14 Best Things To Do in Lahaina, Maui
Sarah Etinas is a Hawaii local and full-time travel writer. When she’s not writing, Sarah practices what she preaches by traveling to new destinations, hiking to beautiful waterfalls, and exploring her home. Find out more
Located in West Maui, the charming town of Lahaina is one of the most popular places to visit in Hawaii. With incredible dessert spots, adrenaline-pumping watersports, authentic luaus, and more, there’s no question of why. Once you step foot in town, you may never want to leave!
Here are some of the best things to do in Lahaina, Maui.
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Take a surf lesson
Surfing is Hawaii’s most famous watersport, so why not try it out for yourself? The water in Lahaina is relatively safe and calm, making it a great spot for beginners. Take a group surf lesson with the renowned Royal Hawaiian Surf Academy and see how many waves you can catch.
Head below the waves with a submarine ride
While surfing the waves is one way to enjoy Lahaina’s waters, you won’t want to miss what’s below the surface either. Hitch a ride on the Atlantis Adventures submarine for glimpses of brightly colored coral, friendly fish, and maybe even a turtle or two. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, Hawaii’s state fish.
Go on a snorkeling adventure
After your submarine ride, you’ll be dying to get a closer look at all of Lahaina’s colorful marine life. Luckily, that’s easy enough to do with a snorkeling adventure.
You have a couple of different options when it comes to snorkeling in Lahaina. First, you can stay nearby and take a Turtle Town snorkel tour with Quicksilver Charters. Keep an eye out for colorful parrot fish, gangly octopi, and of course the beloved green sea turtles.
But if you’d like to make your snorkeling trip a little more unique, head to a different Hawaiian Island. PWF Eco Adventures’ snorkeling tour sails guests from Lahaina Harbor to the reef just off the island of Lanai. This tiny isle is a little more remote, which means you’ll likely find more marine life beneath the surface. There’s a good chance that you’ll get to see a few friendly spinner dolphins on your Lanai snorkeling trip.
Hop aboard a sunset cruise
Maui sunsets are spectacular and the only thing better than seeing one on land may be seeing sunset on the water. You can do just that on an amazing sunset cruise with Quicksilver Charters. Between the live music, three-course meal, two free drinks, incredible views, and pastel-sky backdrop, it’s the best way to end any day in Lahaina.
Get a chocolate fix at the Maui Ku’ia Estate
Calling all chocolate lovers! One of the coolest things to do in Lahaina is take a tour of the Maui Ku’ia Estate Cacao Farm. Not only will you get to see the interesting cacao pods and plants, you’ll also get to indulge in nine different kinds of locally made chocolate.
After your tour, feel free to stick around to explore the Maui Ku’ia Estate store and cafe. Dine on fudgy brownies, chocolate milkshakes, lilikoi (passion fruit) chocolate mousse cups, and other chocolatey treats. And don’t forget to grab a few chocolate bars to take home with you too, if they last that long.
Watch the Lahaina banyan tree lighting
The Lahaina banyan tree is the largest banyan tree in the United States. Nestled in Lahaina Banyan Court Park, this 150-year-old tree is the town’s most recognizable landmark.
At about 60 feet tall, the Lahaina banyan tree is an amazing sight at any time of year. And it gets even more awe-inspiring during the first week of December when the tree is dressed up in thousands of twinkling lights in preparation for the holiday season. When all of the lights are finally turned on each year, it’s magical to see.
Learn about Hawaii’s sugar plantation history
For about 200 years, sugar plantations were an important part of Hawaii’s economy and history. In 1835, the Old Sugar Mill of Koloa, Kauai became the islands’ first commercially successful sugar plantation. And it wasn’t until December 2016 that the last of Hawaii’s sugar plantations finally closed its doors.
Over nearly 200 years of production, these sugar plantations made a huge impact in Hawaii – economically, historically, politically, and culturally. Take the time to find out more about this industry at Pioneer Mill Co., Lahaina’s first sugar plantation.
Attend a luau
A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast filled with food, fun, and friendly faces. The first luau was hosted by King Kamehameha II of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1819. Prior to that, men and women in Hawaii would eat their meals separately. But when King Kamehameha II abolished this rule, he hosted the first luau to celebrate.
By far the most popular and authentic luau in Lahaina is the Old Lahaina Luau. With beautiful scenery, traditional entertainment, and delicious food, it has everything you could want from a luau.
For entertainment, hula dancing and ukulele playing are just the start. And that doesn’t even touch on nature’s entertainment — the sunset views are something you definitely won’t want to miss.
Food-wise, there are so many mouth watering dishes at the Old Lahaina Luau. From traditional kalua pig cooked in an imu (underground oven) to sweet kulolo (taro) bars to freshly pounded poi (taro), you’ll get to enjoy the foods that ancient Hawaiians feasted on too.
Listen to live music at Fleetwood’s on Front Street
Fleetwood’s on Front Street is one of the most popular restaurants in Lahaina. Owned by Mick Fleetwood, the drummer of Fleetwood Mac, this local eatery is known for its incredible live music and delicious food.
With Mick Fleetwood as the owner, it should come as no surprise that only the greatest local musicians play at Fleetwood’s on Front Street. So as you savor your stuffed prawns, herb-and-panko-crusted mahi mahi, or filet mignon, your soundtrack will be sorted with some of the most talented artists around.
Tip: Make a stop at Fleetwood’s General Store too. This lesser-known part of Fleetwood’s on Front Street is filled with all sorts of music memorabilia. T-shirts, vinyl albums, and famous photos are just the start.
Savor a slice of pie from Leoda’s
If you’re looking for a sweet treat during your time in Lahaina, look no further than Leoda’s. Leoda’s is locally known as the best pie spot in the islands. Opened in 2011, this eatery has been serving up thousands of pies every single year. Try their chocolate mac nut pie, Olowalu lime pie, guava chiffon pie, or coconut cream pie.
Go whale watching
After spending their summers in Alaska, North American humpback whales escape the harsh Alaskan winter and migrate to Hawaii each year. From around November to May, when the whales are in town, one of the best things to do in Lahaina is take a whale watching cruise with Quicksilver Charters. You’re likely to see more than a few whale spouts, and you may get to see some breaching whales and tails too. If you’re extra lucky, a pod of spinner dolphins might make a surprise appearance.
Hike to the Olowalu Petroglyphs
Just like many ancient civilizations, ancient Hawaiians had their own pictorial language. While ancient Egyptians drew hieroglyphs, ancient Hawaiians drew petroglyphs.
Sadly, there aren’t many petroglyph spots left on Maui, making the Olowalu Petroglyphs in Lahaina pretty special. Also known as Pu’u Kilea, the Olowalu Petroglyphs require visitors to tackle a short 1.1-mile hike. Once you reach the end of the trail, you’ll get to admire about 100 hand-drawn pictures of people, animals, and boats.
Take the Maui Bee Tour
The Maui Bee Tour is one of Lahaina’s hidden gems. On this 90-minute excursion, you’ll get to learn all about the hardworking honeybees, as well as having the opportunity to don a beekeeper suit and take a closer look at these important pollinators.
After watching the bees do their thing, enjoy their hard work with a local honey tasting. Odds are, you won’t be able to resist taking a jar or two of Hawaiian honey home with you.
Pick tasty tropical fruits at the Maui Dragon Fruit Farm
Dragon fruit, also called pitaya, is one of the most unique-looking fruits in the world. The most well-known variety is bright pink on the outside and spotted black-and-white on the inside. And there are actually two other eye-catching varieties. At the Maui Dragon Fruit Farm, you’ll be able to taste some dragon fruit, along with a few other tropical fruits.
You can walk, aquaball, or zipline your way to all of the fresh fruits on the Maui Dragon Fruit Farm. Get a taste of starfruit, lilikoi (passion fruit), soursop, mango, papaya, pineapple, and so much more.
Sarah Etinas is a Hawaii local and full-time travel writer. When she’s not writing, Sarah practices what she preaches by traveling to new destinations, hiking to beautiful waterfalls, and exploring her home. If you’d like to stay up-to-date on her adventures, you can check out her Hawaii travel website.