Kaanapali Beach ("Black Rock")

Kaanapali Beach Black Rock Cliff Jump Puu Kekaa Maui
Overview: Long, sandy, and lined with resorts, Ka'anapali Beach is arguably Maui's most popular and well-known beach. This is where families come to play for their dream Hawaiian vacation, and you can snorkel, scuba dive, jet ski, parasail, surf, or go for a sunset sail. It was even named the "Best Beach in America" in 2003.

As the jewel of Hawaii's first master-planned resort, Ka'anapali Beach is lined with everything from shops to restaurants and beach bars to activity stands, so if you're into the "resort scene" you'll feel right at home.

Ka'anapali Beach—like all beaches in Hawaii—is open to the public, so even though it's a "resort-area" beach there's nothing stopping you from coming here and enjoying a day in the sun.

Good For: Snorkeling, scuba diving, paddle boarding, swimming, boogie boarding, surfing, cliff jumping, bar hopping, walking, jogging, reading books in a cabana, sunset cruises, whale watch tours, shopping, and oceanfront dining.

Not So Good For: Finding parking, windy afternoons, escaping the tourist resort zone

Maui Expert Tip For Kaanapali Beach: If it's too windy for snorkeling in front of the Sheraton you can walk 15 minutes to the southern end of the beach to where the Hyatt meets with the beach park. It's much more protected from summer tradewinds and doesn't have the crowds.

Directions and Parking Situation: Ka'anapali Beach is inside the main entrance for Ka'anapali Resort. Parking here is notoriously difficult (and expensive if you're staying at the resorts), so arrive early to snag a free spot, lest you end up at Whalers Village paying exorbitant fees for beach parking.

For detailed directions on where to find beach parking you can click on the map above, and if you do end up at Whalers Village, at least grab lunch or go shopping while you're there so you can get your parking fee validated.

Facilities: Showers, restrooms, oceanfront beach path, activity stands, shopping, and numerous restaurants within walking distance.
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