Lahaina Is A Historic Whaling Community
The town of Lahaina is on the west side of Maui, and is absolutely a “must-see” town on the island. The town is filled with whaling history, has a major harbor filled with tour boats and fishing charters, and has a variety of shops, art galleries, jewelry stores, and restaurants.
In the early days of Hawaiian life, Lahaina was both a playground of the Hawaiian royalty and the early capital of the island during King Kamehameha The Great’s reign. Lahaina was also a bustling port for whaling ships and cargo-carrying vessels from many countries.
In addition, Lahaina had a bawdy reputation as a “sailor’s town“, where just everything could be purchased. Captains of moored ships tried to keep their sailors from coming to Lahaina to drink cheap alcohol, but it was impossible to keep them on-board after so many months at sea.
Today, Lahaina is one of the “Top 10 Board Walks” in the USA, and is a major shopping area for Maui. It annually hosts over 2 million visitors, mostly to Front Street and a few of the side streets where you’ll find restaurants, coffee shops, and small craft stores.
Lahaina Harbor. One area to explore is the harbor near the Banyan Tree off of Front Street. Many of the island’s snorkeling cruises, submarine rides, whale watching tours, and sport fishing charters leave from this harbor.
The Pacific Whale Foundation has a retail store on Front Street across from the famous Banyan Tree. Their tours also leave from the Lahaina Harbor.
Restaurants. You’ll find a wide selection of restaurants in Lahaina along Front Street. One of the best hamburgers on Maui is at Cool Cat Café in the Wharf Cinema Center. Further north on Front Street, you’ll Kimo’s, Lahaina Fish Company, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, and Longhi’s. Also, look at my Top 10 Restaurants on Maui!
Entertainment. You’ll want to attend the magic show at Warren and Annabelle’s. It’s absolutely one of the most fun evenings you’ll have on Maui. In addition, the spectacular Hawaiian stage production of The Maui Myth at the Lahaina Theatre is a wonderful performance – Ulalena.
Hotels & Inns. If you’re looking for a place to stay in the town of Lahaina, check-out the historic Plantation Inn, one of the best B&B Inns on Maui. Built in 1901, the Pioneer Inn is next to the harbor and is filled with legends and interesting stories from the early whaling days of Maui. It also has a restaurant attached to the inn.
Lahaina Shores is just a block or two south of Lahaina, but is still on Front Street. This wonderful hotel has beach access
DID YOU KNOW? Lahaina means “merciless sun” in the Hawaiian language, and it’s normally a few degrees warmer in Lahaina than anywhere else on the island. It’s also a Historic Landmark.
Visit the Old Lahaina Courthouse and learn more about the wild-and-crazy history of this famous whaling town.
Lahaina Town Suggestions
- Spend a day at Baby Beach or Honolua Bay on the west side of Maui, and then enjoy your evening in Lahaina. There’s plenty of retaurants and local places to eat that are unique.
- Cheeseburger In Paradise has a central location in Lahaina and is located over the ocean with incredible sunset and Lanai views.
- While in Lahaina, get a shave ice from Maui’s best and most famous shave ice – Ululani’s. There are two locations and both are easy to find.
- For dessert after dinner, try some fudge from Hawaii Fudge Company on Front Street. They also sell the Hawaii Flavors of salt water taffy by Big Wave Taffy.
Big Wave Taffy on Maui!
Take a look at our delicious Hawaii Flavors of salt water taffy – our salt water taffy is soft and creamy and it makes a great gift item, too. The taffy is sold at many stores on Maui, and you can also order on-line with Big Wave Taffy.
Fun Things To Do On Maui!
Visit Honolua Bay when you’re on the west side of Maui, and maybe grab a pizza at Dollie’s. There plenty of activities on Maui and also some of the best burger places are in Lahaina Town. Don’t forget to make a trip to Haleakala Crater and snorkel at Black Rock or Airport Beach.
Looking for a great breakfast? Try The Gazebo in Napili. Do some shopping at Lahaina Cannery Mall, try some pizza in Lahaina Town at Prison Street Pizza, or go upcountry and have a great steak at Makawao Steakhouse.