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North America > United States of America > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina

Lahaina

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Beautiful Maui.

Lahaina is a town on the western end of the island of Maui, Hawaii that abounds with restaurants, night clubs, and souvenir shops. Because the western end of Maui is a popular vacation destination, tourism is important to Lahaina. Most tourists, however, eschew Lahaina during the day, choosing instead the beaches of Kaanapali; but life in Lahaina after sunset is quite active.

Get in[edit]

Most visitors arrive on Maui by plane via Kahului Airport (OGG). The vast majority of visitors rent cars there and drive to various Maui destinations, including Lahaina. The Honoapiilani Highway (route 30) is a very picturesque drive along the shore which gets you directly to Lahaina. The drive from the airport is about 40 minutes, though the road may get congested sometimes.

Some people fly to West Maui Airport, which is closer to Lahaina (about 15-20 minutes drive).

By boat[edit]

Cruise ships sometimes anchor near Lahaina and passengers get tendered to shore.

Get around[edit]

Lahaina is very compact, and easily explored on foot. If driving, it is advisable to park one's car and walk. There are a couple of free parking locations, but most charge a nominal fee. In some places, stores can validate your parking ticket. Front Street is the main thoroughfare of Lahaina, where most popular places are located.

See[edit]

Lahaina is not known as a sightseeing destination, and instead is focused mainly on food, souvenirs, and night life. In the course of those activities, however, there are a couple of attractions worthy of attention:

  • PGA Tour's Mercedes-Benz Championship. The Plantation Course at Kapalua hosts the golf tournament every January.
  • Vic-Maui Yacht Race. The longest offshore sailboat race on the West Coast which starts in Victoria, BC, Canada and ends in Lahaina.
  • Banyan Tree (in courthouse square). 24 hr. Considered the center of the city, this huge tree occupies an entire city block. It's one of the largest Banyan trees in the world and was planted in 1873. free.
  • Carthaginian 2, Lahaina Small Boat Harbor, +1 808 661-3262. 10AM-4:15PM daily. A replica of a whaling ship. Great to look at, especially at sunset. Kids will especially enjoy it. Fee.
  • Pioneer Mill Co Smokestack and Locomotive Exhibit, 275 Lahainaluna Rd. Outdoor exhibit dedicated to the old sugar plantation company. free.

Do[edit]

  • Old Lahaina Luau. Widely respected as the best and most authentic Hawaiian luau in the Pacific, the Old Lahaina Luau is a feast for the eyes and stomach. Enjoy fire dancing, hula, tasty drinks and a large assortment of tropical dishes. $98 + tax.
  • Take a whalewatching cruise. Various boats can take you on dinner cruises, whale watching cruises, fishing rides, or to the island of Lanai. Look for good deals but beware of the "too good to be true" offers, they probably are. Note that during the whale season you'll see whales no matter where you go so getting a separate whale watching cruise may not be necessary. On the other hand, they are usually cheap.
  • Sugar Cane Train (Lahaina Kaanapali Railroad), 975 Limahana Pl Ste #203, +1 808 667-6851, toll-free: +1-800-499-2307. 10AM-5PM. This is the only train in the whole of Hawaii. It shuttles between Lahaina and Kaanapali. It operated a holiday train in Dec 2019, and hopes to restart regular service in May 2019.
Sugar Cane Train.
  • Front Street. Take a stroll down the Front Street, along the shore. Watch people, enjoy the weather, relax.
  • Halloween in Lahaina. Lahaina is home to one of the wildest Halloween parties on the islands. 25-35,000 costumed participants fill the streets each year to enjoy the jovial festivities. Some of the more elaborate costumes have taken over a year to make, which adds to the complexity of the colorful scene.
  • 1 [dead link] The Baldwin Home Museum (Lahaina Restoration Foundation), 120 Dickenson St (cnr Front St and Dickenson), +1 808 661-3262. 10AM-4PM. One of several Museums run by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation. Entry is only allowed during tours. Don't miss the candlelit tour every Friday night starting at 6PM. $3-6.
  • 2 Wo Hing Museum, 848 Front St. 10AM-4PM. Admission includes Baldwin Home. $7/adult, $5/concession. Wo Hing Society Hall (Q1822483) on Wikidata Wo_Hing_Society_Hall on Wikipedia
  • Lahaina Heritage Museum, 648 Wharf St (inside the old courthouse). 9AM-5PM. Offers visitors a comprehensive, interactive look at the rich and varied history of Lahaina from pre-contact Hawai‘i to the Monarchy era, including the missionary and whaling period, and from the Plantation era to early tourism. free.
  • Lahaina Historic Trail. 65 significant sites, museums and buildings that represent the history and culture of the town over a period of more than 500 years. free.

Buy[edit]

Lahaina is a tourist town so you will find many stores selling souvenirs, cruises, activities, art, Hawaiian trinkets, etc. If you're staying for a while, there is a supermarket in Lahaina, and Costco, Wal-Mart and other big stores in Kahului.

  • ABC Stores. They are all over Hawaii, and you will find a couple of them in Lahaina.
  • Old Lahaina Book Emporium, 834 Front St, +1 808 661-1399. A fantastic book store chockablock with used books in stacks, shelves, counters, and aisles; a bookstore lover's dream. More than 25,000 quality used books are lovingly housed in this shop, where owner JoAnn (and sometimes Ann) treats books and customers well. Specialties include Hawaiiana, fiction, mystery, sci-fi, and military history, with substantial selections in cookbooks, children's books, and philosophy/religion. You could pay as little as $2 for a quality read, or a whole lot more for that rare first edition. Books on tape, videos, the classics, and old guitar magazines are among the treasures of this two-story emporium.
  • Lahaina Cannery Mall, +1 808 661-5304, e-mail: . On the northern side of town, this is a fully enclosed air-conditioned mall that can provide a nice respite from the sun. Other than that, your regular mall with some Hawaiian specific stores.

Eat[edit]

There is no shortage of places to eat, despite the small size of the city. There are several restaurants that feature fish along front street that are also oceanside.

  • Aloha Mixed Plate, 1285 Front St, +1 808 661-3322. Beach view from a tiki-torch laden deck and very reasonable (on the beach in Lahaina next to the Old Lahaina Luau behind the Lahaina Cannery Mall (apparently owned by and supplied by the same kitchen as the Old Lahaina Luau). Authentic unprententious Hawaiian Cuisine -- service and quality very good for the price (the Panko-Breaded Haupia Hawaiian dessert with passionfruit sauce is very good). Dinner $7-15.
  • Bubba Gump, +1 808 661-3111. A theme restaurant based upon its namesake, "Forrest Gump", this restaurant is fun for the whole family (especially if you like shrimp), and a lot cheaper than some other Lahaina restaurants. Right on the ocean in Lahaina.
  • Cheeseburger in Paradise, 811 Front St, +1 808 661-4855. A burger joint that launched a chain traces is origins to Lahaina. The burgers are okay, but there is a great party atmosphere, live music, and it's the view that makes the restaurant. A very popular place with tourists so lines can be long.
  • David Paul's, +1 808 667-5117. No view, and very expensive. a block from the ocean in Lahaina. But the food and service are outstanding.
  • Cool Catz. Less of a party atmosphere than Cheeseburger in Paradise, but the food is rated higher.
  • Hard Rock Cafe. The view from this restaurant sets it apart from other Hard Rock Cafes; ask to sit outside and you will be blessed with a view of the ocean as well as neighboring islands.
  • Io (Next door to PacificO (same owners) in the 505 shopping center), +1 808 661-8422. Great beachfront views and wonderful innovative food, including unusual vegetarian presentations.
  • Kimo's, 845 Front St, +1 808 661-4811. A Lahaina classic for decades, Kimo's is on the ocean side of Front Street in the middle of town. Make reservations for dinner if you don't want a long wait.
  • Lahaina Coolers, 180 Dickenson, +1 808 661-7082. A couple blocks off of Front Street but worth searching out for reasonably priced delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner, indoors or out.
  • Lahaina Fish Company, 831 Front St, +1 808 661-3472. Sunset views are magnificent from this cozy restaurant; if a couple comes before sunset, they would even sit you next to one another so that you both can enjoy. the food is delicious too.
  • Lahaina Store Grille & Oyster Bar, +1 808 661-9090. There are several restaurants with ocean views in Lahaina, but this restaurant on a rooftop is the only one that gives you a 360-degree view of both the ocean and the mountains. Food is good but service is slow. If the weather isn't indicating a rooftop experience, the downstairs dining area is covered, offers a great view, and has a slightly more casual menu with appropriately lower prices.
  • Longhis. Consistently gets mixed reviews; some love it, others will never go back.
  • Prison St Pizza, 133 C Prison St, +1 808-662-3332. 10AM-10PM. New Jersey-style pizza. They sell beer.
  • Lahaina Grill, 127 Lahainaluna Rd, +1 808 6675117. 5PM-9PM. High class eating establishment in downtown Lahaina. Top rated food from steak to fish, great daily specials and options for kids. $$.

Drink[edit]

Most of the aforementioned reastaurants have great bars. Places like Moose McGillycuddy's and Cheeseburger in Paradise become night clubs after hours. Hard Rock Cafe is on Front Street. Those are just a few choices.

Sleep[edit]

As beaches in Lahaina are not that great, most people prefer to stay in other places on Maui, such as Kaanapali which is only 10-15 minutes away.

Go next[edit]


This city travel guide to Lahaina is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.