Blake Walsh

16 Best Things to Do in Kaanapali

  • Published 2021/09/22

Located in the western part of Maui County, Kaanapali has been deemed by many as one of the most beautiful beaches in Maui or even in the entire United States.

While it definitely has a resort town vibe, you can still get back in touch with nature and have a tranquil time relaxing at any point along this 3-mile beach.

Establishments and resort hotels line up the beach, elevating your holiday in this part of Hawaii.

While you’re here, discover the best that nature has to offer both on land and at sea.

Additionally, get to know the customs and traditions that are unique to this part of the world by witnessing ceremonies open to the public.

You can never experience a dull day while in Kaanapali.

So, what are you waiting for?

Learn about the best things to do and Kaanapali, and start planning for an awesome beachside holiday!

Check Out the Penguins at the Hyatt Residence Club Maui

View of Hyatt Residence Club Maui

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While Hyatt Hotels are known the world over for providing luxurious accommodations, the one in Kaanapali offers something special.

If you head over to the lobby of this hotel, you will find a lot of penguins – African Black-footed penguins to be exact.

Apart from these adorable creatures, you can also find other forms of wildlife right on the property.

Wooden Bridge in Hyatt Residence Club Maui

EQRoy /

It also houses many other species of birds, including swans and flamingos!

Planning to visit Kaanapali?

Then consider checking out the Hyatt.

Learn How to Surf at Kaanapali Beach

View of Kaanapali Beach

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Many people around the world associate Hawaii with surfing.

At Kaanapali beach, you can go on your board and embrace the waves as they come.

The sandy break that you can find here makes this beach great for beginners to start learning how to surf.

Surf shops line the beach, where you can rent a board or book a surfing lesson.

A Girl in Kaanapali Beach

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Additionally, you have access to a wonderful view and warm waters, adding more fun to your surfing experience.

If you’ve always been interested in surfing, take this opportunity to learn while on Kaanapali beach.

Ride on a Sea Scooter With Kaanapali Sea Adventures

Looking for a unique adventure to do in Kaanapali?

Witness the beauty that you can only find underwater on a Sea Scooter.

While a lot of tour companies can take you to the best snorkelling places in town, booking one of Kaanapali Sea Adventures’ sea scooters can move you through the waters with less effort instead of just swimming all the way down.

Think of using a sea scooter as something like a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving.

While you don’t have heavy scuba equipment, you can still move down through the water with the help of its propellers.

It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that you should check out.

Explore Whaler’s Village

View of Whaler’s Village

Meagan Marchant /

Start your holiday in Kaanapali by visiting what many describe as one of the most popular areas on the beach.

At Whaler’s Village, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to shops, eateries, and even tour starting points.

This tourist hub can get busy and with good reason.

Outside View of Whaler’s Village

EQRoy /

Enjoy a lively beach atmosphere by checking out Whaler’s Village.

If you want to check out some of the restaurants here, make sure to get a reservation.

Go on a Sunset Cruise With Teralani Sailing

While you can already witness a majestic view of the sunset right from the beach, you can still elevate it and watch it from a more unique standpoint.

When you visit Kaalapani, get in touch with Teralani Sailing.

This tour company offers you the opportunity to watch the sunset while sailing across the gorgeous waters right of Kaanapali beach.

Your sailing trip will come with free food and unlimited cocktails, which is perfect for a romantic trip with your significant other, or for a fun trip with friends.

While you’re at sea, the sunset isn’t the only thing you can possibly witness.

If you’re lucky, you can catch a few spinner dolphins on the surface of the water.

This is definitely a must-do while you’re in the area.

Watch the Sunset at Kahekili Beach Park

View of Kahekili Beach Park

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The sunset from the long strip of beach in Kaanapali will always be breathtaking.

While the entire strip shares this gorgeous view, you need the serenity to enjoy it in the best possible way.

If you prefer to see the sunset from a tranquil spot in Kaanapali, head on over to Kahekili Beach Park.

Compared to the more popular chunks of beach on this side of Maui, fewer people come to this beach park.

This makes the ambiance more serene, perfect for unwinding and relaxing with your loved ones.

Experience the Myths of Maui Luau

A visit to the islands of Hawaii would not be complete if you don’t attend a luau.

On this side of the island, one of the best luau you can attend is the Royal Lahaina Luau – Myths of Maui.

Not only is it fun, but you can also learn something about this impressive event.

This particular luau takes you on a journey beyond Hawaii, as it tells the story of the Polynesian region.

Here, you will find yourself awe-struck with the beautiful dance performed by the Hula dancers, the fire knife dance, as well as the music and chants.

Additionally, you will get to enjoy a nice, delicious, slow dinner, with traditional Hawaiian cuisine and drinks at the forefront.

Snorkel at Black Rock

View of Black Rock

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Many would deem Black Rock as the most popular spot in Kaanapali, and with good reason.

The area serves as one of the best snorkel sites the island has to offer.

Witness the rich marine life that you can find in this part of the world and be awed by the underwater wonders you can see from here.

Apart from snorkeling, you can also turtle-watch from this area, as these majestic sea creatures tend to feed near the reef.

Picasso Triggerfish at Black Rock

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Another unique activity you can do from here is cliff dive.

You can find many different jump-off spots from here, offering different heights – from 10 to 25 feet.

To discover the best Maui has to offer, don’t forget to check this place out.

Go Whale Watching With Blue Maui

While in Kaanapali, why not watch out for some of the biggest creatures on Earth?

Go on a whale-watching cruise with Blue Maui aboard its quick, safe, and comfortable boat.

Apart from spotting these fantastic sea creatures, you can also opt to snorkel at some of the stops of the tour.

Explore the best spots to observe marine life with Blue Maui.

Apart from getting the opportunity to find whales and snorkel, you also get complimentary cocktails and food aboard Blue Maui’s boat.

Have fun and live your best life by going on a boating tour with Blue Maui.

Watch a Torch-lighting Ceremony at the Sheraton Maui Resort

View of Sheraton Maui Resort

Meagan Marchant /

Many traditions make up the culture and heritage of Hawaii.

At the Sheraton, you can witness one by looking out to Black Rock.

The said resort organizes a torch lighting ceremony, locally called “lele kawa,” which happens every night.

A “Hawaiian Warrior” would go out, blow on a conch shell in four directions, perform a chant, and light every torch on the property.

Once done, the warrior would then dive from the cliff at Black Rock.

It’s an amazing event to witness at sunset, so do make sure to check it out.

Fly High With UFO Parasail

The sky always provides a wonderful vantage point for seeing the entirety of a certain place.

In Kaanapali, you can do this by parasailing.

Check out UFO Parasail as they provide you with the facilities and equipment needed for this beach activity.

Many parasailing tour packages try to cater to most people with different skill levels.

Some sessions can be done in tandem with an instructor.

You also take off right off the beach, so the fantastic beauty of the long stretch of beach will welcome you to your adventure in Kaanapali.

Play Some Golf at the Kaanapali Golf Course

A River in golf course in Kaanapali

Jeff Whyte /

When in Kaanapali, you can spend an afternoon with your friends by playing some golf.

It’s a great sport to play if you want to also bask in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

At Kaanapali Golf Course, you and your friends can enjoy an afternoon of friendly competition playing this sport, all while being surrounded by majestic nature backdrops.

Cattle Egret in a Golf Course in Kaanapali

Chris Moody /

So, no matter how well you play, you can still witness the beauty of the outdoors while golfing.

If you want to try this out, do consider starting early in the day as winds tend to pick up later in the afternoon.

Zipline With Skyline Hawaii

Get your adrenaline pumping by Ziplining across the gorgeous landscapes of Kaanapali with Skyline Hawaii.

On this ziplining course, you get to zoom across at exhilarating speeds from 150 feet above the ground.

This facility lets you experience the beautiful mountains and ocean views in a thrilling way.

If you’re new to ziplining, you can get the help of one of the many experienced guides.

Not only will they ensure your safety, but they will also tell you more about the island’s nature, culture, and heritage.

Don’t miss out on a thrilling adventure and check out Skyline Hawaii in Kaanapali.

Try Out Ululani’s Shave Ice

A Sign of Ululani’s Shave Ice

Ivan_Sabo /

While in the state, you must certainly try the shaved ice.

When you get to the island, you will see how popular this dessert is here among locals and tourists alike.

No matter what flavor it has, it serves as a refreshing treat, perfect on a hot and sunny day.

While you can find a lot of shaved ice stands on this side of Maui, Ululani’s Shave Ice stands out.

It offers around 30 individual flavors that you can choose from.

They also offer a bunch of toppings that will make your shaved ice tastier.

If you want to try out this special treat, the award-winning Ululani’s Shave Ice stands at the Hyatt and at the nearby Lahaina’s shopping district.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Discover Marine Life on the Reef Dancer Semi-Sub

If you don’t prefer to swim but still want to see the majestic beauty of life underwater, you can still do so.

While in Hawaii, take the opportunity of riding the Reef Dancer Semi-Sub at Lahaina, which is only 37 minutes’ drive away from Kaanapali.

Simply put, it’s a boat you can ride with a clear bottom.

This semi-sub features a clear bottom and several viewing cabins where you can watch marine life without getting wet.

The tour company offering this semi-sub takes you to many different points on the waters near the island.

The ocean holds a lot of beauty underneath its waters, and riding this semi-sub lets you witness all of that.

Go on a Helicopter Ride With Sunshine Helicopter Tours

If you want to discover the fantastic natural wonders Kaanapali has to offer, consider going on a helicopter ride.

Sunshine Helicopter Tours in Kahului offers one such service, and its flight tours will let you witness the scenery from a bird’s point of view.

From majestic steep cliffs to gorgeous waterfalls, you may find something beautiful from up here that you may have missed or don’t have access to while on the ground.

Depending on the tour, you can view the entirety of Maui, fly above an active volcano, or even visit the neighboring island of Molokai.

You also get to learn more about the islands as your pilot will provide you with commentary that elevates the trip altogether.

What’s great about Sunshine Helicopter Tours is that they also save and provide you a video of your entire trip.

It’s a one-of-a-kind activity that lets you witness how amazing Mother Nature can be.

Final Thoughts

Kaanapali offers breathtaking views with a myriad of opportunities to discover them.

Given the many outdoor activities that you can do here, you may find yourself having tons of fun while appreciating the wonders of nature.

When it comes to amazing holiday destinations, consider a trip to this majestic beach in Maui.

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