Kaanapali Beach (Black Rock)


Of all the beaches on Maui probably the most famous is Kaanapali Beach. This enormous white sand crescent shaped beach is the centerpiece of the Kaanapali Beach Resort which is the home of five of the most popular hotels on Maui as well as six of the largest condominium complexes. Kaanapali Beach is not only extremely wide with the most marvelous soft and fluffy sand making it ideal for "laying out" but its sand bottom entry into the water makes it an ideal location to swim. In fact one could easily jump into the water at the far south end of Kaanapali Beach near the Hyatt and swim the entire two-thirds of a mile or so all the way to the Black Rock where the Sheraton Hotel is perched. In addition, snorkeling is a great option at Kaanapali as well and the Black Rock has been a giant magnet for snorkel enthusiasts over the years.

Kaanapali Beach has it all

Kaanapali Beach has it all

At any given day Kaanapali Beach will be the site of lots of ocean activity. Not only are people sunning themselves, swimming and snorkeling but they are surfing, paddle boarding and floating on inflatable beach chairs and rafts. Kaanapali is also a popular location to depart from on one of the many snorkel sails, sunset or dinner cruises, parasail rides, diving adventures or jet ski rides. The center of all the activity is at a place called "Dig-Me Beach" which lies just in front of the Whalers Village Shopping Complex access to the beach. Over the years this has been the place to "see" and "be seen" explaining the unusual moniker. Since all the major hotels and shopping areas lie directly on the beach itself it is convenient to spend much of the day under the shade of an umbrella ferrying back and forth for food and refreshments which are found just steps away.

Snorkeling at the Black Rock

Snorkeling at the Black Rock

Though Kaanapali Beach is widely known for its sand bottom, it also has one of the most well known snorkeling spots on the island at the Black Rock. The Black Rock is a finger of lava that separates the two sides of Kaanapali Beach. Along the sides of this beautiful promontory are areas of ocean that are excellent for snorkeling because of the abundant sea life not found elsewhere on the beach. Bring your snorkel gear if you have it or you can rent some gear right there at the beach.

Surfing "the point" at Kaanapali

Surfing "the point" at Kaanapali

Surfing is also popular at Kaanapali and there are an number of surfing schools that operate here. The surf break is at the north end of the beach by the Hyatt and it is known as "the point". This is an excellent place for beginners to learn to surf. The surf at "the point" is very consistent and it is a rare day when the surf is not large enough to be able to ride. In addition to wave surfing, Kaanapali Beach is also an excellent spot to paddle board as the water just out beyond the initial break along the entire beach is usually quite flat. This is great exercise and tons of fun and the sport has really taken over in Hawaii and is all the rage.

Beach Amenities

Beach Amenities

The beach amenities at Kaanapali Beach are formidable. First of all there is parking available just south of the Whalers Village between it and the Westin. It's not that many parking stalls but you could certainly park at any one of the hotels or at Whalers Village although there will be a charge for the parking. Public restrooms can be found at any of the hotels or in the shopping areas and showers are located all over the beach. There is a beach walk that connects all of the hotels running along the shoreline. Restaurants are available all along the beach. Equipment rentals are available as well if you would like to rent a surf or paddle board. Although there is no lifeguard tower on the beach there is one at the beach immediately to the south with easy and fast access to Kaanapali.

Directions to Kaanapali Beach




Beaches located in Kaanapali

Hanakao'o Beach park is located on the southern extremity of Kaanapali Beach just off the Honoapiilani Highway (Rt. 30) about two miles north of the town of Lahaina.

more

Maui Beaches

Baldwin Beach is the largest beach on the North Shore of Maui. It's sands stretch out for about a mile spanning the coastline between Paia and Sprekelsville.

more

Charlie Young beach is actually the northern portion of Kamaole Beach Park #1. It was named after the man that owned the house just above the beach for many years.

more

For many people, perhaps the quintessential beach on Maui is Fleming Beach, also known as D.T. Fleming Beach Park. This beach has it all. It spans close to a half-mile along its crescent-shaped coastline and is carpeted with the an incredible white fluffy sand that extends fifty-plus feet from the ocean to the shaded forest line which provides the perfect back-drop to the beach.

more

Perhaps the most beautiful of all the Hana beaches is the beach at Hamoa. Years ago the high-end Hana Hotel realized this and purchased the land directly behind the beach to be used as a staging area of sorts for their guests to use and often the hotel will bus their guests the two or three miles from the hotel to Hamoa Beach.

more

Hana Bay is a fairly protected cove area with a large crescent shaped beach that runs parallel to the frontage road which leads to the Hana Harbor Pier.

more

Hanakao'o Beach park is located on the southern extremity of Kaanapali Beach just off the Honoapiilani Highway (Rt. 30) about two miles north of the town of Lahaina.

more

Haycraft Beach Park is a very small Maui County park located at the very eastern extremity of the town of Maalaea. Being almost adjacent to Maalaea Harbor you will be able to see the boats coming in and out of the harbor on their daily routine.

more

Honokowai Beach Park is undoubtedly the focal point of activity in the town of Honokowai. Anyone driving through the beach community of Honokowai will get their first glimpse of the ocean when they drive by the park on the Lower Honoapiilani Hawaii.

more

Located on the north-western tip of the island of Maui, Honolua Bay is a one of the most beautiful ocean locations to be found anywhere in Hawaii. The bay itself is a part of the 45 acre Honolua-Mokule'ia Marine Conservation District and as such all corals and marine creatures inside it are federally protected.

more

During the winter months Hookipa is one of the best places to see people riding big waves. In the mornings and evenings it is a very popular place for surfers.

more

What could generally be considered the first of the truly beautiful South Maui Beaches as you work your way south from North Kihei is Kamaole Beach Park #1 which is the first of the triad of beaches known as Kamaole Beach Parks #1,#2 and #3.

more

Kamaole Beach Park #2 is the middle beach in the triad of beautiful white-sand beaches in central Kihei known as the Kamaole beaches. The characteristics of Kamaole 2 are very similar to those of Kamaole 1.

more

Of all three of the beaches that make up the triad of Kamaole Beach Parks in Kihei, Kamaole Beach Park #3 is the one that is the most different. The beach here is beautiful as well as the others but it is much smaller.

more

Kanaha Beach is one of the major beaches located on Maui's north-central coastline. Kanaha is actually an enormous series of adjacent beaches that stretch through no less than five separate parking entrances.

more

Over the years various organizations, magazines and self appointed experts have taken on the task of determining the best beaches in the world. The criteria used is presumably different in each case but for what it's worth, Kapalua Bay has appeared at the top of this list in many of these surveys, not just once, but for a number of times.

more

Keawakapu Beach in Kihei is an enormous beach stretching approximately one mile from tip to tip. It is so large in fact that there are three separate points of entry where you can park and then walk to the beach.

more

Launiupoko State Wayside Park has long been a favorite on the west side of the island. It offers visitors a beautiful green grass park setting complete with picnic tables and barbecue stations but it also has a small beach to enter for a short swim and water activities.

more

Mai'Poin'a 'oe Ia'u Beach Park is located at the 5 mile marker in North Kihei. The beach stretches perhaps a mile from sands-end at its southern boundary to Sugar Beach whose boundary is the old sugar pier at the beginning of North Kihei.

more

Makena Beach is considered by many to be the very best beach on Maui. Makena Beach is the beach furthest to the south of all the main beaches on the island.

more

Makule'ia Bay is the bay immediately to the south of Honolua Bay and is located on the forty-five acre Honolua-Mokule'ia Marine Conservation District.

more

There are simply so many beautiful beaches in South Maui that it is hard to pick a favorite. Many people choose Maluaka Beach as their favorite however for a number of reasons.

more

The Tom Barefoot's Tours Maui Beach Guide has pictures, tips and maps of Maui's best beaches.The variety of the beaches that you can find on Maui is incredible.

more

Napili Bay is a beautiful crescent shaped white sand beach that is located in the area of the island called Napili along the coast of West Maui. Napili Bay is very popular, particularly among people who are staying in Napili and are within walking distance of this seaside jewel of a beach.

more

Olowalu Beach is located close to the 14 mile marker on the Honoapiilani Highway which is the ocean road that takes you from the central valley to Lahaina and the West Side.

more

Pohaku Beach Park is located in Kahana just south and within easy view of the high-rise portion of town. This small beach park is often referred to as S-Turns because of the curve in the road that used to be there years ago before it was straightened.

more

Probably due to the fact that Po'olenalena Beach is not located directly in front of, or not particularly close to a major resort hotel it is remarkably unpopulated by beachgoers with the exception of local residents.

more

Puamana Beach Park is located immediately south of Lahaina next to the small resort community of the same name. The beach, and the park area behind it, are small and the beach itself consists of rocks rather than sand.

more

Sugar Beach is located at the very north end of Kihei where the island takes a sharp ninety-degree turn toward Maalaea Harbor. Sugar Beach is very long, in fact it travels the entire distance between North Kihei and Maalaea and thus makes a fantastic morning walk area for people traveling in either location.

more

Ukumehame Beach Park is located near the 12 mile marker along the Honoapiilani Highway (Hwy 30) in West Maui just a couple of miles north of the tunnel which separates the west side from Maalaea Harbor and the central valley.

more

Ulua Beach is a charming beach that is located in the heart of Wailea. Access to the beach from outside the resort can be found on the Ulua Beach turnoff from Wailea Alanui Drive just north of the Shops at Wailea.

more

Wailea Beach is the jewel of the Wailea Beaches. This is the largest beach in Wailea and a case could easily made that it is the most beautiful. It certainly was beautiful enough for the Grand Wailea Resort and the Wailea Four Seasons Resort to make the decision to construct their properties here and each of these hotels have been listed as the best hotel in the world on numerous occasions.

more

When black lava rock breaks down over time it creates black sand, and this has been the case at the beautiful Hana beach of Wainapanapa. Wainapanapa is also a park as well as a beach and there are miles of trails to wander.

more

View Comments

User Comments are a new feature: Be the first to submit a Comment!