When I drive by the entrance to the Kaanapali Resort, it brings up the nostalgia of summer mornings as a kid, sleeping in late, and routinely watching The Price is Right and Bob Barker. Who could forget the big wheel, that yodeling mountain climber, $1 bids, showcase showdowns, that fanatic audience, and of course, Barker's beauties?"
Another thing I remember vividly were the prizes, which ranged from the odd - things like treadmills, unicycles, trampolines, chandeliers (WTF), and above ground pools - to the fantastic, such as diamond encrusted watches, campers, jet skis, luxury cars, and even exotic trips. Quite the spectrum.
And then there was the colorful and eccentrically dressed Rod Roddy, who I can hear right now in his animated game show announcer's voice, "You'll be whisked away in a state-of-the-art 747 jumbo jetliner leaving Los Angeles for your 7 day, 6 night stay at the all inclusive and ultra exclusive Sheraton Kaanapali, Maui Resort where you'll enjoy fun in the sun paradise as you sip mai tais by the pool, basque on tropical beaches, and immerse yourself in island activity and nightlife."
Actually, I have no idea if that was the exact context, or even the prize(s) for that matter. I'm not sure they were even talking about Kaanapali...I just know that this place, in all of its "vacation resort perfectness," is what I envisioned way back then (and have obviously held on to).
Kaanapali = Happy
Situated about 3 miles North of Lahaina town on Maui's West side, Kaanapali has the total island resort package. Along this 1.5-mile stretch of Pacific Ocean coastline, you have every beach activity at your disposal. And within the resort you have golf, shopping, dining, live entertainment, as well as world-class lodging complete with super pools and waterslides. At Kaanapali Beach, the weather is warm, the water crystal clear, the sand is silky soft, and every day is a weekend.
When I get together with family and friends for a Kaanapali Beach day, it is definitely an "event." A day to "gather" that's met with special enthusiasm and energy not found with any other destination on the island. Since the majority of occupants to Kaanapali Beach are out-of-towners on vacation, generally spirits are high as the rinse/repeat routine of home, work, stress, schedules, and winter clothing are a distant memory.
Us locals, we like to share in that same sort of vacation mentality from time to time, and while Kaanapali Beach the destination is awesome, parking is tough (public parking is very limited)! There is something to be said for having to work for it...a.k.a. plan, park, carry, and hoof it with all of your gear. No pain, no gain I guess...or as the Corona commercial says...find your beach. Either way, the extra work is worth it.
When's the Best Time of Year to Visit?
One of the coolest times of the year to visit Kaanapali Beach is Christmas week (literally). During the rest of the year, it's a fairly busy place with some major occupancy dips in between seasons. However, when the season turns on...it turns "ON." Literally overnight, as the world comes to West Maui for the non-traditional holiday experience.
Imagine...sand angels and sunburns replacing snow angels and frost bite...it's December, it's warm, and the beach is densely cluttered with people, towels, chairs, coolers, noodles, floaties, flippers, snorkels, surfboards, horseshoes, umbrellas, sunscreens, and more. Nice tradeoff: 82 degrees and this kind of gridlock versus cold weather and the mainland kind of gridlock.
More Reasons to Love Kaanapali Beach
So, in addition to the obvious reasons of sunny, warm, beautiful, and spectacular mentioned above, here are a few more detailed picks why Kaanapali Beach is unique to itself and a West Maui gem. While the umbrella is in the sand, feel free to also check out:
1) Activities: surf, paddle, skim, SUP, body surf (lessons available).
2) Snorkel Black Rock: No boat needed.
3) Leilani's on the Beach: Food, views, fun, spirits.
4) Parasail: Sign up and go, right from the beach.
5) The Boardwalk: Walk, jog, or stroll the oceanfront boardwalk.
6) Whalers Village: Restaurants, retail shops, entertainment, and more!
7) Jump Off Black Rock: Just high enough to scare you and impress anyone you're with.
8) Kaanapali Beach Hotel's Tiki Bar: For the adults...you get your money's worth.
9) People Energy: 3 Hotels, 2 Timeshare Developments, 2 Fee Simple Oceanfront Condominiums. There's action!
10) Molokai & Lanai: On the clearest days, they're in your lap.
11) Breaching Humpback Whales: The real Sea World.
12) Sunsets: Frequently jaw dropping.
13) Great People Watching: In the entertaining way, not in the creepy way.
West Maui is the Best Maui
If you have questions, comments, or want information regarding real estate opportunities at Kaanapali Beach and surrounding areas, please feel free to contact me. :)
Thank you for reading! Aloha - JTO