Walking Tour: Kaʻanapali Beach Walk

  • Start Hula Grill & Barefoot Bar
  • End Pu‘u Keka‘a (Black Rock)
  • Length 1 mile; 40+ minutes

For people-watching or a romantic stroll, the easy Ka‘anapali Beach Walk runs between Maui's biggest, fanciest strip of resorts. The paved pathway, sandwiched between the flash hotels, tiki bars and white sand, is always busy with holiday-makers promenading under the fronds, snapping pictures of the pristine 3-mile beach, and catching snippets of early evening ukulele or guitar entertainment from outdoor restaurants like Hula Grill & Barefoot Bar.

Take a stroll into the adjacent Whalers Village for exhibitions on the area's whaling past, and learn about the mammals that frequent these waters. Pick up a local piece of art or apparel here, at boutiques Martin & MacArthur or Sand People. Back on the promenade, sailboats and the outline of Lana‘i and Moloka‘i can be seen on the horizon. Tour operators Teralani Sailing and Trilogy Ocean Sports operate off the beach. Adjacent resorts, Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Kaanapali Alii and Marriott's Maui Ocean Club, are buzzing with activity, with people making use of cabanas and hammocks, dazzling garden statuary and fairy-tale landscaping, replete with swimming pools and rushing waterfalls.

Vendors are dotted along the route, selling beachwear, jewelry and tickets to the nightly Drums of the Pacific luau, situated at the end of the walk. Take a detour from the pathway into the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa for its swan and flamingo ponds and pampered black African penguins. South of the Hyatt, the graceful a 17ft-high bronze sculpture, named The Acrobats, makes a dramatic silhouette at sunset.

Of an evening, make Puʻu Kekaʻa (Black Rock) to the north your final stop. Sheraton Maui hosts a torch-lit cliff-diving ritual every day at sunset for King Kahekili, the last chief of Maui, who once demonstrated his strength by cliff diving here. By day, the cliffside water is a popular place to snorkel. Beach-access parking can be found at Whalers Village ($3 per half-hour, free when validated at certain shops).