Top 10 Things To Do in Lahaina

Top 10 Things To Do in Lahaina

Today, Lahaina Town, located in West Maui, is one of Maui’s quaintest cultural hubs, and celebrated beach town. Before that, it was a whaling port, and before that, the home of the Hawaiian monarchy. Today, there are plenty of interesting things to do in Lahaina, all of which can be accessed on foot. Here is a list of our top 10 favorite things to do in Lahaina, so you can make the most of your time spent in this lively, charming beach town:


1. Banyan Tree Park

Brought all the way from India, the Banyan Tree was planted in 1873, and has since become one of Lahaina’s landmark sites. Its sprawling canopy stretches to fill an entire city block. It’s a great place to take some pictures, enjoy the the cooling shade, listen to a cacophony of mynah birds at sunset, and browse the wares of arts and crafts vendors who set up booths there regularly.

2. Pictures With Parrots

Many a visitor has enjoyed stopping by The Birdstand on Front Street for some fun photos with brilliantly colored and even better trained birds. Whether you’re visiting on a romantic getaway or a family vacation, these photos are a great way to commemorate your vacation spent in this tropical paradise.

3. Art Galleries

Did you know that Lahaina boasts more art galleries per capita than anyplace else in the world? It’s an art lover’s dream, strolling Front Street and browsing the works of master artists as well as hot new up-and-comers. You’ll find everything from paintings to sculpture to photographs and a surprising array of mixed media.

4. Ulalena

This uniquely Hawaiian theater performance is an enchanting blend of brilliant music, dance, song, costume and set design, all coming together to immerse you in the rich culture of the islands. If you’re one of those people who loves the excitement of live performances, you’ll want to get tickets to this show, which is held at the Maui Theater on Front Street.

5. Shopping

Lahaina Town is full of shops and boutiques that you can peruse for gifts and souvenirs. Some are the touristy things you can find anywhere, but keep your eyes peeled for unique artisan crafted goods and you’ll bring some real gems home with you. You’ll find something for almost everyone here, if you have a sharp eye.

6. Museums

Among the numerous historical landmarks of Lahaina Town, you’ll find two lovely museums. These are the Baldwin House Museum and the Wo Hing Temple Museum. These tell the stories about what life was like during the plantation era for both European and Chinese settlers, respectively. Both have their own tours available, and both are conveniently located on Front Street.

7. Free Hawaiian Music Concerts

Lahaina provides a free Hawaiian music concert series that brings remarkable musical talent right to the Baldwin House Museum lawn for your enjoyment. The best part about it is that you won’t have a hard time finding it, especially since the museum is on Front Street. All you have to do is follow the soothing sounds of whichever local band is playing!

8. Watch the Sunset

Front Street runs along the sparkling calm waters of Maui’s western shoreline. In the distance, you can see the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai. The scenery is breathtaking at any time of day, but nothing compares to the flaming red sunsets in the evenings. The scenery there is already beautiful, but the vivid colors and dynamic light make it almost surreal. The only thing better than watching the sunset from Front Street is watching it from our Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise.

9. Explore the Harbor

The tranquil water of the picturesque Lahaina Harbor is home to a surprising collection of marine life and some of Maui’s finest vessels, including ours. You can often spot iconic tropical species like the Moorish idol (“Kihikihi”), the convict tang (“manini”), and sometimes even octopus (“ʻAiʻAi”).

10. Go On a Maui Ocean Adventure

You can find us at the north end of the Lahaina Harbor, at the main booth. From here, we can take you on a romantic Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise, a Maui Whale Watch Cruise, and snorkeling tours to both Molokini and Lanai islands. If you’re craving some adventure, or a calm sightseeing tour aboard one of our stable yachts, we hope we’ll see you soon! If you book online, you can currently save 10% on your entire purchase.

We hope you enjoy these top 10 activities during your stay in Lahaina, as  much as we locals do!

The Splendor of Maui Sunsets

The Splendor of Maui Sunsets

They say the best things in life are free, and who are we to argue? If you’ve ever experienced the natural beauty of Maui, you’ll realize how true that is. Take in the views of our majestic mountains, soak up the sun on our warm beaches, explore the brilliant coral reefs offshore, and bask in the glow of Maui’s famous flaming sunsets.

Here in West Maui, the setting sun puts on spectacular shows on a regular basis. The views from this part of the island make them even more dramatic. Here, the ocean takes center stage. You’ll find tranquil little beaches lining the coast, and the sun descends down to the beautiful blue Pacific beyond.

The neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai add extra dimension to the scene. When clouds drift above them, so much the better. Those vibrant shades of pink, red and orange only appear when the setting sun’s rays pierce the atmosphere to reflect colors off the clouds. That’s what makes each sunset fascinating and unique. The clouds are always changing. Puffy cumulous take on a colorful outline, wispy cirrus tend to glow all the way through, and the low stratus bring all the colors closer to the ground so our eyes (and our cameras) can capture every detail.

You can enjoy all this from the beach, or from your accommodations, but you could also treat yourself to an especially lovely sunset dinner cruise to make the most of your evening. What better way to enjoy those gleaming arcs of light than aboard a smooth boat out on the ocean. The photo opportunities are amazing. On one side, you have your sunset, and on the other, a stunning look at Maui’s dynamic landscape from the water, cast in an enchanting glow. After the sun has finished its show, the twinkling stars and lights on shore will emerge to dazzle you all over again.

Our dinner cruise features an elegant meal, sightseeing and dancing. For more information, take a look at our Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise page, and if you still need assistance, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!

Take a Guided Tour of Molokai

Take a Guided Tour of Molokai

Have you ever considered adding an extra splash of adventure by taking a guided tour of Molokai? We see so many return visitors to Maui, there are few places on the island that they haven’t been, and that’s why a little island hopping can be just the right ingredient to a memorable vacation.

Our Molokai Ali’i Tour Package makes the whole experience convenient, fun, and safe. All you need to do is book your trip and hop aboard our ferry, which runs between Maui and Molokai. In fact, ours is the only inter-island ferry to Molokai, so you can’t get this experience with any other tour company.

Once you’ve enjoyed the scenic trip to Molokai aboard the Molokai Princess, an experienced, local tour guide will drive you on a sightseeing tour in a comfortable air-conditioned van or bus. You’ll get to see some of the coolest spots on the island, including historic Hawaiian fish ponds, Kaunakakai Town, Father Damien’s Church, Purdy’s Natural Macadamia Nut Farm, Coffees of Hawaii, and Kalaupapa Sea cliffs, which are among the highest in the world. All the while, your guide will share stories with you about the historic background and contemporary influences of each location.

This tour package comes with a continental breakfast, lunch at a local restaurant on Molokai, and your round trip tickets on the ferry. Since you won’t be driving, you and your group can be hands-free for plenty of pictures while you drive, and you won’t have to worry about getting lost. Overall, the package is a great deal.

Molokai is a fascinating island, and a bastion of authentic Hawaiian culture. This guided tour will provide you with a window into a relatively isolated place with a low population and few visitors. It’s a special opportunity for adventure that you can’t find anywhere else on Maui. We hope you enjoy it!

Friday Art Nights in Lahaina

Friday Art Nights in Lahaina

When you’re planning a vacation to Maui, it’s nice to know when the reoccurring events take place so you can easily fit them into your schedule. For example, every Friday is Art Night in Lahaina. Since we run our Maui ocean tour company out of the scenic Lahaina Harbor, it would be easy for our guests to enjoy one of our excursions on a Friday and follow it up by exploring everything featured in Art Night.

Lahaina is a fun, beautiful and historic town situated on West Maui’s stunning coastline. You’ll find it full of shops, restaurants, art galleries and other unique establishments. It’s the ideal spot for grabbing a bite and searching for souvenirs, but what really makes it stand out from other places on the island is its impressive number of art galleries. If you’re interested in paintings, sculptures, glass art, specially designed jewelry, and numerous other keepsakes, Lahaina is the place to find them. There’s something for everyone, whether you are looking for fine art or unique, locally made crafts.

Friday Art Nights are Lahaina’s time for putting the spotlight on this fantastic array of creations. From 6-9pm, there are opportunities to meet artists, mingle with like-minded art enthusiasts, and enjoy pupu (hors d’oeuvres) and wine. The Lahaina Visitor Center will even provide you with a free Art Map to guide you on your exploration. You’ll find the center at the old Lahaina Courthouse in Banyan Tree Park.

Here is the Lahaina Visitor Center’s list of Art Night highlights for your perusal:

  • Kai Pua Gallery – Live glass blowing and painting by local artists. Special deals, fabulous seconds and clearance sale, serving wine.
  • Peter Lik Gallery – Special promotions on art.
  • Maui Hands Gallery – Light refreshments also served.
  • Lahaina Galleries – Serving wine from 5-10 p.m. Featured artists Andrea Razzauti and Steve Turnbull
  • The Village Galleries – Featured Artist Kathleen Alexander. Refreshments will be served
  • Images Fine Art Gallery – Complimentary wine and live music
  • Simon Jon Gallery – Unique Hawaiian wood bowls by artist Jonathan Somaoang, offering 10-20% off select items
  • Sargent’s Fine Art – Enjoy the music of Curt Lee every Friday Art Night at the gallery, featured artist: Roman Czerwinski.
  • Martin Lawrence Gallery – Serving Wine and Pupu’s
  • Kingwell Island Art – Live music 6-8pm. Demonstration of Plein Air painting. Wine and pupu’s will be served.
  • Daryl Millard Gallery – Daryl will be painting at the easel and talking about his work.
  • Contemporary Masters – Live entertainment
  • Lahaina Printsellers – Wine and Pupu’s
  • Vintage Posters – Wine and Pupu’s
  • Diamond Head – Serving wine
  • Joelle – Joelle will be painting at the gallery. Wine and pupu’s will be served
  • Higgins Harte Gallery International

As you can see, this event is rich with activity and enjoyment for anyone who appreciates cultural and creative experiences. Lahaina isn’t just a place where art is bought and sold. It is also the source of great inspiration for many artists, so you will sometimes be able to find paintings of the town or the Lahaina Harbor, from which we operate our West Maui cruises. You’ll find that many talented artists make their home here, with the island itself acting as a muse full of dynamic qualities.

We hope that all of you art loving visitors will take advantage of Lahaina’s Friday Art Nights during your stay, and that you have an enjoyable time. We hope to see you on one of our unforgettable ocean tours as well! Mahalo for reading this week!

Five Interesting Things to do on Molokai

Five Interesting Things to do on Molokai

It’s indisputable that Molokai is one of the most beautiful of the Hawaiian Islands. Whether you’re a Hawaii local who goes to bring some Molokai hot bread home or a tourist who doesn’t want to miss out on visiting historic sites, there are so many places to see and accomplishing them all in a day just doesn’t seem possible. We’ve assembled a list, presented here in no particular order, of five eclectic things to do while you’re visiting Molokai.

  1. Eat! Trying new foods is always interesting and if you eat where the locals do, you know you’re going to eat well. Popular places to grind include Kanemitsu Bakery, Kualapu’u Cookhouse, Paddler’s Inn, and Mana’e Goods & Grindz.
  2. Post-A-Nut. We’re serious! Everyone loves receiving mail (that isn’t a bill), and this attraction is #1 of the top 60 things to do on TripAdvisor’s “Things to Do in Molokai” list. This attraction is very straightforward: visit the post office, decorate a coconut and mail it out with help from the visitor proclaimed “nicest Post Master in the world.”
  3. Ka Ule o Nanahoa also known as the “Phallic Rock.” Legend has it that this sacred rock has the power to help women fall pregnant. In addition to the interesting legend, we think it’s a pretty neat place to visit because of the short hike you’ll have to take to get to the rock (the hike is relatively easy and generally accomplishable by a person of any age) and you can also check out the Kalaupapa Lookout while you’re in the area.
  4. Kumu Farms. Whether you’re looking for a fresh organic banana to snack on (see item 1 on this list – everyone loves food!) or natural body creams and body scrubs, Kumu Farms is the place to go!
  5. Father Damien’s Church. This attraction is on our list of places to visit during our Molokai Alii Tour, but it felt prudent to include it on this list considering the contributions Father Damien (also popularly known as Saint Damien of Molokai) made to the population of Molokai during his lifetime.

Our Molokai Ferry runs 7 days a week between Lahaina, Maui and Kaunakakai Harbor, Molokai; two carry on items are allowed per person, and children under the age of three are free. For more information, visit our Molokai Ferry page, or if you think a planned tour is more your speed then we’d recommend our Molokai Alii Tour, where your day is planned and you’re taken around Molokai in a comfortable air conditioned bus with a knowledgeable local tour guide.

There are so many fun, interesting, and educational things to do on Molokai that it was difficult to limit our list to just five. If you’ve done any of the things on our list, we hope you’ll share your experience with us!

Go on a Molokai Adventure with Hawaii Ocean Project

Go on a Molokai Adventure with Hawaii Ocean Project

Whether this is your first visit to the Hawaiian Islands or you call Hawaii home, Molokai is a place that needs to be on your bucket list of places to visit; its lush and unspoiled beauty hearken back to the days of old Hawaii. Nicknamed the “The Friendly Isle”, you will feel at home in the verdant oasis while you are greeted with aloha by the locals.

Because we proudly operate the only interisland ferry that runs between Maui and Molokai, we are in the unique position to be able to offer fun day adventure tour packages! We can’t think of a better way to take Molokai off your travel bucket list. We offer two different tour packages to suit your needs – The Alii Tour Package and the Cruise and Drive Package.

The Alii Tour Package will see you explore beautiful Molokai with a knowledgeable local tour guide. You will travel by air conditioned bus to see important historic sites, such as Father Damien’s church. This package includes a continental breakfast, lunch at a local restaurant in Kaunakakai town, and round trip tickets on our interisland ferry.

Our Cruise and Drive package is very straightforward. Book with us and we provide you with round trip tickets on the Molokai ferry, assist in booking your rental vehicle, and provide a map to start you off on your adventure!

Book online using our website and you will receive our moderately lower Internet only rates. Additionally, we are currently in whale watching season which runs through May and although we can’t guarantee it, you might definitely see some whales while aboard our beautiful interisland yacht, the Molokai Princess.

And don’t forget – whether you book a Molokai Adventure, or any of our other tours, we would love to hear from you on social media if you have anything fun and noteworthy to share! Join the conversation with us on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

Spending The Day in Beautiful Lahaina

Spending The Day in Beautiful Lahaina

Are you coming from another part of the island to join Hawaii Ocean Project on one of our excellent boat tours?  While in Lahaina be sure to check out some of the other things to do.  For example, the Lahaina Historical Trail is a must see for visitors.

Below is some information about the trail to help plan your day in Lahaina:

  • The trail begins at the Baldwin House, located off of Dickenson and Front Street.  This is walking distance from HOP’s dock in the harbor.
  • There are three different walking trails to explore.  The Founder trail takes you around the famous Banyan tree, showcasing 23 different sites and takes about 30 minutes to complete.
  • The Navigator trail will direct you up and down Front Street, pointing out 17 historical sites, taking approximately one hour to complete.  We suggest grabbing lunch at one of the many restaurants to choose from on Front Street while exploring this trail.
  • After lunch, start off on the Voyager trail.  This trail will take 45 minutes to complete, depending on how many picture-taking stops are made at the 22 different historical locations.
  • Maps and more may be found on site or at lahainarestoration.org/lahaina-historic-trail

One of our morning Whale Watch Tours is a perfect choice for those wanting to make a day out of coming to Historical Lahaina.  With multiple departure times to choose from, returning to the harbor before lunch, you’ll be able to explore all the historical and cultural sites of Lahaina in one day.  To book your Lahaina adventure, starting with a whale watch, contact HOP today!

Halloween on Maui

Halloween on Maui

Are you going to be on Maui for Halloween this year?  If so, be sure to check out the festivities happening in Lahaina.  The atmosphere created by the costumed guests closely resembles a Mardi Gras theme.  Below is the schedule of events to take place on Friday, October 31, 2014:

  • From 3pm until midnight the roads will be closed to vehicular traffic from Baker to Prison Street.  Front Street parking will be closed as well.
  • The 36th annual Keiki Halloween Costume Parade will take place, down Front Street to the Banyan Tree Park, starting at 4:30pm.
  • Live entertainment will feature The Haiku Hillbilly’s at Campbell Park, beginning at 6pm until 8pm.
  • An adult costume contest will run from 7pm to 9pm at Banyan Tree Park.  Sign-up begins at 6pm at the Pioneer Inn.  The winner will be announced at 9:30pm.
  • Other activities throughout the evening, at Campbell Park, are to include: keiki activities, face painting, photo opportunities, and food booths.
  • Both, Campbell Park and Banyan Tree Park, will close at 10pm.

Last year this event attracted approximately 28,000 participants.  Accordingly, parking will be a challenge; ensure plenty of time to get there early or, better yet, reserve a taxi or shuttle for transportation to and from the festivities.  While in the West Maui area, consider booking a Hawaii Boat Tour or Cruise with Hawaii Ocean Project.

Hawaii Ocean Project at Lahaina Second Friday

Ready to enjoy a bit of fun whale education on the shores of West Maui’s famous Front Street? Then mark your calendar to come on down to Lahaina’s Second Friday celebration this February 14th. Among the many exhibitors, food vendors, and entertainment on hand during the Second Friday street party, representatives from the Hawaii Ocean Project will be on hand with our friends from the Whale Trust Maui with an educational exhibit for whale and marine life lovers of all ages at Campbell Park. come discuss the many qualities of our beloved humpback whales with our Hawaii Ocean Project experts, view a number of great educational materials, and even pick up a HOP “whale’s tail” souvenir or two!

Once the sun sinks into the horizon (a magnificent event in itself, perfectly viewed from Front Street’s wonderful waterfront walkway,) Campbell Park will play host to an exclusive screening of Flip Nicklin’s fantastic documentary film “Whales in Love.” A fantastic, fun, and FREE celebration of the whales which grace our islands’ waters this time each year, this February’s Second Friday event will definitely be a “must attend.”

For more information on the HOP booth, or to book your Maui whale watch, contact our staff at the Hawaii Ocean Project today! Mahalo!