Description of North Kaanapali Beach: Located on the northern side of Black Rock lives the less congested and slightly less commercialized Kahekili (Great Maui King) Beach Park also known as Kaanapali North Beach. Pre-development, this beach was lined with Keawe (mesquite) trees but many of them have since been removed as the trees drop very sharp thorns and no one enjoys stepping on these. North Kaanapali beach does get a bit windier than Kaanapali South Beach as it is more exposed to the northeast tradewinds, Black Rock helps to shelter the south beach better albeit there isn’t a huge difference.
North Kaanapali Beach has become progressively more developed as there are several hotels, time share resorts, and 3 short term vacation rental resorts here: Maui Kaanapali Villas, Honua Kai, and the Mahana. The Maui Eldorado does also have an oceanfront clubhouse here. With this, you will not find nearly as much foot traffic or commercial activity at Kahekili. There is no shopping mall, jet ski, or para-sailing operation that you will find at Kaanapali South Beach.
The beach directly on the other side of Black Rock is wide and has beautiful sand- there is also no reef directly at shores edge here, this changes as you move further north towards Honua Kai. The beach in front of Honua Kai and the Mahana is much smaller and in the winter months, will almost disappear. Furthermore, the coral is much more prominent which makes basking in the water more precarious but the snorkeling and diving is considerably better than the south end of the beach.
We love taking family trips to this park as there are large covered pavilions, bbq grills, a large grassy area for lawn games, and the coral reef is awesome for snorkeling and diving. I think one of the most amazing things is that in the winter time, the whales will come incredibly close to the shoreline here- I have seen whales swimming about 50 yards from the beach. One of the reasons the locals like this park so much is because in addition to the convenient public amenities, there is also a decent sized non-paid public parking lot.
The beach itself is a more vertically slanted than Kaanapali South Beach so it makes walking or running on the beach more arduous. However, there is a very nice walking path just beyond the sand which is flat and perfect for this- I really enjoying stretching my legs here. This path extends as far north to the Mahana and ends at Black Rock but you can go up and around the Sheraton Hotel and connect with Kaanapali South Beach.
Beach Length: Approximately 6600 Feet.
Beach Type: Fine Sand.
Bottom Type: Sandy.
Is there a lifeguard? No, there is no lifeguard at this beach.
Facilities: Beach, Free Parking, Paid Parking, Restrooms, Showers.
Hazards: Large Surf, Strong Currents.
Beach Access: Paved Trail.
Parking: Free Parking, Paid Parking.
How hard is it to get there? Easy.
What is this beach best for? Kids, SCUBA Diving, Snorkeling, Sunbathing, Surfing, Swimming, Watching the Sunrise.
How to get to North Kaanapali Beach
Jeremy Stice is the Author of the Maui Real Estate Guidebook.
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