A Day In Lovely Lahaina

Suggestions for steering your clients around Maui’s famed seaside town

By: By Marty Wentzel

Web Exclusive

Click here to find out which Hawaii hotels ranked high on Expedia’s 2010 Insiders' Select List.

The Details

Maui Visitors Bureau

The historic hamlet of Lahaina has so many tales to tell that most every type of visitor wants to go there. History buffs have a heyday in this former Hawaiian capital, where the Kamehameha dynasty prevailed some two centuries ago; and where bawdy 19th-century sailors and prim Christian missionaries coexisted less than peacefully. Shoppers flock to the dozens of fine-art galleries and souvenir boutiques along its picturesque seaside streets, while water lovers have their pick of pleasure cruises.

Lahaina is a town of extremes, from its 150-year-old banyan tree to one of the biggest Buddhas this side of Asia. Come evening, the town turns into a spirited gathering place with live entertainment and some of the island’s best-loved restaurants. Here are just a few ways your clients can make the most of this Maui must-see.

// (C) 2010 Trilogy Excursions

// (C) 2010 Trilogy Excursions

1. Book a Boat Ride from Lahaina Harbor
For an unparalleled perspective on the land and sea, send your clients on a morning cruise. A number of tours take passengers on sailing and snorkeling trips of varying lengths, and some come with a picnic lunch. Trilogy Excursions has a particularly good reputation for outings at  once entertaining and educational, including trips across the channel to the island of Lanai. www.sailtrilogy.com

2. Relive History at the Baldwin House

// (C) 2010 John Motelewski, John Pierre’s Studio

// (C) 2010 John Motelewski, John Pierre’s Studio

Inside this 1835 coral-and-stone home, originally built for Rev. Dwight Baldwin, clients get a taste of missionary life in old Lahaina. As a practicing physician, Baldwin helped save the people of Maui, Molokai and Lanai from the scourge of smallpox during the epidemic of 1853. From original household furnishings, photographs and artifacts to historic displays, the home presents a fascinating snapshot of days gone by. www.lahainarestoration.org

// (C) 2010 Lahaina Galleries

//// (C) 2010 Lahaina Galleries

3. Get Artsy at Lahaina Galleries
As the self-proclaimed Art Capital of the Pacific, Lahaina is jam-packed with galleries of all sizes and qualities. One, Lahaina Galleries, gets particularly good reviews thanks to its well-informed staffers and breadth of offerings. Works by local talents share the space with internationally-acclaimed names like Norman Rockwell and Guy Buffet, while artistic themes run the gamut. Every Friday evening, the shop participates in the town-wide Art Night with special  shows, artists-in-action and refreshments. www.lahainagalleries.com

4. Chill Out at Kimo’s

// (C) 2010 Kimo’s

// (C) 2010 Kimo’s

Whether travelers stop by for a full meal of fish tacos or a plate of pupus such as fresh sashimi, the oldest restaurant on Front Street rewards them with a quintessential Lahaina dining experience. Steer your clients toward a table on the open-air lanai overlooking views of Molokai and Lanai. No one should ask for the bill until they have ordered its famous hula pie: macadamia nut ice cream on a chocolate cookie crust topped with chocolate fudge sauce, whipped cream and macadamia nuts. www.kimosmaui.com

// (C) 2010 Ulalena at Maui Theatre

// (C) 2010 Ulalena at Maui Theatre

5. Cheer for Ulalena
Lahaina offers one of the island’s livelier nightlife scenes, and this theater piece ranks high on the list of options. The one-and-one-half-hour production leads audiences on a spellbinding journey through Maui’s history and myths while integrating authentic Hawaiian chants and dances, original music, acrobatic choreography and special effects. Unlike the shows presented at luaus, Ulalena calls on unusual techniques like shadow puppetry and Cirque-style aerials. It’s sure to satisfy clients at the end of a great Lahaina day. www.ulalena.com

Adventure Travel JDS Africa Middle East JDS Destinations