Kaanapali is the resort area in west Maui just a few miles north of Lahaina. The Kaanapali Beach Resort was developed in the 1960's, which subsequently opened the world's eyes to this area as a tourist destination. Since then, many hotels and resorts have popped up and tourists have flocked to Kaanapali Beach and the surrounding pristine Maui Beaches.
Some of the big resorts found in Kaanapali are the Sheraton, Hyatt, Westin, Kaanapali Beach Hotel, the Whaler, and Kaanapali Alii. Just north of Kaanapali is Kapalua, another resort area. See Ka'anapali Map
Ka’anapali remains a favorite for both first time and repeat Maui visitors as it is one of the island's main tourist hubs. While all visitors should get out and explore all that Maui has to offer, there is enough to do in Ka’anapali to keep you occupied for the entirety of your stay. With a slew of resorts located just steps from Ka’anapali Beach, naturally, there are a handful of water activities to keep you busy. Some of the island’s best snorkel spots are located near Ka’anapali, as well as the famous “Black Rock”, which is a favorite cliff jumping site for both locals and visitors. Ka’anapali Beach is also a launch point for several catamaran tours. In the winter months, hundreds of humpback whales flock to the shallow waters around Ka’anapali, making the area one of the best places on the island to whale watch. (Pro-tip, if visiting Ka’anapali during the winter, try to get an ocean view room! You are guaranteed dozens of whale sightings from your patio during this time of year!)
Around sunset, there is no better place to be than Ka’anapali Beach. Enjoy stunning sunset views as the sun settles near the neighboring island of Lanai. If you look closely, you may be able to see the green flash!
After dark, there are dozens of dining and shopping experiences to enjoy. The Ka’anapali boardwalk is studded with a handful of delicious restaurants to choose from, many offering live music and happy hour deals. Whalers Village is also located in Ka’anapali and is a great place to get some shopping done.
Things to do around Kaanapali
Skyline Eco-Adventures will zip you over the trees with incredible views of the island. Exciting, educational, and great for photo opportunities, zipling is a must do.
Take the Four Winds directly from Lahaina to the best nearby snorkel locations. They offer private charters, as well as shared charters. We love there crew. THE BEST!
Heading north past Ka’anapali you will soon enter West Maui’s more rugged, less inhabited, and ultimately less touristy region. Similar to the road to Hana, this road is full of hidden gems and narrow twists and turns. Exploring the area with a guide is the best way to get the most out of your experience and to assure you don’t lose a minute of your time focused on driving. Hoaloha Jeep Adventures offers fully custom tours of West Maui in a 4x4 convertible Jeep. Hoaloha will meet you at your hotel for a full day of adventure, fun, and exploring. Not only can their 4x4 Jeep access places that most rental cars can’t, but they also cater to all guests' personal preferences and allow visitors to explore at their own pace without worrying about time limits or hurrying off to the next location. Hoaloha also employs local, knowledgeable guides to brief you on the rich history, geology, and natural life of the area. Whether you want to explore West Maui’s best snorkeling, beaches, valleys, or swimming holes, Hoaloha will make it happen.
HeleWai Eco-Tours’ team of passionate naturalists lead this hike through one of West Maui’s remotest and most scenic reserves. With groups of no more than four people—which translates into a quiet, intimate experience—the Honolua Ridgeline Hike takes trekkers across private land that’s closed to the public. There, you’ll have the chance to see striking vistas and incredible flora and fauna. Along the way, you’ll learn about Honolua’s cultural and environmental importance—and might be inspired to join the movement to protect West Maui’s watershed and native forests.
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