Lahaina, in Hawaiian means “cruel sun”, is rich with history and known for oceanfront shopping, restaurants and nightlife. In the early 1800’s, Lahaina was once the the royal capital of Maui Loa, the fifth king of Maui. The Hawaiian people thrived in the hot, dry climate, fishing, surfing, and trading with neighbors.
Today, Lahaina Harbor remains a bustling port. Whaling ships have been replaced by whale watching vessels, ferries to Moloka’i, and Lana’i, parasailing outfitters, and sail boats. Front Street remains the focus of the town full shopping and dining while parks, churches, and homes built by missionaries are sprinkled throughout the ten block destination.
Parking in Lahaina
Free parking is elusive in Lahaina. Arrival early for free spots (limited to three hours) from the corner of Front Street, Shaw Street, and Luakini Street. Scattered around town are paid lots from the mountain side of Front Street.
Looking for a unique beach town with shopping and superb restaurants? Visit Paia town, located a little over an hour away from Kapalua. Known as the most eccentric places on Maui, everything worth seeing can be found by wandering up and down Hana Highway and Baldwin Avenue. Complimentary parking is just west of the town on Hana Highway.
This is the place to people watch while dining at Flatbread or the Fish Market. Shopping includes Tamara Katz, Inc., Wings and Alice in Hula Land. For beach or recreation, the Baldwin Beach Park is great for body boarding and kite flying while Ho’okipa Beach Park is excellent for surfing and wind surfing.
For a small town feel, visit Makawao the home of the Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboy). You will be pleasantly surprise to spot several horses and fields on the way to this charming town. Roaming the many quaint shops, clothing boutiques and art galleries are just some of the activities to be had.
The Manduke Baldwin Polo Arena is a great place to visit horses and view exciting sporting event. Also around 4th of July, Makawao hosts Hawaii’s largest rodeo where local cowboys (and gals) ride brocs and bulls, steer wrestle, rope, and barrel race. This is the perfect event where they show offs their skills.
Other excursions and points of interest are Waihou Springs Forest Reserve, Waihou Springs Trail hike, Komodo Store and Bakery, Rodeo General Store and Rainbow Country Park.
Wailea is located in the southern part of Maui, stretching along the shoreline between south Kihei to the north and Makena to the south. Take in the gorgeous landscapes, and some of the chicest shopping and dining on the island. Beaches include Keawakapu, Ulua Beach, Wailea Beach and Polo Beach.
Shopping includes the Shops of Wailea and dining highlights comprise of Gannon’s Island cuisine, Joes’ Bar and Grill and Pita Paradise.
Molokini Crater is located on the south coast of Maui and is an official State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District. Home of tropical fish, manta rays, eels and colorful reef, it is a marine sanctuary for many wildlife in Hawaii. Formed from a volcanic eruption, Molokini Crater is a safe haven for fish and reef to flourish.
In preserving this area, tour boats enjoy the opportunity to educate and share Molokini’s pristine waters with visitors. Within the crater, snorkeling is superb while the backside is best for scuba diving. Due to it’s currents and depths to around 300 feet below sea level, scuba diving is only recommended for the experienced.
Stretching across Maui’s southern and eastern coastline, Haleakala National Park features slopes can be seen from about any point on the island. The park is comprised of two separate visitor centers and covers a range of natural environments. Hike above the clouds across a otherworldly-like deserts. As the park stretches out to the coast towards sea level you can even visit lush tropical areas full of waterfalls and streams. Many visitors and locals wake up early to drive up to the best spot to watch the sunrise.
Ho’okipa Beach Park is one of the top spots for ocean sports and recreation in Maui. Located in Hana, this breath-taking white sand beach boasts some of the best waves on the Maui coastline. A mecca for surfers and beach goers.
In the heart of Lahaina sits the Banyan tree, standing 50 feet tall. A beloved part of the community, the 142 year old Lahaina Banyan Tree is nearly a quarter of a mile around and has over than 10 trunks that anchor it into the ground. Started at 8 feet tall, it now provides shade to craft shows, music events, meetings and those who are just in search of a nice place to sit and rest.
This special tree is treated like a member of the community because it has played a significant part in Lahaina’s history. King Kamehameha III celebrated a birthday beneath its leaves, as it was a part of the ceremony that celebrated Hawaii’s inclusion in the United States of America.
Take the scenic and windy Road to Hana where you will surely enjoy the beauty of the island. Best known for viewing waterfalls, hiking trails and beautiful beaches.
At Ka’anapali Beach swim with turtles at Black Rock, parasail, surf or simply bask under the Maui sun while enjoying a cup of Shave Ice.
Standing 1,200 foot tall is the Iao Needle at Iao Valley State Park. Featuring lush and beautiful 10-mile hike, do not miss this notably recognizable landmark in all of the Hawaiian islands.
Discover Hawaii’s undersea world in a captivating and educational setting at Maui Ocean Center. This quaint aquarium replicates the natural ocean ecosystem, where guests encounter only animals that reside in Hawaii – most of which are found nowhere else! Featuring the largest collection of live corals in the nation and more, this marine park is designed to help guests develop an understanding and appreciation of Hawaii’s marine environment in the most fun and exciting way.
The Maui County Fair in September is an island wide event for everyone. Located in Kahului, enjoy Maui-style carnival games, art and crafts, carnival rides and local food.
Maui Fridays Town Parties are held at different locations on this Valley Isle every week. From Market Street to Front Street, from Baldwin Avenue to South Kīhei Road for many to gather and celebrate art, music and Maui culture. Experience and explore a special night of interaction and fun with free entertainment, special offerings and Friday-only promotions from each town’s family of merchants.
- First Friday of the month – Wailuku
- Second Friday – Lahaina
- Third Friday – Makawao
- Fourth Friday – Kihei