The engines began to roar just a little louder as the nose of the Aloha Airlines craft dipped to a decidedly downward angle, we were finally on approach to the airport that was to be the first stop on our way to Maui's north-west tip, known as Napili Bay, Lahaina, Hawaii. I recall looking out the airplane window and seeing the cloud-dotted South pacific ocean which felt very inviting, which was exactly how the Maui natives would make us feel. We gathered our luggage and acquired our transportation and began driving the short 30-some miles on highway 38 (which turns into 380), to Hwy 30 (Honoapilani Hwy) towards Lahaina and just a little further through Kaanapali and Kahana to our waiting condo and private destination at beautiful Napili Bay.
Our condo was only a few feet from the shoreline, which was a divine stroll past flora which simply took our breath away. From bright pink flowers to the deeply green bananas, the walk to the Napili Bay shore was to be treasured in and of itself. It was as if every living thing was a wonderful new vision, and absolutely photo-op worthy (which may have been amplified do to the lovely and refreshing vibrant beverages we had been consuming). We hardly knew what images to snap first. It was exciting, rewarding, and above all, Napili Bay was a picture perfect vacation spot we never wanted to leave.
This Napili Bay vacation guide is full of some of our photos and adventures. I have highlighted our favorites for you with our pictures and descriptions.
Napili Bay Flowers and Flora
What Makes Napili Bay So Much Better?
One of the reasons we chose to stay at Napili Bay, was the fact that the direction of the prevailing winds usually blows in from your back, making the ocean waters calmer, warmer, and far more inviting. The waters were still "ocean like" in that the tides and waves and surges could be felt, but not as intensely as on the opposite shore. We found this an important issue as one of the gals in our party was not skilled at swimming, which can make any ocean adventure a little tense.
Napili is also located close to so many of the fun expected Hawaiian outings , awesome shopping, outstanding eateries, and plain old splashing around in the water fun (pool side included). Nothing was too hard to find, unfriendly, or tense. It all just melted into warm breezes, fresh seafood, and pretty fruity Hawaiian drinks! (I must have a dozen souvenir drink umbrellas!) Napili Bay's dream-like crescent shape seemed to hug each day of our vacation and was more than I had imagined it would be.
Napili Bay - Maui, Hawaii (U.S.A.)
What You Think Really Does Matter!
As we submerged, the underwater world became our companion. We could see fish and coral reefs outside the porthole windows. Once we reached a depth of around 50 feet, the colors of the fish and surrounding landscape began to change. As the tour guide explained, the deeper we went below the surface, the fewer UV rays could reach us to reflect the light. This absence of sunlight changed the available colors, making everything lose its vibrant color as well as contrast. Even without the brightly imagined colors of the sea life, the adventure remained a very interesting visual tour.
An Underwater Hawaiian Attraction
One of the first excursions we attended was the underwater Atlantis tour. We boarded a delivery boat that took us out a mile or so to the submarine Atlantis IV. We then boarded the sub and found our seats. Some really fun visual things happened before we even began to submerge. The passenger compartment was below the waterline, so we could see the bubbles and the spinning prop of the delivery boat as it sped away from the Atlantis. This brought with it an increased excitement to begin the tour.
"Maui's Atlantis Underwater Submarine Tours"
Click on Map to view full size
A Little Help Getting Around Napili Bay and the Island of Maui
If you need a little help (and who doesn't) finding your way to the "best locations on Maui," the little cartoon-ish map at left can be pretty helpful. It offers general placement of Maui places of interest, in respect to Napili Bay and the Airports. Should all else fail, get on Hwy 30 (Honoapilani Hwy) and head toward Lahaina, and you are guaranteed to end up at Napili Bay!
Map image compliments of Napili Palms
Click to see full size
Swim with Napili Bay's Wild Turtle Family; up close and personal, there is nothing like it!
We had an amazing time swimming with the turtle family that lives in Napili Bay. We could actually see them peeking their little heads out of the water from our condo balcony in the mornings and early evening. They were friendly and were curious about us, almost as much as we were about them! It's an adventure that will live long after you leave the ebbing ocean bay.
Be sure to make it by Snorkel Bob's for your snorkeling gear on your way to your turtle encounter. I think it is the best place to rent equipment because they keep their gear clean, in good repair, and always available in your size (extra small to extra large). The cost is relatively cheap; be prepared to spend around $30 for snorkel gear that will accommodate two people, usually for a two day rental. Not bad for a couple of days of superior Hawaiian ocean fun!
We experience video difficulties during our turtle snorkeling adventure, the lesson here, always check the batteries on your video gear before heading out for the day.
Napili Bay Gives Us Photo Op's Without Even Trying
As we looked out over the beautiful ocean from our balcony, the images were generously offered. The trees bowed gracefully, white ocean birds posed from treetops, and the deep blue shades of the sea made a prolific backdrop like no other. A refreshing fruit flavored smoothie and these Hawaiian island visions were the things that made waking up in Napili Bay a paradise worth honoring.
Finding "Condo's with a Napili Bay Ocean View" Is an Imperative!
"Napili Bay Resort Condominium Rates" Comparison Table (as of April 2011)
|Condo Name||Ranking (1 to 5, with 5 being best)||Style|
Napili Surf Beach Resort
Family or romance
Napili Point Resort
Good family choice
Outrigger Napili Shores
Relaxing, excellent service
Napili Kai Beach Resort
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Getting Wet in Napili Bay, for Free!
Everyday brought with it the joys of the Hawaiian sun and the chance to dip our toes into the Napili waters; salty and chlorinated. We found that when the tides became a little too rough, the condo pool was a fantastic alternate to romping along the vigorous shores. This also gave us a chance to interact with fellow travelers, making new friends from around the globe.
When the ocean settled some, we ventured out on boogie boards and played along the beautifully blue sandy shores. When the tides would recede, we discovered an entirely new adventure waiting among the pools of salty Napili Bay waters. Trapped in the shoreline tide pools were many amazing sea creatures that were not visible when the sea covered this rocky landscape. The warm Hawaiian sun made for day after day of pure joy and recreation, and these Hawaiian good-times; all free of charge!
Food, spirits, loads of shopping, and of course the beach. We encountered a few more locals on Front Street than elsewhere, which made the day even better. I highly recommend chatting-up the bar tenders, shop keepers, and the locals in general. You can find some great secret places that would be otherwise missed! Try Pacific'O Restaurant , you won't be disappointed one bit!
You can find just about everything; native jewelry, hand carved totems, yummy treats, clothes, and even a fortune teller, all within the strip malls of Front street. The place is bustling with activity, and yet we didn't feel crowded at any point. Two levels of shops to peruse and unique locations reside right off the beaten path of Maui's shoreline, and you should Not miss any of them!
Hawaiian Tide Pools Law
It is against state law to take anything living from the tide pools. A stiff fine will be had if you get busted doing so! Leave Hawaii's natural beauty where it naturally belongs, in Hawaii. That's why we take camera and video gear.
A few FREE Napili Bay Activities
Have to Hit Hilo Hatties? Check out this helpful map!
A Maui Vacation Day Away from Napili Bay - Front Street
We decided to hop over to Front Street and a few other places, like Hilo Hattie's souvenir shop, which is the absolute best place to pick-up any "Hawaii stuff" you want to take back to the mainland (always wanted to say that). The place is huge, the prices are ridiculously cheap for Hawaii, and you can find anything that has to do with Hawaiian souvenirs.
After collecting some much needed goodies at Hilo Hattie's, we took a jaunt over to Front Street. This was another really grand experience in our Maui vacation and should not be missed. Parking can be a little bit of a pain, and you will need U.S. dollars and coins to pay at the automated parking lots. But, after we found a spot, and took care of the robot attendant, the rest of Front Street was truly worth all the hassle's of parking.
Leaving Napili Bay, Hawaii
Our final day on the island was as beautiful as any and more sullen than most. The ride to the airport had each of us quiet and in thought, it had to be the knowledge that our Hawaiian vacation had came to a close. The stay was full of everything we hoped Hawaii had to offer, and yet we found moments so far above what we could have imagined that we found it difficult to leave. The native people, the wonderful food, the sun, water and laid-back feel of Napili Bay gave each of us just what we needed to refill our ailing human inspirations. If you get the chance to set foot on the island of Maui, be sure to treasure the destination of Napili Bay. The experience is sure to live with you for many years to come. ALOHA!
Front Street on Maui Island
A Map to Help You Find Front Street on the Island of Maui
Traveling Around the Globe
Comments for Maui's Napili Bay Picture Perfect Vacation Spot...
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 22, 2011:
What a beautiful place! I'd love to take a vacation there someday- though I feel as though I've been able to enjoy a little visit just now! Lovely Hub :D