Just a short drive up Honoapi‘ilani Highway from Lahaina is a beautiful, three-mile stretch of golden beach and the first destination resort on Maui ... Ka‘anapali. In Ka‘anapali Beach Resort you’ll find deluxe hotels and condominiums at a wide array of prices, casual to elegant restaurants, just about every kind of ocean activity there is, a beachfront boardwalk, challenging golf and delightful shopping along world-famous Ka‘anapali Beach.
The area is noted for its landmark Pu‘u Keka‘a (commonly known as Black Rock) which was a sacred site for Native Hawaiians. They revered it as a place where the spirits of the dead went to leap from this world to the next, and so it was considered extremely brave to leap from the same spot as these spirits. The leap is recreated each evening at sunset by a diver from the Sheraton Maui Resort. This landmark and many other sites along the beach and rolling greens of Ka‘anapali become even more fascinating when you learn about their history and lore. The best way to explore is by taking the Ka‘anapali Historical Trail & History and Legends Tour, offered free upon request.
GOLF & SPAS
In the heart of the resort lies the vast, green expanse of the recently redesigned Ka‘anapali Golf Courses. Royal Ka‘anapali (par 71; Robert Trent Jones, Sr.) and Ka‘anapali Kai (par 70; Arthur Jack Snyder) courses offer an unforgettable experience for any avid golfer, whether at beginning or advanced levels. Ka‘anapali’s natural beauty and geographical features from the mountain to the sea set the stage for adventurous activities, such as kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, body boarding, parasailing, diving, hiking and ziplining.
Ka‘anapali also offers several world-class oceanfront spas, including Spa Helani at The Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort, Heavenly Spa & Westin Workout at The Westin Maui Resort, Spa Moana & Moana Athletic Club at Hyatt Regency Maui, The Spa at Black Rock in Sheraton Maui Resort, the Ka‘anapali Ali‘i Spa and Ho‘ola Spa at Honua Kai Resort.
If your dream vacation includes a luxury oceanfront resort with acres of lush gardens, pools and waterfalls, look no further than Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa or The Westin Maui Resort & Spa. Maybe you want swimming pools with fun water features for the kids (or for yourself), cultural activities by day or Hawaiian music by night -- Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club, Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel, Sheraton Maui Resort or Royal Lahaina Resort may be perfect for you. Maybe a spacious, beachfront condo with a full kitchen and private lanai is more your style -- check in at the Ka‘anapali Ali‘i, Whaler on Ka‘anapali Beach, Outrigger Maui Eldorado Resort, Maui Ka‘anapali Villas, The Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas or Honua Kai Resort & Spa.
DINING & EVENTS
If dining is the way to your heart, look no further than Ka‘anapali for a multitude of restaurants and types of cuisine. Japengo at Hyatt Regency Maui features fine dining with a sushi bar, steaks and fresh island seafood. Hula Grill, Leilani’s on the Beach and Duke’s Beach House feature farm-fresh ingredients in innovative island cuisine. Roy’s Ka‘anapali is a signature Roy Yamaguchi restaurant. Pulehu, an Italian Grill at The Westin Ka‘anapali offers farm-to-table old world cuisine. At Maui Ka‘anapali Villas, the Castaway Cafe features island style dishes from breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For an adventure in traditional Hawaiian cuisine combined with hula and live music, don’t wait to book a reservation at one of Ka‘anapali’s award-winning lu‘au feasts. Royal Lahaina Resort, The Westin Maui and Hyatt Regency Maui all offer nightly dinner shows. Ka‘anapali Beach Resort also presents two culinary showcases: Maui Onion Festival the first weekend in May. Events highlighting the Hawaiian culture are Hula O Na Keiki, Maui’s only children’s hula competition, each November and Wa‘a Kiakahi with outrigger sailing canoe races in early June. Check GoHawaii.com for exact dates.
Whalers Village shopping complex is anchored in the center of the scenic Ka‘anapali Beachwalk. It offers a wide array of retail options from resort wear and beach accessories to trend-setting fashion and cosmetic boutiques, home furnishings and convenience stores. There’s food for every mood at Whalers Village from the international food court to full-service restaurants along the beach. Whalers Village Museum provides a fascinating look at the whaling era and the art of scrimshaw. Tucked between the golf courses and the highway, Fairway Shops at Ka‘anapali is a more intimate retail center with specialty shops, health and beauty services and several restaurants.
Once you’ve seen everything on land, it’s time to hit “America’s Best Beach” (2003 list by Dr. Beach) for watersports. Snorkeling should be one of the activities you choose, because the coral reefs along Ka‘anapali Beach provide some of the most colorful underwater spectacles to be seen anywhere. The area between Pu‘u Keka‘a and Kahekili Beach Park (North Beach) is an exceptional place to start. From December to May, whale watching fever strikes the island and particularly Ka‘anapali when the gentle giant humpback whales frolic in the calm waters while breeding and giving birth. If you would like a closer look at the whale activity than from the shore, try a whale watch tour, which can be booked from your hotel or at Ka‘anapali Beach.
Whatever your tropical island pleasure, it can be found here along the sandy shores of Ka‘anapali ... after all, it’s where the world comes to play!