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Lahaina

Known for Beaches, Snorkeling and Sea


The former capital of Hawaii was once the heart of the global whaling trade. Today, it’s a popular beach city and starting point for whale-watching tours.

How do you get to Lahaina?

You can still get a sense for the old Lahaina by taking a walk down Front Street, the town’s main artery. This street is lined with well-preserved timber-framed homes that date back to the early 19th century. Today, these houses are restaurants, art galleries, T-shirt stores and trinket shops.

Lahaina sits between the Au'au Channel and the peaks of the West Maui Mountains on Maui’s northwest coast. After King Kamehameha conquered Maui at the turn of the 19th century, he made Lahaina the seat of royal power. It remained in ascendancy until 1845, when the Hawaiian capital was moved to Honolulu.

During its the peak of the whaling industry, from 1825 to 1860, hundreds of ships were berthed in Lahaina’s harbor each year while their sailors took shore leave in town. One such sailor was Herman Melville, author of the classic American novel Moby Dick.

Whales are no longer hunted from Lahaina, but you can still get up-close to them. Set sail on a whale-watching tour from the town’s harbor. The tours last between two and five hours and the best time to see the mammals is between December and May.

While you are visiting Lahaina, grab the opportunity to sit under the shade of the colossal banyan tree in Front Street. It’s of the largest banyan trees in the world.

At night Lahaina, many of Front Street’s stores and galleries stay open late. Book a seat at the Maui Theater for the Ulalena Show, a performance running most nights of the week that tells the story of Hawaii’s people through a combination of song, dance, and acrobatics.

Lahaina is a good base from which to explore the rest of Maui. The island is approximately 45 miles (72.4 kilometers) at its longest length and 23 miles (37 kilometers) at its longest width. Journey through the 'Iao Valley State Park for a close-up view of the 'Iao Needle. This colossal lava formation is one of Maui’s most recognizable landmarks. Swim in the freshwater pools at Kīpahulu and enjoy spectacular views from the mountain peaks of the Haleakalā National Park. For some gentle relaxation play a round of golf or laze on the sandy beaches at the luxury resort of Kapalua.

Best neighborhoods to visit in Lahaina

Things to do in Lahaina

As one of the highest-ranking luxury beaches in the U.S., this stunning stretch of sand with crystal-clear water is lined with high-end hotels and shops.

Calm, luxurious, picturesque and visited by amazing marine life, this is one of West Maui’s more family-friendly swimming and snorkeling destinations.

Tickets & Tours

Follow the sound of trumpeting conch shells to Maui's longest-running luau, where beach-side seating, free-flowing drinks, all-you-care-to-eat dinner, and dazzling Polynesian shows combine for the perfect Hawaiian evening.

Tickets & Tours

Savor an exquisite 4-course meal in a casually elegant atmosphere as you watch the sun set over Maui's spectacular natural landscape from the water—cruising in style on a deluxe 2-level catamaran. Departing Lahaina Harbor, marvel at the lush greenery of the West Maui Mountains.

Tickets & Tours

Cruise down the Lahaina coastline to Maui's only barrier reef aboard a glass-bottom boat. Admire views of sea life from an underwater viewing cabin and see marine creatures up-close with the help of professional diver while on-board narration teaches you everything you need to know about the reef.

Tickets & Tours

Explore the world beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Maui. Descend to more than 100 feet (30.5 m) and come face-to-face with some of Hawaii's most amazing marine life. From Lahaina Harbor, you're shuttled by boat to a submarine just off the coast of Maui.

Tickets & Tours

The sound of the conch shell and the beating of drums welcome you to a sunset terrace, just steps from the waves of Ka'anapali Beach, as the celebratory luau begins. On the beautiful shoreline of Ka'anapali, step into a tropical garden and sip a Mai Tai as you gaze out at the setting sun.

Tickets & Tours

Take the journey of a lifetime to “Heavenly” Hana Town. Your all-day tour goes full-circle around the beautiful windward region of the “Magic Isle.” Discover some of the most diverse and scenic landscapes found on any of the Hawaiian Islands.