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Kaanapali is a relatively small, master planned community found in the western portion of Maui. Kaanapali has a total population of just less than one thousand four hundred residents, although that figure may have changed somewhat since the last census was taken. Kaanapali is a great place to go for clean air, blue skies, and outstanding weather throughout the year. Kaanapali’s history reaches back well past the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands by Captain Cook during the late eighteenth century. Before the arrival of American and European settlers, the area which is now considered Kaanapali was part of a Native Hawaiian ahupuaa called Hanakaoo. An ahupuaa was a division of land stretching from the mountains to the ocean, and was traditionally ruled by a Hawaiain chieftain. Modern day Kaanapali covers a total physical area of just over five and a half square miles. That includes about five square miles of land and just over a half square mile of standing surface water. As a master planned community, Kaanapali has a relatively high median family income, a fact reflected in the upscale homes found in the census designated place.
Kaanapali Beach Resort was the first modern development along Kaanapali Beach, constructed by American Factors during the 1960s. Although there are only a few permanent settlements along Kaanapali (totaling in at less than six hundred homes), there are a considerable number of resorts in the area. Some of these include the Westin, the Sheraton, the Hyatt Regency Maui, the Royal Lahaina, and the Maui Kaanapali Villas. Kaanapali is a great spot for water sports and sunbathing as well as fishing and boating. There are a number of shopping opportunities and additional scenic sites located just a short drive away from Kaanapali. For more distant travel, Kaanapali is served by the Kapalua-West Maui Airport, although until the 1980s Kaanapali had its own airport.
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