Lahaina is a town on the western end of the island of Maui, Hawaii that abounds with restaurants, night clubs, and souvenir shops. Because the western end of Maui is a popular vacation destination, tourism is important to Lahaina. Most tourists, however, eschew Lahaina during the day, choosing instead the beaches of Kaanapali; but life in Lahaina after sunset is quite active.
Most visitors arrive on Maui by plane via Kahului airport (OGG). The vast majority rents a car there and drives to various Maui destinations, including Lahaina. The Honoapiilani Highway (route 30) is a very picturesque drive along the shore which gets you directly to Lahaina. The drive from the airport is about 40 minutes, though the road may get congested sometimes.
Some people fly to West Maui airport, which is closer to Lahaina (about 15-20 minutes drive).
Cruise ships sometimes anchor near Lahaina and passengers get tendered to shore.
Lahaina is very compact, and easily explored on foot. If driving, it is advisable to park one's car and walk. There are a couple of free parking locations, but most charge a nominal fee. In some places, stores can validate your parking ticket.
Front Street is the main thoroughfare of Lahaina, where most popular places are located.
Lahaina is not known as a sightseeing destination, and instead is focused mainly on food, souvenirs, and night life. In the course of those activities, however, there are a couple of attractions worthy of attention:
- Banyan Tree. Considered the center of the city, this huge tree occupies an entire city block. There are a couple of historic places around as well.
- Carthaginian 2, Lahaina Small Boat Harbor, Lahaina, HI 96761, ☎ 1 808 661 3262. 10am-4:15pm daily. A replica of a whaling ship. Great to look at, especially at sunset. Kids will especially enjoy it. Fee.
- Take a cruise. Various boats can take you on dinner cruises, whale watching cruises, fishing rides, or to the island of Lanai. Look for good deals but beware of the "too good to be true" offers, they probably are. Note that during the whale season you'll see whales no matter where you go so getting a separate whale whatching cruise may not be necessary. On the other hand, they are usually cheap.
- Sugar Cane Train, 975 Limahana Pl. Suite #203,Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761, ☎ (808) 667-6851 or 1-800-499-2307, . 10am-5pm. Officially known as Lahaina Kaanapali Railroad, this is the only train in the whole of Hawaii. It shuttles between Lahaina and Kaanapali. If you choose, you can take a dinner train. $21 adults roundtrip, $15 children 3-12.
- Take a stroll down the Front Street, along the shore. Watch people, enjoy the weather, simply relax.
Lahaina is a tourist town so you will find many stores selling souvenirs, cruises, activities, art, Hawaiian trinkets, etc.
- Old Lahaina Book Emporium, Address/Phone: (834 Front Steet)/(808/661-1399) A fantastic book store chockablock with used books in stacks, shelves, counters, and aisles; a bookstore lover's dream. More than 25,000 quality used books are lovingly housed in this shop, where owner JoAnn Carroll (and sometimes Ann) treats books and customers well. The store is 95% used books and 100% delight. Specialties include Hawaiiana, fiction, mystery, sci-fi, and military history, with substantial selections in cookbooks, children's books, and philosophy/religion. You could pay as little as $2 for a quality read, or a whole lot more for that rare first edition. Books on tape, videos, the classics, and old guitar magazines are among the treasures of this two-story emporium.
- ABC Stores. They are all over Hawaii, and you will find a couple of them in Lahaina.
- Lahaina Cannery Mall, ☎ (808) 661-5304 ([email protected]), . On the northern side of town, this is a fully enclosed air-conditioned mall that can provide a nice respite from the sun. Other than that, your regular mall with some Hawaiian specific stores Free parking.
- If you're staying for a while, there is a supermarket in Lahaina, and Costco, Wal-Mart and other big stores in Kahului.
There is no shortage of places to eat, despite the small size of the city. Here are just some options:
- Lahaina Coolers, 180 Dickenson, ☎ (808)661-7082. A couple blocks off of Front Street but worth searching out for reasonably priced delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner, indoors or out.
- Moose McGillycuddy's, 844 Front Street, Lahaina, Hawaii 96761, ☎ (808) 667-7758, . Don't let the long name scare you. It's a great place for family eating as well as for after hours fun. Early bird breakfast can be had for $1.99, but generally prices for HUGE dinner servings are between $10 and $20. Get seating by the open balcony that overlooks Front Street. $.
- Lahaina Fish Company, 831 Front Street, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, ☎ (808) 661-3472, . Sunset views are magnificient from this cozy restaurant; if a couple comes before sunset, they would even sit you next to one another so that you both can enjoy. the food is delicious too.
- Kimo's, 845 Front Street, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761, ☎ (808) 661-4811. Another great place on the water.
- Cheeseburger in Paradise, 811 Front Street Lahaina, Maui, ☎ (808) 661-4855. A very popular place with tourists. Lines can be long. Food is average, but a great party atmosphere and live music.
Most of the aforementioned reastaurants have great bars. Places like Moose McGillycuddy's and Cheeseburger in Paradise become night clubs after hours. Hard Rock Cafe is on the Front Street. Those are just a few choices.
As beaches in Lahaina are not that great, most people prefer to stay in other places on Maui, such as Kaanapali which is only 10-15 minutes away.
- Lahaina Shores Beach Resort, 180 Dickenson Street, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761, ☎ 1-800-642-6284. The only hotel in Lahaina that is right on the beach (good for sunbathing, not so good for swimming because of all the corals), it's minutes away from the city center, right next to 505 Front Street shopping center. Offers condos with full kitchens.
- Outrigger Aina Nalu, .
- Garden Gate Bed and Breakfast, 67 Kaniau Road, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761, ☎ 1-800-939-3217. Elegant Affordable Hawaiian Luxury Lahaina Bed & Breakfast Ocean View Rooms with Private Decks.', 
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