Hawaii History: Lahaina, Maui

The town of Lahaina has long been the hub of activity on Maui, where visitors have gathered, residents made their homes, and ships from around the world have docked. Dating all the way back to the 1700s, Lahaina is where the action is, and many of the island’s best activities originate right here in the unofficial capital of the island. From Front Street to the historic Maui Theatre, Lahaina is the place to be, and visiting the town is ripe with Hawaiian history lessons.

Lahaina has changed considerably throughout the years, and in some ways, it has stayed exactly the same. Way back in the 1700s, the town was a central figure in the unification of the Hawaiian Islands. When King Kamehameha the Great made his way to Maui, his fleet of ships docked in Lahaina’s harbor, and following the unification of the islands, Lahiana was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820-1845, when the capital was then moved to Honolulu.

During the years when the town was the capital, and even after, Lahaina was the center of the whaling industry in the Pacific, serving as a lace for ships from around the world to dock. Sailors found the town as a great place to unwind, and frequented the establishments all over, instantly making Maui a place to be, just as it is today. Front Street has always been the place to be, and even today, there are so many great restaurants, bars, and shops to check out. The street overlooks the harbor, and provides amazing views of the ocean while enjoying a day in the town.

Many of Maui’s top activities either originate in Lahaina, or take place entirely here. Snorkeling tours and Sunset Dinner Cruises depart from the famed Lahaina Harbor, heading out to sea for a day or evening of fun. Quite a few of the top snorkel destinations are found not too far from town, and a sunset cruise along the coast gives a great view of the island and the quaint town.

Lahaina is also home to the historic Maui Theatre, one of the top venues in all of Hawaii, and one that has welcomed some of the most famous artists in the world to the island. The theatre is located right in the middle of town, and is the home to top-rated night shows, taking place 4 days a week in the 680 seat theatre. “Ulalena” and “Burnin Love” are two of the most popular evening shows and make for a great night out in Lahaina.

Lahaina is rich in history, and the more you learn and discover about the town, the more you will love it, and the island. The town itself features so many things to do and see, and pretty much anywhere you go features an historic site or story that is significant to the history of Hawaii. You will love exploring Lahaina, and are sure to enjoy your time spent here.

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