Looking for things to do in Lahaina, Maui? “The west side is the best side”, that’s what we say here in historic Lahaina Town! Shopping, food, activities, the list goes on!
We created a go-to guide so can make your most out of your vacation to Lahaina!
Originally the capital of Hawaii from 1820-1845, historic Lahaina town was once a pit stop for whalers and now sees an estimated 80% of all tourism that comes to Maui! Lahaina’s iconic Front Street runs through the heart of Lahaina Town, connecting Lahaina Harbor, shops, restaurants and historical landmarks. Traveling to Maui is not your bargain vacation due to its desired tropical climate as a U.S. territory, but with AirBnB’s available at all time lows right now and lots of free outdoor activities you’ll find yourself easily content on this little island in the Pacific!
Lahaina is a small town with half the crime rate of Los Angeles and New York. You can walk or bike almost anywhere to shops, beaches, activities and dining, making it a go-to for Maui’s visitors!
Free Things to do in Lahaina
If you’re looking for free things to do in Lahaina, check out the Lahaina Walking Tour for a fun historical walk through along Front Street, which has been rated one of the Top 10 Greatest Streets by the American Planning Commission.
Across from the Wharf Center is the historic Banyan Tree. Planted over 100 years ago this tree is a gathering place for visitors, locals and arts and crafts fairs! If you walk toward the ocean you will find Lahaina Harbor, the busiest tourism harbor in the state!. You can check out the historic museum right under the banyan to learn more about this harbor that was once a pit-stop for whalers and sailors! The historic Pioneer Inn now houses dining and shops, as well as a photo ops with parrots and breakfast at the Inn itself. Art galleries, clothing stores and Hawaii inspired jewelry shops line this quaint little ocean front town!
Surfing is always free, you just need a board and some waves! Lahaina town fronts two popular surf spots, Breakwall and Harbor! Breakwall has a slower softer wave great for longboarding and Harbor’s quick steep drop in waves make it a great pick for shortboarders!
If you’re in Maui during Halloween, be ready for a festive night to remember! Front street hosts a Halloween bash that brings the whole island to it’s little town. Hundreds of amazing costumes, contests, live music and dining! Many restaurants along Front Street offer ocean view and oceanfront dining, here are some of our favorite places to eat in Lahaina!
Dining & Shopping
Starting at the south end of Front Street, you can walk past local shops and good eats. Paia fish market opened their Lahaina location a few years ago and specializes in fish burgers and more! Stop and check out Down the Hatch, one of our favorite places to eat fish, this bar and grill was even on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives! Down the Hatch also has live music at night and game nights!
Best burgers in town can be found at Cool Cats Cafe across from the Pioneer Inn and a stop in Captain Jacks Restaurant for salads, fish and philly cheese steaks is a great option! Sunrise cafe is a quaint local breakfast cafe, nestled behind the corner ice cream shop!
At the north end of Front Street, Waikiki Brewing Co. and Tommy Bahamas Bar and Grill are new additions to our Lahaina Town Dining! Further down (maybe a drive more than a walk), behind Safeway shopping center, there is a trio of ocean front dining that are must trys!. Star Noodle, known for it’s asian fusion dishes offers outdoor dining and a contemporary setting! Honu has indoor and oceanfront outdoor dining, seafood dishes, gourmet pizza are their specialties. Mala Ocean Tavern, rated best oceanfront dining in 2019, offers a more elevated dining experience and just recently bought a delicious brunch to the table!
Do you have dietary restrictions and want a dining experience that caters to your needs? Lucky for us, Lahaina is home to a few delicious vegan restaurants! Moku Roots is our top choice, serving amazing vegan dishes made with local ingredients like coconut, kiawe flour, macadamia nuts and tons of fresh fruits and veggies. You won’t even know it’s vegan when you taste it, it’s just good, and grab a dessert on your way out! Choice Health Bar is another great veggie option, their veggie bowls, acai bowls, smoothes, soups and desserts are all made locally and with your health in mind!
Looking for dessert? Banyan Tree gelato and Lamperts Ice Cream (home of the Dole Fruit Whip) are your next stops on front street! Breakwall Shave Ice (located inside Down the Hatch Restaurant) even serves Hawaiian Shaved ice Adult Style (must be 21) and an assortment of other shaved ice desserts, acai bowls, ice coffees and smoothies!
Whale Watching in Lahaina
Whale watching is the top activity in Lahaina, Maui! Because the Maui Nui Basin is the choice spot for our humpback whale visitors, it became a protected sanctuary for whales in the 1990’s. You can whale watch from shore, your hotel or better yet, on a boat! You can find all styles of vessels to choose from! Large sailing vessels like Trilogy Excursions depart from the loading dock, while smaller rafting style boat like ours leave from Slip 17!
Snorkeling in Lahaina
You can snorkel from shore most anywhere in Lahaina! Mala Boat Ramp is our top spot to snorkel from shore in Lahaina, followed closely by Oluwalu Reef! Mala has an artificial reef made from the old boat harbor that sank into the ocean, creating an underwater home for everything from tropical fish, lots of green sea turtles, octopus and even reef sharks! Olowalu reef is one of Hawaii’s oldest and largest reefs, hosting unique pinnacle style reef structure, lots of marine life and the home to many manta rays! Snorkeling by boat is also a great adventure! Most snorkeling tours that depart from Lahaina Harbor will take you to the island of Lanai where the reef is in pristine condition, and we often see the resident spinner or bottlenose dolphins!
Fishing in Lahaina
If you’re wanting a fishing experience, best to pay for a charter where they can get you on the ones that are biting! Finest Kind and Die Hard are our top fishing company choice for Lahaina!
Luas in Lahaina
Luaus are back in action, with tasty local Hawaiian cuisine and traditional dance! Most luaus are located on a beach front location where you get to enjoy ocean views with a sit-down dinner and Hawaiian style entertainment. If you’re looking for Luaus located in Lahaina Town, Old Lahaina Luau is the go to spot! This luau is located right on front street and has an authentic styled venue with ocean front dining!
Whether you’re staying in Lahaina, or will make the short drive from Kaanapali or the day trip from Kihei or Wailea, it’s definitely worth the stop for some fun shopping, ocean activities and ono food!