In 2003, Kaanapali Beach earned recognition as‚ America’s Best Beach‚ by the noted coastal research expert known as‚ Dr. Beach. The judging criteria included water quality, sand quality, water temperature, and cleanliness.
Dr. Beach wrote, ” Over three miles long, (Kaanapali Beach) is located on the dry, sunny side of Maui. White coral sand bathed by clear, emerald green water is just one of the factors that contributed to Kaanapali Beach’s number one ranking. In addition, Kaanapali maintains a critical balance between nature and the built environment.”
Of course, there’s more to Kaanapali than the beach. Once the playground of Hawaiian royalty, in the 1960s Kaanapali (rolling cliffs) became the site of Hawaii’s first-ever master-planned resort area.
Things to Do in Kaanapali Resort
The beach activities here are virtually limitless: Enjoy a professional massage in a beachside tent, play beach volleyball, bask under the Hawaiian sun or simply laze the day away in a hammock. A convenient walkway hugs the beach, allowing early risers a place to jog or walk. It is also a great vantage point for whale watching, a popular pastime in Kaanapali.
Some of Maui’s best snorkeling is found in the waters surrounding Kekaa (also known as Black Rock) at the northern end of the beach. According to legend, when a person died, his spirit went to this old volcano Kekaa, and from there, his soul departed.
For a bit more adventure, take an offshore Kaanapali snorkeling tour aboard a sailing catamaran. We recommend Trilogy Excursions who leaves right from Kaanapali Beach.
Other Resort Activities
Today, Kaanapali offers an appealing variety of accommodations, activities, shopping, and dining. The resort features six major award-winning hotels, four popular condominium resorts, two 18-hole championship courses, an open-air shopping complex, more than 40 restaurants, 30 tennis courts, free shuttle service within the resort, and the famous‚ Sugar Cane Train, Hawaii’s only steam-operated railroad system that connects Kaanapali to Lahaina.