Everybody loves Lahaina. First the home of Hawaiian royalty, then the primary port for whaling in Hawaii, this quaint old village on the island of Maui is loaded with something for everyone.
This page is organized into several sections below -
• Lahaina luaus and free hula shows
• Front Street with its shops and restaurants
• Lahaina Harbor with its ocean activities
• Lahaina history and culture
• Lahaina Pictures and Lahaina Videos
Lahaina Luaus & Shows
The Lahaina luaus are the only ones on Maui not hosted by a hotel, so they must have a uniqueness to draw vacationers. They do that by focusing on authentic Hawaiian culture at the Old Lahaina Luau and gourmet cuisine at the Feast at Lele. The indoor theater show, Ulalena, garners the best reviews of any show in Hawaii.
The free Maui hula show at Lahaina Center does a good job of mingling some Hawaiian culture in the middle of a outdoor shopping mall parking lot. The show is part of the free outdoor exhibit Hale Kahiko (ancient house) - a replica of a Hawaiian village.
Lahaina Harbor is behind Banyan Tree Park at the south end of Lahaina. Lahaina Harbor is full of boats and booths where you check pricing, schedules, availabilty, and sign up and depart on ocean activities.
The outdoor classroom for groups of students from local Lahaina surf shops is just outside the breakwater at the south end of Lahaina Harbor. Our Lahaina surfing lessons here let us learn to surf in two hours.
Several small whale watching boats depart from Lahaina Harbor, including the Ultimate Whale Watch fast raft and the Safari Boat Excursions Whale Safari. The Pacific Whale Foundation often brings up a big boat during whale watching season.
Two racing yachts berth here. The Scotch Mist - fastest production line sailboat in the world, and the America II, which participated in the America's Cup. Several sailing catamarans depart from here for snorkeling Maui and Lanai.
The Maui submarine Atlantis leaves here early each morning for ocean dives. You are ferried from Lahaina Harbor to the submarine. Our dive in the Atlantis let us explore the ocean depths in a real submarine - pricey but unique.
Several sunset cruises depart from Lahaina Harbor. Dinner sunset cruises provide a full dinner to enjoy as you watch the sunset over the island of Lanai. Cocktail sunset cruises serve drinks and appetizers. Pacific Whale Foundation offers both nightly on the Ocean Quest and Ocean Discovery.
The Reef Dancer looks like a yellow submarine, but it's a glass bottom boat with an underwater viewing cabin that runs under the entire length of the vessel. This cabin is almost all windows so you can view the coral and underwater creatures on both sides of the boat - perfect for children.
A group of deep sea Maui sport fishing craft stream out of Lahaina Harbor before sunrise each morning to search for Blue Marlin, Ono, Mahi Mahi, and Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna). They offer full and partial day trips for beginners and expert fishermen. Tackle and bait is included.
If you want to visit that large land mass in the ocean you can see from Front Street in Lahaina, catch the Lanai ferry from Lahaina Harbor. Round trip adult fare is $50. You can also catch a ferry to the other nearby island of Molokai.
Scuba diving is popular in the clear water surrounding Maui and the nearby islands of Lanai and Molokini. Lahaina Divers operates two dive boats out of Lahaina Harbor. Their dive shop is on Dickenson Street in Lahaina.
Front Street in Lahaina
First on the list of free Maui activities for most visitors is to stroll along the ocean on Front Street in Lahaina. With the ocean on one side and shops on the other, Front Street is perfect for people watching, window shopping and oceanviews dining.
Lahaina shopping includes just about every type of tourist retail store you can imagine along Front Street. This variety is accented by the large number of visitors on nights and weekends - people watching is as interesting as window shopping at jewelry and clothing stores, specialty boutiques, craft stalls and art galleries.
The outdoor shopping mall Lahaina Center hosts a free outdoor exhibit Hale Kahiko (ancient house) - a replica of a Hawaiian village, as well as our favorite store for Hawaiian souvenirs - Hilo Hatties. Use our Lahaina Center Map.
You can stand under the largest banyan tree in the U.S. at the south end of Front Street. Art and Hawaiian craft shows are held under the giant tree most weekends and holidays. Local musicians also congregate here.
Most evenings an entertaining portrait photographer sets up his temporary outdoor studio on the sidewalk. A crowd usually gathers around as he pleads and cajoles both his parrots and human portrait subjects to stay still for their picture.
Maui has welcomed immigrants from many cultures. The Lahaina Jodo Mission includes the largest Buddha statue outside of Japan, a pagoda, bell tower, and Buddhist temple.
Sugar cane fields once covered much of Maui. Step back in time on the Maui Sugar Cane Train, popular with young children and railroad enthusiasts who enjoy a relaxing six mile ride between Lahaina and Kaanapali.
Tired of thumbnail photos and images that are downsized to load quickly on your web browser? View my Lahaina Pictures page of large Lahaina photos.
Click on the PLAY button in the image below to view my video of Front Street. You get a good overview of locations of historic and cultural sites, restaurants, and activities as I drive south on Front Street.
Lahaina is a distinctive tourist destination, and Lahaina locals contribute to this uniqueness of Lahaina.
Lahaina locals make Lahaina unique. If you've walked past Banyan Tree Park in the last 20 years, you probably joined the thousands of visitors who briefly heard Lahaina street preacher Phillip Prais. He passed away on June 11.
The words La and Haina are translated from ancient Hawaiian as cruel sun.