters will want to challenge their skills at the Ka’anapali Golf Resort. It was the first resort course built in Hawaii, and has held many professional tournaments in the past. For the more casual golfer, head to Ka’anapali Kai. Now this is a course in which anyone can be successful, and you can schedule a lesson at their academy beforehand to make sure you are.
There are plenty of places to shop beyond just Whalers Village. But that’s certainly the best place to start. So leave that tacky shirt in your suitcase and buy some threads that make you blend in with the native population. Grab some surfer shorts at Billabong and a vintage top at Malibu Shirts and you should be well on your way. Looking for something a bit more stylish? Then you must stop at The Outlets of Maui. All the brands you love, at a price you’ll love even more. And they sometimes hold events if you’re looking to waste a day away. For a traditional mall shopping experience, try the Lahaina Cannery Mall or Lahaina Gateway.
Situated along the waterfront boardwalk, Whalers Village is the spot to explore. Just take a stroll to more than 90 shops and restaurants. But get there before the sun goes down. You’ll want to take one of the area’s famous sunset cruises that just oozes with area ambiance. We recommend Maui Vacation Adventures, but the truth is, you really can’t go wrong. You may even see a whale or two or three. Check out our Maui Whale Watching Guide here for more details on what to look for on your watch. And there are plenty of other kid friendly activities as well. Make a day out of snorkeling, lei making and hula lessons before you head out on your sunset cruise.
The west coast of Maui has diversified waters for a diversity of water activities To try your hand at traditional paddle-in surfing, head south to Lahaina. Surf’s up on the north part of Ka’anapali Beach, too – but it’s another kind altogether. Consistent, manageable waves make it ideal for stand-up paddle-boarders (SUPs) who are looking to cruise the shallow waters with their own relaxing strokes. So on the calm days, rent a board just outside your resort, and start enjoying the area’s amazing views.
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