Once known as Lele, which means “relentless sun” in Hawaiian, Lahaina is a historic town that has been transformed into a Maui hot spot with dozens of art galleries and a variety of unique shops and restaurants.
Lahaina Town has over a thousand years of rich history, and was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820 to 1845. It was also a historic whaling village during the whaling boom of the mid-1800s. Up to 1,500 sailors from as many as 400 ships took leave in town, including Herman Melville, who immortalized the era in his classic novel Moby Dick.
From beaches to restaurants, Lahaina has some of the best attractions Maui has to offer. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places. You can still get a feel for this old town as you stroll down lively Front Street, ranked one of the “Top Ten Greatest Streets” by the American Planning Association. Visit historic stops like the U.S. Seamen’s Hospital, Hale Paahao (Lahaina Prison), the Pioneer Inn, Maui’s oldest living banyan tree and other sites on the Lahaina Historic Trail. Approximately 55 acres of this old towm have been set aside as historic districts.
Lahaina’s sunny climate and oceanfront setting also provides the perfect backdrop for a variety of activities and entertainment. Get a fresh taste of Hawaii Regional Cuisine in in the town’s fine restaurants. Get your tickets to some of Maui’s best seaside luau where you can eat, drink and watch the traditional dances of Polynesia.
And during the winter months, don’t forget to set sail from the harbor on an unforgettable whale watching tour. The channel off the coast of Lahaina is one of the best places in the world to spot humpback whales. Even these magnificent creatures can’t get enough of this historic town.