With its art galleries, T-shirt shops, historic sites and range of restaurants and bars, Lahaina, Maui has been a popular visitor destination for decades.
After one visit, travelers might think they have done Lahaina justice, but these days there’s good reason to return. While the one-time Hawaii capital and 19th-century whaling hub exudes an old-time vibe, plenty of news is coming out of this sunny seaside getaway.
A recent issue of Scuba Diving magazine ranked the sunken whaling ship Carthaginian — once a floating museum and now an artificial reef — as the tenth best wreck dive in the U.S. During a tour with Atlantis Submarines, clients stay dry while getting up-close views of the underwater site teeming with colorful marine life. No two trips are alike on the high-tech 48-passenger sub, which departs several times daily from Lahaina Harbor.
Fleetwood’s on Front Street
Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood opened this 10,000-square-foot eatery on Lahaina's main drag in August 2012. The family-friendly menu specializes in soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas for lunch and regional seafood and meat dishes for dinner. Rooftop seating on the covered deck provides a stellar spot for sunset- and people-watching. Come evening, the restaurant turns into a casual nightclub with live bands and dancing.
Who says Maui shopping has to be expensive? Deals await at the Outlets of Maui, Lahaina, which debuted in December 2013 as the island’s first outlet center. Among its 35 name-brand retailers are Adidas, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein and Guess. Hungry shoppers can also check out restaurants like Cold Stone Creamery, Hard Rock Cafe, Pi Artisan Pizzeria and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
With Segway Maui, clients roll around Lahaina on easy-to-operate personal transporters. Since opening in 2012, the company has treated clients to intimate two-wheeled tours to historic sites like the Jodo Mission, Seaman’s Hospital, Lahaina Courthouse and 200-foot-wide banyan tree. Guides share lively stories about Lahaina past and present and snap souvenir photos of the freewheeling experience.
The second Friday of each month brings the Lahaina Friday Town Party, a 5-8 p.m. street celebration of culture and entertainment. Merchants tout special promotions and galleries stay open late with meet-the-artist programs and free refreshments. Food booths sell tastes of the islands and restaurants offer discounts. Face painting, live music and themed activities make this a great excuse to revisit Lahaina, Maui.