Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii travel 2020

Visit Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii 2020, Best Things to Do in Lahaina, Lahaina Town Guide
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Things to See in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

1 – Lahaina Historic Trail

What: Self-guided tour of 62 historic Lahaina sites
Where: Spread throughout 55 acres of Lahaina
When: The best time to visit is Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. This historic trail takes about an hour

Lahaina is a town of major historical significance. Once the first capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, a busy whaling port and a plantation settlement, you can follow the Lahaina Historic Trail (Ala Moolelo O Lahaina) to walk in the footsteps of Lahaina’s past.

This self-guided tour takes you to significant sites throughout 55 acres of Lahaina, many of which have been designated National Historic Landmarks. Members of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation have worked for three decades to create the trail and preserve many of the buildings along it. They’ve also labeled dozens of historic sites with informative bronze plaques, each providing explanations about an important point of interest from Lahaina’s past. Look for them around and about Front Street.

You’ll see a fascinating blend of influences covering Hawaiian history, the whaling era, the missionaries and immigrant plantation life. The Baldwin Home was the two-story house of Protestant missionaries in the mid-1830s. Hale Paahao, the “stuck-in-irons house,” was a jail for rowdy sailors in the 1850s. Structures like the Wo Hing Temple and the Lahaina Jodo Mission highlight the influences of Chinese and Japanese immigrants in Maui.

To get a historical walking guide highlighting all 62 historic sites, visit the Lahaina Visitor Center in the Old Lahaina Courthouse located between the Banyan Tree and Lahaina Harbor.

2 – Lahaina Art Galleries Maui

Lahaina has gained a reputation as a renowned art market with dozens of art galleries. Begin your art walk at the Old Jail Gallery run by the non-profit Lahaina Arts Society, home to 185 member artists. Village Galleries is Maui’s oldest gallery showcasing acclaimed local artists. For fun, check out the kinetic sculptures and pop art at the Martin Lawrence Galleries.

To experience all that Lahaina’s art scene has to offer, visit Art Night each Friday between 7pm and 10pm. Join the festivities along and around Front Street as art galleries open their doors, inviting the public to chat with artists, view their works, listen to music and celebrate the arts.

You can also discover other types of unique art in Lahaina, including ceramics, handcrafted woodwork and jewelry. This historic whaling town is also one of the world’s largest markets for scrimshaw, the whalers’ art of carving on ivory. For more unique finds, treasure hunt in Lahaina Printsellers for a collection of maps, prints and engravings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. You’re bound to uncover the perfect Maui memento in Lahaina’s art galleries.

3 – The Banyan Tree

What: One of the country’s largest banyan trees
Where: In front of the Lahaina Courthouse, adjacent to Lahaina Harbor

Cool down in the shade under one of the largest banyan trees in the United States. Imported from India and planted in front of the Lahaina Courthouse and Lahaina Harbor on 1873, this sprawling tree along Front Street is the size of an entire city block and stands more than 60-feet high. If you need to cool down a bit, you can walk for two-thirds of an acre under the shadow of its sweeping branches. Many events and art exhibits are held beneath this popular gathering place. At Art in the Park, which takes place every second and fourth weekend of the month, browse for affordable paintings, limited edition prints and a wealth of crafts under the dangling vines and twelve major trunks of this Lahaina landmark.

4 – Lahaina Jodo Mission

What: A Japanese Buddhist temple in Lahaina
Where: Located 45 minutes from Kahului Airport by car in Lahaina just off Front Street at 12 Ala Moana Street

Head west from Lahaina’s Front Street toward Baby Beach and you’ll discover the Lahaina Jodo Mission. Established in a private house in 1912 to propagate Buddhism in Lahaina, the temple moved to its present location in 1931. This serene destination looks and feels more like Japan than Maui and features one of the largest statues of the Buddha outside of Asia.

The mission is a replica of an authentic Japanese Buddhist temple. Explore these peaceful grounds and you’ll discover a towering pagoda and an enormous bronze Buddha statue, 12 feet high and roughly 3 ½ tons. The statue was installed in 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. The grounds and buildings of the mission are open to the public and voluntary contributions are accepted.