Lahaina means “merciless sun.” That’s because even when it rains in Kapalua and Ka’anapali, the sun is probably still shining in Lahaina.
Sometime around 1794 King Kamehameha the Great conquered Maui and later named Lahaina the capitol of his kingdom. It remained the capitol of Hawaii until King Kamehameha III moved it to Honolulu in 1840. Lahaina’s history is rich with chief’s, kings, queens, ship captains and whales. For the better part of the 1800’s Lahaina was a whaling port and today it’s still famous as a whaling port, mostly for whale watching. During its early whaling days Lahaina was a wild town. When the first missionaries arrived they were appalled at what they saw and immediately set out converting the heathens to Christendom. Needless to say the whalers and the missionaries were always at odds with each other. Once the whalers even cannonballed the missionaries homes from their ships.
To protect themselves, a fort was buil. Today remains of that fort still stand at the Lahaina harbor. For most of the late 1800’s, until Hawaii became a state in 1959, Lahaina laid dormant. Mostly a company town for the sugar cane plantations during that period. Then in the 1960’s when Amfac started developing Ka’anapali as a destination did Lahaina again become alive.
Old tin-roof buildings were again converted to shops, restaurants and grog shops, much like the whaling days of old. Many of the kings, queens and missionaries who settled Lahaina are buried in a small cemetery located at the Waiola church on Waine’e street in Lahaina.
Lahaina’s famous Banyon tree was planted in 1873 by the sheriff of Maui and is now the largest in the state. One could spend an entire day exploring Lahaina’s colorful past. To get started, I suggest you start at the Baldwin House in Lahaina. They will provide you with a map of other historical sites. Today Lahaina is a bustling seaport. The Lahaina harbor is the center for most ocean activities including whale watching, fishing, snorkeling trips, even the ferry to Lanai. Â Hawaii Hideaways would love to help you book any activity you are interested in! We have an exclusive conceirge service that is accessible 24 hours a day!
Front street runs about a mile, is loaded with restaurants, souvenir shops, art galleries and t-shirt stores. It’s a must stop on your tour of Maui. Hawaii Hideaways offers a varity of lavish, luxury vacation rental homes in Lahaina, Kapalua, Napili, Kaanapali and through out the Hawaiian Islands! One of fabulous homes in Lahaina is our “Sea Star” home. Check out it’s grand beach front view!
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