Top 10 Things to Do in Kāʻanapali, Maui

From visiting Kāʻanapali Beach to snorkeling Puʻu Kekaʻa (Black Rock), here are ten things we love doing in Kāʻanapali.
Kaanapali Beach
Photo: Getty Images

Golden shores, clear blue seas and luxurious resorts define Kāʻanapali, one of Maui’s best towns. It’s a visitor favorite and for good reason. Located in the ahupuaʻa (district) of Hanakaʻōʻō, Kāʻanapali is home to some of the Islands’ most scenic beaches and more. If you’re looking for some tips on how to fill your day—or hopefully days—in Kāʻanapli, we’ve got a list for you.

 1. Visit Kāʻanapli Beach

Maui Beach

Photo: Getty Images

Kāʻanapali Beach stands out as one of the Valley Isle’s most scenic stretches of sand. With its calm shorebreak, golden sands and clear blue waters, it is Maui’s answer to Oʻahu’s Waikīkī Beach—and visitors love it. Located across the street from luxury hotels, markets and a scenic boardwalk, you could spend the entire day at Kāʻanapali Beach and enjoy every second of it.

2. Refresh Yourself with a Shave Ice

On the southern end of Kāʻanapali at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice, the perfect place to grab a cold snack. Here you can do as locals do and get one of the shop’s more exotic flavors, like pickled mango or lychee, or stick with the classics. Either way, you’ll leave Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice refreshed and satisfied.

3. Take a Ride on the Kāʻanapali Trolley

Ever wonder what the deal is with the adorable green trolley rolling around Kāʻanapali? That’s the Kāʻanapali Trolley, and good news, it’s free for everyone. Operating from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, the Kāʻanapali Trolley is a great way to see the resort area’s finest properties and sights. For more information on the trolley and its schedule, visit its website here.

4. Hit the Green and Go for Par

Maui 4

Photo: Courtesy of the Royal Kā’anapali Course

Kāʻanapali is a hot spot for luxury resorts and accommodations—and world-class golf courses too. From the Royal Kāʻanapali Course to the Kāʻanapali Kai Course, golfers will find it hard to focus on their swings with such panoramic views of Maui’s most luxurious district.

5. Immerse Yourself in Hawaiian Culture at the Maui Nui Lūʻau

From the food to the dancing and fiery performances, lūʻau are great ways to learn more about Hawaiian culture while treating the family to a wonderful show. And the Maui Nui Lūʻau regales visitors and locals with tales of the Islands, all from its beachfront venue  just in front of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa. It’s an all-you-can-eat affair, so be sure to come with an empty stomach.

6. Snorkel Puʻu Kekaʻa (Black Rock)

While Kā‘anapali Beach isn’t particularly known for its snorkeling opportunities, Black Rock does have some underwater inhabitants scuttling around its coral-laden walls. It’s a beautiful place to snorkel, and while you may not see the same volume of fish compared to other spots on Maui, it’s definitely a unique opportunity. While the calm waters are inviting for adults and keiki alike, be sure to heed lifeguard warnings and not swim out on days with swells or a shorebreak. A powerful current can appear near the rock during such conditions.

7. Jump Off Black Rock (?)

If you’re feeling brave enough, jumping off Black Rock can be a fun way to get your adrenaline pumping. A 20-ish foot drop to the ocean, it’s one of Hawaiʻi’s tamer cliff diving spots, but be sure to see how locals do it first—especially the ascent to the jumping point—before trying it yourself.

8. Sip a Mai Tai and Watch the Sunset

Grabbing a mai tai from your favorite bar—the Mai Tai Bar, The Sandbar and Hula Grill Kā‘anapali are all great options—and watching the sun set on the horizon is probably one of the better ways to end a day in Hawaiʻi. Or anywhere, really.

9. Treat Yourself to Fine Kaʻanapali Dining

Being a resort area, there are numerous fine dining options for visitors to choose from, all with their own unique culinary twists. Japengo is renowned for its mixture of steaks, seafood and sushi—while visitors looking for a more casual dining experience with a killer view and relaxing atmosphere will want to check out Duke’s Beach House.

10. Watch for Whales

Close Up Humpback Whale Tail

Photo: Getty Images

If you’re visiting Maui during whale season—from December to May—be sure to keep your eyes on the ocean. You may catch spouts, splashes and more—all courtesy of the North Pacific humpback whales that visit Maui’s warm waters in the winter, to breed and raise their young. While you can see these gentle giants from any coastline on all the Hawaiian Islands, they are especially prevalent in the Lahaina and Kāʻanapali areas of Maui.

Categories: First-Time, Maui, Maui/Moloka‘i/Lāna‘i What To Do