Top 20 things to do in Lahaina, Maui – landmarks, fun attractions & activities (update 2023)
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.
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
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.
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.
The Banyan Tree of Lahaina is a fun place to visit and take some cool selfies, you’ll enjoying visiting and photographing this gorgeous tree.
Here’s the amazing Banyan tree of Lahaina
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 and some of the cool hiking trails and attractions in the area.
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
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.
Whether you enjoy sunset with an exotic drink at a bar or restaurant or just find a nice spot on the beach along the south side of the island, you’ll enjoy the ever changing and dazzling sunsets you’ll experience on the island.
** 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Find out more about visiting this cultural treasure here and the efforts to restore and maintain the Baldwin house.
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
(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.
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 you’ll have more free time to explore and not have the hassle of finding a parking spot.
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 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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