Lahaina, Ka'anapali, and Maui's West Side
Collected by Kyle Ellison , AFAR Local Expert
When a Lahaina resident says they're going on a drive to pick a friend up at Kahului airport, they will always say that they're spending the day on a trip to "the other side." This is because—despite already being on island—the West Side of Maui can often feel like an island unto itself. With countless adventures, dozens of restaurants, and the most historic area of the island, there are enough things to do in the towns of West Maui that you can see why you'd never want to leave.
2580 Kekaa Dr #115, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
It's hard to focus on an ocean view when your feet are dangling above a valley. Then again, it's hard to be scared about the valley below when you have the beautiful ocean to distract you. More than just another Maui activity, Skyline...
2525 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Hawaiian green sea turtles—locally known as honu—are one of the most enchanting creatures you're likely to encounter while snorkeling in Kaʽanapali. Deliberate in their movements and stealthy in their approach, these tropical reptiles have a...
345 Keawe St # 304, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Poke (pronounced POH-kay) is not only a staple of Hawaiian cuisine, it's also a favorite of diners needing a meal on the run. These bite-sized chunks of raw fish are seasoned with everything from soy sauce to seaweed, and you won't find a luau or...
600 Office Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
If you ask locals what the island's best sushi spot is, there's a good chance they'll say Sansei. Located in a plantation-style building, this award-winning sushi house consistently impresses with its fresh, creative fare. From the miso butterfish...
658 Front St #160, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Front Street, Lahaina, is home to two famous burger joints. One has an oceanfront location and the name of a Jimmy Buffet song, and the other simply has the island's best burgers. While there's no denying the popularity of famously-named...
The small, dry, mysterious island of Niʽihau is unlike any in the Hawaiian chain. This arid island to the southwest of Kauaʽi was sold in 1864 to the Robinson family by King Kahemameha V. For 150 years, the island has existed under the domain of a...
1087 Limahana Pl, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Much more than just a restaurant or smoothie stop, Choice Health Bar is a culinary fusion of food, lifestyle, and positivity. This small restaurant in the Lahaina industrial park serves fresh kale salads and heaping acai bowls. The place is a...
658 Wharf St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Although it might look like another tourist town, Lahaina during the 19th-century was the Wild West of the Pacific. Despite the fact that Christian missionaries managed to convert the royalty, this teeming port town of whalers and seamen was...
277 Lahainaluna Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Though it may seem like trivia, Hawaii is the only place in the United States that commercially harvests coffee. For years, Kona coffee from the Big Island of Hawaii has been a staple of Hawaii's bean scene, but in recent years, coffee has spread...
Kapalua Coastal Trail, Kapalua, HI 96761, USA
The Kapalua Coastal Trail is the only walk in America that both starts and finishes on a beach that has been voted "Best Beach in America." Beginning in the parking lot of Kapalua Bay (voted "Best Beach in America" in 1991), the 1.75-mile trail...
2365 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
There are few activities which dominate your senses quite like a Hawaiian luau. From the moment you enter hungry and eager, to the moment you exit well-fed and wowed, the tastes and sounds and tropical smells leave your senses bordering on...
Kāʻanapali Beachwalk, Hawaii, USA
In 2003, Kaʽanapali Beach won the title of "Best Beach in America" as compiled by "Dr. Beach." While the rankings for such a title include factors such as sand softness, water temperature, and levels of algae, there's one factor not on the list...
2435 Kaanapali Pkwy # H4, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Everyone loves a vacation to Maui, but the unfortunate reality is that even the longest trips eventually come to an end. For those who want something more to take home than a sunburn or sand in your shorts, there are a number of stores in Whalers...
207 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Maui has a way of creating moments you wish could be frozen in time—isolated, perfect snippets of reality that you pray will never end. Here, in the waters off Kaʽanapali, as a rainbow arcs over rugged valleys, and the sweet melody of Hawaiian...
17 Kaka'alaneo Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
From 1862 to 1999, sugar was the dominant agricultural crop in Maui, blanketing the western slopes. At the peak of production for Pioneer Mill, over 5,000 acres of flowing green fields produced 45,000 tons of sugar. In order to move all the burned...
648 Wharf St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Lahaina is a town that has experienced each chapter in Maui's storied history. Before the tourists came sugar plantations, and before those were whalers and missionaries. Before the whalers and missionaries, however, Lahaina was the capital of the...
Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
There are a number of places on the island of Maui where you can buy fresh produce on the roadside. Very few of them, however, are actually farmer's markets, and a couple of stands sell produce that has been shipped in from the mainland and...
820 Olowalu Village Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
For most visitors to Lahaina, Olowalu is simply a blip on the road between the airport and their resort or hotel. There's one general store, a popular snorkeling site, and that's really it. But there's also a small kitchen and pie shop that might...
2435 Kaanapali Pkwy G8, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Did you know that whalers in 19th-century Hawaii were paid only $.03 per day? Or that if a whaler was caught on shore after curfew (9:30 p.m.) he'd be hit with a $2 fine? For those who are interested in life during the whaling days, dozens of...
2435 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Hula Grill is located on Ka'anapali Beach at Whalers Village, a cute little shopping area within walking distance of several luxury hotels and condominiums. For the most part, the menu prices are fairly reasonable. Naturally, fish dishes are on...
500 Bay Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
In Ancient Hawaii, six-man canoes were the vessel of choice for moving between islands and villages. Today, outrigger canoeing is a big part of the culture and a popular activity among locals. In the last decade, it's even become a high school...
712 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Without mincing words, Front Street, Lahaina, is a shopper's dream destination. Here, along a one-mile stretch of shoreline, stores and boutiques proffer everything from jewelry to surf wear and clothing to crafts. More than anything, however,...
744 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Ever since the 1800s, Lahaina has been a boisterous port town full of grog shops and places to imbibe. The same can be said for Lahaina today, although, of all the bars that pepper the town, only one has tables set out on the rooftop and a wine...
Bay Drive, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
When it comes to snorkeling, no single place on the West Side of Maui can compare to Honolua Bay. This marine life conservation district offers a healthy reef with hundreds of fish and a large population of sea turtles. The catch, however, is that...
5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
When eating at the Sea House Restaurant, it's hard to decide what is actually better: the view of Molokaʽi across the water, or the Molokaʽi sweet potatoes used in the frittata. Either way, both combine for a memorable breakfast on the island's...
6 Kai Ala Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Even with a population of only 140,000 people, Maui has a remarkable amount of residents who possess some sort of artistic talent. From jewelry to clothing to hand-carved wood, you can find local artists hawking their wares at craft fairs across...
1285 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
When in paradise, it is easy to get lulled into the resort experience, but this has never been my thing. My last trip to Maui I was lucky enough to be there at the same time as a good friend, a Maui native. Aloha Mixed Plate, a little off the...
671 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
While the Lahaina Visitors Center at the Old Lahaina Courthouse has maps you can use for a self-guided walking tour, visitors who want to dig a bit deeper can take a guided walking tour of Lahaina. Run by Maui Nei walking tours, this two-hour tour...
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