5 Best Things to Do in Kapalua Maui

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While each area of Maui holds special appeal, Kapalua places you close to a variety of top attractions and exciting activities. Kapalua is located in West Maui, just north of Napili and Kaanapali. It’s home to world-class resorts and some of the best golf courses on Maui. 

As you explore the different areas of Maui for your next vacation or move, make sure Kapalua is at the top of your list of places to go. 

What are some of the great things to do in Kapalua?

1. Walk the Kapalua Coastal Trail

kaanapali, Hawaii beach
Image Credit: Evan Harlow

Kapalua is positioned directly on the ocean across from the Island of Molokai. Its stunning landscape and vistas are easy to take in with a walk along the Kapalua Coastal Trail. The trail is a 1.76-mile trek in one direction or roughly 3.5 miles round-trip. 

The paved trail is mostly flat, which makes it easy to walk. The beautiful nature trail leads you from Kapalua Bay to D.T. Fleming Beach. It winds near the Kapalua Bay Villas, the Ritz Carlton, and Montage Kapalua Bay. 

As you make your way down the trail, you will cross lava fields and Oneloa Bay’s sand dunes, and you will eventually find yourself at the trailhead for the more strenuous Mahana Ridge Trail. 

The Kapalua Coastal Trail is accessible from sunrise to sunset, making it a popular photo spot. Key photo-worthy points of interest are the Kapalua Cliff House, the Kapalua Tidepools, and the Namalua Bay overlook. While some people will hike along the trail’s full length, others will take a shorter walk to their favorite beach.

2. Tee It up at the Kapalua Golf Courses

You’ll find some of the best golf courses on Maui in Kapalua. Kapalua Golf is a renowned destination that attracts golfers worldwide to the area. It offers distinctive challenges on its two popular courses. Both the Bay Course and the Plantation Course provide golfers with stunning views. 

The Kapalua Bay Course has hosted almost two dozen professional golf courses since its opening in 1975. Over the decades, many of the world’s top golfers have proven their skills at the Plantation Course, including Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods, and most recently Jon Rahm with his incredible 7-shot comeback at the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions. 

At the Bay Course, the 17th hole is particularly notable as it requires golfers to play over open water. The Kapalua Plantation Course is equally impressive, with ocean and mountain views from most holes. 

Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the Plantation Course is listed as the top golf course on Maui. In addition, Kapalua Golf provides golfers with two notable restaurants, two pro shops, a golf academy, and other amenities.

3. Enjoy the Fine Dining of Kapalua

fine dining restaurant table
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

If you enjoy dining out, the best restaurants in Kapalua will not disappoint you. Inside the Montage Residences, Cane and Canoe serves farm-to-table Hawaiian cuisine with an open-air dining experience. 

At Merriman’s Kapalua, you can also enjoy Hawaiian cuisine on a spacious lanai. This restaurant is well-known for its romantic ambiance with candlelit tables, soaring ceilings, and grand décor. 

The Banyan Tree at the Ritz Carlton specializes in Pacific Rim dishes with beef, vegetarian, and seafood options. It has an elegant dining room with captivating bay views. 

If you are in the mood for savory Italian cuisine, you will love the extensive variety of pizzas and pasta offered at Taverna. Taverna has a modern, urban vibe and is popular for its hand-crafted cocktails. Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar is acclaimed across the country for its Asian dishes and creative sushi options. This is a dinner-only restaurant with a relaxed dining room and a spacious patio.

4. Go Snorkeling at Kapalua Bay

kaanapali, Hawaii beach
Image Credit: Evan Harlow

Snorkeling should be near the top of your list as you explore the many things to do in Kapalua. With its white, sandy beaches and calm waters, Kapalua Bay Beach is one of the best spots in the area for exploring the underwater world. 

This bay features two protective barrier reefs, so the water is usually smooth. When you snorkel Kapalua Bay, you may spot a wide variety of fish species. These include the Moorish idol, parrot fish, butterfly fish, triggerfish, perch, surgeon fish, porcupine fish, and others. If you prefer to keep your head above water, this beach is equally popular for swimming and sunbathing. 

Because of the expansiveness of the beach, it retains a relaxed feel even on its busiest days. Amenities include on-site parking, restrooms, and a shower area.

5. Have a Spa Day at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua

Spa Massage
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Spa services at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua are available for guests and non-guests alike. This elite spa incorporates Hawaiian traditions into its wellness treatments and its décor. It offers both indoor and outdoor treatment spaces with lush gardens. Spa guests are invited to relax before and after treatments in a dedicated garden area. 

Many skin treatments use local herbs, fruits, and vegetables for a botanical experience. Some services incorporate other natural elements for optimal relaxation, including CBD, cooling oxygen, coconut milk, cloves, volcanic stones, green tea, and other premium elements. Other services include massages, nail services, makeup services, sunburn relief, and more. 

Whether you want to look your best for an elegant night out or a pampering treatment focusing on exfoliation, relaxation, and wellness, appointments are available at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua Spa throughout the week.

Considering a Home or Condo in Kapalua?

With so many great things to do in Kapalua, you might want to make it home or make it your home away from home. The Kapalua Resort area has many great neighborhoods and condo communities to explore. Take a tour of the condos for sale in Kapalua, or check out the variety of Kapalua homes for sale on your visit. 

Featured Image Credit: Deposit Photos

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