Exploring Lahaina on the Island of Maui, Hawaii

Coming from a guy who lives in a tourist town, I know one when I see one. And Lahaina is definitely a tourist town. But I will say, tourist towns aren’t all bad, despite the connotations that they get for high priced restaurants and cliche T-shirt shops. After spending over a week on the island of Maui, we wished we could’ve spent more time in Lahaina. So much so, on our last day of the trip, we drove from Kahului all the way over to Lahaina, just to go snorkeling one last time before we got onto our red-eye flight. Here are all the things we loved about staying in Lahaina.

From where we were staying was only a block or two away from the town center where all of the restaurants and shops are located. The town is always buzzing with other travelers and locals stopping into shops, cafes, and restaurants throughout the day. The town center is right on the water’s edge where you can be walking up the main strip, and looking for shells on the beach at the same time. Two things you must do when in town, is getting the Dole Whip after a long, hot day, and to wander underneath Maui’s infamous oldest living Banyan tree. The branches grow out horizontal from the tree’s center, dropping vines to the ground, which grow new legs of the tree. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

The best part of Lahaina was the beach. Specifically, spending time on Baby Beach. Every day, we went down to the beach to enjoy the beautiful Hawaiian sun and warm Maui waters. A marvelous reef hangs off the edge of the beach, right at the end of an old pier. Each day, we snorkeled out to the edge of the pier, along side SCUBA divers on shore dives, to explore the underwater world. We couldn’t believe how alive the coral was, the density of the schools of fish swimming around, and of course the sea turtles. I’ll be honest, I’m a sucker for swimming with sea turtles and the way the effortlessly glide through the water for what seems like hours on end. The depth here was only about 20 ft, deep enough to really experience something completely new when diving all the way to the sandy bottom. I could’ve come back every single day, but would love to go back and SCUBA dive to spend even more time down there.

The food here was also incredible. I’ll never pretend to be a food blogger, but we loved getting the beer at Kohola brewery and Waikki Brewing Company and going out in town for dinner each night. The food, as I mentioned before, was the normal tourist trap food. But I’m sure if we were there longer, we would’ve been able to try all of the seafood, Hawaiian food, and other food options. Most of the time, we end up going to the grocery store to cook for ourselves while trying to incorporate some of the local ingredients. 

On my morning runs, I got a better picture of this town and what it really feels like living here. I ran along the side streets and could really get an idea of the sense of community that exists there, outside of the tourist traps areas. The locals spent their morning catching the rolling surf breaks off the harbor or paddling around in their ocean kayaks. Being at the foot of the mountains, and on the ocean, makes this place seem like it has it all, and we can’t wait to go back.

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