Lahaina, “Jewel in the Crown of Maui” (pt. 3)

Lahaina, “Jewel in the Crown of Maui” (pt. 3)

The history, art, beauty, and mild tropical climate make Lahaina a year-round winter get-away destination.

Best explored on foot Lahaina, now Maui’s hot spot, offers a variety of points of interest although the town proper measures just one-and-a-half miles long and few blocks deep.

Worth visiting is the “Hale Kahiko”, a recreated traditional Hawaiian Village, located behind Hard Rock Cafe at the Outlets of Maui, that provides a depiction of old Hawaii before western developments swept into the islands. Three houses with thatched roofs containing artifacts such as paddles, poi pounders and calabash bowls, woven baskets and gourds (fruits with hard shells) kind of make you feel like you were back in ancient aloha land.

The Jodo Mission, near the Mala Wharf of the Lahaina harbour, boasts the largest Buddha outside of Japan and for that reason is one of the most popular visitor attractions in this very historic town. Because it is regarded as a place of worship be respectful on the ground. The enormous bronze Buddha statute, 12 feet high, erected in 1968, serves to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Japanese immigration in the Hawaiian islands. You’ll discover a towering pagoda or “Tower Temple” covered with a roof made of pure copper. The first floor of the pagoda contains niches to hold the urns of the deceased members. The grounds also include a Bell Tower – rung eleven times at 8 o’clock every evening.

Birdstand on busy Front Street with some of the coolest birds, the gorgeous colourful parrots, is a great place for photo opportunity.

Never miss the MauiGrown Coffee Store located in Lahainaluna Road, with friendly attentive staff who are eager to explain each and give lots of free samples of the best known of MauiGrown four coffee varieties, the best known of which is the Maui Mokka, a cultivar of mocca found only in the Valley Isle of Maui.

A perfect Maui experience is not complete without witnessing the beauty of the sunset out on the horizon of the blue Pacific Ocean. And if you are lucky enough it is also possible to share the beautiful sunset with Maui’s favourite ambassadors, the humpback whales!

Though we have an aversion to shopping while on vacation, we still find ourselves doing a bit of Maui shopping at the Lahaina Cannery Mall, the island’s only fully enclosed, air-conditioned mall featuring fine specialty shops, boutiques, and restaurants.

At the end of the day, tired of too much walking, we grab a bite to eat the legendary 5-napkin signature cheeseburger sandwich served with seasoned fries at the famous oceanfront Cheeseburger in Paradise.