Lahaina, Maui – is one of the best places to visit when vacationing in Hawaii. If you have already visited this place, we cannot applaud you enough for making the right choice. If you are still not sure what we are on about – stick around because we are about to explain why.
To start, the name Lahaina translates to ‘relentless sun’ – aptly named since it has ample of that throughout the year. But there’s more to this historic town than just the beach, sun and sand.
It’s a small -town with BIG experiences. From the best restaurants, Maui has to offer, the sensational art and cultural experiences to the natural island beauty – there’s much to experience.
But what exactly can you expect? How will Lahaina be different from all the other options in Hawaii? What is there to see and do? We answer all that next.
Things To Do And See In Lahaina
Go scuba diving at Napili Beach
We are starting with one of Maui’s star places – Napili Beach. Just a 20-minute (maximum) drive from Lahaina – it’s bewitching! (and clean!)
It has some great beach restaurants along the coast, so parking is available. Planning to go scuba diving? come early when the waves are calmer – if lucky, you might even spot some green turtles. But once the sun is fully out, the surfing waves come to play.
Keep in mind the sea bed is around 7- 10 feet deep, so you should be a good swimmer if you’re taking your chances going dipping.
Relax at the Banyan Tree Court Park
This enchanting park is next to Lahaina Harbour. Now, it may appear as if there’re 12 trees planted in this park.
In fact, it is just one Banyan tree that has grown itself to such a large area that it is supported by 12 different trunks, all taken deep root into the ground – giving it more stability.
This magnificent tree has grown over 60 feet – at first glance, it’s an incredible sight. It is the largest Banyan Tree in the US. The park has a calm ambience, with benches for visitors to sit and enjoy its cooling shade and beauty.
Go snorkelling at the Kahekili Beach Park
Lahaina homes ample breathtaking beach parks, and Kahekili Beach Park is one of them. It’s definitely everything you expect from a paradise beach. Clear and calm beach waters, soft white sandy shores.
Can’t think of a better location for snorkelling (because the reef is so close to the coast) and beach day outs.
There are ample shaded areas along the coast- which are ideal for picnics. Plenty of parking and clean beach facilities.
If you visit early to go snorkelling, you will spot some incredible marine life, including sea turtles. Ideal for travellers who bring children too.
Explore Maui’s Missionary past at the Baldwin Home Museum
For all history-loving travellers, a visit to the Baldwin Home Museum is encouraged. It’s just minutes from the Banyan Tree Court Park. It’s the oldest house in Maui to still stand.
It was built in 1834 by Reverend Ephraim Spaulding – this ex-missionary compound is now a museum for travellers and locals who enjoy exploring the historical sites around Lahaina – especially the missionary life in the 19th century of Hawaii.
It’s open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and tickets are around 7 USD for visitors above the age of 13 years. (rates are subject to change)
Enjoy world class glass art at the Moana Glass Studio
If you appreciate the finer arts and crafts of life, then the Moana Glass Gallery awaits roughly 30-minutes from Lahaina Town. This furnace glassblowing workshop studio is globally known for producing world-class glass art.
You can do more than just visit and enjoy many of its exhibited creations. You can also gain a greater appreciation for its techniques when learning all about it by taking part to produce your own, unique creation (you can book for individual or group lessons) – it’s an experience for all ages.
It’s open from 9 a.m. to 5.p. except on Mondays.
Shop and eat at the Lahaina Front Street
If you are looking to get front-row seats to the local scene, Front Street is a must. The ambience here is pretty insanely cheery and busy! You can find the Lahaina Cannery Mall and a wide range of souvenir shops and street food cafes.
Many agree that this street catches the old town charm perfectly. Perfect for afternoon walks and shopping sessions, and foodie explorations.
Enjoy a Craft Beer Tour
A craft beer tour is usually a delight to the taste buds. The Lahaina Craft Beer scenery is quite active too. There’s an option for which brewery you can visit – the Kohola Brewery and the Maui Brewing Co. have certainly built a reputation for hosting memorable tours, for craft beer lovers everywhere.
You get the chance to sample, try them with incredible dishes and get a taste of their limited editions!
Take a hike along the Kapalua Coastal Trail
The Kapalua Coastal Trail is one of the main reasons to visit Lahaina if you ask us. You have to travel to the northwest coast of Maui – just 20 minutes away from Lahaina Town. This otherworldly trail starts and ends at the beach, which guarantees countless heart-skipping beach sceneries.
The best bit is – it’s an easy walk (approx. 3.2 kilometres) – but we highly recommend you wear trekking shoes because some areas are very rocky.
Witness the core of Lahaina Culture at the Old Lahaina Luau
Capture the historic cultural spirit of Hawaii by witnessing the authentic Luau ceremony at the Old Lahaina Luau. Experience the storytelling, feasting and breathtaking ocean views, all in the same place. It’s a delight to the sight, taste buds, mind and soul.
You have to reserve before visiting (do it early as possible, as there can be a waiting list). Plenty parking. We recommend coming about 30-minutes before the show begins because it certainly does add to the experience. We strongly advise you not to skip this magical experience!
Visit the Lahaina Jodo Mission
Many who visit agree that this is an underappreciated attraction in Lahaina. It’s just a few minutes from the town, next to the famous Baby Beach.
Given it’s a temple next to the beach, you might experience unique quaintness in the surrounding atmosphere.
This Japanese-style temple was founded in 1912 under the support of the Japanese plantation workers and Rev. Gendo Saito.
There’s architecture and history to explore here. If you want to lose yourself in some peaceful haven, for a break -this serene complex is highly recommended.
Top Beaches In Lahaina You Shouldn’t Miss!
Honokowai Beach Park
This incredible beach is for all ages. The reefs create a decent barricade at the shallow end – even during high tide, making a calm pool area that’s perfect for kids to dip in.
The clear water and soft sandy shores are truly mesmerising. It’s approx. a 10-minute drive from Lahaina.
As the name suggests, it’s perfect for small-age swimmers. The water is perfectly calm, and it’s ideal for snorkelling.
Kids can really enjoy observing the diverse little schools of fish that swim about the shallow areas. There’s lots of coral too. And it’s right next to the Lahaina Jodo Mission.
Ka’anapali Beach (& Black Rock Beach)
These two beaches are next to each other!
Either is a fabulous place to enjoy a beach outing. We are talking endless sandy shores, with nothing but endless enchanting oceanic views. Both are ideal for a cooling dip.
Your beach holiday feel would not be complete without visiting these beaches.
You might even spot some sea turtles if you make a trip to Black Rock. If you have the time we recommend visiting both! It’s approx. a 10-minute drive from Lahaina.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lahaina
What to pack when visiting Lahaina?
– Mosquito repellents
– Hiking shoes
– Water shoes (for some rocky beach areas, this will be useful)
What are the most important Don’t Dos in Lahaina?
- Do not touch or interact with sea turtles or Hawaiian Monk seals, you’ll have a heavy fine to pay.
- Do not smoke on the public beaches
- Do not Honk (Unless you really really, really have to)
What’s the best season to enjoy whale watching when in Lahaina?
Winter season – it’s the best time to witness the North Pacific Humpback whale.
What are the best seasons to try out the Kapalua Coastal Trail?
April through May and September to November.
Is the Fire Knife dance presented at the Old Lāhainā Lūʻau show?
No. the Fire knife dance is a famous cultural dance that comes from the South Pacific Island of Samoa. It’s not considered an authentic Lūʻau experience.
Does Lahaina have a vibrant nightlife?
Yes! Nightlife in Lahaina is insanely active! (Other than Kaanapali) If that’s your thing. Lahaina is must visit!