Ka‘anapali, Maui

Beaches, Golf & Shopping....
by Heidi Pool

Maui's beaches are world renowned for their pristine crescents of sand, shimmering azure waters, and superb people watching...

Put down your Mai Tai. Grab your sunscreen, your golf clubs, and get ready to indulge in three of our favorite Maui pastimes: beaching it at one of the most magnificent beaches on the planet, playing an exhilarating round of golf on a world-class course, and shopping for designer jewelry, fashion, unique souvenirs, and gifts to take back home to family and friends.


Maui’s beaches are world renowned for their pristine crescents of sand, shimmering azure waters, and superb people watching opportunities. The coral reefs fronting much of our western shore make this area an underwater paradise, and from November to May, the beach is a great spot for observing our famous visitors—the humpback whales. And, let’s face it: you have to go back home looking sun-kissed, right? Here are some of our favorites, starting at the north past Kapalua, and ending at the famous Ka‘anapali Resort. Just be sure to slather on the sunscreen during all times of the day, even if it’s cloudy. Perhaps the sweetest little beach on the west side is Napili Beach, which is best accessed via Napili Place. Set among ‘70s style condos, this quiet, low-key spot has a steep but gentle shore break, making it great for body boarding and body surfing. There are also tide pools to explore. The only facilities are showers and restrooms. On-street parking is very limited here, so plan to arrive early. Situated in the heart of the world-famous Ka‘anapali Resort is Ka‘anapali Beach, with its three miles of inviting sand stretching all the way from the Sheraton Maui Resort at the northernmost end to the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa at the southern end. It’s a happening place for dining, shopping, sunbathing, people watching, and water sports. A concrete walking path runs the entire way down the beach, winding its way from resort to resort, with the Whalers Village shopping center located smack dab in the middle. Snorkel and sunset sails board right from the beach here, as well as exciting parasailing excursions. There are several free parking lots along the beach, or you can park for a fee at several of the large resorts as well as at Whalers Village, where most merchants will validate your tickets with a purchase.


Maui has a multitude of golf courses, and those on the west side provide jaw-dropping scenery as well as world-class play. The Ka‘anapali Resort has two courses. Try one or both—just be sure to apply sunscreen, stay well hydrated and, most of all, have a blast. Oh, and be sure to keep your Maui scorecards to show off when you return home. The Ka‘anapali Golf Resort is convenient for those staying at the nearby resort area, and is situated on 1,200 acres of land that was once a playground for ancient Hawaiian royalty. There are panoramic views of both the Pacific Ocean and the West Maui Mountains. The Royal Ka‘anapali (North) Course, one of only two courses in the state of Hawai‘i designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., is 6,700 yards, par 71. Combining wide fairways and undulating greens, this course is both distinctive and demanding. The course follows the shoreline before meandering into the foothills of the West Maui Mountains for a challenging, and exciting, round of golf. The Ka‘anapali Kai (South) Course, designed by Arthur Jack Snyder, is 6,388 yards, par 70. This course combines narrow fairways and a need for a deft touch around the greens. With four sets of tees, it’s perfect for all levels of play. Many of the holes are nestled into the West Maui Mountains and have beautiful panoramic views of the neighboring islands.


The best shopping in this section of West Maui is at Whalers Village, situated in the heart of Ka‘anapali Resort on the dazzling and lively Ka‘anapali Beach. It’s open-air shopping at its best with 90 casual, yet refined, shops and restaurants. Walk from your resort, or park in the multi-level adjacent garage. You can receive a three-hour parking validation with a minimum purchase from one of the merchants. You’ll find the latest, best, and most comfortable lines of swimwear, separates, and accessories at the hip, eclectic Cruise boutique. Dolphin Galleries features collections by Frogman, and seven jewelry collections by Mikel, Maui’s foremost designer. Honolua Accessories, Honolua Surf Co., and Honolua Wahine are the places to find high-quality aloha shirts, board shorts, surf logo t-shirts, and accessories. Lahaina Scrimshaw carries an exquisite collection of hundreds of items reminiscent of Lahaina’s whaling days created by modern artists. The name Louis Vuitton has been synonymous with the spirit of travel since 1854. Everything you can imagine being made out of koa wood can be found at Martin & MacArthur’s huge crafters’ showroom. At Maui Divers Jewelry you’ll find two jewelry collections by noted designer Mikel, as well as their popular pearl in the oyster program featuring same-day setting of your newly found treasure. Maui WaterWear carries a superb selection of designer and brandname swimsuits for the entire family, with mix and match tops and bottoms for a customized fit. Just mention the name Tommy Bahama and a picture of upscale resort wear of the finest quality comes to mind. All this shopping is sure to build up your appetite. Take a break with some worldclass dining right here overlooking beautiful Ka‘anapali Beach. 

From November
to May, the beach
is a great spot for
observing our
famous visitors,
the humpback

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