Lahaina town is surrounded by beauty. There’s not many places in the world where you have lush mountains you feel like you can touch in one direction you look and with a turn of the head beautiful ocean views.
In this Lahaina travel guide we will go over things like what Lahaina is know for, what is there to do in downtown Lahaina, where the locals eat and if Lahaina is safe at night.
Check out the guides below for more inspiration on exploring Maui.
MAUI INSPIRATION GUIDES:
- 7, 10, or 14 Day Maui Itinerary
- Unusual Things to do in Maui
- Best Hikes on Maui
- 10 Budget Friendly Maui Adventures
- The Best Things to do in Kihei
- 20 Awesome Things to do in Kaanapali
- Best Things to do in Haiku
- A Local’s Guide to Paia Town
- 12 Things to do in Maui when it rains
- 10 Ways to Enjoy Maui on the Water
- 28 Things to do in Maui on a Budget
*I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post including Amazon that gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase. All proceeds go to keep Jess traveling, coffee ☕️ and let's be real...probably wine 🍷. I thank you in advance.
Location: Where is Lahaina, Maui?
Lahaina 🔵 is located on West Maui about 45 minutes away from the airport without traffic. I always encourage and recommend renting a car to explore the island. Top activities like driving the road to Hana and Haleakala Summit require your own wheels.
You will fly into Kahului OGG airport 🔴. The drive is as scenic as it gets. You’ll have coastal views most of the way. You’ll see several surf breaks and the people swimming at the beaches as you drive by.
History OF Lahaina
Walking around Lahaina town you can still spot remains of bricks that used to be an old fort, the historic courthouse and even the old Lahaina jail. Yes the ones where the walls are only about 10 feet high because no one could throw their “ball and chain” over it.
I don’t make enough money to rely solely off my blog just yet therefore I work in a restaurant to support my travels and to make a living. I happen to bartend at 2 of the hottest restaurants/bars in town, on the rooftop at Fleetwoods and Down the Hatch. If you are in the area please stop by and say HI! 👋. Of course only when we’re opened again.
Where to eat in Lahaina
Lahaina has a buzzing food scene and provides some of the best views for ocean side dining that Maui has to offer. There are restaurants for every type of budget and craving. Here are a few of my favorites and where the locals eat in Lahaina.
Down the Hatch
- Budget friendly
- The BEST breakfast on Maui
- Fun atmosphere
- Live Music
- Chive TV playing all day
- Must try the Lobster and Crab Stuffed Grilled Cheese
- Takes care of the locals
Fleetwoods on Front Street
- The only rooftop in Lahaina
- Phenomenal views of Lana’i, the West Maui Mountains and the ocean
- Best craft cocktails, high end spirits, and wine selection on the island
- Is owned by the legendary rockstar Mick Fleetwood himself
- Hands down the best live music you can get. So much talent from every artist that plays here.
- Must try the Ultimate Surf and Turf
- Did I mention bad ass bartenders?!
Prison Street Pizza
- Budget friendly
- The perfect crust to cheese to sauce ratio
- Chill vibes
Tiki Tiki Thai
- Friendly staff, they always treat us like family
- I come here for the Avocado Green Curry!
Mala Ocean Tavern
- Dining right on the ocean, you’ll often see turtles
- Best place to brunch. Brunch 7 days a week from 9 am to 2 pm.
- Bloody Mary’s
- Must try the Ahi Bruschetta
- Asian fusion, the noodle soup bowls are out of this world
- Budget friendly
- Fast, efficient and tasty
- Knowledgable staff
Well that’s just to name a few. For a bigger selection and more detailed guide of the best restaurants
There are plenty of shops and art galleries in Lahaina that will keep you busy for an entire afternoon. Whatever it is your looking for, swim suits? Art? Souvenirs? You’ll be able to find it as you cruise up and down Front Street. Here are a few of my favorites.
Where to stay in lahaina
Most visitors stay at resorts in Ka’anapali or Kapalua which is 10-20 minutes north of Lahaina. If you want to keep costs down and be able to walk to town here are a few places I’d recommend to stay in Lahaina.
Aina Nalu is a beautiful oasis tucked away on a back street in Lahaina. The resort itself is a quaint oasis in the middle of town. The pool is big and theres plenty of room and beds to lounge around in. The pool is a must when staying in Lahaina because it gets so hot.
This Resort is walking distance to all the things to do in Lahaina, nightlife, must eat restaurants and activities. A top stay for this Lahaina travel guide.
The Lahaina Inn is located in the heart of Lahaina town. It can be found above a wonderful fine dining restaurant. Lahaina Grill is a staple in Lahaina and worth the splurge.
The hotel is small only having 12 rooms and is tastefully decorated. Walkable to all the activities in Lahaina.
Old Lahaina House
The Old Lahaina House is located a block away from the best beaches in Lahaina and walking distance to things to do in Lahaina at night, restaurants, and a beginners surf break. This is a great option of where to stay in Lahaina if you are on a budget and like to be in the center of the action.
Lahaina Shores Beach Resort
Lahaina Shores is located on the South end of Front Street on the beach. This property offers great views of the West Maui Mountains and the island of Lana’i. This is a great place to stay in Lahaina if you want quiet, beachfront and walkable to everything to do and see in Lahaina.
Staying here also gives you access to the swimming pool and hot tub. A great escape in the middle of Lahaina’s heat.
The Plantation Inn
The Plantation Inn is a great choice for accommodation when visiting Maui Hawaii. With its convenient location in the center of Lahaina, the hotel is just one block away from all the things to do in Lahaina Front Street. The free parking and complimentary breakfast seals the deal.
Adults only, so nice stay for couples on their honeymoon.
What to see in Lahaina
- The infamous banyan tree
- The cutest public library you’ll ever see
- Mala Pier
- Baby Beach
- The boardwalk
- The harbor
- Old Lahaina Jail
- 505 Beach
Lahaina travel guide tips
- Lahaina meaning…Lahaina in Hawaiian is called Lele which translates to ‘cruel merciless sun’. It is very, very hot with little cloud coverage most of the year especially in the summer months. Try to take shade under the banyan tree and in one of the many bars that litter Front Street.
- People walk to work so move over for those of us who aren’t shopping 🙂
Is Lahaina safe at night? Having lived in Lahaina for 10 years, I have never felt unsafe in this town. There are a number of homeless people that live in town, they are harmless but I know it can sometimes make people feel uneasy, especially at night and as a solo female traveler.
Pick up your trash! I can’t believe this is still a thing but please don’t litter. We are an island and the rubbish being thrown on the ground make its way to the ocean. Malama Aina – it means take care of the land.
- Parking can be difficult at times.
Other Things to do in West Maui
- Explore the Olivine Pools, located a couple miles North of the Ohai Trail
- Experience the nearby Nakalele blowhole
- West Maui is one of the most popular parts of the island, check out these amazing stops while exploring West Maui.
- Ma’alaea Harbor has lots of boat tours running daily like snorkel tours and whale watches. – Read 10 Maui Activities to Enjoy on the Water
- You’ll be hungry after a day of exploring. Find out what the best restaurants in Lahaina and the top restaurants in Kaanapali are.
- Enjoy these 20 awesome things to do on Front Street.
- Check out the top 20 things to do in Kaanapali.
- Visit some of Maui’s Best Beaches
- Hike the Lahaina Pali Trail