Nestled between the coast and the West Maui Mountains, Lahaina is known for its long history as well as the gateway to Kapalua and Ka’anapali beach resorts.
Front Street shopping, oceanfront restaurants and stunning mountain scenery are just a few of the reasons to visit this seaside town. Lahaina is historically significant to the Kingdom of Hawaii as it was the capital for 25 years in the 19th century. When you visit the island, you will want to spend time on the beach, surfing, and shopping, so use our list of 10 “MUST” do things to help fill in the gaps.
The Lahaina Banyan tree is an Indian species, brought to Hawaii by Sheriff William Owen Smith. Smith planted the tree to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the Protestant mission in Lahaina, which occurred on April 24, 1873. Today, the tree stands sixty feet high, with 16 major trunks rooted in the ground and stretching over 200 feet. The tree has the distinction of being the largest in the USA. Maui County Arborists maintain the shape and health of the tree for visitors. You can find this beautiful tree in Banyan Tree Park near the courthouse. On weekends, crafters and local artists set up booths and tables to sell their wares. Musicians, cultural dances, and hulas are available here.
If local artistry is not enough for you, take in the Ulalena Show. Ulalena is the name of the wind that occurs only around Maui. An ancient creation chant speaks of the wind as a red-yellow rain in the twilight. The show provides a glimpse into Hawaiian culture sharing their mythology, ancient people, and the relationship with nature. The metaphor of the show integrates dances, chants, choreography, and music with lighting and projections to help you journey along the Ulalena towards discovery.
Mala Grill is an oceanside restaurant with a delectable menu, including Asian seafood pasta and local delicacies. During the height of the season, you may need to call for reservations, but even on a Monday at the usual dinner hour, you are almost guaranteed to get a seat right away during the off season. Whether you enjoy burgers, oysters, or pasta, you can find it here. Mala has one of the best oceanfront decks on Maui. You can literally feel the ocean spray from waves crackling on the rocks.
Elvis is an icon in many places, but Hawaii holds a special place for the King. Burn’n Love is an Elvis tribute show located in the heart of Lahaina. Attendees enjoy the award winning impersonation by Darren Lee. Elvis Lives!
Baldwin Home Museum
The Reverend Ephraim Spaulding built his home in 1834 to 1835 on the island of Maui. The Baldwin house has the distinction of being the oldest house in Lahaina. The main structure consisted of four rooms on a single level for the year Spaulding lived in it. Becoming ill in 1836, he returned to Massachusetts, and Reverend Dwight Baldwin moved into the home. Life was hard for Baldwin as his new wife having to lose two children before they reached their third birthday. However, the couple had a total of eight children. The need for a larger house meant restructuring the home Spaulding built into a two-floor building and medical study, added in 1849. You can see the home as it was after the Baldwin’s made additions.
Feast at Lele
Lele is another name for Lahaina, and also a dinner show in the city. The feast is up from the beach where the royal family would entertain and dine. Today, you can enjoy the splendor and spirit of Hawaii through the historical, musical, and culinary show. The show includes five courses brought to you from five nations in the Pacific Islands. The meal includes food from Tahiti, Aotearoa, Samoa, Hawaii, and New Zealand. Romance or adventure await you when you take part of the Feast at Lele.
Surf Break Wall
The Break Wall is a surfing area near the Lahaina boat harbor. The marina has a wall that breaks the surf to keep the boats and yachts safe from large swell. For new surfers, this is the place to go. You can paddle from the beach or walk along the rocks of the wall, but the waves can be somewhat dangerous closer to the rocks. Public access is permitted, and it is easy to find as it’s across from the Banyan Tree. There are many surf schools here that will help you learn in a single day!
Do you want to explore the underwater world but have always considered scuba diving beyond your capabilities? The Atlantis Submarine in Maui is the perfect way to dive more than a 100 feet down and see mysterious marine life. The submarine is capable of carrying forty-eight passengers. The trip will take you throughout the reef, including the a sunken boat used as an artificial reef.
Lahaina has shopping for everyone, whether you need a new surfboard, bathing suit, or art. The top three places you do not want to miss are Old Lahaina Center, Lahaina Cannery Mall, and Lahaina Gateway. All three sites feature local artisans and crafts, as well as those lovely “Hawaiian” trinkets you want to bring back for the family. And, of course, there’s always the shops along Front Street.
Whale Watching (When in Season)
Cruise on a catamaran offering whale watch tours and sailing experiences around the island of Maui. The Whale Tour features an onboard naturalist, hydrophones so you can hear the whales sing, appetizers, beverages, and a half or full day excursion on the water. The Trilogy can take 35 to 40 passengers out, ensuring everyone has a front row seat to the whales