Fun Things To Do In Lahaina
Lahaina is known as the gateway to Kapalua and Kaʻanapali beach resorts. Rainbows, whales, and stunning West Maui Mountains are just a few of the reasons to visit this seaside town. Lahaina Town is historically significant to the Kingdom of Hawaii since it was home to the royal family and the capital of Hawaii from 1820 to 1845.
When you visit Maui, you’ll want to spend time on the various west Maui beaches (looking at you Baby Beach), taking a surf lesson, and learning about Hawaiian history, but you’ll also want the best shopping and restaurants (which is where Lahaina comes in.). Check out this list of fun things to do in Lahaina that will help get your vacation started the right way.
What To Do In Lahaina, Maui
Lahaina Banyan Tree
You can find this beautiful tree in Banyan Tree Park near the courthouse in the center of town and across from Lahaina Harbor. On weekends, crafters and local artists set up booths and tables to sell their wares. Musicians, cultural dances, and events are often held in the park due to its downtown Lahaina location. Banyan Tree Court in Lahaina, Maui is home to a historic banyan tree believed to have been planted in April 1873 by the town’s first mayor, William Owen Smith. Lahaina’s banyan tree has since grown to cover an area of almost two acres and is now one of the most prominent landmarks of Lahaina.
According to local folklore, the tree was brought as a seedling from India and was given to Smith as a gift. Over the years, the park became a popular spot for visitors and locals alike who continue to admire its grandeur and beauty. The banyan tree itself is estimated to be more than 140 years old and stands some 75 feet tall with numerous aerial roots that spread even wider than it is tall.
Mala Ocean Tavern
Mala Ocean Tavern on Front Street is a restaurant and bar that offers an expansive menu of local seafood, craft beers, and small-batch spirits. Its beachy, laid-back atmosphere makes it the ideal spot for locals and visitors to enjoy fresh seafood dishes, like its popular Poisson Cru or Seared Scallops and Parmesan Risotto. For those looking for something hearty, the Grilled Ribeye with Hua Momona veggies is sure to satisfy.
Of course, no visit to Mala Ocean Tavern would be complete without trying one of the signature cocktails crafted by their mixologists. With such a delicious selection of food and drinks to choose from—all in a casual oceanfront setting (literally on the ocean)—it’s no wonder why Mala Ocean Tavern is considered one of Maui’s premier dining destinations.
Baldwin Home Museum
The Reverend Ephraim Spaulding built his home from 1834 to 1835 on the island of Maui. It is named the Baldwin house and has the distinction of being the oldest house in Lahaina. The main structure consisted of four rooms on a single level for the year Spaulding lived in it. Becoming ill in 1836, he returned to Massachusetts, and Reverend Dwight Baldwin moved into the home.
Life was hard for Baldwin as his new wife lost two children before they reached their third birthday. However, the couple had a total of eight children. The need for a larger house meant restructuring the home Spaulding built into a two-floor building and medical study, added in 1849. You can see the home as it was after the Baldwins made additions.
Royal Lahaina Luau
The Royal Lahaina Luau is a popular Hawaiian cultural event that is held nightly at the Royal Lahaina Resort. It features traditional Polynesian entertainment and a lavish dinner buffet served with an island-style flair. The evening begins with a lei greeting and tropical cocktail welcome, followed by an all-you-can-eat feast of popular luau dishes such as Kalua pig, poi, lomi salmon, poke, steamed vegetables, and fresh tropical fruits.
During and after dinner comes a captivating performance of traditional Hawaiian music and Polynesian dances including hula and fire knife dancing. Guests also have the chance to learn about the culture through storytelling about ancient Hawaiian customs through lore and chant. As the night ends, guests can enjoy a toast under the stars to bid farewell to their new friends from across the Pacific Ocean who shared in this special evening at the Royal Lahaina Luau. There are many reasons why this Lahaina Luau is one of the best things to do in Lahaina.
Surf Break Wall
The Break Wall is a West Maui surf spot right up against the Lahaina boat harbor. This wall serves the purpose of protecting the boats and yachts while helping create an excellent set of waves. For avid longboarders, this is the place to go. You can paddle from the beach or walk along the rocks of the wall, but the waves can be somewhat dangerous closer to the rocks, especially during large swells.
Public access is permitted, and it is easy to find from the southern parking lots. Many Maui surf schools operate on the south end, so take a lesson or rent a board if you’re already experienced.
Do you want to explore the underwater world, but don’t think scuba diving is for you? The Atlantis Submarine departing daily just off the coast from Lahaina Harbor is the perfect way to dive over 100 feet down and see the amazing mysteries of marine life in our Hawaiian waters.
The submarine is capable of carrying forty-eight passengers, and the trip will take you throughout our reef systems, including to a sunken ship. You may even see divers at the shipwreck! This can only be done in Lahaina Maui.
Star Noodle Restaurant in Lahaina Maui at the north end of Front Street is one of the most popular on Maui serving up tasty dishes inspired by Asian and local cuisine. The restaurant’s menu includes traditional favorites like ahi avo, steamed pork buns, and hapa ramen as well as unique creations such as Lahaina Fried Soup and Star Kim Chee. Ingredients are sourced locally from local farmers and fishermen, ensuring that each meal is of the highest quality.
In addition to delicious food, Star Noodle also offers a wide selection of beer, sake, and wine. The atmosphere at Star Noodle is casual yet sophisticated with friendly staff ready to make sure that your experience at this restaurant is memorable. Now located right on the ocean, you’ll want to get a reservation far in advance.
Lahaina has shopping for everyone, whether you need a new surfboard, bathing suit, souvenirs, or just like pursuing art galleries. A few places worth visiting are the Old Lahaina Center, Lahaina Cannery Mall, and Lahaina Gateway. All three sites feature local artisans and crafts, as well as those lovely “Hawaiian” trinkets you want to bring back for the family.
But for those that want a view, art galleries, and people-watching, check out Lahaina’s Front Street. Lined with restaurants, shops, and even glass-blowing, Front Street is a must when listing things to do in Lahaina.
Maui Adventure Cruises Whale Watch (When in Season)
Maui Adventure Cruises offer a unique whale-watching experience on the tranquil waters of Lahaina’s coastline. On this excursion, you’ll have the chance to observe the majestic humpback whales in their natural habitat as they migrate to Hawaiian waters each year. The journey takes place on a comfortable, modern large-hulled raft with an experienced crew ready to point out interesting whale facts and answer any questions.
With Maui Adventure Cruises, guests will be able to capture stunning whale-watching photos and videos of these gentle giants as they perform all manner of surface behaviors. As an added bonus, your tour guide will provide information about whale behavior and conservation efforts for these animals during the trip. This is a must when visiting Maui.
What Will You Do In Lahaina?
From taking a self-guided walking tour to browsing through the local boutiques to having dinner at one of the many delicious Maui restaurants or simply enjoying a sunset cruise on the Pacific Ocean, visitors can experience the best of what Lahaina has to offer. There’s plenty of outdoor adventure to be had here as well, whether you’re interested in snorkeling and swimming with tropical fish in crystal clear waters, or hiking up one of the nearby trails in Kapalua for stunning views of the island. Of course, no visit would be complete without some time spent just soaking up rays on one of Maui’s beaches. Whether it’s your first time here or you’ve been coming back for years, there’s always something new to discover in Lahaina!