Beloved Historic Lahaina Town is Still Trending

By Lacy Varner

If you’re visiting Maui, chances are pretty good that you will be spending some time in Lahaina. As the gateway to one of the two main resort areas and home to many of the island’s tour boats, you’re bound to pass through this bustling town for one reason or another. And since you’ll find yourself there anyway, the question is whether this little town is worth more of your time than just a quick pit stop at the ABC store for more sunscreen. The answer is a resounding yes!

Noteworthy about Lahaina

lahaina

Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/ Tor Johnson.

Lahaina was named the first capitol of the Hawaiian Kingdom by King Kamehameha I in 1802 and remained so for 50 years. During this time, the town also became a major whaling hub with as many as 400 ships and their sailors passing through, including Herman Melville (of Moby Dick fame). But in more recent years, Lahaina has developed into the entertainment center of the West side. With restaurants and shops galore lining the famous Front Street and beyond, this town will keep you busy discovering new treasures around each corner.

Historical Walking Tour

lahaina

Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/ Tor Johnson.

If it’s historical sites that you’d like to see, the perfect place to start is at the Old Lahaina Courthouse. The courthouse also houses the Lahaina Visitor Center, where you can pick up a walking guide to the Lahaina Historic Trail. Don’t be overwhelmed. The Trail includes 62 historic sites, but there’s no need to see them all, just select the ones you’re most interested in. Some “can’t miss” highlights would be the giant Banyan Tree, Lahaina Prison, and the Baldwin Home.

Eat, Shop, Party!

lahaina

Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/ Tor Johnson.

These days, Lahaina has become known for its shopping, restaurants, art galleries, and world-renowned Halloween celebration, also known as the Mardi Gras of the Pacific. If you want to see Lahaina at its peak, stop by on the evening of October 31. Each year, Front Street closes to vehicle traffic to accommodate tens of thousands of costumed revelers.

But if you happen to be there on any of the other 364 days of the year, there’s still plenty to do. With several malls and hundreds of individual shops lining the narrow streets, you are bound to find, well, everything! And when your tummy starts to rumble after all that walking, you’ll have a plethora of options to choose from. Boasting options ranging from shave ice stands to serious fine dining establishments, Lahaina offers some of the best ocean-front dining on the island. Making a sunset dinner reservation is a must!

lahaina

Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/ Tor Johnson.

This jewel of a town is nestled between the calm waters of the ʻAuʻau Channel facing Lāna’i island and the fertile peaks and valleys of Mauna Kahalawai (West Maui mountain range).

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