*IMPORTANT UPDATE: While Lahaina and much of West Maui was devastated by the August 8, 2023 wildfires (you can donate to relief efforts on the Help Maui Rise GoFundMe, if you’re interested), the rest of Maui is open to visitors. Your tourism dollars can help Maui rebuild, especially if you make an effort to purchase from local businesses.
Are you looking for the best things to do in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii? This guide from a Hawaii local has all of the best recommendations!
Thousands of visitors explore the lovely town of Lahaina, Maui every year. And with luaus, ferries, petroglyphs, and farms, there’s so much to do! You can easily spend your entire island getaway just in Lahaina (although I would still recommend taking the time to explore the rest of Maui too).
Given the August 2023 fires, I’ve moved the attractions that are still open to the top of the list. The remainder of the locations I’ve marked as some variation of “No Longer Open” or “No Longer Accessible,” but I’ve chosen to keep them at the bottom of the list for now, in the hopes that we’ll see some version of them in the future as Lahaina continues to rebuild.
It is important to note that this list of the best things to do in Lahaina strictly focuses on Lahaina. There are many other wonderful things to do in nearby towns like Kaanapali and Kapalua.
Pop by Pioneer Mill Co. and Learn About Lahaina’s Sugar Cane Plantation History
Sugar cane plantations were a huge part of life in Hawaii for decades. Many locals recall times when they could drive through acres and acres of sugar cane fields. And when there was a sweet burning smell and smoke in the distance, they knew not to worry, as it was just the processing of the sugar cane. Take the time to learn about this interesting history during a quick stop at Pioneer Mill Co.
Take a Tour at the Maui Dragon Fruit Farm
Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is one of the coolest looking fruits out there. There are actually three different types of dragon fruit in the world (I’m partial to yellow dragon fruit), and you can try some of them at the Maui Dragon Fruit Farm! (Plus, this Hawaii farm also happens to be one of the coolest pink-colored places in the islands.)
The Maui Dragon Fruit Farm offers a few different tours, including a walking tour, an aquaball tour, and a ziplining tour. And while the mode of transportation on each tour is very different, all of the tours have a dedicated tropical fruit tasting time.
In addition to trying locally grown dragon fruit, you’ll also get to taste lilikoi (passion fruit), starfruit, soursop, apple bananas (which are so much better than regular bananas), and more.
Learn the Chocolate Making Process at the Maui Kuia Estate Cacao Farm
Maui Kuia Estate Cacao Farm is just a fun place to visit. During a tour of the property, you’ll get to learn how cacao plants and pods get turned into the delicious chocolate that we all enjoy. Plus, you’ll get to try nine different types of Maui Kuia Estate Cacao Farm’s award-winning chocolate!
Book Now: Kuia Estate Cacao Farm Tour
*Pro Tip: You can also find Maui Kuia Estate Chocolate at their shop in the heart of Lahaina.
Pop by Baby Beach
Baby Beach’s name is appropriate for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a small beach. And second, this beach is great for families with small children. The shallow reef area blocks the larger waves, making the water a little calmer than it is at many of the nearby beaches.
Check Out the Olowalu Petroglyphs
Like many ancient civilizations, ancient Hawaiians had their own pictorial language. While ancient Egyptians had hieroglyphs, ancient Hawaiians had petroglyphs.
There are a few different places to see ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs in Hawaii, including the Olowalu Petroglyphs in Lahaina (also known as Pu‘u Kilea). After hiking a short trail, you’ll reach an area that’s about 50 feet below the amazing petroglyphs.
*Note: There used to be a viewing platform that took visitors closer, but there were quite a few vandalism incidents, so it was taken down. Be sure to be respectful when visiting the Olowalu petroglyphs.
Take a Surf Lesson
The West side of Maui, including Lahaina, is quite good for beginner surfers. As a whole, the beaches are safe, and the waves are calm. So why not take a surf lesson during your Lahaina getaway?
Pop by the Maui Butterfly Farm
Butterflies are some of the coolest creatures around, and you can get up close and personal with them at the Maui Butterfly Farm. This is actually the only place in the state that offers live butterfly farm tours, so it’s definitely a treat. During your tour, you can learn about the life cycle of a butterfly, snap a couple hundred photos, and discover how to help Hawaii’s butterfly conservation efforts.
Book Now: Hawaii Butterfly Farm Tour Tickets
Take a Tour to Hunt for Wild Boar
If you’re looking for one of the more unusual things to do in Lahaina, this is definitely it. Lopaka’s Aloha Adventures passes down the traditional Hawaiian way of life by showing visitors how to hunt for wild boar. And this tradition is weaved into every element of the tour. For example, instead of a gun, participants only use a knife or a spear. Are you ready for this crazy adventure?
Make sure you have everything you need (including a Hawaii State hunting license) before you head out!
Try Roselani Ice Cream
Roselani Ice Cream was started in Wailuku, Maui (just outside of Lahaina) way back in 1932. And for nearly a century, their fantastic flavors have drawn customers back again and again. Try their banana mac crunch, Kona mud pie, or ube flavors.
Today, you can find Roselani Ice Cream at a few different grocery stores in Lahaina, including Foodland, Times, and Safeway. Be sure to try some while you’re in town!
Watch a Sunset from 505 Beach
Lahaina is the perfect place to watch the sunset on Maui. Since it’s on the West side of the island, you’ll get an unobstructed view of the sun dipping below the horizon.
There really is no bad place to watch the sunset in Lahaina, and the 505 Beach is a great choice. All you have to do is take a seat in the sand and watch nature at its finest.
Visit the Ryan Staub Gallery of Glass
One of the coolest things to do in Lahaina is visit the Ryan Staub Gallery of Glass. Ryan Staub is a Maui-based glass artist who creates beautiful colorful creations. With everything from vases to sea creature sculptures, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even take a Ryan Staub glass piece home with you!
*Pro Tip: While Ryan Staub’s Gallery is in Lahaina, his studio is in Kahului. If you like, you can even take a cool glass blowing class with him in his studio!
Say Hello to the Animals at the Maui Animal Farm
Book yourself a petting zoo tour at the Maui Animal Farm! At this adorable local business, you’ll get to hang out with bunnies, baby goats, tortoises, pigs, sheep, and more!
*Pro Tip: The Lahaina Animal Farm & Petting Zoo is right around the corner, so you can visit both of these lovely animal farms in one go!
Pop by Maui Bee Tour
One of the newest things to do in Lahaina is take the Maui Bee Tour. Opened in early 2022, the Maui Bee Tour teaches you everything you’d like to know about bees on a 90-minute excursion. And at the end, you’ll get to sample some delicious Hawaiian honey!
So what are you waiting for? Make your reservation, suit up in your beer keeper’s costume, and enjoy the tour!
Hike the Hidden Honokohau Ditch Trail – STATUS UNKNOWN
One of my favorite things about Hawaii is all of the wonderful hikes. The thing is, Lahaina isn’t really bursting with hikes. You either have to go a little bit of outside of Lahaina – to Kapalua, for example, where you’ll find the Kapalua Coastal Trail – or you can hike the hidden Honokohau Ditch Trail.
The Honohokau Ditch Trail was originally built in 1902 as part of a sugar plantation. This path was meant to follow the plantation’s irrigation ditch – which explains the name. Today, this path boasts beautiful ocean views and wanders through stunning residential neighborhoods.
I’m not going to lie. It’s pretty difficult to find the Honokohau Ditch Trail if you don’t already know where it is. “Honokohau Ditch Trail” isn’t on Google Maps, and if you type in “Honokohau Ditch,” you’ll end up in the wrong place.
Instead, your best bet is to follow Kai Hele Ku Street (behind Launiupoko Beach Park) until you see a paved path about 0.8 miles in. There is also a small parking lot on the side of the street to help you mark your place.
Hop Aboard a Ferry to Lanai – NOW FROM MAALEA, INSTEAD OF LAHAINA
Lahaina is home to the Lahaina Loading Dock, which is used for a few different purposes. But my favorite is the ferry to Lanai.
Lanai is a small Hawaiian island just nine miles from Maui. There are so many things to do on Lanai – from visiting the Garden of the Gods to hiking the Munro Trail to checking out the shipwreck at Shipwreck Beach.
That said, the ferry ride across from Maui to Lanai is an adventure in and of itself. As you cross the Auau Channel, you may get lucky enough to see a few pods of spinner dolphins!
Experience the Lighting of the Lahaina Banyan Tree – NO LONGER TAKING PLACE
The Lahaina Banyan Tree was badly burned in the August 2023 wildfires, so the banyan tree lighting will not be happening, at least not in 2023. That said, the Lahaina Banyan Tree has started to sprout new leaves, so it looks like there’s hope that it’ll survive!
The Lahaina banyan tree is one of the largest banyan trees in the entire country. Located in Lahaina Banyan Court Park, this 150-year-old tree is now the most iconic landmark in town. Simply put, visiting the Lahaina banyan tree is one of the best things to do on Maui.
While this tree is cool to see at any time of year, things get even better during the first weekend of December. That’s when the Lahaina banyan tree is lit up with thousands of colored lights for the holiday season!
Spend an Evening at the Old Lahaina Luau – TEMPORARILY CLOSED
Although the Old Lahaina Luau grounds were right on Front Street, the heart of the Lahaina wildfire, the land was miraculously spared. That said, many Old Lahaina Luau employees lost their homes, so the company made the decision to temporarily stop all luaus, at least until the end of January 2024.
One of the most popular things to do in Lahaina is visit the Old Lahaina Luau. As a matter of fact, this is one of the best things to do in Lahaina at night – if not the best thing to do.
Described as the best luau on Maui, the Old Lahaina Luau serves up authentic Hawaiian food and puts on a show filled with Hawaiian hula dancers.
Try Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice – TEMPORARILY CLOSED
Although Ululani’s Lahaina location is temporarily closed due to damage from the wildfires, their other Maui locations are open.
One of the top things to do on Front Street is pop by Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice. It’s so good that it deserves its own section in this list of things to do in Lahaina.
I’ve written about Ululani’s in at least a dozen articles at this point, because it’s just so good! With its fantastic ice texture and natural flavors, it has serves up the best shave ice in the islands.
Grab a Slice of Pie from Leoda’s – TEMPORARILY CLOSED
Leoda’s is a local favorite for a slice of pie. With sweet flavors like olowalu lime, macadamia nut chocolate, and apple crumb, there are so many options to choose from. There’s even a savory pot pie if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth.
And guess what? The tasty pies from Leoda’s are just the beginning of all of the delicious desserts you can find in Hawaii!
Go Whale Watching – TEMPORARILY CLOSED
Whale watching is not only one of the best things to do in Lahaina, it’s also one of the best things to do in Hawaii as a whole.
Whales migrate down to Hawaii in the winter, because the rest of the northern hemisphere is too cold for their liking. That means there are tons of North American humpback whales hanging out in our oceans, making it the perfect time to see them.
To really get to see the whales in action, you’ll want to take a whale watching tour, because watching from the shore just isn’t the same experience.
*Note: The easiest way to know where the whales are is to look for their spouts!
Book Here: Maui Whale Watching Tour
Take a Sunset Cruise – TEMPORARILY CLOSED
The only thing better than seeing a Maui sunset on land may be seeing a Maui sunset on the water, and you can do just that on a Maui sunset cruise! This is the perfect way to end any day in Lahaina.
Book Now: Maui Sunset Cruise with Sail Maui
Dive Beneath the Surface on a Submarine Tour – TEMPORARILY CLOSED
Want to get up close and personal with Hawaii’s amazing sea creatures without getting wet? A ride in a submarine is a fantastic option. Maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of Hawaii’s state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua’a. The only company that does submarine tours on Maui is Atlantis Adventures, so check them out if you’re interested!
Book Here: Maui Atlantis Submarine Tour
Visit the Baldwin Home Museum – NO LONGER OPEN
Calling all history lovers! The Baldwin Home Museum has quite a few connections to the missionaries that came to Hawaii in the 1800s, including Reverend Ephraim Spaulding and Reverend Dwight Baldwin. But the real reason that the Baldwin Home Museum made it onto this list is because it’s the oldest house on Maui that’s still standing!
Learn a Bit of Hawaiian History at Hale Pa‘i – NO LONGER OPEN
Hale Pa‘i is a hidden gem. While many of the previously mentioned things to do in Lahaina are quite well-known, very few people know about Hale Pa‘i.
Hale Pa‘i was an old printing press that opened way back in 1834. It’s particularly significant, because it was the first place to publish a Hawaiian language newspaper! Today, you can visit Hale Pa‘i and see some of the old printing equipment and publications.
Listen to Live Music at Fleetwood’s on Front Street – NO LONGER OPEN
Fleetwood’s on Front Street is a restaurant owned by Mick Fleetwood, the famous drummer of Fleetwood Mac. For that reason alone, it’s one of the most popular restaurants in Lahaina.
But one of the main draws of Fleetwood’s on Front Street is the live music. After all, with Mick Fleetwood as the owner, only the best local musicians can perform at this venue.
As you listen to this fantastic live music, you can also dine on some delicious food. Try the herb and panko crusted mahi mahi, the Lahaina burger, or the filet mignon.
*Pro Tip: The prices at Fleetwood’s on Front Street can be a little pricey, even for Hawaii. To make things more affordable, consider stopping by during happy hour, which takes place every day from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Check Out Fleetwood’s General Store – NO LONGER OPEN
Part of Fleetwood’s on Front Street is Fleetwood’s General Store. The entire store is filled with music-related items, especially ones related to Mick Fleetwood. While there, you can find everything from signed vinyl albums to iconic photos to t-shirts.
Simply put, Fleetwood’s General Store is every music lover’s dream!
Stroll Down Front Street – NO LONGER OPEN
Front Street is the main road of downtown Hawaii. This oceanfront street is packed with cool stores, tasty restaurants, and a few other fun surprises. The Lahaina banyan tree and Fleetwood’s on Front Street are two of the most popular spots on Front Street, but that’s certainly not all.
For beachwear, check out Honolua Surf Co. If you’re looking for a souvenir, pop into Vintage European Posters or one of the many art galleries. And then there’s the delicious Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice, which you certainly don’t want to miss out on.
*Note: It is important to note that there are some aggressive sellers and scammers on Front Street. Many times, they’ll change their prices without the customer noticing. Be aware of these aggressive sales tactics and know that you can always just walk away.
Are there any other activities you think should’ve made it onto this list of the best things to do in Lahaina, Maui? Let me know in the comments below!
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