Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Since Ka'anapali Beach is exposed to the afternoon trade winds, the weather can often
be wetter and windier than down the road in Lahaina. The morning hours are best for
paddleboarding or snorkeling, and if the wind is blowing too hard by the Sheraton, you
can find a pocket of calm at the southern end of the beach by the Hyatt. Also, if you
plan on going for a morning swim, realize that there are two areas where large catamarans
come ashore to pick up passengers, so keep a keen lookout when in the water in front of
Ka'anapali Beach Hotel or Whalers Village.
Unless you're staying at one of the resorts along the Ka'anapali strip, parking is going
to be a challenge. Free public parking can be tough to come by, since most public spots are
taken by 9am. There is one small public garage between the Sheraton and the Ka'anapali
Beach Hotel, a lot between Whalers Village and the Westin, a handful of beach parking
stalls in the front lot of the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, and a small public lot on Nohea Kai
Drive that leads down to the Hyatt. While there's always a chance that you'll luck out and
snag a spot, more often than not you'll end up having to pay exorbitantly to park in the
garage of Whalers Village. Remember, however, that if you end up shopping at a store or
eating at a restaurant in Whalers Village, you can validate the parking ticket and not have
to pay for parking (each pink sticker is good for three hours).
Kahekili Beach Park
There was a time not too long ago when Kahekili Beach Park, named after the great king
of Maui, was an undeveloped scrubland of kiawe trees and coastal dunes that existed as
an afterthought when compared to Ka'anapali Beach. Over time, there has been so much
development at Airport Beach (also known as Ka'anapali North Beach) that it's almost
as busy as neighboring Ka'anapali. Yet Kahekili still has a family-friendly atmosphere
where locals lounge on the grassy area in front of the beach pavilion or snorkel the off-
shore reef. The beach here is just as long as Ka'anapali Beach, although the steep grade
of the shoreline makes it difficult for jogging. Most visitors use the boardwalk along the
shoreline, and if you're up for a stroll you can follow this as it weaves through the Roy-
al Lahaina and Sheraton parking areas to meet up with the Ka'anapali beach path. Unlike
Ka'anapali Beach, there are easily accessible public restrooms, and there is a large public
parking lot at the Kai Ala entrance from the highway. If the lot is full, there's more park-
ing on the north end of the beach, accessible from Lower Honoapi'ilani Road. The swim-
ming here is much better than at Ka'anapali since there isn't as much catamaran traffic.
If Ka'anapali Beach is just a little too busy for you, you'll enjoy how Kahekili offers a
world-class beach atmosphere but slinks by at a slower pace.
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