Into Lahaina Culture With These 4 Attractions

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Though rainy or overcast weather may keep you from a day at the beach in Lahaina, you’ll still find lots to explore in the area. Use this time to dive into the area’s rich culture and learn more about Lahaina’s ancient Hawaiian roots and the many milestones that have affected the area’s development. Visit these four museums, landmarks, and culturally significant spots in Lahaina the next time the weather turns gray.

Whalers Village Museum

Image via Flickr by exfordy

Whalers Village is a shopping mall in Kaanapali, and the local retail options here alone warrant a trip to Lahaina. But this is also the location of the Whalers Village Museum, which commemorates Lahaina’s status as the former whaling capital of the world. Visit the museum to learn about 70 species of whale and specifically about the humpback, which is native to the area. The centerpiece of the museum is a 40-foot sperm whale skeleton. Come by for a self-guided tour and check out many of the artifacts related to Lahaina’s golden years of whaling.

If you’re interested in seeing a living piece of Lahaina’s whaling history, check out Carthaginian II, a steel-hulled sailing boat built in 1920 that now stands as a symbol of the island’s whaling heritage.

Hauola Stone

The Hauola Stone is just one of the many landmarks comprising Lahaina’s rich history and cultural landscape, but this attraction is a must-see on your trip. Weather permitting, plan a walking tour around the Wo Hing Temple Museum and Lahaina Center, and head down Front Street toward Lahaina Loading Dock for a look at this attraction.

The Hauola Stone is unique and historically significant because it’s one of several chair-shaped stones that native Hawaiians considered to be sacred. Ancient Hawaiian women would give birth on this and similar reclining stones, and the ritual was considered essential to the child’s good fortune and birthright. In order to preserve the landmark and its sacred nature, climbing or sitting on the stone is not allowed.

Lahaina Heritage Museum

Located in Old Lahaina Courthouse, Lahaina Heritage Museum explores Lahaina history from its ancient roots to the start of the tourism industry in this area. You can learn about Lahaina’s history at the “Always Lahaina” exhibit, which spans the area’s missionary, whaling, and plantation eras. The other most popular features at this museum are:

  • An interactive, topographical map of Maui island
  • An 1898 Kingdom of Hawai’i flag
  • Educational videos about the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

Lahaina Heritage Museum is open daily from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Baldwin Home Museum

The Baldwin Home Museum is a landmark worth exploring if you’re interested in learning more about Lahaina’s missionary period. The home and museum explore the life of its original owners and the construction of the property, offering a personal account of this period of Maui history. Visit to explore the exhibits and learn more about Lahaina’s past.

Though Lahaina is only a small part of Maui, it’s full of museums, landmarks, and significant spots that can connect you with the island’s rich history and culture. Don’t let bad weather keep you at home or in your hotel room — explore these attractions, rain or shine, during your next free afternoon in Lahaina.

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