The 10 Best Activities and Attractions in Kapalua, Maui

Updated Apr 20, 2024 ,

Kapalua Golf Course Villas

Are you looking for a list of Kapalua things to do? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Nestled on Maui’s northwestern coast, Kapalua is an idyllic destination with pristine beaches and luxury resorts, offering everything a beachgoer can ask for.

While you’ll likely spend much of your time at its beautiful beaches, Kapalua has scenic trails, luxurious golf courses, delightful restaurants, snorkel spots, and more. From fun days at the beach to hiking through the lush rainforests and indulging in delicious local cuisine, Kapalua is a popular base for visitors on a getaway to Maui.

In this post, we’ll explore the top 10 things to do in Kapalua to help you plan your itinerary and make the most of your holiday. Let’s take a look!

Relax at the Beach

Since Kapalua sits along the western coast of Maui, it’s within easy access to the best West Maui beaches. Regardless of where you stay in Kapalua, there’s always a beautiful beach minutes away. Thus, relaxing at the beach tops the list of Kapalua things to do.

If you’re interested in snorkeling with sea turtles among colorful reefs and other marine life, visit Napili Bay Beach or Kapalua Bay Beach. Both are picturesque cove beaches that offer more than just snorkeling, and are two of our favorite in West Maui.

For water sports enthusiasts, D.T. Fleming Beach and Oneloa Beach are the best to visit. Both beaches have stronger waves and are perfect for surfing or bodyboarding. And if you prefer to visit a secluded area to relax away from the crowd, check out Slaughterhouse Beach.

Go Snorkeling 

Kapalua is home to some of Maui’s top snorkeling spots, which makes it a great place to stay for snorkeling enthusiasts. Some of the best West Maui snorkel spots are within easy reach from here. These include Kapalua Bay Beach, Napili Bay Beach, and Honolua Bay.

Snorkeling in Kapalua is an unforgettable experience. You’ll swim through clear waters teeming with colorful fish like tangs, butterflyfish, triggerfish, and other marine life. The colorful corals make for an otherworldly backdrop on your snorkeling adventure.

You’ll have a chance to swim with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles in some of Kapalua’s snorkeling spots. But for the best chances of seeing turtles and other fascinating marine life, consider booking a Maui Snorkel Tour. Suitable for both young and old, these guided tours are a fun, safe, and easy way to discover the incredible world beneath the waters of Kapalua.

Attend a Luau

Attending a Maui luau is a fun way to immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture, indulge in delicious local cuisines, and witness local entertainment. Luau is a feast deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture, where guests experience storytelling through hula dancing.

When attending a luau, dancers will welcome you with a lei greeting before taking you to your table, where a lavish buffet of local delicacies awaits you. A luau dinner is a chance to sample Hawaiian delicacies like kalua pig cooked in an underground oven.

The entertainment is just as impressive as the buffet, with hula dancers telling stories through graceful movements, fire dancers showcasing their skills, and live music filling the air with a soundscape created by ancient instruments.

While there’s only one luau in Kapalua, there are many more in West Maui that you can read about in our post, The Best Luaus in Maui.

Ride the Kapalua Ziplines

Kapalua Ziplines

Those looking for thrills should try riding the ziplining in West Maui. It’s an exhilarating experience offering a bird’s eye view of the island’s spectacular scenery. As you soar high above the island’s lush greenery, you’ll marvel at the panoramic views of the mountains and the sea.

Perched above the Kapalua Resort area on the slopes of a 1.7 million-year-old volcano, Kapalua Ziplines is Maui’s only all-dual zipline adventure. The zipline courses range from easy to challenging, with 4-line tours and 6-line tours available.

If ziplining is not enough to satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie, walk along the suspension bridge. At 1,600 feet, it is the longest in Hawaii and offers breathtaking views of the West Maui.

Explore a Hiking Trail

Kapalua is renowned for its scenic hiking trails. It has trails for all levels, from easy coastal walking paths to more challenging treks through lush hills. If you’re a nature lover and fond of exploring the great outdoors, hiking in Kapalua should be at the top of your list.

Aside from the stunning views, another thing to look forward to on your hike is the native flora and fauna, including colorful birds, unique plants, and wildlife. There’s even a blowhole and a hike that takes you to one of our favorite snorkeling spots, Honolua Bay.

One of the most popular trails is the Kapalua Coastal Trail, a 1.75-mile trail that goes through idyllic bays like Kapalua Bay, Namalu Bay, and Oneloa Bay. The trail is mostly flat and easy to traverse, so it’s suitable for those who prefer easy hikes, including families with kids.

Aside from the Kapalua Coastal Trail, the other scenic trails in Kapalua are the Honolua Bay Access Trail, Nakalele Blowhole Trail, and Mahana Ridge Trail.

Golf at Kapalua Golf Club

Kapalua is an excellent place to visit for golf enthusiasts. It’s home to the Kapalua Golf Club, which boasts two world-class courses, The Plantation Course and The Bay Course.

Known for its ocean views and impeccable downhill shots, the Plantation Course is a favorite of professionals and novices alike. It is home to the PGA TOUR’s Sentry Tournament of Champions and offers incredible ocean views and challenging holes.

Meanwhile, the Bay Course has hosted several major golf tournaments, more than any other golf course in Hawaii. It is more forgiving than the Plantation Course and overlooks the spectacular views of the West Maui Mountains.

Designed by top architects, the Kapalua Golf Club offers a unique experience for golfers of all levels. With impeccable service, breathtaking scenery, and excellent amenities, it is a must-play destination for every golfer visiting Maui.

Experience Kapalua’s Restaurants

Foodies will love staying in Kapalua for its excellent dining options. Those looking for fine dining will find plenty of world-class restaurants offering delectable cuisine. From fresh seafood caught in the local waters to farm-to-table produce sourced from nearby farms, the chefs at Kapalua put a premium on quality ingredients.

Some of our favorite restaurants for fine dining in Kapalua include Merriman’s (located on Kapalua Bay), The Plantation House (located on the golf course), and the Sea House (located on Napili Bay). Book reservations early as they fill up fast.

Kapalua’s best beaches also have nearby bars, including two of our favorites, the Burger Shack and Banyan Tree. Whether you prefer a casual beachfront setting or a refined and elegant environment, Kapalua’s dining scene has something for you.

Treat Yourself to the Spa

Spa Treatment

After all the fun adventures, the best way to relax in Kapalua is to treat yourself to a spa. Kapalua is home to an excellent selection of world-class luxury hotels and spas, offering a rejuvenating experience that will leave you feeling relaxed and pampered.

From boutique spas to five-star resorts with world-class amenities, these places offer island-inspired treatments, wellness offerings, and healing experiences inspired by Hawaiian traditions, such as lomi lomi massage and coconut milk baths. The spas of Kapalua also offer beauty treatments, such as facials, body treatments, and a hot stone massage using locally sourced ingredients like honey, seaweed, and Kona coffee.

Many spas are in a stunning location surrounded by lush gardens and ocean views and exude a tranquil atmosphere, providing the perfect escape from the everyday stresses of life.

Cliff Jump at Namalu Bay

Adventurous visitors looking for exciting things to do in Kapalua can try cliff jumping at Namalu Bay. Located on the Kapalua Coastal Trail, Namalu Bay is right next to Kapalua Bay but requires a hike around the point to reach the jumping spot.

On a calm day, you will likely find groups of locals jumping here, including a few adventurous tourists. However, this is an advanced spot to jump, so exercise caution, especially when the water is rough. It’s only advisable to jump when conditions are favorable.

You can jump from a few different heights, but the best spot with the safest landing is where the trail around the point opens up to the bay. If you’re unsure, hang around for a bit, and you’ll likely see someone else taking the plunge.

Visit the Honolua Store

The Honolua Store is an iconic place in Kapalua worth visiting. A landmark from the pineapple farming days of Maui, it opened in 1929 and has since been serving the local community.

The Honolua Store sits on the grounds of the stunning Kapalua Resort. It offers a unique selection of local products, including fresh produce, coffee, baked goods, and souvenirs. The store also has a full-service espresso bar and a deli, which you can enjoy in a beautiful plantation setting.

After browsing the store, sit on the porch to enjoy a plate lunch or shave ice as you soak up the beautiful scenery. You’ll likely find a group of people hanging out here or stocking up on supplies before hitting the shores of a nearby beach.

Where to Stay in Kapalua

Montage Kapalua Bay - Aerial Pool View

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Kapalua. If you need a home base for your adventures, Kapalua offers numerous accommodation options. It’s a world-class vacation destination home to some of the world’s most luxurious resorts and upscale villas.

Here are our recommended options for the best places to stay in Kapalua.

  • The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – this luxurious resort is only a short walk from DT Fleming Beach. Boasting stunning ocean views and top-notch amenities, it offers well-appointed rooms and suites with separate living areas and kitchenette. It has all the amenities you expect from a luxury resort, such as six restaurants, a high-end spa, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center with personal trainers.
  • Montage Kapalua Bay – overlooking Namalu Bay, Montage Kapalua Bay is another excellent choice in Kapalua. It’s only a 4-minute walk to the Kapalua Golf Club’s Bay Course, making it suitable for those who come here to play golf. Choose from one-bedroom to four-bedroom condos with modern, island-style decors. Each has a full kitchen, living area, and private lanai. It has a gourmet restaurant, day spa, swimming pool, and a poolside bar.
  • Kapalua Villas – Located within the stunning 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort, Kapalua Villas offers upscale accommodations with a choice between one- to three-bedroom condominiums. Some units face the beachfront, while others are right by the mountainside. You can also stay at condos on golf course locations. All units have kitchens, living rooms, and dining areas. As one of the best places to stay in Kapalua, Kapalua Villas offers upscale amenities, including the luxurious Kapalua Spa.

Kapalua FAQs

Kapalua Bay - Aerial View

Is Kapalua Worth Visiting?

Yes, Kapalua is certainly worth visiting. The idyllic resort is located in West Maui and offers easy access to some of the best West Maui beaches. Aside from the beaches, it has stunning golf courses, scenic hiking trails, luxurious accommodations, and excellent dining options. Overall, Kapalua is a great place to visit for a memorable vacation experience in Maui.

Where is Kapalua Located?

Kapalua is on the northwestern coast of Maui, about a 45-minute drive from Kahului Airport, the main airport serving Maui. It’s at the very top of West Maui, making it a little bit further of a drive than other areas on this side of the island, but it’s worth the trip.

What is the Weather Like in Kapalua?

Kapalua has a tropical climate with warm temperatures throughout the year. It enjoys an average high temperature ranging from 81°F to 86°F (27°C to 30°C), and the average low temperature ranges from 68°F to 74°F (20°C to 23°C). The rainy season is from November to March, but even during this time, there are still plenty of sunny days.

What is the History of Kapalua?

Kapalua has a rich history dating back to ancient Hawaiian times. It started as a small fishing village before becoming a plantation for sugarcane in the early 1800s. Around 1900s, it became a thriving agricultural community. In the 1960s, Maui Land & Pineapple Company developed the area into a luxury resort.

Nowadays, Kapalua is one of the most-visited areas of Maui. It’s home to world-class golf courses, luxury resorts, and beautiful beaches. Despite its development, Kapalua has managed to preserve its cultural and natural heritage. You can walk the Kapalua Coastal Trail, which runs along the shoreline, to discover the area’s cultural and natural landmarks.

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!

Links on this page may be affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no cost to you.