Lahaina, Maui

The Perfect Day in Lahaina

One lazy afternoon on Maui, my mom and I decided to take a trip, just the two of us, to Lahaina, one of the island’s most adorable historic towns.

For as long as I can remember we’ve been making the drive to Lahaina from our base in Kihei; this West Maui town may be small in size, but it delivers plenty of entertainment and attracts millions of visitors every year.  We always hated saying goodbye at the end of the day.

Lahaina’s historic thoroughfare, Front Street, is all kinds of adorable; shops are painted a myriad of bright, playful colors and the whole place oozes that laid-back Hawaiian vibe.  Everyone wears a smile in Lahaina, no matter the occasion.  It’s contagious, really.Lahaina, Maui

My memories from previous visits include posing for pictures while holding brilliantly colored macaws, dining at oceanfront restaurants perched on stilts above crashing waves, and digging into rainbow mountains of Hawaiian shave ice while window shopping on Front Street.Lahaina, Maui

On my return more than a decade older, I couldn’t think of many things I’d rather do; with a few minor modifications, we spent our day in Lahaina in much the same way as we had all those years ago.  Among the shops we wandered into were apparel and surf shops, touristy stores selling the stereotypical Hawaiian print shirts, art galleries, and jewelry stores.

It’s here that I found my GoPro tripod and the sweater that I later wore to the summit of Haleakala crater.  I also practiced a lot of restraint that day; many a swimsuit tugged at my heartstrings, as did the selection of adorable Hawaiian trucker hats that I knew I’d never wear after leaving the island.  Knowing that I already had a suitcase that was full to near bursting (and a wallet that was anything but) really helped keep me in check.Lahaina, Maui

We reached the end of Front Street in what felt like no time flat, so we made a u-turn to head back toward the car and investigate a few of the shops we’d missed on the first pass.  By that point I was in dire need of a late afternoon pick-me-up, so I stopped in at the gelato shop that had caught my eye earlier, Ono Gelato.  There are several gelato shops in town, but this one was by far the cutest!Lahaina, Maui

Ono means “delicious” in Hawaiian, and they couldn’t have picked a more appropriate name.  I ordered two scoops of gelato and a coffee to wash it down.  This little combo set me back a pretty penny, but at least they made up for it with beautiful views from their oceanfront deck.  Their Sandy Beach flavor–peanut butter with graham cracker crumble and coconut candy–was my hands-down favorite, and paired with rich chocolate gelato, I could have died happy right then and there.Lahaina, Maui

If I had died, however, I never would have had a chance to appreciate the incredible towering banyan tree located at the south end of town, in a park appropriately named Lahaina Banyan Court.Lahaina, Maui This tree is one of the largest banyan trees in the United States!  It spans an entire city block and stands more than 60 feet tall.  Its labyrinth of branches was spellbinding; I could have gazed into its wise, spindly soul for hours.  Not only does this magnificent Lahaina landmark provide a relaxing place to escape the Hawaiian sun, but it also serves as an event space for art exhibitions and local gatherings.Lahaina, Maui  It was a beautiful sight to behold as well as our last before bidding our farewell to Lahaina that day.  I already look forward to the day I can return.  It’s not hard to see why people come to Hawaii and decide to stay; friendly people, magnificent scenery, and a sun that never quits…

What’s not to love?

Have you been to Maui?  What’s your favorite town?

Read Next: Summiting Haleakala Crater for Sunrise

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  • Reply joseph sexton March 10, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    thanks for the info i will save and read, i love hawaii

  • Reply Johanne Palermo June 3, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Thanks for the info. My daughter and I will be in Maui in September. First time for me. I needed some tips on where to go and what to see. Your info was very helpful.

    • Reply Leah Davis June 3, 2016 at 11:33 am

      Hey Johanne, that’s wonderful to hear! I hope you enjoy Maui, it’s one of my favorite places in the world!

  • Reply Donna Williams July 31, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    We just returned from Hawaii a few weeks ago, having spent 6 nights on Maui. We were very close to Lahaina and spent time there on several days. Your picture of Ono Gelato brought back delicious memories! For more great memories, I’d recommend Aloha Mixed Plate next to the Old Lahaina Luau. This is a great location to try a typical Hawaiian mixed plate with delicious entrees to choose from. It offers outdoor oceanfront dining that’s slightly more upscale than the local diners. Some of the best and most reasonably priced food that we enjoyed on our trip. I would also recommend seeing the theatrical production of ‘Ulalena at the Maui theatre. It was a great show for all agea with creative costuming and thrilling acrobatics. If you are looking for an Ono meal back in Kahului, I’d recommend going by the harbor area and looking for the Geste Shrimp Truck on the side of the main highway (watch for truck and line of people). This was hands down the best meal that we ate even compared to the resort restaurants we tried on three different islands. I’m thinking the best shrimp I’ve had in my life! To Hawaiians, it broka da mouth! A dozen King Kong sized shrimp seasoned deliciously with Hawaiian scampi, lemon pepper or spicy pineapple. served with their own special crab mac salad and the everpresent scoop of rice. I’m still dreaming of those shrimp!

    • Reply Leah Davis August 1, 2016 at 1:51 am

      Thanks for sharing so many great tips, Donna! Hawaii is such a special place, with SO much amazing food! 🙂

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