Beach Day at Kaanapali Beach

Hawaii Kaanapali Beach

Added by Michelle Olmstead

Maui, Hawaii has some of the best beaches in the world, and for fun and great atmosphere it's hard to beat Kaanapali Beach on the West side of the island.  

Kaanapali Beach is about a 45-minute drive from Kahului Airport, and only two miles from Lahaina.  Nearly all of the seaside resorts here back right up to the beach, making it an ideal place to stay if beach time is your top priority.  If you are not staying on Kannapali, there are several pay-to-park lots, and some of the resorts have beach access lots that are open to the public.

This beach has been voted most beautiful beach in the world, and for good reason.  With white/gold sand, clear water, and mellow waves (most of the time) it is a great beach to soak in the sun and fun of Hawaii.

The famous Black Rock, at the far North end of the beach, is the place for rock jumping, and one of the best snorkeling spots on the island.  In addition, there are opportunities for other water sports on Kaanapali, including stand-up paddle boarding, parasailing, kayaking, and boogie boarding.  Sunset cruises are also very popular here, as Kaanapali boasts some of the most beautiful sunsets on the island.  In the Winter months, whale watching tours are a favorite activity.  

Food and shopping are conveniently located in Whaler's Village, and there are many options and price ranges for lunch and dinner.  Be sure to stop at the Hula Grill for some fish tacos and a Mai Tai, and enjoy the sunset from your table.  There are also rentals for umbrellas and chairs from several places along the beach, and you can pick up snorkeling gear at The Snorkel Store, which is just 0.3 miles from Black Rock.  

Pack List

  • Beach gear
  • Surf gear (boogie boards and fins)
  • Snacks
  • Swimming Suit 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Camera 
  • Hat 
  • Beach Umbrella and Chair (or rent on the beach)
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Bodysurfing, Chillin, Photography, Stand Up Paddle, Surfing, Swimming

Skill Level:



Year Round



Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area

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How to Get There

4 months ago

Great Beach for Families and Fun

While there are certainly more secluded and private beaches on Maui, this is the beach to go to if you want scenery, fun, and convenience rolled into one. There was never a time when we felt this beach was too crowded or that we couldn't find a spot for our umbrella or chairs. Definitely worth a visit, or base your vacation from here and rent a car to easily travel to other beaches in the area.

4 months ago

almost 2 years ago

Big shorebreak the times I've been here. Way touristy. I wouldn't voluntarily go here again. Well manicured and picturesque but overexposed. Prefer to be someplace a lil' bit more wild.

almost 2 years ago

about 3 years ago

it's a little touristy, but this stretch can be a lot of fun, especially if you like to people watch!

about 3 years ago

Added by Michelle Olmstead

Landscape photographer, Biologist, Mom, and Wife from Salt Lake City, Utah. National Park lover and wilderness advocate. I enjoy running, hiking, cycling, camping, and Nordic skiing. Instagram @findmeonthemountain Email:

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