Lahaina is one of Hawaii’s oldest and most historic cities. It was so favored by Hawaii’s royalty for its climate and location that Kamehameha I who conquered Maui in 1794 named Lahaina the capital of his new kingdom. Lahaina remained the capital of Hawaii until Kamehameha III moved the seat of government to Honolulu in 1840.
During the 1800’s, Lahaina was a popular Pacific port-of-call for whalers and merchants from New England. By the 1840s, hundreds of ships anchored at Lahaina making it the whaling capital of the Pacific Ocean. Today the old Nantucket style buildings on Front Street, which parallels the ocean, have been converted into quaint shops, art galleries, fine restaurants, and nightclubs.
The rise of the tourist industry in Maui brought about the revitalization of Lahaina with fabulous Maui accommodations. Lahaina has numerous historical sites and artifacts from its royal Hawaiian past, its whaling and missionary era, and its days as a multi-ethnic plantation town. Lahaina is designated as an official historical district boasting over 30 historical landmarks. The Lahaina Restoration Foundation has worked diligently to preserve Lahaina’s colorful past and its historic buildings, such as the Baldwin House, a missionary’s home built in the 1830s. In addition, Lahaina offers visitors traditional Hawaiian entertainment, unique theatrical productions, nightclubs, award winning restaurants, famous art galleries, and boutique shops. The Lahaina Town Action Committee produces ten major events annually in addition to ongoing promotions and festivals, including what’s billed as the Mardi Gras of the Pacific … Halloween in Lahaina.
The Lahaina Harbor remains the focal point in Lahaina, offering dinner cruises, game fishing, snorkeling, sailing, para-sailing, whale watching and more.