Vacation in Kapalua over the summer, and you can expect to spend your days soaking up the sunshine on one of the destination’s several world-class beaches.
But what about in winter? Found on Northwest Maui, Kapalua has a reputation for more winter storms than its neighbors down the coast.
Kapalua might not enjoy the same level of winter sun as other Maui resorts, but vacationers can still find exciting and relaxing ways to pass the time.
Take a look at our guide to find the best winter activities in Kapalua.
One of the prime reasons to visit Maui in winter is for a chance to see the humpback whales.
Thousands of whales populate the waters of Maui from November through to March, as they seek the warmer oceans to give birth and raise their young.
And Kapalua, on West Maui, has some excellent whale watching points. The best time to see the whales is between January and March, although you have a good chance of spotting them throughout December.
Head to the beach, or find a spot on the Kapalua coastal trail and look to the waves. If you have ocean facing accommodation, you might even be able to whale watch from your room!
Watch The Golf
In January, Kapalua plays host to the best of the best golfers from around the world with the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions.
(Want to know where the celebrities stay on Maui?)
Only open to those who have won a PGA Tour event during the previous year, this tournament pits winning golfers from around the world tee off against each other on Kapalua’s Plantation Course.
The winter event is highly anticipated, as the grand Plantation Course offers unusual challenges for even experienced golfers.
Or Play A Round Yourself
The Plantation golf course in Kapalua has been consistently recognized as the best golf course in Hawaii, and it isn’t just the pros who have a chance to experience it.
Head out for a round when the sun is shining, and discover the downhill tee shots that have made the course so iconic.
Or try the Bay course instead. It’s also hosted major professional tournaments, and many great champions have tackled the tees.
The Bay course is best known for having the only hole on Maui to play over the ocean. Give it a go, if you think you’re up to the challenge.
Tackle The Waves
Kapalua is home to several beaches that produce powerful winter swells for avid surfers. D.T. Fleming Beach appeals to both surfers and bodyboarders, while Oneola Bay gets fast-paced breaks.
For those who are talented on the board, Honolua Bay to the north of Kapalua attracts the pros over winter.
If you don’t have much experience on the waves, it’s best to avoid the awesome breaks that can hit the area.
But the good news is that watching surfing is almost as fun as grabbing a board yourself, and you don’t have to worry about bumps and bruises.
During quieter mornings, the sheltered Kapalua Bay is still a place to swim.
Visit The Restaurants
Kapalua is populated with luxury resorts, which means there are some exceptional places to eat. Merrimen’s Kapalua is a must-see, with an oceanfront setting that perfectly complements the farm-to-table food.
Kapalua is also home to Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar, which often gets a queue out the doors. Other great options include the Banyan Tree and the Plantation House Restaurant.
And for a classic Hawaiian breakfast, head just down the coast to Napili, and stop at the Gazebo.
Relax At The Spa
Complement your relaxing winter sun vacation with a trip to one of the opulent spas that can be found in Kapalua.
Head to the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua for therapies inspired by the ancient traditions of Maui, with local plants playing a key role in the holistic services.
Or book a treatment at the Montage, Kapalua Bay. The personalized treatments are unique to your needs, and leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.
Walk The Coastal Trail
The weather might be slightly hit-and-miss in Kapalua over winter, but you should still expect some sunny days during your vacation.
Make the most of these by walking the Kapalua coastal trail, which encompasses some fascinating natural landmarks. Make sure to pack your camera, wear strong shoes, and stay alert to the conditions as you go.
Enjoy Your Accommodation
Kapalua accommodations tend towards luxury, as this location attracts those looking to relax in style. When the weather is less than ideal, take a moment to explore what your resort or condo has to offer.
If you’ve spent previous vacations on the go, you might be surprised to discover exactly what these awesome accommodations have available to make you feel at home.
Make The Trip To Wailea
When the rain clouds over Kapalua seem unlikely to move, consider making the drive to sunny Wailea. The weather on South Maui tends to be sunny, even when it’s damp in Kapalua.
So, if you’re desperate for a full day at the beach, it’s worth grabbing a rental car and driving down the coast.
Set off early to enjoy the snorkeling around Makena, spend the afternoon people watching on Wailea Beach, and finish the day taking in the sunset at Keawakapu.
What Is The Weather Like In Kapalua Over Winter?
On Northwest Maui, winter in Kapalua can be breezier and wetter than other parts of the island. However, it’s also very changeable.
Although some days might be rained out, others will feel like the middle of summer. And even a damp day in Kapalua can still be nicer than the winter weather many of us experience at home!
From whale watching to spa days, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in Kapalua over winter. The weather can be a bit of a wildcard, as storms are more likely to hit this northwest tip.
But a winter vacation in Kapalua can still be packed with sun—and smaller crowds! When the rain showers do settle in, you can always take a drive down the coast, and see if the sunshine is visiting South Maui.