First Resort: Perfect Day in Kāʻanapali + VIDEO

Who says you have to rack up the mileage to make the most of Maui? With its medley of dining and entertainment options, Kā‘anapali makes it easy to explore some of the best the island has to offer.


Story by Lehia Apana

Kaanapali Westin Nanea

7–10 a.m. The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas is the new kid on Kā‘anapali Beach. Take a cue from its name—nanea translates as relaxation—and ease into the day with breakfast delivered to your door. Prefer a DIY meal? Each villa has a full-sized kitchen, and thanks to Nanea’s grocery delivery service, you can opt to have ingredients waiting for you upon arrival. 45 Kai Malina Pkwy., Kā‘anapali; 808-662-6300;


10 a.m.–noon Mere steps away is Kahekili Beach Park, also known as “North Beach” or “Airport Beach” because of its proximity to the old West Maui Airport. Snorkeling here is as easy as it gets. A few fin kicks from shore, and you’ll be gliding over neon-hued fish and mounds of cauliflower-shaped coral. This stretch of sand is also home to the Kahekili Herbivores Fisheries Management Area, a marine reserve that’s protecting the reef by protecting the fish that clean it. You can rent snorkel gear from Nanea’s poolside Aqualani activity center.

1–2:30 p.m. Among the founding members of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine, Roy Yamaguchi earned his celebrity-chef distinction well before the words Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen meant anything. His eponymous restaurant sits just above the eighteenth hole of Kā‘anapali Golf Course, and dishes are served with island flair. Try the Dim Sum Canoe for Two, a generous helping of Hawai‘i favorites, including lumpia, poke, and potstickers. Roy’s serves lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. 2290 Kā‘anapali Pkwy., Kā‘anapali; 808-669-6999

3–5 p.m. Grab a soccer ball and try your hand—er, foot—at FootGolf. Kā‘anapali Golf Course is the only spot on Maui to offer the hybrid sport. The rules are similar to traditional golf, with players competing over nine modified holes. FootGolf begins at 3:30 p.m., once the golfers have played through. Arrive early to check in and browse the pro shop, the only place that carries official Kā‘anapali logo wear. 2290 Kā‘anapali Pkwy., Kā‘anapali;

7:30–9:30 p.m. Asian-inspired with a Hawai‘i accent, Japengo at Hyatt Regency Maui is a fan favorite, earning Gold ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards for Best Asian and Best Pacific Rim Cuisine, plus a Silver for Best Sushi. The relaxing outdoor setting and occasional live music complete the experience.

9:45 p.m. Follow Hyatt’s director of astronomy Eddie Mahoney to the hotel’s rooftop for a show that’s literally out of this world. Professional-grade telescopes reveal the stellar landscape and Eddie connects the dots with a seemingly endless supply of knowledge. The last show of the evening, this Romantic Tour of the Stars is reserved for adults and includes chocolate-dipped strawberries and champagne.


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