Top 20 things to do in Lahaina, Maui (landmarks, fun attractions & activities)

Lahaina, Maui is a must visit on the island and here are the top 20 things to do in Lahaina, Maui that you can visit and enjoy around town. The historic downtown district is fun to explore with cool shops, bars and eating venues and if you are curious to find out more about Lahaina’s history, there’s a free historic walk tour you can do as a DIY experience for free. With so much to see and do in Lahaina and the surrounding areas, you can check out these top 20 things to do in Lahaina, Maui to plan your visit or stay in the area.

Wondering what the best things to do in Lahaina, Maui now? Use this Lahaina guide below to check out all these cool ideas and activities below for you to do now on the island.

A little history on Lahaina, Maui

The touristy town of Lahaina, Maui was a major whaling port city during during the 1800s with the migration of humpback whales to the waters around Maui and the surrounding islands. With so many ships docking in port, there could be up to over 400 ships docked in the harbor and bay of Lahaina, the main city during this timeframe.

Soon after, missionaries where brought to Maui to tend and convert the islanders in the area and had tensions with the whaling industry and party oriented sailors that wanted to relax and have a good time in Lahaina. The Hawaiian royalty gave the missonaries access to Lahaina and start up schools, churches and initially work/study programs for the young native men to grow into responsible adults.

In 1834 the Baldwin home was built as a compound for the missionaries and hosting guests, royalty and other travelers to the area. The hoe is now a living museum with collections and artifacts showing day to day living in the compound and surrounding area.

What’s the best time to visit Lahaina, Maui?

Maui is a year round destination and the main city at Lahaina, always a popular favorite city to visit and hang out. The peak season to visiting Lahaina and Maui in general is typically the summer season and winter season when vacations are accessible from mainland visitors. But the actual best time to visit Lahaina would be during the shoulder season of the year generally from April through May and September through November when the temperatures are nice, weather is great and high season is over so rates are great and tourist crowds are smaller in size.

Can you walk around Lahaina?

It’s easy to walk around the main street of Lahaina at front street. Take in all of Lahaina’s historic past as a whaling capital in the USA Also, you can visit many of the sites like the Banyan tree, Baldwin house and the other important landmarks around the city.

Is Lahaina worth visiting in Maui?

Lahaina has a strong historic past and it is fantastic to learn about this fabulous city by walking around and seeing many of the important monuments and buildings in town. You can enjoy some fabulous food, stroll downtown on Front street and enjoy the many gorgeous views around town. Lahaina has a really cool and small town vibe that is easy to do with family or with friends and enjoy a few hours or even a day around town.

Check out the best 20 things to do in Lahaina, Maui

Whether you are just day tripping around Maui or basing yourself close by, there’s plenty to see and do around Lahaina and the surrounding areas for activities and fun attractions to explore.

Top things to do in Lahaina

1. Do a self-tour of Historic Lahaina, Maui

Once the first capital of the Kingdom Hawaii, Lahaina has 62 historic landmarks in this trail that you can visit on a self-tour of the important and historic sites around the city. You can check out the web tour here for more details on the places that you can follow directly on this trail and at your own pace.

Here’s a video on the historic places to see around Lahaina below




Lahaina art galleries 1

2. Art Galleries of Lahaina, Maui

For Art lovers, it’s easy to visit all the art galleries centered in Lahaina town for this pleasant art discovery tour. Covering a spectrum of art from glass, ceramics, jewelry, painted mediums to sculpture, you’ll enjoying seeing all the local artists promoted at all these fantastic galleries in town and maybe take home a lovely piece of art from Maui.

If enjoying art is your thing in Lahaina then check out the top galleries to visit here for locations and fun gallery activities in Lahaina to explore in town.

Here’s a video covering the Hawaii Arts Society and shop local

3.Take a glass blowing class in Lahaina

For a fun Lahaina activity why not try a glass blowing class in Lahaina? If you want to do something creative and a fun thing to do in Lahaina, consider taking a glass blowing class with an instructor from Moana Glass and you even get to go home with a sample glass that you help to create. These glass blowing lessons at the workshop will be one of the most fun and creative thing you can do visiting Maui and you even get to choose what type of art glass you can work on. This is definitely one of the cool things to do in Maui and you get to bring home your own hand made souvenir.




Lahaina banyan tree 1

4. Visit the Banyan tree of Lahaina

One of the historic Lahaina things to do downtown is to visit the Banyan tree. Planted in 1873, this famous banyan tree is huge at over 60 feet tall and has 12 major trunks that make it look like several trees but is actually just one tree.

Located on Front Street in Lahaina and covering an area of over 200 feet, it provides shade for over 2/3 of an acre and has many benches set so you can sit in the shade.

Here’s the amazing Banyan tree of Lahaina

Exploring Iao valley state park in Maui

5. Check out Iao Valley State park and botanical gardens

Just a short drive from Lahaina, Maui is the Iao Valley State Park. You can tour the beautiful botanical gardens, display ethnic villages and easy hikes through this scenic valley self-tour and all for free. It’s a nice place to enjoy lush tropical plantings and show gardens and natural settings in this gorgeous botanical garden. Check out their website here for more details to visiting the park.

Here’s a look and visit to Ioa Valley below

6. Free Music performances and community Festivals in Maui

There are so many free festivals happening every week in Maui offered through the visitor’s bureau and other organizations. You can check the local papers, the tourist magazines or even the tourism website here for an updated list of free events and festivals happening in Maui when you visit.

7. Go in a submarine experience off Lahaina

Want to watch some cool marine life and corals along with some fantastic tropical fish and not get wet, well you could have a fun experience in a submarine. This underwater experience is family friendly, fun and easy to do cruising up to 100 feet below the oceans cruising around the coasts of Lahaina and discovering some fantastic ocean scenes below the surface.

Check out the details to doing a submarine tour experience here for more details and booking a tour

Here’s a view of the submarine experience below




Enjoying a maui sunset

8. Enjoy sunset on the beach or Maui waterfront

Can anything be better and simpler than enjoying sunset on the beach or waterfront at Maui? Well maybe a nice cool drink and some pupu’s (appetizers) but it definitely is a nice was to end a spectacular day on the beach then to watch the sun go down with those striking warm and golden colors and just witnessing another beautiful day in Maui.

** How about taking a gorgeous sunset cruise here and enjoying the views from a ship with sunset and those Maui coastline scenery behind you?

9. Free Hula Lessons, Hula shows and Ukulele classes

If you’re musically inclined, head out to the Lahaina Cannery Mall which offers free hula lessons every Thursdays at 5:00 pm to learn some basic moves and free hula shows are performed every Saturday and Sunday at 1pm to popular Hawaiian songs.

If you want to try an ukulele class for free, head out the to stage area on Tuesdays at 5:30. Even if you just want to brush up on some new chords, put this on your calendar.





10. Maui Fridays

One of the best things to do in Maui is called Maui Fridays. Every Friday at a different location in Maui is part of Maui town Fridays with food truck vendors, art and crafts booths, food from local vendors and live entertainment programs sponsored by the County of Maui. You can check out this website here for more information and details to Maui Fridays

Check out the Friday events below

• 1st Friday of the Month, Wailuku (Central Maui) on Market Street
• 2nd Friday, Lahaina (West Maui) on Front Street

• 4th Friday, Kihei (South Maui) at Azeka Shopping Center Mauka

5th Friday, Lanai

Check out this Maui Friday tour in Lahaina for an overview

11. Go on snorkel cruise to Lanai Island

Wondering what fun adventure activity to do in Lahaina, then go on a snorkel cruise to Lanai Island. I you want to do something really unique and fun while visiting another island off Maui with this snorkel cruise to Lanai here.

You’ll enjoy cruising to Lanai and doing a fun snorkel experience just off the island to a marine preserve off the island to see the diverse coral and tropical fish habitats around the island to experience.You’ll have a fantastic snorkel, sail experience to the island with all these multiple snorkel stops around the island.

Here’s a look at the snorkeling and cruise experience to Lanai Island below

shave ice experience in Maui

12. Go for a local shave ice treat

One of the best things to do in Lahaina is to go for some local shave ice. For a cheap and delicious treat try some local shaved Ice and the local favorite shop to try some of the exotic flavors. There’s so many fantastic places to try shave ice on the island, but check out the local favorites here for more inspiration on where to go for the best of the best in Maui.




skim boarding maui

13. Go take a surfing class in Lahaina area

A fun Lahaina activity would be try take a surfing class on the island. What could be a more classic adventure than going surfing in Maui. If you’re a beginner or just want to brush up on some water skills, think about a surfing class with these outfitters that head off from the Lahaina area. You can choose a variety of surfing classes here with group lessons, private classes and even Sup touring classes for you to enjoy. Once your hooked, you’ll enjoy spending a lot more time in the water on a surf board riding the waves in Maui.

farmers market 1

14. Go to a local farmers market in Maui

You can go to a variety of farmers markets around Maui to get fresh produce and finished goods, take-out meals, arts and crafts and locally made products that you can take home. It’s fun to see where the locals shop, hang out and support local vendors on the island and try some delicious made foods yourself. Check out the following farmers markets available to visitors in these farmers markets on the island for where to find the local markets, timeframe and hours. You might also want to check out the regular Maui swap meet that sells produce, finished foods, flea market finds and arts and crafts that happens every Saturday in Kahului starting at 7am. Looking for what’s fresh and the best thing to do in Lahaina, then head out to your local farmers market now.

Sunset sailing and things to do in Maui

15. Sunset sail off Lahaina

Want a perfect way to end the day in Maui? How about a nice sunset cruise, with cocktails and maybe a nice dinner with gorgeous coastal views of Maui and an amazing sunset to boot? You’ll enjoy your choice of these sunset sailing adventures here to explore and enjoy a trip on the water and seeing Maui in a different perspective on a sunset sail.




16.  Visit the Baldwin House Museum in Lahaina

Considered the oldest historic home in Maui, the Baldwin House was the home of Reverend Ephraim Spaulding who had this home built in 1834 to 1835 on Maui. After he became sick, Reverend Dwight Baldwin and his wife moved in and eventually raised 8 children in this home which he remodeled into a second story to fit the needs of this large family. The home was converted eventually into a living museum where you can see early settlement and the lifestyle of the missionaries on Maui.



Hula shows in Maui

17.  Enjoy a fabulous Luau in Maui

Want to enjoy a classic cultural experience with delicious food to eat. You can definitely can do both with any of the fantastic Luaus available in Maui to choose from with fabulous drinks, entertainment, food prep showcasing and of course all the delicious traditional and local style foods to sample at this luau.

Two fantastic Luau to choose from

You can experience a luau at the Kaanapali Sunset luau here more details and schedules that you can book directly from their site. Or take a look at the Te Au Moana Luau here for more details.

(Make sure you book early, since shows are always full and a popular attraction to do in Maui.




18. Explore Lahaina’s front street

A visit to Lahaina’s front street is filled with fantastic shopping fun with tourist shops, boutique stores, art galleries, bars and a variety of food venues to enjoy. Front street is the major thoroughfare in Lahaina and fun to explore along with checking out the bayfront scene and all the historic sites of downtown Lahaina.




Whale watching season in Maui

19. Go on a whale watching tour

When its whale watching season in winter time, you definitely will see a lot of whales and the best way to do this up close is to take a cruising tour to some of the typical spots around the island that these outfitters typically know. You can sign up directly with this whale watching outfitters here departing from Lahaina area to book this wonderful cruise experience today.

20. A helicopter experience above Maui

If you’re looking for that once in a lifetime Maui experience, consider going on a helicopter ride through lush rainforests and waterfalls, gorgeous coastlines to explore or even fly all the way up to Haleakala and the stunning landscape from above. You’ll enjoy this circle island tour of Maui here to consider which one fits your needs and budget. Or check out this Maui and Molokai helicopter experience here for something with two island from above.

But definitely book early since helicopter tours are a popular adventure experience to do in Maui.

Here’s more tips to visiting Lahaina

Traffic and parking is tough so, if you can grab an Uber or taxi to Lahaina and just walk around

There’s lots of fun bars and places to eat in Lahaina, check out our recommendations below.

Sunsets are a fantastic time to enjoy a drink, meal and a gorgeous sunset in Lahaina

You can actually even go surfing around Lahaina, there are surfing schools above you can take at different levels

Make sure you visit the historic sites around Lahaina, many of them are free to explore!

Whale watching season is fantastic in the winter time, you can spot them on this side of the island or take one of the amazing boat tours offered.

Where to eat in Lahaina

Check out the popular places to eat in Maui here for inspiration.

For more popular west side locations check out this video below

Or check out these favorite Lahaina eats below

Where to stay in Maui

Where to stay in Lahaina

Lahaina Shores Beach Resort – a very popular and great base to stay in Maui and well rated, this resorts located close to front street, has great views, fantastic service and walking distance to restaurants and shops.

Ka’anapali Beach Hotel – Oceanfront in Ka’anapali area with ample buffet breakfast, free entertainment shows and comfortable rooms with garden or ocean views.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa – A gorgeous 40 acre oceanfront property with beautiful pools, gardens, cultural programs and luau, rooftop venues, friendly service and excellent restaurants.

Check out these highly rated hotels reviewed from Trip Advisor here for images and details.

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Conclusion on the top 20 things to do in Lahaina, Maui

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20 Comments

  1. Clarice

    Wow! This place is interesting. Thank you for sharing a little bit of its history. It makes us appreciate it more. Happy to know there many things to see in do in Lahaina. I would love to visit the Banyan tree. That’s so fascinating. It’s cool that they decided to keep and protect it. A submarine experience and a whale-watching tour sound awesome too.

    Reply
    • emorata

      Lahaina is historic with so many attractions of places to visit from the past with new galleries, restaurants and places to hang out in town.

      Reply
  2. Umiko

    What a relieve that visitors can still do whale watching. I thought they were all history by now. I like visiting historic town like this and find things unique to the town. I would like to enjoy the local shave ice under the banyan tree after strolling the front street. If they close to each other.

    Reply
    • emorata

      Whale watching is popular here in season along with many of these things in Lahaina that you can do year round.

      Reply
  3. Renee

    I can see that there are an endless amount of things to do in Lahaina. Top of my list would be the sailboat excursion. I can’t think of a better way to take in the views than from the water. I would also be interested in the art gallery. I might be a welcome break to get out of the sun and check out the local artists. I would also build up some courage and take some surfing lessons. I’ve always wanted to surf. 20 great reasons to visit Lahaina!

    Reply
    • emorata

      You definitely get more than sun and beach experiences with so many fun things to do around Lahaina area.

      Reply
  4. Linda (LD Holland)

    I am getting excited reading your posts about Hawaii. They are helping me build my plan for things to see and do. We will definitely plan to visit Lahaina when we go to Maui. There looks like there are some great outdoor spots. And we will certainly be checking out what is on for Maui Fridays. Saving this for our trip.

    Reply
    • emorata

      Sounds like you’ll get a chance to do some fun things in Lahaina soon

      Reply
  5. Jackie

    You described so many attractions on Lahaina that represent the types of things I enjoy doing while traveling: sailing, beautiful scenery, history & culture, and of course, delicious food. I could easily see myself spending more than a few days visiting this enchanting place! It’s hard to imagine more than 400 boats in the harbor during the height of the whaling industry, a sorry past shared with one of my other favorite islands (Martha’s Vineyard). I will definitely put these Lahaina experiences on my itinerary when I visit Hawaii – along with the requisite luau and hula lessons. I never thought of glass blowing or botanical gardens in Hawaii, but now that I know about them, I’m in! By the way, I’m obsessed with the Banyan tree of Lahaina. So cool!

    Reply
    • emorata

      I’m sure you would love visiting Lahaina and the many fun things to do here.

      Reply
  6. Joanna

    Lahaina sounds like such a fantastic place to visit, with so many things to do there. I love doing unique things when I visit a new destination, so I would definitely like to experience the glass blowing experience at Moana Glass. I would also love to take a hula lesson.

    Reply
    • emorata

      Hope you can visit and do a few of these cool things to do in Lahaina.

      Reply
  7. Pilar

    Lahaina looks like a super cool place to stay in Maui. The activities are really interesting. I specially like the free music Ukelele try out lesson. The underwater scenery looks spectacular. Can you also scuba dive there? That would be my favourite activity if it is possible. The glass blowing visit looks very worth also. I really hope I can visit Maui one day.

    Reply
    • emorata

      Yes you can scuba dive many locations around Maui but Lahaina is the historic center with so many things to do in town.

      Reply
    • Carol Colborn

      Noel, Is it better to stay in Lahaina than in Kihei? What is the difference? We stayed in Lahaina before and did all these we inderful things.

      Reply
      • emorata

        They are different one is more historic as in Lahaina and the other is sun and fun

        Reply
  8. Maureen

    Just stayed at Lahaina Shores Resort. Excellent. Reasonable, clean, no food but much nearby, kitchenette was helpful. Great snorkeling but wear aqua shoes. Turtles fish and coral.

    Reply
    • emorata

      That is awesome, thanks for checking out these top things to do in Lahaina

      Reply
  9. Steven

    Woohoo! Thanks buddy for sharing these adventurous things to do in Lahaina, I was also planning to visit here next month, these things will definitely help me to make my travel experience even more adventurous.

    Reply
    • emorata

      Awesome, hope you get to do all these fun activities and other things to do in Lahaina.

      Reply

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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.