Walking the Kaanapali Beach Walk Trail in Maui

Updated Dec 5, 2023 , ,

Kaanapali Beachwalk

Are you looking for an easy walking trail on Ka'anapali Beach? The Ka'anapali beach walk trail is just that, a paved walking path from one end of Ka'anapali Beach to the other. It’s 5.5 miles there and back and can be completed in 2-3 hours depending on your pace.

The beach walk can be broken down into two parts making it shorter if you’re not looking to walk 5 miles. Each part of the trail is separated by the iconic Black Rock in the middle of Ka'anapali.

  • North End – Runs from the Honua Kai Resort past Kahekili Beach Park (Airport Beach) to the beach in front of the Maui Eldorado. While still busy, this is considered the quieter side of Ka'anapali Beach with fewer people in the area.
  • South End – Runs from the Sheraton by Black Rock past Whalers Village to the Hyatt Regency by Hanakaoʻo Park. This is considered the busy side of Ka'anapali Beach and is probably what you’ve seen in pictures. It’s our personal favorite.

In this post, we’ll cover everything there is to know about the Ka'anapali beach walk trail including where to start and what you’ll see along the way.

West Maui
Out & Back
5.5 miles
2-3 hours
Elevation Gain
450 feet

Where to Start the Ka'anapali Beach Walk

The Ka'anapali beach walk can be started at either the north end, south end, or in the middle. There are numerous resorts you can start at as each is required to provide a limited number of public parking spaces for beach access. We’ve outlined the best places to start below.

  • Hanakaoʻo Park – Also known as Canoe Beach. This is a popular little beach at the very south end of Ka'anapali that has a small parking lot.
  • Hyatt Regency – The first resort at the south end of Ka'anapali. Start the south end here if you can’t find a spot at Hanakaoʻo Park or prefer parking at a resort.
  • Whalers Village – A popular outdoor shopping mall in the middle of the south end of Ka'anapali. Be careful if you park here as most of the spots are for shoppers only.
  • Sheraton Maui – A resort by Black Rock that sits between the north and south ends of the Ka'anapali beach walk. You can start either end of the beach walk here.
  • Kahekili Beach Park – Also known as Airport Beach. This is a popular snorkeling spot with an outdoor pavilion that sits in the middle of the north end of Ka'anapali.
  • Honua Kai Resort – The first resort on the north end of the beach walk. It’s home to Duke’s Beach House, one of our favorite restaurants in the area.

Parking at the Ka'anapali Beach Walk

As mentioned, resorts are required to provide a limited number of public parking spaces for beach access. However, since they’re limited, finding a spot can be hard at times. You might need to wait for one or drive to a different spot depending on how busy it is.

It should also be mentioned that the paid parking at Whaler’s Village is intended for shoppers only. They have a handful of public parking spaces for beach access but if you don’t get one of those, park at your own risk (unless you plan on shopping too).

Sights on the Ka'anapali Beach Walk

Our favorite part of the beach walk is the south end because we enjoy the busy resort vibe and it offers more to see and do including Black Rock and Whalers Village. However, if you prefer a quieter stroll, the north end that passes through Kahekili Beach Park might be for you.

Hanakaoʻo Park (Canoe Beach)

Hanakaoʻo Park is a small beach park that sits at the edge between Ka'anapali and Lahaina. It’s often less crowded than other popular beaches in the area and includes a picnic area, BBQ grills, public restrooms, and a lifeguard. It’s also considered a great spot to snorkel.

Whalers Village

Whalers Village is the crown jewel of shopping and dining in Ka'anapali. It is absolutely one of our favorite places to go in West Maui when we want to feel like tourists and treat ourselves to some really good food. There are numerous shops and boutiques to explore making it a great place to stop when walking the south end of Ka'anapali.

Black Rock

If you’ve seen a picture of Ka'anapali before, there’s a good chance Black Rock was in the background (pictured above). This iconic outcrop of lava rock is a popular place to cliff jump for tourists and locals alike. In fact, people have been cliff jumping at Black Rock since early Hawaiians first inhabited the islands. It’s also a popular place to snorkel.

Kahekili Beach Park (Airport Beach)

Kahekili Beach Park is a spacious beach park on the north end of Ka'anapali with an outdoor pavilion, BBQs, and restrooms. It has a decent-sized parking lot and is a great place to start the beach walk from this end. It’s another popular place to snorkel and the one we’d consider the best snorkeling in Ka'anapali. If you’re going to snorkel, start here.

More About the Ka'anapali Beach Walk

Places to Eat on the Ka'anapali Beach Walk

There are numerous places to eat on the Ka'anapali beach walk. So many that it would take an entire post or two to cover them. So you won’t be lacking options if you need a bite to eat while out there. We’ve listed some of our favorites below.

South End Restaurants

  • Welowelo – This is a great option on the south end of Ka'anapali for something quick as it’s a poolside walk-up window with some really tasty dishes. Our favorites are the fried salmon bowl and hanakaoʻo pizza. They also have drink options if you’d like a libation.
  • Huihui – A sit-down restaurant on the beach in front of the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel on the south end. The food here is always spectacular and so are the views. If you aren’t looking to dine, you can still walk up to the bar and grab a drink to go.
  • Westin Maui Beach Bar – Another great place on the south end of Ka'anapali to grab a quick bite and drink. The atmosphere here is great as are the drinks and appetizers.
  • Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice – Located on the south end by the Hyatt Regency, Ululani’s is considered some of the best shave ice in Maui. Perfect for cooling off on a hot day after walking along the beach walk.

North End Restaurants

  • Castaway Cafe – A laid-back eatery on the beach in front of the Aston Ka’anapali Villas on the north end of Ka'anapali. This is a great option for something quick as they offer dine-in but also takeout if you’d like to grab something to go.
  • Pailolo Bar & Grill – Another great option on the north end of Ka'anapali for grabbing a quick bite and drink. Pailolo Bar & Grill is a laidback hotel bar that’s also a great place to watch sports if your favorite team is on.
  • Duke’s Beach House – Another one of our favorite sit-down restaurants in Ka'anapali. Duke’s is a staple on the islands that never disappoints. The food and service are impeccable.

Facilities on the Ka'anapali Beach Walk

There are numerous restrooms and beach showers on the Ka'anapali beach walk. The north end of Ka'anapali has public restrooms at Kahekili Beach Park while the south end has them by either Welowelo or Whalers Village.

The Effect of Erosion on the Ka'anapali Beach Walk

Unfortunately, erosion is a common problem on the islands and Ka'anapali is no different. Mother nature hasn’t been kind to the area the last couple of years with the south end being heavily affected. The last time we were there, the section in front of the Ka'anapali Alii had eroded so bad it was diverted around the resort.

It’s truly a bummer to see but that’s how it goes out in nature. We’re at the mercy of the elements. Multiple solutions to restore and fortify the area have been discussed but as of this writing, I’m not sure where they’re at. Keep in mind that this is something you may encounter while out there. It won’t ruin your time but it might cause certain parts of the beach walk to be inaccessible.

Justin and Katie Busa

Meet the Authors

Aloha! We’re Justin and Katie, the owners of Maui Hideaway. We’ve been visiting Hawaii together with our family for 20 years and would love to share the experience of the islands with you. Whether you’re looking for a place to stay or just some vacation advice, we’re here to help!

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