Lahaina Travel Guide
In ancient Hawaii, Lahaina was the home of the Aliʻi Nui or high chief of Maui. When you visit, you’ll quickly come to understand why this beautiful region was chosen to be the island’s royal capital. In addition to being an important piece of history, there are wonderful things to do, places to stay, and food to eat. Without further ado, here’s what you need to know about the town of Lahaina.
Aside from a select few regions, Hawaii receives two seasons. There is a rainy season that corresponds with winter and a dry season that lines up with the summer months. In Lahaina, these two seasons are even less pronounced than elsewhere in Hawaii. Average monthly highs never drop below or rise above the 80s. In winter, highs bottom out at about 82 degrees. In the peak summer months, average temperatures can get up to 88 degrees. There’s very little rain on this part of the island compared to other regions. At most, Lahaina receives three days of rain per month. And, from May to September, this region might not see a single rainy day.
Things to Do in Lahaina
There’s plenty to do, see, and learn in and around the town, whether you’re looking for a cultural event, sightseeing, or a bit of relaxation. Here are all our favorite attractions.
Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson
The town of Lahaina, especially Front Street, is an attraction in its own right. At the southern end of town, you’ll find the largest banyan tree in the United States. You’ll also find loads of shops and eateries on Front Street, nestled between historic sites such as the courthouse, Bailey Museum, and prison. Farther into town, you can see the 5 o’clock rainbow which occurs almost every single day. You’ll also find other historic sites throughout town like the fort reconstruction, Baldwin House Museum, and historic Pioneer Inn. The “Old Fort” of Lahaina protected the town in the late 1800s from often hostile whaling parties. The Baldwin House has stood since the mid-1800s as well and serves as a historical landmark through which tours are offered. The Pioneer Inn is a still-functioning hotel built way back in 1901 and also serves as a historical landmark. If you’re on Maui during Halloween, be sure to pay the town a visit. Halloween has become a signature event here, drawing huge crowds from all over the Hawaiian Islands. Sometimes called the ‘Mardi Gras of the Pacific,’ the entire town turns into one huge party.
Whale watching in Lahaina. Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson
Lahaina is a popular whale-watching destination. From November to May you’re able to see humpback whales from land and by boat tour. You’ll have the best chances of seeing a whale from January to March when their concentration in Hawaii is at its highest.
The Old Lahaina Luau is one of the best, most culturally authentic luaus on Maui. If you attend, you’ll feast on delicious Hawaiian foods like imu cooked kalua pork and witness excellent cultural demonstrations and shows. Your night will be filled with hula, traditional music, and cultural wonder.
There are several beaches in and around Lahaina including Lahaina Beach, Baby Beach, Puunoa Beach, Launiupoko Beach Park, Kulanaokalai Beach, and Awalua Beach. If you’re looking for calm swimming waters, Baby Beach is probably your best option. Or, if you’re looking for as much white sand as possible, then check out Puunoa Beach just to the north.
Lahaina shops. Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson
If you’re in search of a little retail therapy, the town has tons of wonderful shops to explore. You’ll find gifts, boutiques, and island essentials during your visit. Check out these outlets and malls to get your shopping done:
- Shops at 505
- Wharf Cinema Center Shops
- Marketplace At Lahaina
- Old Lahaina Center
- Lahaina Center
- Outlets of Maui
- Lahaina Gateway
- Lahaina Cannery Mall
Shaka Guide's West Maui Coastline Tour
If you’re looking for more guidance through town and the surrounding area, check out our West Maui Coastline Tour. Our GPS audio driving tours give you all the freedom to explore at your own pace with benefits of a guided tour. You’ll be charmed by the stories of Hawaiian culture and legends that our West Maui tour offers as it guides you through all the best destinations and attractions in the area.
Where to Stay
There are plenty of great places to stay in this part of Maui. Lahaina Shores Beach Resort is an excellent beachfront condominium for vacationers. If you’re looking to save some money, Hakuna Matata Maui Hostel and The Tiki Beach Hostel are excellent accommodations for cutting down on lodging costs. The Lahaina Inn, The Plantation Inn, and Puunoa Beach Estates are all excellent establishments, as well. North of town, you’ll find many more resort-style accommodations such as the Royal Lahaina Resort, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, Kaanapali Alii Resort, Marriott's Maui Ocean Club, and the Westin Maui Resort & Spa. Photo by Alex Vassios on Unsplash
Where to Eat
There is certainly no shortage of wonderful places to eat in Lahaina. The best pizza in town comes from the Lahaina Pizza Company. Lahaina Fish Co offers outstanding seafood. For something upscale, check out Lahaina Grill which offers American classics in a fine-dining setting. You might also consider:
- Kimo's Maui
- Mala Ocean Tavern
- Aloha Mixed Plate
- Frida's Beach House
- Star Noodle
- Sale Pepe
- Gerard's Restaurant
- Cool Cat Cafe
- Paia Fishmarket Front Street Restaurant
Whether you’re lodging here or just stopping by for a visit, Lahaina has so much to offer. You’ll be enchanted by this historic town, its beautiful beaches and attractions, and the variety of restaurants and shops. Happy travels!
Visiting Maui? Shaka Guide has 6 tours on the island. Check them out here!