Maui-Kaanapali : Hawaii


What It Is Like to Retire in Maui-Kaanapali

Kaanapoli is a small resort town of about 1,300 on the west coast of Maui.  Kaanapali and Maui, the 3rd largest island in the Hawaii chain (after Oahu and Hawaii), are world famous for the rugged terrain, beautiful coasts, and warm weather year round. Kaanapali Beach Resort was the original development in the 1960's  (Amfac) on mile-long Kaanapali Beach. Since then a number of big resort hotels have been built. Growth had been explosive in Maui until the 2008-9 recession, when tourism and real estate suffered. There is plenty to do in Maui for active people who love the outdoors. The beaches, mountains, golf, fishing, and hiking offer plenty of variety.

Many people 55+ retire in Maui for part of the year. Unless you live in California, the distance to Kaanapali makes it a place you wouldn't tend to go for short visits. Others pull up stakes on the mainland and opt for the casual, outdoors lifestyle available in Hawaii.

Where to Retire in Maui-Kaanapali and Home Prices

There are several developments in this part of Maui that might not be labeled 55+, but which have many active adult residents and owners. Those include Alii, Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, and Kaanapali Beach Villas (See Active Adult Communities link at top left for more). Real estate is pricey, a one bedroom condo can be found in the $600's, with homes and upscale condos priced in the $millions. Rentals are also available.


What Is Special about Maui-Kaanapali

Maui is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It also has a great year round climate - always warm but never too hot. Outdoor activities like the beach, golf, hiking, and tennis are almost always available. Maui is a very big center for whale watching - many humback whales also spend the winter here. There are many resort hotels and condo complexes in the area. Nearby Lahaina is an old whaling town.

What Is Not Special about Maui-Kaanapali

The downsides of Maui are that it is hard to get to and it is extremely expensive. People complain about their electric bills, with $300/month not unusual. Items imported from the mainland are expensive. There are some frictions between the native Hawaiians and the newer residents.


Who Will Like Retirement in Maui-Kaanapali

People who want an active but quiet lifestyle in a tropical environment of great beauty.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism and agriculture drive all of Maui's economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

Kaanapali is on the western coast of Maui, the 2nd largest island in Hawaii. The climate is greatly influenced by the Pacific Ocean and by the mountains. Like the rest of Hawaii, the island is a former volcano. The average daily high ranges from 82 to 88 and the average low from 64 to 71. January is the wettest month with 3" of rain.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

In this outdoors oriented society culture is a bit hard to find. However there is always some sort of entertainment available at the many resort hotels. Nearby Lahaina has some aspects of whaling history to see.


Crime is illegal in paradise.

Medical Facilities

Maui Memorial Medical Center is about 12 miles away in Wailuku.


The Kapalua-West Maui Airport is a small regional airport that services West Maui where Kaanapali is located.

Valuable Links

Wikipedia for Kaanapali
Retirement guide to Hawaii

What people are saying about Maui-Kaanapali

Retire to Maui
there are several affordable towns/areas in Maui to retire. kaanapali is very expensive, however Kihei and towns in the north are much more affordable. housing prices have decreased quite a bit since 2007 and are probably close to the bottom. I am from Canada and have been looking at condos--lots of opportunties for less than $250,000 for a 2 bedroom condon in kihei, which is the dryest area of Maui. lots of housing choices, shopping, wonderful beaches and parks are close by.
Posted by mariesonnenberg on January 08, 2010

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