Kapalua Beach is almost like a mini Ka’anapali Beach, as it’s pretty popular and has a decent amount of fans fighting for their spot in the sand and sun. It also shares a few great views from both ends, and there’s even somewhat of a walkway behind the sand that you can follow to some great panoramic views of the entire beach and even glances at snorklers at Namalu Bay.
Also up north in West Maui, it’s not as a direct route from off the highway as is D.T. Fleming Beach. Yet the lush greenery and palm trees behind the beach, the turquiose water, white sand and blue sky make this beach postcard perfect and very popular for travel guides, calendars and other insipring artwork.
There are a few beach activities here from the single stand down at the north end of the beach, most notably some scuba and snorkeling, as well as kayaks and canoes. There is also quite a bit of toe-stubbing reef very close to the shore, which warrants extra caution but also can be fun to explore. Parking and select spot in the sand are little hard to come by, so plan ahead and arrive early.
We had a little bit of trouble finding this at first, but following some well described directions and locating the all important Napali Kai Beach Resort as a landmark, you should find it. We also scored big time with finding an open parking space just after someone left, but future trips for us will definitely be planned earlier in the day.
The beach itself was pretty crowded when we got there and that made it seem somewhat smaller that it probably feels when it’s empty. In much of the beach, there wasn’t that much sand between the lawn area behind you and the water in front of you, which also altered the perception of it’s size. Still it’s a gorgeous stretch of sand as you can imagine by it’s popularity.
At the time of this initial writing (Sept. ’07), there was construction of the Kapalua Bay Residences underway directly north of the beach, was a little distracting at first. If you take a walk on the path behind the beach around to the north end, you can hear all the noise and disturbances, but it’s a small price to pay for some of the views you can get from the north rock pier separating Kapalua Beach and Namalu Bay.
Speaking of Namalu Bay, I saw both the Teralani and Gemini snorkel boats docked side-by-side at Namalu Bay, with what looked like many satisfied divers and explorers enjoying the sea life. While I didn’t see any first hand, there were also people talking about sea turtles swimming near the waters as well.