Top 20 things to do in Lahaina and surrounding areas close by in Maui
Lahaina, Maui is a must visit on the island and there are some fantastic things to do in Lahaina that you can do absolutely free or cheap. 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 do in Lahaina, Maui now? Check out all these cool ideas and activities below for you to do now on the island.
** during Covid times – some of the attractions or events posted below might be limited or closed off for the time being. Stay tuned for any government announcements to open up Maui attractions, gatherings and events around 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.
Check out these fun and cool 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.
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.
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.
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.
6. Free Music performances and community Festivals
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 Deep Sea Fishing off Lahaina
Want to catch some really big fish in Maui, then sign up for a fishing charter experience and do something really cool on the water. There are so many big fish you can try to get and these fishing outfitters provide all the equipment, lessons, and lunch and all you have to do is show up and enjoy your day out on the Maui coastal waters and sunshine and hopefully catch some really big fish. You have your choice of these fishing charters here and at different price points that can fit your individual needs and time frame.
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.
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
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. Cap this off with a special barbeque feast at Manele Bay and you’ll have a fantastic snorkel, sail experience to the island.
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.
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 have your choice helicopter outfitters and tours here to review and consider which one fits your needs and budget. But definitely book early since helicopter tours are a popular adventure experience to do 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 to best things to do in Lahaina, Maui
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