Kapalua can be considered a quieter area of West Maui.
If you’re looking for a luxury experience, there are some places you can stay in Kapalua.
If you’re looking for a low-key day or half day in West Maui away from the Kaanapali crowds, there’s a good chance you can find that in Kapalua too. It won’t be completely without people, but you also probably won’t feel like there are tons of people either.
For the luxury experience in Kapalua…
The Montage Kapalua Bay is the big name resort on the southern side of Kapalua. Out in front of the Montage is the small beach of Kapalua Bay.
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Kapalua is in the northern area of West Maui
For this list below of things to do in Kapalua, this will generally start right from Kapalua Bay in the southern area of Kapalua and then generally go north, taking you to a few more things to do near Kapalua to the north… and then a few more things further onwards if you want to keep driving!
There is one main road that runs parallel to the coastline.
On your way to the main area of Kapalua, you will pass…
Things to do in Kapalua
1. Kapalua Bay Beach
Kapalua Bay Beach has been previously named the best beach in America by Dr. Beach.
Kapalua Bay is also considered one of the best snorkeling spots on Maui.
There is a parking lot near Kapalua Bay.
This is a great scenic trail that mostly runs along the coastline of Kapalua. It’s around 1.7 miles long one way, but of course you can make it as short or as long of a walk as you want!
This basically goes from resort to resort.
It starts/ends on the southern end at Kapalua Bay and the Montage.
And it starts/ends on the northern end at Fleming Beach and the Ritz Carlton.
To do this leisurely coastal walk, you can park at Kapalua Bay, Kapalua Ironwoods, Dragon’s Teeth Trail, or Fleming Beach. You can consider any of these spots to be parking for the Kapalua Coastal Trail. (Things to see in Kapalua that are next up on the list!)
Kapalua Coastal Trail: See more about this West Maui activity.
3. Hike to Hawea Point
This is a nice scenic viewpoint that you’ll see along the Kapalua Coastal Trail. It’s a great place to walk across lava rocks and also watch the ocean waves crash into the shoreline. You can also look out for whales from this spot during whale season (generally speaking winter months).
4. Oneloa Beach (Ironwoods Beach)
This is a quieter beach in Kapalua.
This is also along the coastal trail, and it’s also possible to drive to Oneloa Beach (aka Ironwoods Beach) as there’s a parking lot right nearby.
Oneloa Beach: See more about this West Maui activity.
5. Dragon’s Teeth Trail to Makaluapuna Point
This is another great spot to walk across lava rocks with great scenic views.
You’ll take the Dragon’s Teeth Trail where you will see unique rock formations that are said to look like dragon’s teeth.
You can keep walking along to get to the area that juts out into the ocean. You can also walk the ocean waves crash into the shoreline here too.
This is basically a side trail from the Kapalua Coastal Trail, and it’s also possible to drive straight to the start of the Dragon’s Teeth Trail as there a parking lot nearby here too.
Makaluapuna Point: See more about this West Maui activity.
6. Kapalua Labyrinth
You will pass by this labyrinth shortly after you see the first dragon’s teeth as you continue to make your way to the tip of Makaluapuna Point.
7. DT Fleming Beach Park (Honokahua Bay)
Fleming Beach is a pretty popular beach in Kapalua, and it’s known as being good for boogie boarding. This also means the waves can be a little rough.
You can buy boogie boards when you get to Maui, for example at Walmart or the ABC store (convenience store) in Kaanapali.
If you’re staying at the Ritz Carlton, this would be your beach! (Read the reviews for the Ritz Carlton Kapalua.)
8. Burger Shack
Also right nearby the Ritz Carlton and Fleming Beach is a daytime dining option to eat with ocean views!
You can go for an oceanfront lunch or snack that’s located pretty much at the beach.
9. Honolua Store
This is basically the ABC Store of Kapalua.
If you’re unfamiliar with ABC stores, they are basically the convenience store chain of Hawaii that you will find in tourist spots across the Hawaiian islands. Aside from regular Hawaii-style convenience store items, you can find Hawaii souvenir gifts and quick eats here.
10. Kapalua golf courses
You can make your stay at in Kapalua Maui golf vacation too, with golf courses nearby the Ritz Carlton. You’ll find one of the best golf courses in Hawaii and a PGA Tour site here, the Plantation Course. The above photo is the Bay Course. You can book tee time here.
Parking in Kapalua
To recap, here are some spots where you can find a parking lot nearby in Kapalua, from south to north:
- Kapalua Bay
- Kapalua Ironwoods
- Dragons Teeth Trail
- DT Fleming Park
Kapalua without a car: Getting to Kapalua by bus
The Maui bus does go to Kapalua.
The furthest north on Maui that you can go by bus is to Kapalua. There are a couple of bus stops in Kapalua.
If you’re coming from Kaanapali or Lahaina, then it will be a direct bus to get to Kapalua. It’s around a 45 minute bus ride from Kaanapali, and around a 75 minute bus ride from Lahaina. If you’re coming from elsewhere, then you’ll transfer at Lahaina to get on the bus to Kapalua.
Google maps is a reliable way to get around Maui by bus. You’ll select the public transit option. If it’s not showing that the bus stop is as close as mentioned, then that likely means the bus is temporarily not going there. But in normal times, you can get there by bus!
The Kapalua bus route is generally once an hour, so it’s best to plan ahead and pay attention to the bus timings!
For reference, here are spots where you can find a bus stop nearby in Kapalua:
- Kapalua Bay (less than 5 minute walk)
- Oneloa Beach / Dragons Teeth / Fleming Beach (same bus stop – around 5-10 minute walk)
See more about how to take the Maui bus.
There are more things to do in West Maui if you keep driving further along, that you may consider to be things to do near Kapalua!
- Slaughterhouse Bay (boogie boarding beach)
- Honolua Bay (Maui marine conservation district snorkeling spot)
- Nakalele blowhole (famous blowhole)
- Ohai Loop Trail (short hike with ocean views)
- Olivine Pools (famous tide pools)
- Kahakuloa Bay overlook (backroad of West Maui – you can walk to it instead of driving it!)
HAPPY VISIT TO KAPALUA!
Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!
The ultimate beach towel for travel?!Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
Possibly among the best Maui maps for tourists!The Franko maps of Hawaii have a high level of detail for activities and it's beachproof aka waterproof. There's an "adventure" guide map and a "snorkel/dive" guide map. Plus a wall map for home to get you excited for your upcoming trip!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phoneYou can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of these amazing tours on Maui:
- Molokini Crater and Turtle Town snorkeling or snuba tour
- Haleakala sunrise tour with breakfast
- Road to Hana driving tour with lunch
- Dream Hawaii helicopter flight #1: Fly over 2 Hawaiian islands to see Maui and Molokai waterfalls, rainforest, and sea cliffs
- Dream Hawaii helicopter flight #2: Hana waterfalls and rainforest from above plus Hana fruit plantation walk on the ground
- Sailing the ocean with a sail + snorkel trip