No Maui vacation is complete without a trip to Lahaina Town. This historic community was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii in the 1800s; now, it attracts more than two million people each year! Visitors can relax under the shade of a giant banyan tree, learn about the town’s rich past, and spend time shopping and dining by the sea. Read on to discover our favorite things to do in Lahaina, Maui, and access our Free Travel Guide for more must-see destinations!
How to Spend a Day in Lahaina Town
1. See One of the Largest Trees in the United States
As soon as you turn onto Front Street, you’ll be greeted by Lahaina’s most famous resident: the Maui banyan tree. This massive beauty was imported from India in 1873 to memorialize the 50th anniversary of the first American Protestant mission to Lahaina. Today, it’s the size of an entire city block! Guests can admire the root system that covers almost an acre and multiple trunks that reach more than 60 feet high.
Local Tip: The banyan tree is breathtaking any time of day, but we recommend visiting in the evening. Common Myna birds roost in the branches of the tree at sunset and create a spectacular symphony of song at night!
2. Delve into History
Lahaina played a significant role in the development of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the state of Hawaii. You can expect to see plenty of historic sites here! Across the street from the banyan tree are Lahaina Harbor, the Pioneer Inn, and the Lahaina Lighthouse, all registered historic landmarks. We highly suggest a self-guided walking tour of each location.
The Lahaina Courthouse is another landmark in this area. It houses a Visitor’s Center as well as a heritage museum with various art galleries, exhibits, photographs, and objects. Enjoy viewing educational panels about the island’s natural environment, peruse a timeline of Hawaii’s history, and watch videos about the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
3. Shop, Dine, and Explore
When it’s time for lunch, head to the Wharf Cinema Center across from town square. This community hub features excellent restaurants, stores, and gift shops, plus live music and entertainment. Some of our favorite places to dine include:
- Maui Island Coffee (freshly brewed coffee made from local coffee beans)
- Down the Hatch (delicious mahi-mahi tacos and cocktails)
- Amigo’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant (casual eatery with fast service)
- Tiki Tiki Thai Cuisine (noodle dishes, soups & salads, curries, plate lunch combos)
- Breakwall Shave Ice (refreshing, traditional Hawaiian shave ice)
Note: The Wharf is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
4. Attend Local Events
There’s always something going on in Lahaina! The town offers a wide range of events and festivals throughout the year. Whether you come for the Golf Classic in May or Festivals of Aloha in October, attending a celebration is a great way to get to know the locals.
Not sure when you’ll be on Maui? No worries! Lahaina’s Banyan Tree Craft Fair is held every weekend. Meet local artists, browse affordable paintings and prints, and discover a wealth of crafts while enjoying live music. Face painting and children’s activities are available under the tree’s dangling vines.
5. Hit the Beach
Of course, your day trip should include a few hours in the sun. Ka’anapali Beach, one of the best beaches on the island, is just three miles from the center of town. Relish in leisurely water activities like kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming. Or, simply relax on the soft, white sand. You can even grab a Mai Tai at Ka’anapali Beach Resort’s breezy outdoor bar.
Come Home to The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono
After a wonderful day in Lahaina, take the easy drive back to our B&B and unwind! The Old Wailuku Inn offers a different experience than generic beach hotels. Here, you can expect luxury accommodations, homemade breakfast each morning, and local recommendations from our innkeepers.
Browse our Garden Rooms, Veranda Rooms, and Vagabond’s House Rooms today! Each features high-end amenities like fine cotton bed linens, Aveda™ personal care products, private bathrooms, and soft, fluffy towels. Then, book your stay directly on our website to receive the best price. We look forward to having you.
Don’t forget to check out our Travel Guide for more trip-planning tips!