What Is Kapalua Known For?

Kapalua is a gorgeous area on Maui, known for its resorts and beaches. It’s located along the northwest coast of the island, just off Route 30, which is also known as the Honoapiilani Highway.

The area has lots to offer tourists and seasoned travelers alike, including breathtaking views, luxurious accommodations, and a variety of attractions such as championship golf courses, award-winning restaurants, and premium resorts. 

If you’re thinking about stopping by Kapalua while on Maui, below are some of our favorite activities.

A picture of a golf course near the shore in Kapalua, Maui.

1. Golf

Every January, the PGA Hyundai Tournament of Champions (previously the Mercedes Championship) is held at Kapalua’s Plantation Course.

The course was rated Hawaii’s #1 Golf Course by Golfweek Magazine, and it boasts the island’s only hole that is played over water.

If you are unable to attend the competition, you can always test your talents on the same course as the professionals. To avoid disappointment, we recommend booking a slot ahead of time, as the courses get pretty busy during the holidays and peak season. 

2. Kapalua Beach

If you ever find yourself on Maui, be sure to stop by Kapalua beach. Because the granite outcroppings on either side give natural protection from wind and high surf, this beach is ideal for families with young children as well as beginner snorkelers.

Snorkeling is perfect if you’re on the right (north) side of the beach, once you swim out past the silty water along the shore. You’re nearly certain to see at least one sea turtle feeding on the reef, as well as plenty of colorful fish. 

3. Dragon’s Teeth

Dragon’s teeth—also known as Makaluapuna Point—were formed from one of Maui’s last lava flows.

It’s a rock formation that occurred when the wind sweeping over the point caused the lava to harden in an upward position. The jagged and sharp edges of the rock formation look like dragon’s teeth, hence the name.

If you visit at the right time of year, you may even be lucky enough to see green sea turtles swim close to the shore. 

Dragon’s Teeth is extremely easy to get to from the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua because the pathway runs alongside the hedges. This hedge line outlines the boundary of the Honokahua burial site. Continue on until you reach the golf course, where you will notice the jagged rock formations pointing towards the sky.

4. Village Walking Trails

From mountain peaks to the coast, the Kapalua Coastal Trail offers miles of gorgeous pathways begging to be explored. The trails weave a diverse tapestry throughout the country, catering to all types of hikers, and follows an already established cart path located on the former Village Golf Course..

The trails are free and open to resort guests for self-guided exploration.

Along this trail, you’ll get the chance to witness stunning panoramic views and a hidden lake full of ducks waiting to meet those who venture deep enough into the course.

5. Sacred Hearts Mission Church

Maria Lanakila, which means Our Lady of Victory, is located in downtown Lahaina, which is the Cradle of Faith on the island of Maui. The Church was established in 1846 by Father Aubert of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Mary and Jesus.

It was officially dedicated on September 8, 1858.

Many visitors to Maui take part in mass ceremonies at the church, and the people working there are friendly and welcome all visitors with a smile. The capacity of the church is 150 people, so make sure you arrive early to avoid disappointment if you plan on getting a seat.

6. The Ritz 

Therapies at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Kapalua are inspired by traditional Hawaiian traditions and include indigenous flora and rituals for a holistic approach to healing.

Lush gardens create a pleasant outdoor setting where guests can repose before or after a session, and they instill a sense of calm in treatment facilities both indoors and out.

They offer a variety of different treatments, including massages, makeup, and nail services as well as men’s treatments and an array of enhancements such as Sunburn Relief Treatment, perfect for the forgetful tourist.

7. Kayaking

If you’re looking to escape from the crowds, and the hustle and bustle of tour boats then a kayaking excursion is the perfect way to experience Maui from the perspective of the ocean.

Kapalua’s eco-certified kayaking tours allow you to experience the area’s exquisite marine life while learning about how you can help preserve it.

The guides cater to all ages and abilities, creating a fun-filled experience suitable for the entire family.

8. Mahana Ridge Trail

The Maunalei Arboretum and the center of Kapalua Resort are linked by this mountain ridge walk.

This trail, which offers amazing views of the Moku Pe’a and Honokahua Gulches, permits hikers to stroll through mountainous ground that was originally used to harvest coffee and pineapple during the Honolua Ranch-era.

The route may be reached from either the Kapalua Village Center or D.T. Flemings Beach.

Please keep in mind that the trailhead is a tough 20-plus-mile round trip hike, so hikers should dress appropriately, bring plenty of water and snacks, and be aware of hazardous weather conditions.

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