Kaanapali is a posh resort area in West Maui.
Just a couple of miles up the coast from Lahaina is the posh resort area of Kaanapali with upscale high-rise hotels bordering a pristine, white-sand beach.
The waters offshore of Kaanapali Beach are a favorite swimming area for humpback whales which are often seen during the winter months breaching up from the sea and blowing up spouts of mist. The beach looks out across the Auau Channel also providing views of Lanai and Molokai.
Places To Stay
Beachfront condos and hotels provide many accommodation choices. Major resort hotels include the Hyatt Regency Maui, Sheraton, Maui Marriott, Westin, Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Royal Lahaina, and Maui Kaanapali Villas.
America’s Best Beach
Dividing Kaanapali Beach in two is Black Rock, Maui’s westernmost point. Snorkeling around the rock is fantastic, and thrill seekers also like to jump from the rock into the sea. In ancient times this rock was known as Kekaa and is said to have been a place where spirits departed to go their ancestral homelands. Kekaa means “The rumble,” and refers to the sounds produced by the rock during storms.
Adding to the luxurious setting of Kaanapali are two championship golf courses as well as dozens of tennis courts and even a 3,500-seat tennis stadium court at the Royal Lahaina Resort Tennis Ranch. Fronting the hotels are numerous swimming pools, and beach activities abound including sunbathing, windsurfing, parasailing, and ocean cruises. Plenty of shops and concessions are located nearby in case you are hungry or thirsty.
Nearby is the Whalers Village Shopping Center with lots of shopping opportunities as well as great places to eat. On the mezzanine level is the Whalers Village Museum displays various exhibits related to Maui’s whaling days from 1825 to 1860. Items on display at Whalers Village Museum include scrimshaw, harpoons, and whale models and the recreated forecastle of an actual whaling ship, and a 40-foot skeleton of a sperm whale hanging above the Museum’s entrance.
Kaanapali is accessed by three different exits off the Honoapiilani Highway. Kaanapali is served by the small Kapalua-West Maui Airport.