West Maui Vacation Guide

Discover where to Play, Eat, Shop & Stay in West Maui

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About West Maui

The West Side offers Hustle & Night Life in Lahaina & Kaanapali; Wild Surf & Luxury in Kapalua

Whether you're looking to soak up the sun, explore the island's culture, or keep the kids entertained on a rainy day, West Maui has got you covered. So grab your sunglasses, pack some reef safe sunscreen, and get ready for an unforgettable vacation. West Maui equals Historic Lahaina, filled with storefronts; beachy Ka'anapali, and wild, luxurious Kapalua. 1 hour to the airport if there is not an accident on the two-lane road. Be careful not to miss your flight.

Any guide will tell you It's a longer drive to West Maui from the Airport than to the South Shore but following the signs to Lahaina and taking the beautiful drive around the south side of the West Maui Mountains to the West Maui regions of Lahaina, Ka'anapali, Honokowai-Kahana-Napili and Kapalua is worth it.

Areas in West Maui

View The Towns of West Maui

All of west Maui has the zip code and mailing address of Lahaina, yet the area is vast and made up of many smaller towns each with their own style.  Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua offer a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and a vibrant local scene that will leave you grinning from ear to ear.

Lahaina is known as the old whaler's town and boasts street after street of storefront shopping. Its harbor is home to many different boating trips and is a favorite cruise ship stop. Continue up the coast to "resort row" with older hotel resorts and the miles of beach in Ka'anapali. This area has a lot of night life, action and people. At the north end of Ka'anapali it is more peaceful yet offers easy access to night life if wanted.

Honokowai, Kahana & Napili are well known and offer many different sizes and styles of resorts. 

Keep going north to Kapalua with wild surf, luxury properties. You are now in the area of rocky shoreline and limited sandy beaches. Activities include snorkeling, scuba diving and surfing. Water conditions can change rather dramatically in this Honolua Bay, West Shore area so at times the activities may be limited to experts only; especially surfing.

Do not try to get to Wailuku or the Airport by traveling north and east beyond Kapalua. It is dangerous with 1-lane roads and huge drop offs and few turn outs. All along the road is local land and small town living. Tourists are definitely not appreciated here - DO NOT follow GPS directions that route you this way when the south shore route to Ma'alaea and then the Airport are blocked because of an accident. It's faster and safer to turn around and wait out the 2- 6 hours in Lahaina or on the beach.





Highlights of West Maui

West Maui has something for everyone but not as much of the laid-back Hawaiian lifestyle you find in other parts of Maui.

West Maui Highlights


  • Ka'anapali 2 courses
  • Kapalua - 2 courses


  • Lahaina's Front Street Beach
  • Ka'anapali Beach
  • Black Rock Beach
  • Pu'unoa Beach (Baby Beach)
  • Wahikuli State Park
  • Napili Bay
  • D.T. Fleming Beach Park
  • Kapalua Bay
  • Launiupoko Beach Park
  • Lahaina Harbor for snorkeling, romantic sails, whale whatching tours and more.

Fun Stuff:

  •  Explore the Nakalele Blowhole
  • Go Whale Watching
  • Take a Hike

Cultural Highlights

  • Theater
  • Museums


  • Art Galleries
  • Whaler's Village Shopping Mall
  • Lahaina
  • Hotels

Things to do in West Maui

Activities for Adventure lovers, Kids, Rainy Days & Hawaiian Immersion

Activities for Adventure Lovers & Sunseekers

Beach Bumming:

West Maui has many beautiful beaches. Its shoreline seems straight out of a postcard. Spend a lazy day lounging in the sun, playing in the surf, or building sandcastles with your kids.

Some of the best beaches in the area are listed below. Maui County is beginning to charge non-residents for parking access to county parks which include several well known beaches. Kiosks for payment are available but you will also be able to purchase weekly/monthly passes for island wide access - keep an eye on our blog for updates.

  1. Ka'anapali Beach:Picture yourself lounging on the golden sands of Ka'anapali Beach, basking in the warm Hawaiian sun, and watching the palm trees sway gently in the breeze. Whether you're building sandcastles with the kids, snorkeling alongside colorful tropical fish, or simply strolling along the shore hand in hand with your loved one, this beach has it all. 3-mile beach walk in front of Hotel Row.
  2. Black Rock Beach: At the south end of Ka'anapali Beach is Black Rock Beach with its towering volcanic rock formation perfect for cliff jumping and thrilling dives into the turquoise waters below. Don't miss the nightly cliff diving ceremony.
  3. Baby Beach (Pu'unoa Beach): Or head a bit further north to the aptly named Baby Beach, where calm, shallow waters invite you to take a leisurely dip or simply float your worries away.
  4. Front Street Beach: When the sun starts to set, make sure to catch Lahaina's Front Street Beach for a front-row seat to the most breathtaking sunset spectacle you've ever witnessed.
  5. Wahikuli State Park: Step dropoffs here mean iit iis not appropriiate for small children. Located between Kaanapali and Lahaina this beach is a local favorite for snorkeling and swimming. Bring your lunch and enjoy the views.
  6. Napili Bay:Excellent snorkeling, swimming and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) on both sides of the bay. Near by restaurants. Loved by visitors and locals - no lifeguards or services. Not visible from the road - watch for lots of cars parked to find entrance.
  7. D.T. Fleming Beach Park: A beautiful beach fronting the The Ritz Carlton in Kapalua, ough conditions and waves, mean this is not recommended for children. Great for those who want to play in the waves (or watch).
  8. Kapalua Bay Beach: World-renowned Kapalua Bay, a crescent-shaped beauty that consistently ranks among the world's best beaches. The calm, clear waters beckon you to grab a snorkel and explore the vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life.
  9. Launiupoko Beach Park: Maybe the best Longboard Beach in West Maui. A popular hangout for Maui locals, this beach park is perfect for a relaxed swim or surf session. No life guards or food near by but does have public restroom facilities, barbecue grills, picnic tables and grassy area for picnics and great sunset watching.

A West Maui vacation rental in Lahaina/Kaanapali will be your cozy haven just steps away from these coastal treasures, providing the perfect base for your beachy adventures.

Surfing & Snorkeling

Go Surfing: West Maui is a surfer's paradise, with plenty of waves for beginners and experts alike. Take a lesson with a local instructor and ride the waves like a pro. Beginners like Front Street Beach, Intermediates can attempt Launiupoko Beach Park

Go Snorkeling: Take a tour from Lahaina or try Wahikuli State Park (not for kids) or Ka'anapali beach.


West Maui has great golf but afternoon play is definitely affected by the wind. You won't believe it when a putt breaks up hill!  Golf on Maui can be expensive for the tourist - even with special rates. MauiOwnerCondos.com has developed affiliate relationships with several golf providers.

There are 4 Championship Golf Courses in West Maui - You'll recognize two from the PGA and LPGA tours. 

  • The Royal Ka'anapali  Guests staying in Ka'anapali get discounts
  • Ka'anapali Kai. Guests staying in Ka'anapali get discounts
  • The Kapalua Bay Course (once host of the Kapalua LPGA Classic)
  • Kapalua Plantation Course, home of the PGA's Hyundai (formerly Mercedes Benz) Tournament of Champions. Discounts may be available to Guests staying in some Kapalua properties.


Take a Whale-Watching Tour: Speaking of whales, West Maui is one of the best places in the world to see them up close. Hop on a boat tour and you're sure to spot these majestic creatures breaching and spouting in the distance.

Explore the Nakalele Blowhole: Located on the northern coast of West Maui, the Nakalele Blowhole is a natural wonder that's worth a visit. This geyser-like blowhole shoots water up to 100 feet in the air, making for a spectacular sight.

Take a Hike: West Maui is full of beautiful hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks. One of the most popular hikes is the Kapalua Coastal Trail, a 2.5-mile path that offers stunning views of the coast and the Pacific Ocean.

Kapalua Zip Line: Spectacular views as you soar cross mountain ridges and over plunging valleys. Over two miles of lines. Just getting to this location in the West Maui Mountains is an adventure in itself using 4x4 trails and crossing the highest suspension bridge in Hawaii.

No matter what you're into, West Maui has something for everyone. So come on over, kick off your shoes, and enjoy the laid-back Hawaiian lifestyle.

Activities for Children and Families


No trip to Hawaii is complete without experiencing a traditional luau. There are several to choose from in West Maui, including the Old Lahaina Luau and Feast of Leili

Pineapple Train


Explore West Maui

 For shopping there is the long standing Whaler's Village with hundreds of shops. Plus the hotels have shopping as they do on the South Side.

Transportation for West Maui

There is a small airport here servicing private jets and helicopters.

Statistics about West Maui

14+ Properties for rent

Prices range from $199/night

Weather for West Maui

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