Stay In Napili Sunset

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.

Stay In Napili Aerial Shot




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.

Stay In Napili Molokai And Lanai

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.

Napili Bay and all its glory are at your doorstep when you stay in a Napili vacation rental. For most people, that’s reason enough to stay in this West Maui neighborhood.


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.

Food In Napili Area

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.

Stay In Napili Uncrowded Beaches

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.


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.

Stay In Napili Lahaina

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.

Stay In Napili Golf

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.

Stay In Napili Hiking

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.

Stay In Napili Ukulele

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.

Stay In Napili Sunsets

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.

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    Happy Travels!


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 (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.)

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