So you’re looking at Lahaina in West Maui!
If you are also looking into taking the Maui bus from Lahaina, there is a quick little list below to tell you the top things to know!
But first, the quick list of things to do in Lahaina around the walkable “downtown” area of Lahaina! Since the focus is on downtown Lahaina, this does not include Kaanapali or Kapalua. For these Maui beach towns, be sure to have a look at the best of West Maui.
Then, below will be a look at things to do as a day trip from Lahaina… by bus! (Which will then include how to get to Kaanapali and Kapalua from downtown Lahaina!)
What is there to do in downtown Lahaina?
The things listed below are all in a walkable area from one another with a focus on the downtown Lahaina area.
Here is what Lahaina Maui is known for:
1. Front Street
The famous street in Lahaina is Front Street. This is a waterfront street in part.
There are a bunch of shops located all along Front Street, and you’ll also find oceanfront restaurants aka you can eat with ocean views!
2. Lahaina historic district
Well actually basically the whole “downtown” area of Lahaina is the historic district, and that includes Front Street.
Lahaina is even designated by the National Park Service as a National Historic Landmark.
You can go for a self-guided Lahaina historic district walking tour.
While you are in Lahaina, don’t miss the chance to see a massive banyan tree, said to be the biggest banyan tree in Hawaii! (Actually it’s said to be the biggest banyan tree in the United States too.)
When you first walk past it, you may think you’re walking by a whole bunch of trees. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see that it is actually one BIG tree connected together!
4. Boat tour from Lahaina Harbor
Lahaina also has a boat harbor that’s a popular spot to take whale watching boat tours from during whale season, which is generally speaking the winter months. The channel that’s off the coast of Lahaina is considered to be one of the best places for whale watching in Hawaii.
5. Old Lahaina Luau
A luau is an event with Hawaiian food and entertainment. A luau like the Old Lahaina Luau tends to be a rather touristy event, but it can still be a fun thing to do in Lahaina while getting a small taste of Hawaiian culture… literally! Both through food and traditional performance arts.
Read the reviews for the Old Lahaina Luau.
Get official info for the Old Lahaina Luau, including booking tickets.
So in short, Lahaina is known for being a historic small town in Maui with shops and restaurants that line Front Street, along with being a coastal town where you can take boat tours from.
Lahaina cruise port
If you are arriving to Lahaina by cruise ship, then this will be a tender port. This means that the cruise ship anchors off shore, and you will take a small boat to get from the cruise ship to land.
When you step off the tender boat, you will basically be dropped off in the main part of Lahaina, at the Lahaina Harbor, just a few minutes walk to the shops and restaurants of Front Street.
During normal times, there was also a hop-on hop-off trolley (shuttle) that operated on cruise port days, called the Hula Hula Hopper (look for the Lahaina Harbor option). The cost of this trolley was around $20 per person for a day pass.
The Lahaina cruise port isn’t the main cruise port of Maui. More common is for cruise ships to stop in a more central part of Maui, at the Kahului cruise port.
👆 Common area of Tiki Beach Hostel in Lahaina.
There are also some Maui hostels located in Lahaina just a few minutes walk from the nearest beach.
The Lahaina hostels are about a 5 minute walk to the waterfront part of Front Street, and it’s about a 20 minute walk from Baby Beach which tends to be considered the snorkeling beach of Lahaina. There are 2 hostels in Lahaina and they are both located in the same area.
More below on day trips from Lahaina without a car!
Here's some info on Hawaii trip prep!
- Best shoes for hiking in Hawaii
- The perfect type of shirt for swimming in Hawaii
- Do you need water shoes for Hawaii?
- THE top things to pack for Hawaii
- The top 5 Maui adventures you definitely need to think about doing: Maui tour OR on your own?
- Driving to the top of the Haleakala summit
- Road to Hana food stops
- Best Road to Hana hikes
- Things to do in Hana
- Things to do in the West Maui mountains
Day trips from Lahaina
What can you do by bus from Lahaina?!
So the best way to figure out how to get to a place from Lahaina by bus is google maps. Just check the public transit option! As long as your GPS is on, it will tell you the bus stop that’s nearest to you too. It makes navigating Maui by bus super easy!
See more about general guide to getting around Maui by bus. This will take you through how to actually take a bus on Maui. After you take the bus once or twice, you’ll feel like a pro!
You will probably find that the vast majority of Maui bus drivers are friendly, so don’t hesitate to ask them any questions you may have!
Here are a few quick things to know about going from Lahaina by bus!
If this seems like a lot of information, just know that google maps makes really does make this seem a lot easier!
Really all you need to do is open up the google maps app on your phone when you’re in Maui and type in your destination. Then you are nearly good to go!
Still, here are things that might be helpful to know before you go.
I took the Maui bus a number of times in January and February 2020 and this is based on my experience.
It’s always best to confirm as things can change, but here are some general things to start to get to know how to get around West Maui from Lahaina.
1. Kaanapali Islander or West Maui Islander bus route: There is a direct bus from Lahaina to Kaanapali.
Kaanapali is where you can find the popular Kaanapali Beach.
At the far north end (right end as you are facing the ocean) you’ll also find Black Rock, which is one of the top snorkeling spots on Maui.
There is also a paved coastal walk that runs alongside Kaanapali Beach, and you can find a number of restaurants and bars with ocean views here.
To go to Kaanapali, you will take the bus on the Kaanapali Islander route or the West Maui Islander route. You may consider taking the bus to Whaler’s Village, which is the outdoor shopping mall of Kaanapali. Then when you get to Whaler’s Village, you can walk through the mall to get to the beach.
Going by bus from downtown Lahaina to Kaanapali may take around 30-40 minutes. (google maps)
2. West Maui Islander bus route: There is a direct bus from Lahaina to Kapalua.
To go to Kapalua, you will take the West Maui Islander bus route. You may consider taking the bus to Kapalua Bay or Dragon’s Teeth Trail. Both of these spots are near access spots to the Kapalua Coastal Trail.
Going by bus from downtown Lahaina to Kapalua may take around 1 hour and 15 minutes. (google maps)
Lahaina to Kapalua: See more about things to do as a day trip from Lahaina.
3. The furthest north you can go in West Maui by bus is near the Dragon’s Teeth Trail in Kapalua.
For reference on a map, you can look for Dragon’s Teeth Trail to find the furthest north you can go by bus. The nearest bus stop to here is about a 5-10 minute walk away.
4. The West Maui bus routes are generally every 30 minutes to once an hour.
In google maps, you can expand out to see future bus timings.
So those are Lahaina day trips to take while staying in West Maui. Now moving away from West Maui to different parts of Maui!
5. Wharf Cinema Center is the transit hub in Lahaina
The Wharf Cinema Center is an outdoor shopping mall in Lahaina with shops and restaurants.
This is basically the main transit hub in Lahaina, and it’s where bus routes start and end. The Wharf bus stop is where you’ll definitely go if you want to go to Central Maui or South Maui. Depending on where you’re starting from, you may also come here to go to Kaanapali and Kapalua too if it’s the nearest bus stop to you.
There is a waiting area at this Lahaina bus stop.
6. Lahaina Islander bus route: Lahaina to other parts of Maui
There is a bus route called the Lahaina Islander. This is the bus route that goes between Lahaina in West Maui and Kahului in Central Maui. This is basically the bus route you will take if you want to go to a part of Maui that is not West Maui.
7. The Queen Kaahumanu Center is basically a central bus transfer spot.
The Queen Kaahumanu Center is actually a big shopping mall in Kahului of Central Maui.
But as far as the bus goes, this is a central hub for the Maui bus.
You will end up here from Lahaina if you are looking to take the bus to get to completely different parts of the island.
As such, if you are looking to get to another part of Maui that’s not West Maui, it will require a bus transfer at Queen Kaahumanu Center.
8. Kihei Islander bus route: The bus from Lahaina to South Maui will require one bus transfer.
You can go by bus from Lahaina to Kihei, and you can go by bus from Lahaina to Wailea.
Wailea is where you can find the coastal walk along a paved trail called the Wailea Beach Path.
Whether you go to Kihei or Wailea, it will be the same bus. Wailea is just a bit further south than Kihei, which means that the bus to Wailea will take a little bit longer.
To get to South Maui, you’ll first take the bus to the Queen Kaahumanu Center. And then from there you’ll find a direct bus to South Maui on the Kihei Islander bus route. You may consider taking the bus to the Shops at Wailea, which is an outdoor shopping mall. You can walk through the mall to get to the Wailea Beach Path.
Going by bus from Lahaina to Wailea will likely take over 2 hours. (google maps)
Lahaina to Wailea: See more about things to do as a day trip from Lahaina.
9. The furthest south you can go in South Maui is the Shops at Wailea.
For reference on a map, you can look for the Shops at Wailea to find the furthest south you can go by bus. The nearest bus stop to here is a few minutes walk away. It’s also about a 15 minute walk away from Ulua Beach, another top snorkeling spot on Maui.
10. The bus from Lahaina to Paia will require one bus transfer.
To get to the hippie town of Paia, you’ll first take the bus to the Queen Kaahumanu Center. And then from there you’ll find a direct bus to Paia on the Haiku Islander bus route.
Going by bus from Lahaina to Paia will likely take over 2 hours. (google maps)
11. The bus from Lahaina to the Kahului airport will require one bus transfer.
You can also get to/from the main Maui airport by bus.
To get to Kahului airport, you’ll first take the bus to the Queen Kaahumanu Center. And then from there you’ll find a direct bus to the airport on the Haiku Islander bus route or the Upcountry Islander bus route.
You will want to allow plenty of time just in case there are delays! If you plan on taking the bus to the airport from Lahaina, then you may also try to schedule your flight from Maui for later in the day.
Going by bus from Lahaina to the Maui airport will likely take around 2 hours. (google maps)
Maui airport to Lahaina: See more about taking the bus from the Maui airport.
And that’s a bit about what to do when you’re staying in Lahaina!
See more of what to do on Maui:
- The best of West Maui
- The best of South Maui
- The best of East Maui (Road to Hana)
- The best Maui hikes
- Day trip to Lanai
HAPPY TRIP TO LAHAINA!
Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!
The ultimate beach towel for travel?!Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
Possibly among the best Maui maps for tourists!The Franko maps of Hawaii have a high level of detail for activities and it's beachproof aka waterproof. There's an "adventure" guide map and a "snorkel/dive" guide map. Plus a wall map for home to get you excited for your upcoming trip!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phoneYou can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of these amazing tours on Maui:
- Molokini Crater and Turtle Town snorkeling or snuba tour
- Haleakala sunrise tour with breakfast
- Road to Hana driving tour with lunch
- Dream Hawaii helicopter flight #1: Fly over 2 Hawaiian islands to see Maui and Molokai waterfalls, rainforest, and sea cliffs
- Dream Hawaii helicopter flight #2: Hana waterfalls and rainforest from above plus Hana fruit plantation walk on the ground
- Sailing the ocean with a sail + snorkel trip