Historic Places of Maui

From the legendary demi-god Maui, lassoing the sun atop Haleakala, to the whaling, ranching and sugar industries, Maui has a rich history that you can still explore today.

Kaanapali Beach
Kaanapali was once a retreat for the royalty of Maui. On the northern side of Kaanapali Beach is the sacred spot of Puu Kekaa, also known as Black Rock. Ancient Hawaiians believed this cliff was a jumping off place for the soul to enter the spirit world. Today, you can watch the daily sunset cliff diving ceremony, which reenacts the feat of King Kahekili, who bravely dove from this sacred spot, challenging the spirits.

Iao Valley State Park
Hike through this lush valley and read the historical markers that describe the Battle of Kepaniwai, where King Kamehameha’s forces defeated Maui’s army, lead by King Kahekili. Casualties were so numerous, the bodies of slain warriors temporarily dammed the Iao Valley stream.

Lahaina Historic Trail
The seaport town of Lahaina served as the center of government for the Hawaiian monarchy for nearly five decades until the mid-1800’s. Lahaina was also an international whaling center in the 1800’s. You can visit the sites of these events by taking the self guided Lahaina Historic Trail, which highlights 62 important historical landmarks.

A visit to remote Hana in East Maui is like stepping back in time. Undeveloped and pristine, you can sense the tradition and aloha that surrounds this lush town. Just beyond Hana in Kipahulu, you can find the grave of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh in a small country church. He spent his final years in this peaceful setting leaving on his epitaph, “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea…”