Even when its windy and the water is murky elsewhere, swimmers and snorkelers find friendly conditions on Kapalua Bay, protected by two lava spits curving into the water at each end. The graceful natural form gave Kapalua its name, which in Hawaiian means “arms embracing the sea.”
This beach topped the list on the first ever “America’s Best Beach” survey in 1991 and appeared on the list again in 2017.
The golden sand and gradual shore slope make this a particularly friendly beach for young children. A paved walk follows the shore just above the sand on the Kapalua Resort grounds. Beach facilities include bathrooms and a shower. If you drive here, come early. By mid-morning, cars fill the small lot at the south end of Kapalua Resort, and later line narrow Lower Honoapi‘ilani Road.