Kapalua Beach Maui

Updated on:
February 21, 2022

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Kapalua Beach Maui

Award-Winning Kapalua Beach on Maui’s West Side

Kapalua Beach is a fairly small crescent beach at Kapalua Bay, on the north end of West Maui, about ten miles north of Lahaina.

Kapalua means “two borders.”  This refers to the fact that this beautiful beach has two long volcanic-rock peninsulas, one on each of its two sides, framing it and blocking some of the larger waves from coming close to shore.  These two borders give rise to the more figurative translation of Kapalua as meaning “arms embracing the sea.” In 1991, Conde Nast rated Kapalua Beach as the best beach in the world, and the Travel Channel called it the best beach in America.  Of course, this was when the background behind the beach was natural vegetation before the current condo complex was built adjacent to the beach.  But it’s still a great scenic spot.

Montage Kapalua Bay is the closest resort to the beach at Kapalua Bay, and it boasts a ton of amenities for guests and visitors alike. The on-site restaurant, Cane and Canoe, serves both casual breakfasts and upscale dinners- a perfect stop before or after a day at the beach. Stick around as the sun goes down for another sensational dining opportunity near Kapalua Bay- the resort’s Sunset Luau, which affords visitors a quality, traditional taste of the islands. With family-style dining crafted by the Montage executive chef, the fares here are a far cry from a standard luau buffet. Plus, you’ll be treated to an intimate, oceanfront luau celebration.

Montage Kapalua Maui

If you feel like you’ve had enough sun, but your party wants to soak up the rays, leave them behind and head up the hill to the luxurious Spa Montage Kapalua Bay. A variety of treatments are offered here, namely massages, facials, body wraps, and heaps more.

Montage Spa

Due to Kapalua Bay’s popularity, it gets crowded pretty often. If you’re not in the mood to rub shoulders with strangers, reserve The Cliff House for a day. This hidden gem sits just steps from Kapalua Bay in the next bay over, Namalu Bay. The two-story beach house features direct ocean access, restrooms, a simple kitchen, a lanai area, and views abound. Namalu Bay is home to a protected nook, excellent for snorkeling. You might have to share the bay with a few others, but The Cliff House is all yours. Alternatively, The Cliff House is a popular venue for weddings, cocktail parties, and other gatherings.

Cliffhouse Maui

The Kapalua area is home to the Ritz Carlton hotel, the Montage hotel, the Kapalua Villa condos, and other luxury condo complexes.  But all beaches in Hawaii are public, so you don’t have to be staying at any of those places to use Kapalua Beach. Merriman’s is a top-quality fine-dining restaurant that sits atop one of the lava hills alongside Kapalua Bay. There is a pedestrian tunnel under that lava hill, connecting the walkway from Napili Bay to the Kapalua Coastal Trail that runs beside Kapalua Beach.

To get to Kapalua Beach, drive north on the Lower Honoapiilani Road until almost the end.  Just past the large Napili Kai condos, there is a public parking lot on the left.

Here’s a link to several other Maui beaches.

See photos and drone video below.  Or click for more things to do in Maui.

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Kapalua Beach Photos

Kapalua Beach

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See the page of Things To Do In Maui for Haleakala, Lahaina, Lavender farm, aquarium, luaus, whale watching, snorkeling, tours, helicopters, horseback riding, dinner cruises, parasailing, fishing, biking, golf, beaches, kids, and family fun, and more.