Kaʻanapali Beach

Top choice beach in Kaʻanapali

Image by Michele Falzone Getty Images

Home to West Maui’s liveliest beach scene, this gorgeous stretch unfurls alongside Kaʻanapali’s resort hotels, linking the Hyatt Regency Maui with the Sheraton Maui 1 mile north. Dubbed ‘Dig-Me Beach’ for all the preening, it’s a vibrant spot. Surfers, bodyboarders and parasailers rip across the water, snorkelers admire the sea life, and sailboats pull up on shore. There are no lifeguards, so check with the hotel beach huts before jumping in: water conditions vary with the season and currents are sometimes strong.

For the best snorkeling, try the underwater sights off Puʻu Kekaʻa. This lava promontory protects the beach in front of the Sheraton Maui. Novices stick to the sheltered southern side of the landmark rock – where there’s still a lot to see – but the shallow coral here has been stomped to death. If you’re a confident swimmer, the less-frequented horseshoe cove cut into the tip of the rock is the real prize, teeming with tropical fish, colorful coral and sea turtles. There’s often a current to contend with off the point, which can make getting to the cove a bit tricky, but when it’s calm you can swim right in. Puʻu Kekaʻa is also a popular shore-dive spot.