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Lahaina used to be the royal court of Maui's chiefs and the area around the town was western Maui's most important source of fruits. After Kamehameha I conquered Maui, he established Hawaii's capital at Lahaina. In the 1840's, whaling in the region reached its peak and Lahaina had become an important harbor, where the sailors spend their spare time in dance halls, bars and brothels.

Nowadays the streets are filled with tourists, while the old wooden buildings that once housed saloons and provision stores, have been converted into souvenir shops, boutiques and galleries. Lahaina is a bustling place with a pretty scenery. You can often experience beautiful sunsets over Lanai.

There are numerous historic buildings in Lahaina, many of which date from the 19th century. The Old Courthouse was originally built in 1859. Nowadays it is home to a gallery where works from Lahaina artists are exhibited. The Baldwin House is the oldest building in Lahaina. It was built in 1834. Lahaina's Chinese community constructed the Wo Hing Temple, on Front Street in 1912. It is now a museum, where you can see countless Chinese-Hawaiian artifacts. Next door is a theatre, where you can see films taken in Hawaii by Thomas Edison at the end of the 19th century. If you are interested in what prison life was like around that time, you should visit the Hale Paahao Prison. It was built by convicts in 1852 and it houses a museum that describes life in a 18th century prison. At Hale Pai you can see Hawaii's oldest printing press. It was built to produce copies of the Bible. Early books are on display and you can print your own page on a replica press.

There is a wide range of accommodation in Lahaina, as well as many bars and restaurants. Lahaina is on Maui's western coast, some 135 km southeast of Honolulu.


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