8 Reasons Why You Should Stay In Napili, Maui
Maui resort towns often get the lion’s share of love from visitors. After all, they’re dotted with luxurious accommodations, top-tier restaurants, and some of the island’s most famous beaches. But with that also comes crowds and a less-than-authentic Hawaiian atmosphere. Enter Napili on Maui’s West Side.
If you’re on the hunt for a more low-key— yet equally stunning— place to spend your Maui vacation, we’ve got just the spot. Napili, a small hamlet on Maui’s northwest coast, strikes a perfect balance between resort living and local lifestyle. Discover why this neighborhood is one of Maui’s best-kept secrets: here are eight reasons why you should stay in Napili.
8 REASONS YOU SHOULD STAY IN NAPILI, MAUI
1. Two Words: Napili Bay.
Napili Bay is known as one of the best beaches on Maui— and for a good reason. Year-round, Napili Bay delivers postcard-worthy scenes. Its half-moon of golden sand is fringed by waving palms and impossibly-turquoise waters, while the islands of Molokai and Lanai form a picturesque backdrop.
On calm days, Napili Bay is a terrific place to snorkel, swim, or laze out with the fam. However, this family-friendly cove is one of Maui’s most popular beaches. Show up late (like, after 10 am), and parking spaces become more sparse than plumeria trees in Canada.
2. Restaurants Galore… From Elegant Five-Star Eateries To Mom-And-Pop Shops.
You don’t have to go far to find great eats in Napili. Nestled on the eastern edge of Napili Bay is the Sea House Restaurant, known for being one of the best oceanfront eateries on the island. Further up the point, you’ll find local prix-fixe delights and unbeatable views at Merriman’s. Meanwhile, on the bay’s western edge rests Kitchen 5315 and the famed breakfast joint, Gazebo.
Just a short drive mauka (toward the mountain), you’ll be met with all sorts of ono choices at Napili Plaza. Heaps of mom-and-pop eateries are located here, like Joey’s Kitchen and Aʻa Roots. Alternatively, you’ll find even more restaurants in the upscale enclave of Kapalua, just a mile east of Napili. The dining possibilities in this area are virtually endless.
3. Less ‘Touristy’ Than Kaʻanapali or Wailea.
In Napili, high-rise resorts, over-the-top hotel pools, and bustling crowds are replaced by quaint vacation condos, boutique hotels, and a laid-back atmosphere. Save for the visitor accommodations that dot the shoreline of Napili Bay; this neighborhood is primarily residential.
Unlike Maui’s major resort towns, Napili has no lavish shopping centers. No salespeople hawking activities or products to visitors on the sidewalk. No large resorts marking their territory on the beach with dozens of chairs and umbrellas. Instead, Napili visitors experience Hawaii in a more genuine sense— free from the frills, crowds, and haste of big resorts.
A great option, is to enjoy everything the region of Napili has to offer by staying just 2 miles South, in the small Maui town of Kahana. Stay in an oceanview 3 bed/bath condo next time you bring your family for a West Maui trip!
4. Lahaina Is Only 20 Minutes Away.
If you like to slow things down on vacation but also like to get in on the action here and there, I’ve got good news. Lahaina— and its lively bars, great shopping, and can’t-miss activities— is only a 20-minute drive from Napili.
Front Street in Lahaina is packed with restaurants, and fantastic shopping opportunities and is Maui’s go-to place for nightlife. What’s more, if you plan on doing activities like surf lessons, whale watches, luaus, or snorkel tours, Lahaina is the place to be.
Activities, dining, and shopping abound in Kaanapali. Kaʻanapali is about 10 minutes from Napili and is well worth a visit during your stay.
5. Napili Is A Stone’s Throw From Maui’s Best Golf Courses.
Seriously, at some Napili accommodations, you could probably toss a stone onto the green from your front door (but please, don’t try to). That’s how close Napili is to Kapalua’s famed golf courses.
Kapalua boasts two championship golf courses, the Bay Course and the Plantation Course. The latter is recognized as the best course in Hawaii by Golfweek Magazine and is the site of the PGA’s annual Tournament of Champions.
More courses proliferate ten minutes down the road in Kaanapali. Kaʻanapali features two phenomenal fairways: the Kaanapali Kai and the Kaanapali Royal.
6. Outdoor Activities Abound.
We’ve already covered golfing and snorkeling, swimming, and sunning at Napili Bay. You can find more splendid snorkeling just up the road at Honolua Bay— hands down one of the best snorkeling spots on Maui. But if you think beaches are Napili’s biggest appeal, think again!
Hikers and walkers alike will relish the abundance of nearby hiking trails. Traverse the Kapalua Coastal Trail, which runs nearly two miles from the western edge of Kapalua Bay to D.T. Flemings Beach. Or, work up a sweat on the Lake Loop or strenuous Mahana Ridge Trail.
Awe-inspiring sightseeing can be found just a short drive east. Attractions like the Olivine Pools and Nakalele Blowhole await (Heed all safety warnings. Rescues are common in this area).
Still searching for more heart-stopping action? Book a zipline tour with Kapalua Ziplines. This zipline course sends you careening across two miles of cables in the hills above Napili.
7. Napili Is A Hub For Hawaiian Entertainment.
Every Wednesday at 6 pm, the Napili Kai Beach Resort hosts the celebrated Napili Slack Key Show. The aptly named Masters of Hawaiian Music show features Grammy award-winning guitarist George Kahumoku Jr, who takes the stage alongside different celebrated musicians each week. The show often features masters of ukulele, falsetto, slack key, and steel guitar, as well as hula dancers.
The longest-running weekly keiki hula show in Hawaii is also held at the Napili Kai. Hosted by the Napili Kai Foundation, you can support local youth and enjoy wholesome Hawaiian entertainment every Tuesday night. Keiki perform traditional hula and dances from around the Pacific, accompanied by a live band.
8. Sunsets, Sunsets, Sunsets!
There are few better places to be at sunset than in Napili. You can enjoy sensational sunset views from just about every coastal point in Napili.
And even if you miss the sun slipping beyond the horizon, the sunset casts golden, orange, and pink hues over the waters of Napili Bay— and the magic of it all is hard to beat.
Ready to make your dream Napili vacation a reality? We have plenty of Napili vacation rentals for you to browse. But don’t book with us! We’re just here to point you in the right direction. Book owner-direct today for the best deals and up-to-date availability.
- Looking for great places to stay on Maui? You’ll save by BOOKING DIRECTLY with the owners/managers of these accommodations.
- Looking for Maui deals? Sign up here for our free monthly Maui Deals & Steals newsletter with the latest book-direct deals from our advertisers.
Questions? Comments? Drop me a line:
(Note: We recognize and respect the significance of the ‘okina and kahakō markings in the written Hawaiian language; however, we have omitted those diacritical markings on our site in order to integrate with the more common spellings used in online searches.)
©Copyright 2020 – Present, Maui Accommodations Guide. If you wish to share content from our site, you may do so only by publishing a link to our original content on MauiAccommodations.com, so full and clear credit is given to us. Any other unauthorized use and/or duplication of any materials on this site (either text or photos) without our express and written permission is strictly prohibited. For permission to use excerpts or photos from our site, please contact the publisher. Mahalo!