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Your guide to Kaanapali
Welcome to Kaanapali
There aren’t many beaches in the world associated with royalty, but Kaanapali’s three miles of white sand beaches were once the official playground of the Hawaiian royal family. In this storied section of Maui, royalty surfed, swam, and relaxed. Today Kaanapali remains popular for all of those aforementioned activities, but is perhaps most renowned for its cliff divers. These brave souls hurtle toward the waters below dramatically illuminated by torchlight, a reenactment of ancestral courage. While Kaanapali’s coastline is dominated by a series of resorts and two enormous championship golf courses — the intentional outcome of Hawaii’s first planned resort development — its beaches are an inviting destination for sunbathing. Here the shoreline gently fades into shallow crystalline waters where sea turtles are regularly spotted gently floating with the tide, and the songs of migrating whales miles away can be heard echoing under the surface.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Kaanapali?
Maui’s year-round climate is dependably mild, with the northern end of the island where Kaanapali is located more prone to wind and rain than its South Shore neighbors. Even so, very cold or very hot weather is rare in Kaanapali, and the likelihood of rain turning into sunshine in a short amount of time is nearly guaranteed. Even the rainiest summer months only add a slight increase to the chance of precipitation on this side of Maui.Generally the most pleasant months of the year to stay in one of the area’s vacation rentals are January, February, and March, where days are warm and evenings pleasantly cool. Like most Hawaiian destinations, Kaanapali becomes more crowded with holiday vacationers after Thanksgiving.
What are the top things to do in Kaanapali?
Take an Electric-Powered Submarine
Many visitors may boast of snorkeling or even diving beneath Maui’s vibrant waters, but how many can claim they took an undersea adventure inside a submarine? Atlantis Submarine’s small fleet of battery-powered craft delivers up to 48 passengers down to a depth of 100 feet to safely peer at the seascape and underwater wildlife populating installed artificial reefs, all from the comforts of an air-conditioned vessel.
Black Rock (Pu’u Keka’a)
Located at the furthest northern end of Ka’anapali Beach, this old lava flow is Kaanapali’s most iconic landmark and legendary for its cliff divers. Traditionally believed to be the spot where the dead would leap to enter the afterlife, these days local kids and visitors still test their wits by jumping from Black Rock (and snorkeling underneath). A ceremonial leap is also staged nightly, accompanied with lit torches and a blow of a conch shell to honor the memory of King Kahekili, Maui's last independent king.
Hidden Coral Reefs
If snorkeling among tropical fish and sea turtles rates high on your list, you’ll want to seek the hidden coral reefs located between Kaanapali and Lahaina, just north of Wahikuli Beach – a “secret” spot where crowds are few, but the sea turtles are numerous.