Only a short drive from breezy Maʻalaea, Maui’s West Side is a tourism hub renowned for its beaches, shopping, dining, and accommodations. From Lahaina’s bustling Front Street to the opulent resorts on Kaʻanapali Beach, we’ve uncovered the best activities to try when visiting Lahaina and Kaʻanapali.
The shopping in Lahaina and Kaʻanapali is unparalleled. Set your sights on Lahaina’s Front Street, the Maui mecca for local boutiques, art galleries, and souvenir shops. Further north in Kaʻanapali, the Whalers Village shopping center is an assemblage of luxury shops, well-established brands, and locally-owned stores.
There is a concentration of eateries in Lahaina and Kaʻanapali, from humble food trucks to world-renowned restaurants. You can’t go wrong with eating your way through Front Street or restaurant hopping between Kaʻanapali resorts. If hidden gems are what you’re after, be sure to explore the areas in West Maui off the beaten tourist path. Some of the best restaurants in West Maui? Down the Hatch, Monkeypod, Mala, Frida’s, and Hula Grill – just to name a few.
3. Take a snorkel tour
West Maui is surrounded by thriving coral reefs and calm, impossibly clear waters. As a result, there are a wealth of snorkel tours to choose from in the area. Most snorkel excursions depart from Lahaina Harbor, while a select few leave from Mala Ramp or Kaʻanapali Beach. Our favorites are Trilogy’s ‘Discover Kaʻanapali Tour’ and Hawaii Ocean Project’s Lanai snorkel tour.
4. Indulge your sweet tooth on a chocolate tour
You won’t find any Oompa Loompa’s at Kuʻia Estate’s chocolate factory. Rather, a visit to the Kuʻia Estate chocolate factory and farm offers guests a peek into the meticulous world of chocolate making. Kuʻia Estate Chocolate boasts the largest chocolate factory in Hawaii and hosts daily tours of their cacao plantation and chocolate tastings on their airy rooftop pavilion. While the factory is a far cry from Willy Wonka’s fantastical digs, exploring Kuʻia’s 20-acre cacao farm in the foothills of Lahaina is whimsical in its own right.
5. Spend an evening at Warren and Annabelle’s
Hidden on the northern end of Front Street is a 78-pax theater that plays host to Maui’s top-rated show- Warren and Annabelle’s. Part magic show, part comedy, Warren & Annabelle’s entertaining cast are not only experts in sleight-of-hand magic but also in the art of humor. In addition to an unforgettable, interactive show, Warren and Annabelle’s pre-show dinner menu features a spread of delectable entrees, desserts, and specialty cocktails.
6. Soar to new heights on a zipline tour
High above the opulent resorts and beaches in Kapalua exists a thrilling zipline adventure. Hosted by Kapalua Zipline, this 6-line dual zipline course travels across the ridges and valleys of the beautiful West Maui Mountains. Guests are treated to panoramic ocean and mountain views on this heart-stopping adventure. In addition, Kapalua Zipline’s guides are expert entertainers and well-versed in Hawaiian history and culture.
7. Test your climbing skills at Adventure Park Maui
Serving as the only aerial ropes course on Maui, Adventure Park is one of Lahaina’s most unique attractions. The park’s giant ‘Hexapod’ structure is an elevated jungle gym featuring 45 climbing courses spread across three levels. Each level provides a different degree of difficulty, ranging from easy to challenging. In addition to the ropes courses, Adventure Park Maui also offers ziplining and ax throwing.
8. Visit the Maui Dragonfruit Farm
Maui Dragonfruit Farm is a 27-acre working fruit farm located in the hills above Lahaina. In addition to offering tropical fruit tasting tours, Maui Dragonfruit Farm is a hub for exciting activities like ziplining. The farm also boasts a 450-foot aqua ball course, where guests hop in a giant, double-walled inflatable ball filled with a few inches of water, then slip and slide their way down the course. All activities are paired with fruit tastings, which feature unique tropical fruits like starfruit, soursop, sapadilla, and dragonfruit.
9. Explore the depths on a submarine
If snorkeling isn’t your forte, that doesn’t mean you must forgo an underwater adventure. Enter Atlantis Submarine, which visits depths over 100 feet. Narrated by a marine naturalist, this tour visits the Carthaginian shipwreck- which serves as a habitat for a bounty of marine life. Be prepared to see plenty of tropical fish and possibly even sea turtles, sharks, and manta rays- without getting your feet wet!
10. Take a surf lesson
Lahaina only receives treacherous, hammering surf once in a blue moon. Most days, ocean conditions are calm and playful, making Lahaina the perfect place to learn how to surf. Set your sights on Lahaina Breakwall, located just steps from the Lahaina Banyan Tree. This mellow break is the nucleus for surf lessons in Lahaina. You can find surf schools that offer lessons at the Breakwall studded throughout Lahaina Town.
11. Go golfing
Maui is a world-renowned golf destination, and Kaʻanapali is no different. There are two golf courses within the Kaʻanapali resort area- the Kaʻanapali Kai and the Royal Kaʻanapali. The Kaʻanapali Kai is suitable for golfers of all levels, while the Royal Kaʻanapali presents more of a challenge – Arnold Palmer even called the 18th hole one of the most challenging he’s ever played.
12. Grab a shave ice and hang under the Banyan Tree
The Lahaina Banyan Tree is a remarkable attraction and a true ‘must-visit.’ The banyan tree stood just eight feet tall when it was planted in 1873. Today it towers at 60 feet high with 46 major trunks- spanning an entire city block. Lahaina in Hawaiian translates to ‘cruel sun,’ and the massive tree offers a welcome respite from the heat. For the quintessential Lahaina experience, grab a shave ice from Local Boys and people watch beneath this iconic tree.
13. Visit a local brewery
West Maui’s beer scene will pleasantly surprise you if you’re a craft beer connoisseur. The West Side boasts one brewery and two brewpubs- Kohola Brewing, Maui Brewing, and Waikiki Brewing, respectively.
14. Go whale watching
From December to April, the waters off West Maui are teeming with humpback whales. Humpbacks prefer the shallow, calm waters around Maui to mate and nurse their young. While they’re easy to spot from the shore, there’s nothing like hopping aboard a whale watch and viewing these gentle giants in their natural habitat. In turn, there’s a slew of affordable whale watching tours that depart from Lahaina Harbor.