Interested in Lahaina?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Lahaina each week.
You may also be interested in these deals within ten kilometres of Lahaina:
Lahaina is one of the most fascinating historic towns in Hawai' i. Once the Hawaiians were settled in Lahaina they established Moku'ula, the sacred island within a fishpond, which was a royal residence for Maui chiefs, the Pi'ilani family, as far back as the 16th century. After the decisive battle of 'Iao Valley in 1790 which resulted in unifying the Hawaiian Islands, Kamehameha the Great made a political move to unite himself with the women of Maui's royal line. With this marriage of two powerful royal lines, Lahaina was established as the first capital of the Kingdom of Hawai' i.
1819 was a pivotal year for Lahaina and the Hawaiian kingdom. Kamehameha the Great died and was succeeded by his son, Liholiho (King Kamehameha II). The first whaling ships, as well as the first French warship, visited Lahaina. Soon the old Hawaiian ways were to change. By 1823, Christian missionaries arrived in Lahaina, and Reverend Richards established its first mission. Queen Keopuolani (Kamehameha I's sacred first wife) became an early convert. Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III), succeeded to the throne as a child, after the death of his older brother in 1825. He was left under the care of Regent Ka'ahumanu (Kamehameha’s second, favored wife). During this time, Christian customs battled with Hawaiian traditions.
In 1831, Lahainaluna Mission School opened, the first secondary school West of the Rockies, and the first printing press was started there. The first Constitution was adopted at Lahaina under Kamehameha III with a legislative session held in 1840. By 1845, the Royal Court left Lahaina and the capital was moved to Honolulu. But in the mid-1800s, the area was a favored port for Yankee whaling fleets since Lahaina had a calm harbor and plenty of freshwater for reprovisioning. The roadstead harbored as many as 400 ships and more than 1500 sailors at a time. In the second half of the 19th century, the remains of Hale Piula, the coral palace of King Kamehameha III, were used to construct the Lahaina Court & Custom House to take care of the visiting ships.
One of the first sugar mills, the Pioneer Mill, was built and harvested its first crop of sugar cane in the 1860s. In 1873, Sheriff Smith planted Lahaina's now-famous Banyan Tree. And in 1877, the first telephone and telegraph lines in all of the Hawaiian Islands were installed on Maui.
The 20th century established the plantation era in Hawai' i. In 1901, Pioneer Hotel opened and remained Lahaina's only hotel until the early 1960s. Pineapple plantations came to West Maui. The Mala pier was built for commercial shipping of plantation products, and the seawall along Front Street was completed.
In the 1940s and 50s, Front Street’s family-owned fish markets, stores and restaurants were thriving, supplying plantation workers and visitors alike. When Hawai' i became the 50th State, Hollywood began a fascination with Lahaina. By the 1960s, several movies and TV shows were filmed in town. In the 1970s and 80s, Lahaina was fast-becoming a vacation getaway for the jet set. Celebrity musicians and actors were frequently seen in town. Mom-and-Pop stores evolved into restaurants and boutiques to accommodate the growing number of visitors in West Maui.
Today, Lahaina is a National Historical Landmark and hosts two of the three Historic Districts in Maui County. There are over 62 historic sites that can be seen along Front Street and its surroundings, most of which have interpretive signs. A walking map and brochure of Lahaina's cultural and historical sites is available through the Lahaina Restoration Foundation and Lahaina Visitor Center.