“Photo by travelbug via Trover.com

Lahaina is a popular stop on the Maui tourist trail, located on the resort focused West Shore, but the plethora of cultural and historical attractions makes it worth the visit despite the crowds.  While it goes without saying that the beaches are spectacular, these are the attractions in Lahaina that will provide your Hawaiian holiday with something more than just a good tan.

Hale Pa’ahao Prison

In the 1850’s Hawaii’s whaling industry was at its peak, and the small village of Lahaina served the passing crews as a base for trade and relaxation. Sailors had a reputation for getting drunk and disorderly, and a prison was built in order to detain the trouble-makers until they sobered up or their captain posted bail. Hale Pa’ahao served the local community over the next few decades, until new prison regulations put the facility out of business. Today Hale Pa’ahao Prison has been lovingly restored and opened to the public as an open-air museum where visitors can enjoy walking through the original wooden buildings and prison yard, while learning more about the community’s fascinating history.

Visiting Information: Hale Pa’ahao Address – 187 Prison St, Lahaina, HI 96761 Admission: Free

Lahaina Jodo Mission

A testament to Hawaii’s multi-cultural heritage, the Lahaina Jodo Mission is a replica Japanese temple with landscaped gardens – a wonderful place for those seeking a little serenity. The highlight is the 12 ft. bronze Buddha, one of the tallest Buddha statues outside Asia, erected to commemorate 100 years since the arrival of Japanese immigrants in Hawaii.

Visiting Information:  The Lahaina Jodo Mission Address – 12 Ala Moana St, Lahaina, HI 96761, Admission: Free

Lahaina Banyan Court Park

A public park on the site that was once home of the Old Lahaina Fort, the area is one of Lahaina’s most beloved attractions. Back in 1873, Sheriff William Owen Smith planted an Indian Banyan tree in the courtyard. While that may seem insignificant, the tree has grown to become the largest banyan tree in Hawaii, covering almost an entire acre with its winding roots. The park is now a popular location for local festivals and events, as well as sports and family gatherings. If you are looking for a good location for hotels in Lahaina, this neighborhood is a great option.

Visiting Information: Lahaina Banyan Court Park Address – Front St & Canal St, Lahaina, HI 96761 Admission: Free

Old Lahaina Luau

In the heart of Front Street, the go-to place in Lahaina for shopping and restaurants, sits one of Hawaii’s best cultural attractions. While many hotels in Lahaina offer traditional luaus for their guests, Old Lahaina Luau is widely considered to offer the most authentic. Enjoy the evening’s entertainment of traditional Hawaiian dance while sampling a buffet of regional cuisine and tropical cocktails. As the sun sets over the sparkling waters before you, you’ll know that Lahaina is popular for all the right reasons. If you plan on heading to Old Lahaina Luau, reservations are recommended. You can book tickets in advance on their website.

Visiting Information: Old Lahaina Luau Address – 1251 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761 Admission: Adults $109 Children 3-12 $78