Things To Do In Ka'anapali Beach
Your Ultimate Guide ~ To Maui's Favorite 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 to be specifically developed into a resort destination. With more than 30 miles of pristine shoreline, there's no shortage of amazing things to do in Maui. However, the 3-mile stretch along Ka'anapali Beach, with its fine sand and convenient boardwalk, is decidedly one of the island's top attractions. Now a beautiful and modern resort area, Ka'anapali Beach is bustling with activities to choose from. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Take a walk along Ka'anapali Beach and you'll have plenty of restaurant options to choose from. Start the day off right at Slappy Cakes, which serves creative breakfasts until 2 p.m. right across the street from the beach. Duke’s Beach House offers a casual, delicious dining experience with sweeping views of the Pacific, and is conveniently situated on the grounds of the Honua Kai resort. Looking to take it up a notch? Head toward Whalers Village for a more upscale meal, or grab a drink at the bar at Leilani’s On the Beach. You’ll find the name is remarkably accurate. If you're going for something a little more informal, grab some apps or a burger at Hula Grill. No matter what you're looking for, you'll find it along Ka'anapali Beach.
Ka'anapali is the ideal place to put on a snorkel and experience all the beauty of ocean. On the north side, float along Black Rock – a lava rock feature teeming with sea life – and you’ll find yourself in crystal clear waters as deep as you can dive. The area owes its perfect snorkeling conditions to relatively calm surf, majestic coral, and an abundance of tropical fish, including the colorful parrotfish and the feisty reef triggerfish. The giant sea turtle can also be found lazing about on the cliff's edge. Discover this incredible snorkeling hotspot for yourself, and see what else you can find beneath the waves.
Black Rock may be famous for snorkeling by day, but it's also not to be missed by night. Plan to stay around the area after the sun goes down to watch a local cliff diver perform a ceremonial torch lighting, complete with a masterful dive to bring it to a close. This ceremonious reenactment pays respect to King Kahekili, who in the 18th century performed the dive to prove his bravery. It has since become a nightly celebration worth seeing.
Once you see Ka'anapali's beautiful and meticulously kempt golf courses, you'll want to book a longer stay to play them all. One of the finest and most challenging is the Ka’anapali Golf Resort, which was the first resort golf course built in Hawaii, and has been home to many professional tournaments in the past. For the more casual golfer, head to Ka’anapali Kai. Here, novices and first-timers are welcome, and you can even get your game up with lessons through their academy.
There are plenty of spots to shop beyond Whalers Village, but that’s certainly a good place to start. If you want to leave that tacky shirt in your suitcase and buy some threads to blend in with the local population, this area is a must. 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 plan a stop at The Outlets of Maui. All the brands you love, at prices you’ll love even more. For a traditional mall shopping experience, try the Lahaina Cannery Mall or Lahaina Gateway.
Situated along the waterfront boardwalk, Whalers Village is the top spot to explore. Take a stroll through an area with more than 90 shops and restaurants, but finish up there before the sun goes down. The village is home to several famous and perfectly picturesque sunset cruises, such as those offered by Maui Vacation Adventures, where you can take in the sumptuous views and even spot a whale or two. Check out our Maui Whale Watching Guide here for more details on what to look for on your watch. There are plenty of activities for kids, too, including snorkeling, lei making, and hula lessons.
To try your hand at traditional 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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