Napili (referring to the pili grasses that once grew in the area in abundance) is marked by a string of small bays, leading to Kapalua. Located just nine miles north of Lahaina, Napili offers some of the most beautiful coastline views in West Maui along with a variety of outdoor activities, shopping and dining.
When you arrive in Napili off Honoapi‘ilani Highway, you’ll find Napili Plaza, which is host to a diverse selection of shops, restaurants and services. Napili Plaza also offers a weekly arts and crafts fair, open from 9am to 4pm, featuring local artisans selling their wares. Be sure to make a stop at this plaza to experience its small town ambience.
If you are looking for a great beach for snorkeling, scuba diving or just basking in the sun, Napili Bay is for you. Napili Bay is protected from big waves most of the year. The water is calm for swimming and snorkeling, making it perfect for children and those unfamiliar with the ocean. This beach is frequented by skim boarders — the steep start to the sand makes for excellent take-off into the surf. The U-shaped bay with black lava borders is filled with profusion of coral, tropical reef fish and marine life.
Napili is also popular with walking and jogging enthusiasts. It’s the place to begin a great walking experience along the coast into Kapalua Resort. You can start along the lower road or the highway and walk the Napili-Kapalua loop. On this route you’ll find lush trees, plant life and colorful flowers, picturesque condo resorts and beautiful luxury homes surrounded by towering Norfolk pines and scenic golf greens. Most of the loop offers sidewalks and is safe for early morning or evening walks at sunset.
On the mountain (mauka) side of the highway, you’ll notice that Napili has a rural quality to it. Along these lower slopes of Pu‘u Kukui, the West Maui summit, there are organic farms, punctuated by Kapalua Farms’ multi-phased operations. The Maui Preparatory Academy is perched above Napili Plaza on land once cultivated by Maui Pineapple Company. This private school offers a well-rounded vocational education centered on fostering environmental stewardship.
Adjacent to the school are the horseback riding trails of Ironwood Ranch. From former pineapple fields high on the slopes through Ironwood groves and into tropical valleys and rain forest, these riding trails provide some of the most stunning views on the island. The Ironwood Ranch sunset ride is one not to be missed.
Offered free to the public are mountainside hiking trails that start from Kapalua Resort and venture across ridges and valleys between Kapalua Mauka and Napili. There are trails and loops for every kind of hiker. Try the scenic Maunalei Arboretum walk from the top of Honolua Ridge, the challenging Mahana Ridge Trail hike or the leisurely Village Walking Trails. As a gateway to Kapalua, Napili has it all.