Top 10 Things to Do in Napili & Kapalua

With our valuable insider’s perspective, we aim to show our readers just a handful of some of the best activities and sites to experience in Napili and Kapalua. Within moments away from other West Maui areas like Lahaina and Ka’anapali, it is possible to plan daily life in ease here. Napili and Kapalua are close to so many vacation conveniences; shopping, many beautiful West Maui beaches, world-renowned golf resorts, museums, cultural landmarks, restaurants, and nightlife.

Best Maui Activities West Side Napili Kapalua

Located between Kahana and Kapalua, Napili is perfectly nestled. Most recognized for the beach at Napili Bay, oceanfront properties, Hawaiian green sea turtles, and a quaint resort-style community, Napili is one of Maui’s most unassuming secret gems. Napili Bay is also a famous site for some of the best snorkeling on Maui.

Kapalua provides one of the most incredible landscapes and vacation environments for everyone that steps foot in this area. Impossible to duplicate, Kapalua can easily produce one of the most luxurious travel experiences in all of Hawaii. With fantasy island-like settings, Kapalua gorgeously spans from the mountain to the sea with beautiful bays, world-renowned golf resorts, hiking trails, spas, fine dining, and more.

When vacationing in the West Maui areas of Kapalua or Napili, guests will undoubtedly love seeing magical Maui sunsets, and tri-island views of the neighbor islands of Molokai, Lana’i, and Kaho’olawe every day. With a setting that is always decorated with the picture-perfect West Maui Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, allowing Hawaii’s flora and fauna to magically take you away in West Maui.

Top 10 Things To Do In Napili & Kapalua Napili and Kapalua on Map of Maui



Napili Bay

Located between Kahana and Kapalua is the famed Napili Beach area. Napili Bay is surrounded by a mellow group of full-time residents, part-time residents, and vacation condominium communities. Despite the hype of West Maui areas like Lahaina and Ka’anapali, this serene coastal area remains to be one of the sleepiest little areas within Hawaii. Napili is truly a Maui gem.

Napili Bay is frequented daily by residents and visitors, and is a super popular spot for snorkeling with the Hawaiian green sea turtles. Many that visit this West Maui locale are seeking some solitude on vacation. Guests can definitely find some cool vibes and privacy here! Although the weekends can be busy, peace and comfort is found at Napili Bay. For visitors who would like to snorkel at Napili Bay, there is an activity rental booth where you can rent snorkels and fins by the hour.

Napili Beach on Maui is a small cove surrounded by intimate vacation communities. This beautiful sandy beach has calm swimming and pool-like water, as well as gentle shore break, perfect for a relaxing swim in the ocean. Here, you’ll find a collection of gorgeous underwater coral reef formations that make Napili Bay so ideal for snorkeling on Maui. Napili Kai Beach Resort fronts the bay, so it can be very busy during high season on Maui. The best time to visit Napili Bay is during the early mornings on weekdays, or later in the afternoon for sunset celebrations. There is no designated parking lot for Napili Bay beach-goers, so look for neighborhood parking, and make sure to not block anyone’s driveway.

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Napili & Honokowai Farmers Markets

The Napili Farmers Market takes place every Wednesday from 8am to 11am. It is located at the corner of Honoapiilani Highway and Napilihaui Street (near the Maui Preparatory Academy). This is a fabulous West Maui outdoor farmers market for those looking for all-local produce, including Maui-grown items like mango, pineapple, banana, papaya, Tahitian lime, coffee, Kula greens, locally grown herbs, smoothies, kombucha, juices and more.

Depending on the season, guests can also find many tropical rarities, like lychee from Haiku, breadfruit, dragonfruit, watermelon radishes, rainbow kale, and Linda avocados (the huge, dark-skinned, buttery ones with small pits).

The Honokowai Farmers Market has quickly gained a reputation as one of the best non-GMO farmers markets in West Maui. At this Maui farmers market, guests can easily find a host of locally grown organic fruits and vegetables, locally canned and packaged food items, baked goods, and tons of vendors that provide samples. This locally owned and family operated food market takes place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7 am to 11 am. It is located at 3636 Lower Honoapiilani Highway.

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Breakfast at Gazebo Restaurant

Fronting Napili Bay, next to the pool at Napili Shores, Gazebo restaurant is a West Maui breakfast institution. The food is great, the location is open-aired and beautiful, and the menu is inexpensive compared to most other popular breakfast spots on Maui. Over the years, the Gazebo has become increasingly more trendy with the tourist community, so you’ll probably have to wait for a table.

Breakfast at Gazebo is really popular and should definitely not be missed if you’re in the area. The views alone surely will make breakfast worth the wait! Plus, they serve you fresh coffee while you’re waiting.

Gazebo’s breakfast menu has traditional items like two egg breakfasts and buttermilk pancakes, but they really hit a home run with the simple way they infuse local foods. Favorite breakfast items at Gazebo are the Macadamia Nut Pancakes, Pineapple Pancakes (with the special sauce), the Fried Rice Plate with Scrambled Eggs, Country Eggs Benedict, Spanish Omelette, Maui Omelette, the Popeye Omelette, and the Big Kahuna (a 3-egg omelette with bacon, Portuguese sausage, onions, mushrooms, fresh avocado, and pepper jack cheese). Breakfast at Gazebo would not be complete without a mimosa and an order of their yummy Country Potatoes or Corned Beef Hash.

Gazebo is located poolside at the Napili Shores Resort (5315 Lower Honoapiilani Road), and is open 7 days a week from 7:30am to 2pm.

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Slack Key Guitar Show:
Napili Kai Beach Resort Aloha Pavilion

Hosted two times a week by world-renowned Hawaiian slack key guitarist and musician, George Kahumoku Jr., all guests will definitely enjoy the Slack Key Guitar Show in Napili (Wednesday and Thursdays at 7:30pm). George Kahumoku Jr. was born and raised on the Big Island, but has made the Island of Maui his home. Honored with a multitude of Grammy and Hoku Awards, George is recognized as a master slack key guitarist, singer-songwriter, international performer, educator, artist, writer, farmer, and an overall Hawaiian entrepreneur.

Besides enjoying the rare chance to hear George Kahumoku Jr. live in concert, guests will also be able to hear a rotating selection of Hawaiian musicians and special guests throughout the evening. The Napili Slack Key Guitar Shows are never the same, and are a great place to be introduced to the music of a variety of Hawaii’s most popular musicians. In addition to performing twice a week at the Napili Kai, George Kahumoku Jr. also plays music throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and operates his farm and production company out of West Maui.

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Napili Kai Beach Resort Aloha Pavilion

Honolua Bay & Marine Preserve

The Honolua Bay Marine Preserve is located off Highway 30 about a 20-minute drive north of Lahaina. Just before mile marker 32, you will see a sign for the Marine Conservation District, and this is the beginning of the protected Honolua area. The Honolua Bay Marine Preserve consists of Slaughterhouse Beach (Mokuleia Bay), Honolua Bay, Lipoa Point, Windmill Beach (Punalau Point), and a few coastline trails in between.

Honolua Bay is the main focal point for this conservation district, and offers amazing surfing for in-the-know surfers, wonderful snorkeling during the Summer months, and incredible views from Lipoa Point for those that prefer to stay dry and enjoy the scenery. Besides being one of the most internationally famous surfing and snorkeling beaches on Maui, Honolua Bay also has one of the most beautiful and vibrantly-colored beach landscapes within all the Hawaiian Islands. The parking lot and bluffs (Lipoa Point) above Honolua Bay provide a wonderful vantage point for watching surfers from a safe distance, or savoring a magically beautiful Maui sunset. A visit to Honolua Bay should definitely not be missed!

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Kapalua Golf Resort

Golfing is definitely one of the most popular activities in all of Hawaii. On Maui, golf enthusiasts have the best selection of golf resorts, golf instruction, and annual golf events to choose from. The Kapalua Golf Resort consistently ranks as the #1 Golf Resort in Hawaii by top golf media outlets and has received numerous accolades from world-renowned publications like Golf Digest and Golf Magazine.

For guests seeking an amazing vacation in Hawaii that focuses attention on their golf game, Maui is the best island to choose for a myriad of golf experiences and instruction at all levels. If you want beautifully maintained grounds and unobstructed views of the West Maui coastline and the outer islands of Molokai, Lanai and Kaho’olawe, definitely check out the Kapalua Golf Resort. At the Kapalua Resort, guests can practice and perfect their game at the Plantation and Bay courses; pick up some new skills and instruction from PGA professionals at the Kapalua Golf Academy. This is a great Hawaii golf resort choice for those interested in refining their golf game at a world-class Hawaii golf resort.

January is the most popular time of the year for Kapalua Golf Resort visitor action. Every year, in the beginning of January, the annual PGA Tour season opens with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua Golf Resort. This is surely the most exciting golf event in all the Hawaiian Islands, and acclaimed for hosting a selection of the best professional golf athletes in the world, including winners of previous PGA Tour seasons.

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Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay is one of the most remarkable beaches on Maui, and a perfect West Maui locale to explore while on vacation in Hawaii. Kapalua translates to kapa and lua in the ancient Hawaiian language, meaning “two borders.” Kapalua Bay is perfectly positioned between Oneloa Bay and Honokahua Bay, which explains its centrally located namesake.

Time and time again, Kapalua Bay has been named “Best Beach in the World” by numerous publications, including Conde Nast Traveler Magazine and the Travel Channel, who has also called it the “Best Beach in America.” Without a doubt, Kapalua is one of the top beaches in Hawaii for snorkeling and relaxing in the warm tropical sunshine.

The quiet and peaceful community surrounding Kapalua Bay is really unique. The beach in itself is out of this world with a protected, crescent-shaped cove, ideal for Hawaii marine life to gather. Kapalua Bay undoubtedly provides a calm and lovely environment for snorkeling in West Maui. Here, beach guests will find a huge array of Hawaii marine life; Scorpion Fish, Cornet Fish, Jacks, Butterflyfish, Parrotfish, Goat Fish, Moorish Idol, Box Fish, Perch, Triggerfish, Chub, various invertebrates and more.

With vibrantly colored reef formations, mellow swimming conditions, and a perfect setting, Kapalua is perfection for an afternoon of kicking back with your family and friends in West Maui.

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D.T. Fleming Beach Park &
Hike to Dragon’s Teeth

D.T. Fleming Beach Park extends over 3.4 acres of West Maui land and is located approximately a 20-minute drive from Lahaina. D.T Fleming Beach Park on Maui is a great location for a family BBQ or a relaxing day sunbathing and swimming with friends. The beach park has lifeguards on duty from 8 am to 4 pm, 12 picnic tables, 5 BBQ grills, lots of parking, restrooms and an outdoor shower, and wheelchair access to the beach.

One of the best times to visit D.T. Fleming Beach Park is from Spring to Fall when the ocean conditions are more relaxed. Fleming’s Beach is ideal for Maui snorkeling, swimming, and enjoying perfect Pacific Ocean waters.

From D.T. Fleming Beach Park, there is a short coastal trail to a lesser-known site called Dragon’s Teeth. By traveling towards the left end of the beach, journey above the shore break to a lower bank that borders the golf course. Follow the tree lines – spanning about 14 acres left of the trail is the Honokahua Burial Site (850 AD). DO NOT WALK up there; please spectate from afar. This is an ancient land. Continuing onto Dragon’s Teeth, you will soon see a patch of disheveled Ironwood trees; this is where you should cut right to the Dragon’s Teeth site. Dragon’s Teeth will be recognized when you see 4-5 foot high sharp-looking sculptures bordering the ocean. The Dragon’s Teeth are trachyte mineral: volcanic rock with an aphanitic (fine-grained crystals that are not apparent to the eye) texture. Trachyte is a rare result of a volcanic eruption with 65% silica content. Basically, if it were cut and polished, it would look iridescent, and similar to Mother of Pearl.

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Hike to Dragon’s Teeth

Nakalele Blowhole

Nakalele Blowhole is situated past the Kapalua area at Pohelua Bay. It can be found by following Highway 30 past Kapalua towards Wailuku on the backroad. Close to mile marker 38, you’ll find the ‘Acid War Zone Trail.’ From the gravel parking lot, visitors can hike down a 30-minute trail (please do not drive down even if you see locals driving down) to a short hike to the blowhole.

Or, you can choose to travel to the next site that’s located past mile marker 38 (look for a dirt pullout alongside the road). From this spot, you can see the best view of the blowhole and the Nakalele Lighthouse on the mauka side (oceanside) of the road without doing the hike. This is the absolute best way to visit Nakalele Blowhole.

Nakalele Blowhole is unpredictable! In NO WAY should you go close to the blowhole. When we say close, we mean do not go nearer than 20 feet to the blowhole. The blowhole eruptions are based on the ocean conditions, and at times can reach up to 50-feet high pending high surf advisories. It’s OBVIOUSLY better to be safe than sorry, so please do not act crazy so you can get that perfect selfie here. There have definitely been accidents and fatalities at this location. In my opinion, visitors who would prefer to stay safe should just check out the Nakalele Blowhole from the road. You can definitely get great coastal pictures and take awesome videos while you watch the blowhole erupt from the pull out (after mile marker 38 on Highway 30).

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Mahalo Nui Loa for reading Pride of Maui’s Top 10 Things To Do In Napili & Kapalua blog post! It has been our pleasure to inform our readers about a handful of some of the best things to do in West Maui. What are your favorite things to do in Napili and Kapalua?

Alexandra Mitchell

Alexandra is a marketing professional with a passion for writing about travel to the Hawaiian Islands, vacation rentals, and luxury real estate. She exposes readers to glimpses of 'Old Hawaii,' new destinations to explore, local events, and all the best things to do on Maui.