Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii is home to Whaler’s Locker, your favorite Hawaiian shop. Lahaina is a historic Hawaiian village on the west side of Maui. In the early nineteenth century, Lahaina was the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and during the whaling boom in the mid-1800s, Lahaina was home to whalers from around the world.
Whaling was a worldwide business about 150 years ago, and by 1846, America owned about 640 whaling ships - the most in the world. Whaler’s hunted for whales to use them for oil, perfumes, and baleen, which is cartilage extracted from whale’s jaws used for umbrellas and corsets. Just 50 years later, the whaling industry was dead and gone due to a combination of dwindling supply and demand.
Herman Melville, the author of the classic book, Moby Dick, took leave in Lahaina, and today, you can still get a feel for the way it was back then. Lahaina is on the National Register of Historic Places and is rich with amazing sites and experiences, making it a spectacular vacation spot.
If you’re one of the millions of people planning a vacation to Maui each year, come to Lahaina! You will have the Hawaiian experience of a lifetime, plus you’ll be able to pop into Whaler’s Locker to say hi and take a piece of Hawaii home with you. Enjoy our recommendations of places to see, eat, shop, and relax, whatever your vacation style is.
Top Five Places to See in Lahaina
For the whale-watcher: Papawai Scenic Lookout. If you are traveling during whale season, mid-November through mid-August, you need to visit Maui’s best whale watching location. This spot is easy to find off the road to Lahaina and gives you a panoramic view of the ocean, where you can view the Hawaiian Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Plan to stop by in the mornings and late afternoons for the whale’s most active times and plan on staying for about a half-hour. For the best experience, listen for the loud slapping and watch that general area for the whale’s next trick.
For the history buff: Old Lahaina Courthouse. Located by the harbor in Lahaina, this strategically placed old customs building cut down on the rampant smuggling that was occurring in the whaling era. The building was home to the courthouse, the governor’s office, and the jail. Today, the Lahaina visitors center is on the first floor, and on the second floor, you will find the Lahaina Heritage Museum. The building also has two art galleries. In one, cool location, you can get a lot of information and history! Admission is free, and hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.
For the nature lover: Punakea Palms. If you love the outdoors and coconuts, you can’t skip a coconut farm tasting tour! Coconut trees are an essential multipurpose tree in Hawaiian history and Hawaii still today. From building shelters to food, and even sports, coconut trees are used in many ways. On the coconut farm tasting tour, you will learn to share the passion that the native people have for coconuts, how farms are maintained, the lifecycle of a coconut tree, and you will learn how to open and taste coconuts at different stages of maturation. Tours are by appointment and run about two hours in length.
For the animal lover: Maui Animal Farm. Maui’s favorite petting zoo is great for families, but even if you don’t have kids with you, you will love your visit with both the rare and more typical farm animals! The farm’s mission is to share their love for animals by educating others on the importance of animals to the culture, history, and agriculture of Hawaii. Currently, Maui Animal Farm requires reservations for all visits to the farm.
For the spiritual soul: Lahaina Jodo Mission. In 1931 this Buddist temple settled in its current location after first establishing itself in a private home in 1912 to spread Japanese Buddhism in Lahaina. You’ll feel like you’ve left Maui and entered Japan when you see the biggest Buddha statue outside of Asia. You can visit free of charge unless you care to make a voluntary contribution.
Top Five Places to Eat or Drink in Lahaina
For those who want to taste it all: Hawaii Tasting Tour. On this excellent walking tour, you will experience a “progressive meal” where you visit a different Lahaina restaurant for each course! This tasting tour is the perfect experience for your first dinner in Lahaina, so you can get a feel for which restaurants you might want to visit again on your stay.
For the craft beer snob: Kahola Brewery. If you enjoy craft beer, you’ve got to check out this local brewery in Lahaina. You can grab food before, and enjoy the creative and extraordinary brews of Hawaii. Kahola Brewery is open seven days a week from noon until 9:00 pm.
For the poke lover: Tamura’s Fine Wine and Liquors. You might be confused, but this is more than a liquor store. Tamura’s has a selection of over 15 kinds of poke and assorted fresh fish. Some have said that the best poke of their life was from Tamura’s.
For fine dining: Fleetwood’s. Enjoy the Hawaiian ocean views at an up-scale rooftop restaurant and bar created by Fleetwood Mac’s frontman, Mick Fleetwood. Enjoy American foods you’re accustomed to while in paradise.
For local cuisine: Aloha Mixed Plate. This relaxed beachside restaurant will give you an authentic taste of Hawaii with their large portions of traditional Hawaiian platters at moderate prices.
Top Shopping Spots in Lahaina
When you visit Lahaina, you will undoubtedly want to do a little shopping. At the very least, you will want to bring home a Hawaiian souvenir to memorialize your trip. We humbly suggest that you visit the street on which Whaler’s Locker resides. Front street is not only home to Whaler’s Locker, but it’s also home to many other great local shops such as Honolulu Cookie Company, Lahaina Wharf shopping mall, Maui Island Style, Tilly Timms, and Ono Gelato Company.
At Whaler’s Locker, you can find unique, quality gifts from Hawaii for your loved ones, no matter what they like. You’re bound to find something for yourself as well!
For the science nerd: Fossils. What’s cooler than a piece of natural history preserved forever as a fossil? Whaler’s Locker has an impressive collection of authentic fossils, including Trilobites, shark and Megalodon teeth, Ammonite, sand dollars, and even coral. Everyone loves sharks, so if you’re struggling to decide, always choose an authentic Megalodon tooth!
For the yogi: Rocks, crystals, and minerals. Many people believe in the healing power of crystals and rocks, and Whaler’s Locker has an expansive selection. Different stones can heal different ailments of the mind and body - everything from anxiety and depression, to arthritis and headaches. For this reason, they make meaningful gifts whether your loved one has already worked with crystals or is only just beginning to find the power in meditation.
For the jewelry lover: Whaler’s Locker’s fine jewelry. Whaler’s Locker has a vast selection of jewelry pieces. From rings to earrings, and everything in between. You will find unique, quality pieces available only at Whaler’s Locker.
For folk art lovers: Scrimshaw pieces. Scrimshaw is a form of art where designs are etched into ivory or bone and then colored with ink. At Whaler’s Locker, we have a variety of scrimshaw pieces from cufflinks to money clips to letter openers.
For the knife collector: Pocket or Damascus knives. Whaler’s Locker has a great selection of unique knives from which to choose. Knives make a useful memento from your trip to Hawaii.
Whaler’s Locker is open every day from 9:00 am - 10:00 pm, except on Christmas and Halloween, and we are happy to assist our beloved customers in their selection. If you can’t make it to the storefront, you can visit Whaler’s Locker at our website 24/7, 365. Never hesitate to contact us with questions, even if you’re not here in person, we are here to help!
Top Five Adventures in Lahaina
Is your vacation style adventurous? Check out these wild experiences unique to Hawaii!
Hang loose: The Surf Break Wall. Many people dream about learning to surf for their entire life and never realize their dream. When you visit Lahaina, you can learn to surf in the Surf Break Wall. Wander along Front Street, pop into Whaler’s Locker, then visit the largest Banyan tree in the United States. After basking in the glory of the oldest living tree in Maui, head across the street to the Surf Break Wall. It’s an area inside the Lahaina boat harbor, where a wall breaks the surf to keep yachts safe from potentially damaging waves. This area makes the perfect beginner surf area - and there are many Maui surf schools located right there, to help you learn!
Dive: The Atlantis Submarine. If you’re curious about the mysteries that lie beneath the sea but hesitate to suit up and go scuba diving, take a trip down on the Atlantis Submarine. You will dive 100 plus feet and see an underwater shipwreck and a reef, along with all the wildlife and maybe some scuba divers! This adventure will take you approximately two hours. Guests need to be 36 inches or taller, and capable of climbing the 10-step ladder to get in and out of the submarine.
Dinner and a myth: Myths of Maui Luau Dinner and a Show. Enjoy a beachfront luau with traditional Polynesian dancers and fire dances while the performers tell you stories of the islands! You’ll get all you can eat and drink and leave feeling like you’ve had a real adventure!
Get dirty: Lahaina ATV Adventure. What could be more exhilarating than a scenic joyride on an ATV through Lahaina? Choose to drive or ride miles of trails with incredible views of the ocean. This unique tour takes about two hours, and you’ll also learn about how important it is to preserve the area - it is home to plants and animals found nowhere else in Hawaii, or the world!
A spooky evening: Maui Ghost Walks. Lahaina, an area with a rich, long history, is also home to souls that have passed on. Take a walking tour around Lahaina, and hear tales of Hawaiian Kings, haunted beaches, and fairies. The tour is one and a half to two hours long and requires fair weather.
Top Five Beaches in Lahaina
Perhaps adventures aren’t your vacation style, and you’d rather lounge on the beach and soak up the Hawaiian sun. Enjoy some shopping at Whaler’s Locker in between lounging on the different beaches. Here are the best beaches to visit in Lahaina.
Puunoa beach - This beach is about a 20-minute walk from the Banyan tree, so you can do your shopping at Whaler’s Locker, visit the tree, then head to the “baby beach” to relax. The baby beach is the perfect beach for small children.
Kaanapali Beach - This is a quiet beach, perfect for snorkeling and catching glimpses of wildlife. It is close to resorts, restaurants, and shopping.
Kahekili Beach Park - Spend a whole day here with a picnic under a covered pavilion and, of course, some relaxing. This beach is boardwalk-lined and perfect for beginner surfing.
Lahaina Beach - Just a short walk from Whaler’s Locker, and right across the street from the Banyan tree and Front Street.
Kamehameha Iki Park - This is a small park on the beachfront with access to the beach, and within walking distance of Whaler’s Locker and other fun shopping.
Visit Lahaina and Whaler’s Locker
Lahaina Maui is the perfect vacation spot to experience the islands’ history and take in Hawaii’s beauty. Whether you enjoy a “no itinerary” approach to vacation, and relaxing on the beach or you are more adventurous, there are sights and experiences for everyone.
Now that you understand where the name “Whaler’s Locker” comes from, you will have to stop in and check it out when you visit Lahaina, Hawaii. Say hi and bring home some unique, authentic pieces of Hawaii.