The population was 1,250 at the 2010 census. The master-planned town is in the Old Hawaii ahupuaa of Hanakaʻōʻō, as in the same name of the southern end of Kaanapali Beach’s Hanakaʻōʻō Canoe Beach.
Ka`anapali is about 10 minutes’ drive by car from Lahaina as well as the Kapalua-West Maui Airport and about 45 minutes’ drive from Kahului Airport, the main airport on the island, where the vast majority of travelers arrive. Route 30 is a road that connects Kaanapali with Lahaina and Kahului.
Most major car rental companies have stations in north Ka`anapali (on Honoapi`ilani Hwy. between Ka`anapali Resort and Kapalua-West Maui Airport) and at the Kahului Airport terminal on Mokuea Pl. in Kahului.
Most visitors to Maui rent a car. The budget constrained can take buses and shuttles and the adventurous can rent a geared bicycle.
Cars can be rented in Kahului Airport (all major rental companies have offices there) or in other locations throughout the island. Most hotels usually provide parking for their guests only, sometimes for an additional fee. Parking is available at the Whaler’s Village shopping center, for a fee, but they will validate your ticket in stores and restaurants. If you go to one of the hotels for a luau, there is usually parking for the event, also for a fee in most cases.
There is a shuttle between main Kaanapali hotels and Whaler’s Village center. The local bus is $1 per ride. (You can take a Sugar Cane Train between Kaanapali and Lahaina, but this should be done for entertainment only.)
You can rent a bicycle locally, or bring your own bicycle (folding bikes usually can be carried in a bag as luggage without attracting any extra charges). The main roads have paved shoulders marked as “Bike Route”, and motorists are fairly relaxed.
You can use a beautiful path along the beach to walk between major hotels.
- Pu`u Keka`a. The ancient Hawaiian landmark that dominates Ka`anapali Beach, also known popularly as Black Rock. It is steeped in Hawaiian legends and lore; in fact, there is a historical site marker along the beach boardwalk at the entrance to the Sheraton Maui with the interpretation of this site. This area is great for swimming and snorkeling and most times of the year offers a huge expanse of golden sand beach. Snorkeling gear can be rented from the Maui Dive Shop in the Whaler’s Village.
- Ka`anapali Historical Trail and Legends Tour. Consists of 10 rock monument site markers with interpretive signs as well as a complimentary guided tour by hotel concierges every Tuesday morning.
- 1 Ka`anapali Beachwalk. Takes you on a scenic shoreline walk for about two miles, stretching between Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa and Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa. Whalers Village oceanfront shopping complex is right in the middle of it. This beach-side boardwalk occasional dips inland behind a property whose owner wouldn’t cooperate with the others who created this facility. (updated Jun 2018)