Is Napili Bay Safe? What to Know Before You Go

Napili Bay is a spectacular white sand beach nestled in a residential neighborhood in Napili, a few miles north of Lahaina Town on the West side of Maui.

The quarter mile long beach is known for its glassy turquoise waters, and is largely frequented by families staying at the resorts along the bay.

The bay is protected by an offshore reef, making it a safe option for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding.

Path along the rocky coast at Napili Point at dusk in Maui, Hawaii.

Is Napili Bay Safe?

Not all beaches are created equal on Maui. Depending on where you decide to lay your towel, some beaches might be really windy, have dangerous shorebreaks, or have strong currents. While other beaches are peaceful and serene, protected from the swell and wind.

Napili Bay is generally very calm and inviting, especially in the summer months. However, large swells can sometimes enter the bay accompanied with a strong rip current that pulls directly out to sea.

DO NOT enter the water when such conditions are present unless you are a strong swimmer.

If the water is sleek, Napili Bay is one of Maui’s safest places to enjoy ocean activities for keikis and adults who prefer calm waters, thanks to its crescent shape protecting it from the wind, and a reef about thirty yards out that stops waves from entering the bay.

Beachgoers of all ages enjoy the bay’s crystal clear waters, perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and paddleboarding. If you have some floaties, Napili Bay is also a great place to float around while sunbathing and enjoying the natural beauty surrounding the bay.

Entering the water from the beach is easy, although at times a bit steep, but you’ll enjoy wiggling your toes in the fine golden sand.

The bay boasts exciting underwater sights with abundant coral and tropical fish, offering a near perfect snorkeling experience almost everyday of the year.

Turtles like to frequent the bay as well, and sometimes rest on the beach, but remember to keep your distance from these endangered creatures! Touching or harassing turtles is a federal offense and is punishable by law.

How Do You Access Napili Bay?

Unless you are staying at one of the resorts or condos along Napili Bay, finding this beach can be a little tricky. Napili Bay is not visible from the road as it is hidden by the surrounding mid-range resorts and other residences, and parking requires a bit of luck and patience.

Napili Beach is accessible through several access points but the easiest one is located right next to Napili Shores Resort. Turn onto the street next to the resort off of Lower Honoapiilani Road and find a spot. From there, the public access point is just a short walk away. If you get there early, you should be able to park without too much trouble.

You can also find a small beach lot up the road, past the Napili Kai Beach Resort, between Napili and Kapalua Bay.

Unless you get there early, the lot is generally full but you can try waiting around for someone to leave for a few minutes as people come and go all day. If you manage to find parking in this lot, walk through the Napili Kai Resort to access the beach.

Otherwise you can find street parking along Lower Honoapiilani Road, and access the beach either through Napili Place or Hui Drive. If you feel a little lost, don’t be shy and ask someone to point out an entrance point!

Are there any amenities at Napili Bay?

  • Outdoor showers are set up along the beach path but the only restrooms available are reserved for resort and restaurant patrons.
  • There are no lifeguards on duty so be safe and use your judgment carefully if you are unsure of the conditions.
  • For your convenience, several shops offer equipment rental and snorkeling tours nearby: Water Works Sports, 808 Boards, Snorkel Bob’s and Shoreline Snorkel.

What’s within walking distance from Napili Bay?

Casual and fine dining options are conveniently accessible by foot from Napili Bay, proving that Maui is walkable.

Sea House Restaurant: Currently open for breakfast and lunch, the Sea House Restaurant serves delicious sea-to-table meals and tropical libations. For an incredible view of the entire bay, ask for a table outside (although it can get hot) or sit at the bar. The Sea House has a fabulous happy hour everyday between 2pm and 5pm. Located in Napili Kai Resort, right on the beach.

The Gazebo: Enjoy one of the best brunches in Maui while staring off at the ocean. Located on the opposite end of the beach from the Sea House Restaurant, in Napili Shores Resort.

Kitchen 5315: For a relaxed atmosphere, head over to this no fuss restaurant and tiki bar serving island style food. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is located at 5315 Lower Honoapiilani Road, by Napili Shores Resort.

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