Kapalua Resort is one of Maui’s premier luxury destinations, encompassing 22,000 acres of land steeped in Hawaiian history and natural beauty. The northwest expanse reaches from the top of Puu Kukui, a watershed preserve filled with endangered species in a biologically important area, to pristine shorelines and beautiful bays. Visitors will also discover elegant resort accommodations, spas, residential communities, championship golf courses, top beaches and many adventure activities.
There are five popular beaches fringing the bays found within the Kapalua Resort area, Slaughterhouse Beach at Mokuleia Bay and Honolua Bay, a marine conservation area popular for snorkeling, diving and surfing. The crescent-shaped white sand Kapalua Bay Beach and nearby D.T. Fleming Beach have both been at the top of America’s best beach list (from Dr. Beach). Fleming Beach has lifeguards as it may generate rough surf, but is great for boogie boarding and surfing, and offers amenities like picnic tables and restrooms. Kapalua Bay Beach is protected at each end by in-curving lava rock formations, almost like enfolding arms. If you don’t mind seasonal crowds, you’ll enjoy good swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and standup paddling year-round, plus restrooms and showers are on-site.
On a clear day you can see the island of Molokai across the narrow channel. Overlooking Honokahua Bay, at Makaluapuna Point, are the fierce-looking rock formations known as Dragon’s Teeth. This jagged edged barrier was formed thousands of years ago, when lava flowed from the West Maui volcano to the sea. Waves and wind coming off the ocean swept up the lava and cooled in this shape. You can access this formation when walking along the designated Coastal Trail. Slaughterhouse Beach at Mokuleia Bay and famous Honolua Bay are separated by Kalaepiha Point and together form the Honolua-Mokuleia Marine Life Conservation District. This area is popular for snorkeling and diving, where bright corals thrive and tropical fish play hide-and-seek.
During the winter, big wave surfers can be spotted cruising atop the cresting water. But these winter water conditions are rough; only the experts are out. It’s best to follow local wisdom: when in doubt, don’t go out. Nature lovers will find miles of self-guided walking and hiking trails from mountain ridge to seashore. Pick up a free map at the Kapalua Village Center. You’ll find trailhead locations for the Maunalei Arboretum Trails, Mahana and Honolua Ridge Trails, and the Coastal and Village Walking Trails. The mountain ridge trails are located above a private, gated community, so hikers must take the shuttle from Kapalua Village Center for access to the area. The shuttle runs several times daily and is free.