His­toric Lāhainā

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Is­land Views

Of­ten called the “jewel in the crown of Maui,” Lāhainā’s his­tory lays bare to see through its road struc­ture and ar­chi­tec­ture, which have been care­fully pre­served over the gen­er­a­tions. Be­fore it was the rowdy whal­ing epi­cen­ter of the Pa­cific, Lāhainā was the first cap­i­tal of the King­dom of Hawai‘i. Bud­dhist tem­ples, old mil­i­tary forts, 19th-cen­tury whal­ing relics and plan­ta­tion-era build­ings co­ex­ist here, all within a few short blocks. Un­cover sev­eral epochs from Lāhainā’s past, from the town’s Na­tive Hawai­ian ori­gins to the scan­dalous sea­far­ing days, on a self-guided walk­ing tour of his­tor­i­cal sites that are now man­aged by the Lāhainā Restora­tion Foun­da­tion. Start your tour in the early morn­ing on the cor­ner of Front and Dick­en­son streets. Be sure to bring wa­ter and ap­ply sun­screen. Stop by the Lāhainā Town Ac­tion Com­mit­tee’s of­fice for a help­ful walk­ing map. In the 1960s, as devel­op­ers built West Maui re­sorts to ri­val Waikīkī’s, Kā‘ana­pali ex­pe­ri­enced a surge of pop­u­lar­ity. It’s easy to see why this for­mer sugar plan­ta­tion was cho­sen: its beaches. At the north end, Ka­hek­ili Beach is great for snor­kel­ing. Along the length of the re­sort, Kā‘ana­pali Beach is lined with swank ho­tels that have made West Maui a top des­ti­na­tion. One of Kā‘ana­pali’s sig­na­ture at­trac­tions, Pu‘u Keka‘a (Black Rock) is a unique out­crop­ping of lava sur­rounded by thriv­ing co­ral reef. While divers and snorkel­ers sa­vor the un­der­wa­ter sights, land­lub­bers en­joy the mile-long ocean­front walk­way or the Kā‘ana­pali His­toric Trail, a two-hour jour­ney start­ing at the Royal La­haina Re­sort and in­clud­ing 10 sites reached on foot and via the Kā‘ana­pali Trol­ley.

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