kaanapali beach resort maui family vacation

The thought of a relaxing family vacation in Maui—tropical drink in hand—is a good one. With direct flights to Maui from San Diego and a number of major cities across the United States, it’s becoming easier and easier to visit this island paradise loved by all ages.

If you’re considering visiting Maui with kids, take a look at Kaanapali Beach Resort.

What is Kaanapali Beach Resort?

Kaanapali Beach Resort is a completely self-contained resort on a gorgeous three-mile stretch of beach along the sunny Western shores of Maui that was once a warrior training ground and the playground for Hawaii’s royalty.

Kaanapali is a year-round destination for everyone with a number of festivals and events throughout the year including Kaanapali Fresh, the resort’s signature three-day event over Labor Day weekend.

Those of you thinking of spring break, summer vacations and quick getaways in-between with the family should look at Kaanapali Resort in Maui. We’ve been multiple times over the years and love it.

Things to Do with Kids at Kaanapali Beach Resort

Kaanapali Beaches

We prefer Maui’s beaches, and Kaanapali’s is a stunner. It’s possible to spend hours floating around the warm ocean water while the kids boogie board, snorkel or play.

See why Kaanapali Beach in Maui is ideal for families.
Photo courtesy of Kaanapali Beach Resort Association/Photography by Peter Liu

Beach kiosks set guests up with their activities of choice.

Activities On the Water

Go stand-up paddle boarding in Kaanapali Maui.
Photo courtesy of Kaanapali Beach Resort Association.

The list of Kaanapali activities both on (in) and off of the water is a long one. It’s possible to take surfing lessons, go whale watching, take a snorkeling tour, try stand-up paddleboarding, take a dinner cruise, and much more.

Land Activities

Whaler’s Village awaits within walking distance of many Kaanapali Maui hotels. The Whaling Museum, shops, restaurants are here. And a little further afield awaits the Sugar Cane Train, zip line and more. You can also sneak in a few rounds of golf!

Delicious Kaanapali Restaurants

Hello, poke, Hula Pie, and Mai Tais. One does not run out of places to eat in Kaanapali. We particularly like Leilani’s and Hula Grill in Whaler’s Village though the sushi at Japengo inside Hyatt Regency Maui is fantastic.

And, let’s not forget the Drums of the Pacific luau for Kalua pork, poi, Polynesian rice, pineapple cake and other local favorites.

kaanapali maui luau food
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

The performers take guests through the islands of Polynesia through dance, music and even a little fire.

Where to Stay at Kaanapali Beach Resort

Kaanapali Maui family vacation

Choose from 4800 rooms in a variety of price points. There are six hotels:

  • Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
  • The Westin Maui Resort & Spa
  • Kaanapali Beach Hotel
  • Sheraton Maui Resort
  • Maui Marriott Resort & Ocean Club
  • Royal Lahaina Resort.

And, there are five condominiums:

  • Kaanapali Alii
  • The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach
  • Outrigger Maui Eldorado
  • Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas
  • The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas.

In addition to kid-friendly beaches, families choose Kaanapali because they have accommodations to suit all budgets. And, many have “keiki” programs that cater to kids ages 12 and under.

During our last visit, we split time between two fabulous hotels. The first was Kaanapali Alii which has, fully-furnished residence-style accommodations.

They even stocked our fridge in advance, and I loved having a washer/dryer to de-sand our clothes every once in a while. The beach out front is just lovely, and a bit quieter.

See also: The Advantages of Luxury Condo Rentals at Kaanapali Alii

kaanapali alii maui family vacation kids
My daughter running down a pathway to the beach at Kaanapali Alii

The uber-popular Hyatt Regency Maui though is a kid paradise. From the lobby penguins and tropical birds to the pool water slides, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is a kid paradise. We even participated in the evening Tour of the Stars because this is one of the best stargazing hotels in the world.

See also: Review: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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One Comment

  1. I love Kaanapali Beach Resort! I stayed there when I was pregnant. I would love to take my girl there sometime.