West Maui is a hot spot of both history and modern Hawaiian culture – and also rather hot in general, so bring sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and enjoy all the great stuff the west side has to offer! There is a lot to see and do, so we’ve put together this article to help you utilize it all and have a blast!
Remember the distances involved
Depending on where you are staying, West Maui’s Lahaina Town (the first of the towns along Highway 30) could be anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour away. The great thing is that West Maui is significantly smaller than East Maui, so it is very possible to “do” it in a single day.
West Maui has Lahaina, and Lahaina has Front Street
We highly recommend spending a few hours enjoying the shops, restaurants, galleries, and view that Front Street has. The art scene on Maui is centered around Paia and Lahaina, and the Lahaina hub is on Front Street.
In addition to the main shopping and dining area on the main strip, there are three separate shopping areas (two on the north side, one on the south side).
- The new Outlets of Maui shopping center has great deals, but mostly carries American brands and products.
- The Lahaina Cannery Mall, located across the street from the Old Lahaina Luau, has a more local flavor and has a food court that is much less expensive than eating on the main strip. If you’re around on a Tuesday, there is a free hula show followed by free beginning ukulele lessons.
- The 505 Front Street Center (cleverly named for its address) has a couple galleries unlike the others on the strip.
Lahaina is laid out much more logically than some towns (we’re looking at you, Wailuku) and streets run either parallel or perpendicular to the ocean and mountains, so feel free to explore a little. Generally speaking, residential streets are farther from the ocean than business areas.
Lahaina is a big deal, but it’s not all there is to the West Side
The area north of Lahaina Town has a lot to offer, such as the world-famous Ka’anapali Beach, several horseback riding tours for riders of all experience levels, snorkeling, world-class golf courses, and some amazing restaurants in the Ka’anapali and Kapalua area.
Basically, the West Side is a foodie’s paradise
Each of the major areas on Maui have a general “food vibe,” and the West Side is a global one. Front Street has a variety of delicious American- and Hawaiian-fusion places at different price levels. If you are into sushi, try Sansei’s in Kapalua. It’s a local and visitor favorite.
So, if you spent a day on the West Side…
We’d recommend starting with an earl snorkel trip after a light breakfast at one of the many coffee shops around Lahaina.
Once you’re back on dry land, hit up one of the delicious restaurants on Front Street (Cool Cat’s on the east side of the street is a great burger joint; Aloha Mixed Plate on the west side has a more local flavor). Walk off some of the food exploring the shops and galleries, and make sure to stop for shave ice at either Ululani’s or Local Boy’s West.
Afterward, head up north and watch the sunset from one of the pristine northern bays. Once you’re ready, enjoy a delicious sushi dinner at Sansei’s. If sushi isn’t your scene, stay in Lahaina town and go to the Old Lahaina Lu’au!
There are lots of ways to do the West Side of Maui. Whether you want to spend time in the mountains, the sea, or shops, there is something for you. Aloha!