PICTURE BY: Douglas Peebles/Getty Images

Ka’anapali Coast, Maui, Hawaii

As soon as you set foot on the coconut tree-strewn shores of Ka’anapali, you’ll understand why this white-sand beach on Maui’s west side was once a retreat for Hawaiian royalty. In the 1960s, it was developed to postcard perfection, becoming the first planned resort in the state of Hawaii. Today, the 3 miles of beach remains the epitome of paradise. The calm, crystal-clear waters are ideal for snorkeling, swimming, and paddling a traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe. And every night at sunset, a cliff-diving ceremony takes place off Pu’u Keka’a, the northernmost cliffs of the beach, in honor of Maui’s last ruling chief, who was an avid cliff jumper. Offshore you’ll find two fantastic ocean-view golf courses, some of the best hotels on the island, and Whalers Village, an oceanfront hub of retail shops and restaurants.

Stay: The Westin Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali, recently completed a $120 million transformation, including the addition of Hokupa’a, a 217-room tower with special guest perks including access to a private bar, an infinity pool, and free cultural activities like ukulele lessons. Rates start at $599.

Insider tip: The Kapalua Coastal Trail is a gentle hike of approximately 3.5 miles, round trip, starting at nearby Kapalua Bay Beach. Time your departure so you can grab a well-deserved burger and shake at the Burger Shack at DT Fleming Beach, your turning point.