What: Historic whaling village and Maui hot spot
Where: On the west side of Maui, 45 minutes from Kahului Airport
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.
Once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the early nineteenth century, Lahaina 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 Lahaina, including Herman Melville, who immortalised the era in his classic novel, Moby Dick.
Today, Lahaina is on the National Register of Historic Places. You can still get a feel for old Lahaina as you stroll down lively Front Street and visit historic stops like the US Seamen’s Hospital, Hale Paaho (Lahaina Prison), the Pioneer Inn and other sites on the Lahaina Historic Trail. Approximately 22 hectares of old Lahaina have been set aside as historic districts.
Lahaina’s sunny climate and oceanfront setting also provide the perfect backdrop for a variety of activities and entertainment. Get a fresh taste of Hawaii Regional Cuisine in Lahaina’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. The award winning show Ulalena at the Maui Theatre offers a Broadway-calibre production showcasing the culture of Hawaii.
And during the winter months, don’t forget to set sail from Lahaina 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 Lahaina.