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West Maui Beaches: Kaanapali Beach & Black Rock

black rock jump

Excellent Swimming, Snorkeling and Cliff Jumping in West Maui

Ka’anapali Beach is considered one of Maui’s signature beaches for good reason. It features a 3-mile long stretch of pearly white, sandy bottom beach, cliff jumping, snorkeling, boogie boarding, whale watching and more. Once a retreat for Maui royalty, this area is sure to tickle your Hawaiian Beach fancy. Two of Maui’s premier golf courses are right next door, along with a number of Maui restaurants, shops and Hawaiian cultural events.

Swimming, Strolling and Sunbathing at Ka’anapali Beach

kaanapali beach

During calm times, the ocean in this area is placid and inviting. When the wind comes up, the waves can be great for body surfing and boogie boarding. That said, the current in this area can also be quite strong away from shore. There are lifeguards on duty, but please use caution all the same.

There isn’t much for sun protection on this beach, so be sure to bring an umbrella. Bathrooms can be difficult to come by, unless you’re staying at one of the resorts. There is a beautiful, boarded walk all along the beach — perfect for joggers, strollers and those out to simply enjoy the sunset. Take advantage of the many restaurants and shops near the walkway.

Cliff Diving and Snorkeling at Black Rock

Black Rock, or “Pu’u Keka’a,” is a lava rock formation that divides Ka’anapali Beach nearly in half. It is considered a place of Hawaiian cultural significance — rumored to be the location where ancient Hawaiians went to let their spirits “jump off” this world, into the next. The rock is currently open to any would-be cliff jumper by day. Every night, a re-enactment is staged, where a diver lights a torch at sunset, climbs the rock and dives into the ocean below.

Ka'anapali Beach is known for its excellent swimming, snorkeling and golf course.

Ka’anapali Beach is known for its excellent swimming, snorkeling and golf resort.

Snorkeling around Black Rock is a great way to see some tropical fish and even a few Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. Visibility is excellent when the water is calm. The snorkeling is best up around the point of Black Rock, but the current can be quite strong there and is best enjoyed during calm conditions or by advanced swimmers only.

Maui Vacation Villas Near Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Kahala at Dusk Ka’anapali Kahala, 8 Bd Kaanapali Kahala is located on the west arm of three mile long Kaanapali Beach. Situated on the beach, this estate is perfect for entertaining large groups of people. View More
Lahaina Luxury Villa - view Lahaina Luxury Villa, 4-6 Bd This remote villa is just 12 minutes from Ka’anapali Beach and Whaler’s Village. A very private Maui villa, with a wildly spectacular view! View More
Kahana Seaside poolside views Kahana Seaside Luxury Villa, 5 Bd The Kahana Seaside Villa is a spectacular 5,200 sq. ft. Grand Plantation style Maui vacation rental home, located between Kaanapali and Kapalua. This Villa offers luxury, privacy and easy access to restaurants, shopping, golf courses, beaches and Lahaina Town. View More

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  2. Angie says:

    My family really enjoyed staying in this area. There’s a lot to do and the beaches are pretty good. Easy access to good food, local brews, night life, ocean activities, etc. We could walk from our vacation home to just about everything. It was great – will definitely be returning!

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