Maui is known as the Valley Isle. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels will find an abundance of activity options along Kaanapali Beach. This gorgeous three-mile (4.8-kilometre) stretch of sugary beach was once the retreat for Hawaiian royalty, and the location continues to charm locals and visitors alike with its natural setting, colorful sunsets and world-class amenities. Ready to take the plunge with a vacation packed full of soft adventure amid stunning scenery? Add these activities to your beach holiday for a thrilling experience in West Maui.
Paddle the Ocean
Wherever you choose to lay your head along Kaanapali’s resort strip, you’ll be within steps of an ocean activity center that rents kayaks. Beginners will find early morning hours offer the calmest water conditions, while those more experienced may prefer the challenge of tackling breezy waves later in the day. For an extra-special experience, join a 90-minute Waʻa (Canoe) Paddle Tour offered through Kaanapali Beach Hotel. The outrigger canoe requires six individuals to power through waves, while a guide shares detailed local history throughout.
Sign Up for Surf School
Kaanapali’s gentle waves make an excellent training ground for beginner surfers. Waves are consistent in early morning hours, so you’ll be able to catch one ride after another. The instructors at Kaanapali Surf Club first introduce proper form and technique on land, then join surfers out in the break to offer guidance and encouragement. There’s no thrill like catching that first wave on your own, and you’ll get a great workout paddling back out after each ride.
See Under the Sea
Lori A May
One of the best spots for snorkeling in Maui is at Black Rock, just steps away from the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa. I recommend visiting the Maui Ocean Center before going for a dip, as marine guides are on hand to share information about the variety of sea life you’ll encounter. I’ve personally encountered sea turtles, Moorish Idol, Hawaiian Squirrelfish and more just a few yards off the beach. Want to go deeper in your quest? Rent an underwater scooter to help propel you to the ocean floor for a closer look at coral life.
Dare to Cliff Dive
Lori A May
While snorkeling at Kaanapali Beach, you can’t help but notice people climbing to the top of Black Rock and taking a plunge. If you dare, make the drop. Most people opt to cannonball, while others land in unfortunate belly flops. The climb is a great leg workout for the brave. Reef shoes are recommended for protection against the hot black rock and sharp coral underneath.
Walk a Historical Trail
The Kaanapali Beachwalk is a popular spot for morning jogs alongside the ocean. For a more immersive cultural experience, take a stroll along the free historical trail. Follow the markers to learn about Kaanapali’s rich history as a royal playground, its growth of sugar cane and mangos, and tales of warrior legends.
After a full day of adventure, you might want to take advantage of amenities at Kaanapali Beach. Sign up for a luxurious full body massage or sip on your favorite island cocktail poolside before spending the night under the stars at a luau celebration. Then get some serious rest before starting another adventurous day in Maui.
Disclaimer: The writer was supported in part by Kaanapali Beach Resort Association
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