Our timeshare, the Marriott Ocean Club is located here on Kaanapali Beach, just north of the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui. Few people know this was Hawaii’s first master planned resort. Back in 1962, the Royal Lahaina Resort opened. I was a sophomore in high school.
Many resorts and high rises followed, creating what is now a popular, luxurious, and rather crowded area of west Maui. Over the years, we have stayed at several. By 2003, Kaanapali Beach was rated the #1 beach in America. It is now rather difficult to believe this was a deserted beach at one time.
For one, a horse racing track covered much of the resort area, attracting both Hawaiian royalty and island business people. And sugar cane dominated the crops, now replaced by housing and coffee plantations. And the Black Rock, called Puu Kekaa, is where the King of Maui practiced leaping into the sea, a sport known to locals as lele kawa.
Today, the Black Rock forms a barrier between the two beaches, Kaanapali to the south, and Kahekili or “airport beach” to the north. Kahekili is a popular snorkeling spot, and also boasts plenty of public parking. And starting around mid day Friday, Aloha Friday, for those of you on the mainland, locals begin their ritual of weekend barbecues, children’s birthday parties, and Friday night relaxation.
Serious surfers head elsewhere, but beginners find Kaanapali a great place to learn and practice. The largest swells run from 6 to 8 feet, winter or summer. And we do see a few fishermen in the area as well.
On a clear day, sounds like a song. But during winter months, whales can easily be seen from shore. Though we have taken the ferry to Lanai, and gone on whale watching tours, we enjoy spotting whales from our balcony. And maybe with a cold beer or glass of champagne in our hands.
One nice, simple, and free activity each morning is to take the Beach Walk from our resort up to the old Royal Lahaina Resort. It seems everyone else is doing the same thing, while it is cool, and quiet on the beach.
My brother and his wife have joined us here, in an ocean view, two bedroom condo. My cousins from California are also here. We plan a big bbq one evening with them. Other than the snow on Haleakala crater, some road closures, and lots of cold beer, we are suffering through days of 75 to 80 degrees with intermittent rain.
Tomorrow, the vacation begins for all of us. Just don’t tell them we were already here, first in Honolulu, then Kauai to visit dear friends!!! @loha!!!!!
Added bonus: who cares about the NBA or NCAA basketball. And best of all, this is a BIG blue state!!! No evangaculates telling us what to do or think.