Maui Cultural / Historical Sites and Attractions

Maui—The Valley Isle

Cultural / Historical Sites and Attractions


Western Maui 


The Carthaginian II

Pioneer Inn

Banyan Tree Square

Lahanina Courthouse and Cannons


Masters’ Reading Room /

Lahaina Restoration Foundation

Baldwin House

Hauola Stone

Lahaina Lighthouse

The Brick Palace

Wo Hing Temple Museum

Lahaina Whaling Museum

Waine‘e Cemetery and Waiola Congregational

Church (Waine‘e Church)

Malu‘ulu-o-Lele Park /

Lahaina Hongwanji Mission

Hale Pa‘ahao (“Stuck-in-Irons House”)

Maria Lanakila Church

Seamen’s Cemetery

Seamen’s Hospital

Lahaina Jodo Mission

Pioneer Sugar Mill

Lahainaluna Seminary

North of Lahaina

Wahikuli Wayside Beach Park

Hanaka‘ō‘ō Beach Park (Canoe Beach)


Whaler’s Village Museum

Keka‘a (Black Rock)

Lahaina Kā‘anapali & Pacific Railroad


Nākālele Point / Kahakuloa

U.S. Coast Guard Lighthouse

Pu‘u-koa‘e (Kahukuloa Head)

Central Maui—Kahului and Wailuku
Wailuku Historic District

‘Īao Theater

Ka‘ahumanu Church

Keōpūolani Park and War Memorial Stadium

Bailey House Museum (Hale-Hō‘ike‘ike)

Kepaniwai Heritage Garden

‘Īao Valley

‘Īao Valley State Park

‘Īao Needle (Kūka‘emoku)

Hawai‘i Nature Center

Kanahā Pond Wildlife Refuge

Maui Tropical Plantation

Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum

Kahului Harbor

Maui Arts & Cultural Center

Castle Theater

A & B Amphitheater

Haleki‘i-Pihana State Monument

Upcountry Maui


Komoda Store and Bakery

Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center


Kula Botanical Gardens

Church of the Holy Ghost

Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area

HaleakalāNational Park 

The Road to Hāna

Pā‘ia / Ho‘okipa Beach

The Hāna Highway

Huelo and Kailua

Ke‘anae Peninsula

Ke‘anae Overlook

Ke‘anae Arboretum


Wailua Overlook

Wailua Canyon

Wailua Village

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine

Waikāne Falls

Wai‘anapanapa State Park



Hāna Bay / Ka‘uiki

Ka‘uiki Head

Kaihalulu (Red Sand Beach)

Hotel Hāna-Maui

Hāna Ranch

Kōkī Beach / Hāmoa Beach


‘Ālau Island

Haneo‘o Road Loop

Pi‘ilane-hale Heiau / Kahanu Gardens

Hāna Cultural Center and Museum

Kīpahulu / ‘Ohe‘o Gulch

Pīpīwai Trail

Makahiku Falls Overlook

Waimoku Falls

Palapala Ho‘omau Congregational Church /

The Grave of Charles Lindbergh



Cultural / Historical Sites and Attractions

Western Maui


Lahaina was the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom under the rule of King Kamehameha I in 1803-1804. Lahaina is known not only for its shopping and nightlife, but also for its rich, post-contact past, including many historic churches and homes.

The Carthaginian II

The Carthaginian II is a replica of the 960-ton (871-mton) brigantine Carthaginian, which ran between the Hawaiian Islands, China, and New England in the 1800s, and was one of the last square-riggers in the Hawaiian Islands. The Carthaginian sank in 1972 after hitting a reef outside of Lahaina Harbor.

The replica was built in Germany in 1920 and arrived in Lahaina in 1973, and then was docked at Lahaina (opposite the north end of Wharf Street). The vessel then underwent a seven year restoration/conversion into a Carthaginian replica and became known as the Carthaginian II.

The ship included handcrafted masts and yards. The ship was later sunk and is now provides an attraction for scuba divers.

Pioneer Inn

On Lahaina’s small-boat harbor is the old Pioneer Inn, a Lahaina landmark. Built in 1901 (with additions in 1965), its ambiance harkens to the whaling era in the 1800s. The peak years for whaling ships visiting Lahaina were the 1840s, when the town’s bars and brothels were the denizens of hundreds of derelict sailors.

Up until the 1950s the Pioneer Inn was western Maui’s only hotel. Many prominent guests have stayed there over the years. A renovation of the Pioneer Inn took place in 1994.

[Pioneer Inn, 808-661-3636, 658 Wharf Street, Lahaina.]

Banyan Tree Square

Next to the Pioneer Inn is Banyan Tree Square, home to the nation’s largest banyan tree, which stands more than 60 feet (30 m) high and covers more than 2/3 acre (.3 ha). The tree is one of the world’s largest Indian Banyan trees (Ficus benghalensis), and also the largest banyan in the Hawaiian Islands and the United States.

Lahaina town sheriff William Owen Smith planted the banyan tree on April 24, 1873 to mark the 50th anniversary of the first missionaries on Lahaina.

[Banyan Tree Square, Front Street between Hotel and Canal Streets, Lahaina.]

Lahaina Courthouse and Cannons

Next to the banyan tree is the old Lahaina Courthouse, a former center of government. The building was originally constructed in 1859, then rebuilt in 1925 and restored in 1999.

The Lahaina Courthouse was used for various functions in old Lahaina, serving as the collector’s office, governor’s office, post office, and local vault. The building’s basement was formerly a jail, and is now home to the Lahaina Arts Society. Artwork is on display in the former cells.

The four cannons now placed along the harbor waterfront near the old Courthouse came from the wreck of a Russian warship that wrecked and sank in Honolulu Harbor in 1816.

[Lahaina Courthouse, 808-661-0111, 649 Wharf Street, Lahaina, tours, open 9 to 5 daily.]


The ruins of an 1832 fort at Canal and Wharf Streets marks the site of a former prison that faces the harbor’s whaling ships (the prison’s main customers).

A law prohibiting women swimming out to the ships was said to have been the cause of angry sailors lobbing cannonballs at Lahaina. The fort’s blocks were used to build a prison at Waine‘e and Prison Streets (see Hale Pa‘ahao below).

[Fort, Canal and Wharf Streets.]

Masters’ Reading Room / Lahaina Restoration Foundation

The Lahaina Restoration Foundation is located in the coral and stone (hard “blue rock”) building known as the Masters’ Reading Room, on the corner of Dickenson and Front Streets. Originally constructed in 1834, the building was restored in 1970 by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

During the whaling days, the upstairs of the building was used by sea captains as somewhat of an “officers club,” providing a place for the captains to read and perhaps get some respite from their rowdy crews while still keeping an eye on them. The Masters’ Reading Room had previously been used by missionary families as a storeroom.

[Masters’ Reading Room / Lahaina Restoration Foundation, 808-661-3262, 120 Dickenson Street, Lahaina, at Front Street, open 10-4 daily.]

Baldwin House

Next door to the Masters’ Reading Room is the restored Baldwin House, one of Lahaina’s oldest buildings. Constructed of coral and stone in 1834 by missionary Ephraim Spaulding, the home was later occupied by missionary doctor Reverend Dwight D. Baldwin and his family.

The Baldwins moved into the home in 1836 and lived there until 1868. The house was also used as a medical office and for missionary purposes.

A seamen’s chapel was located behind the Baldwin House, and provided Christian reading rooms for use by sailors. In the early 1960s the Baldwin House was restored by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

The original 24-inch (61-cm) thick stone walls of the Baldwin House are still standing, but are now plastered over.

Now open as a museum, the Baldwin House exhibits many antiques and other items, including fine furniture and china brought around Cape Horn by the Baldwins. Also on display is the family’s grand piano. The building now houses the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, which offers a walking tour brochure of the town.

[Baldwin House, 696 Front Street, Lahaina, 808-661-3262; tours 10 to 4:00 daily.]

Hauola Stone

Just offshore is Hauola Stone. According to Hawaiian legend, a woman was running from her enemies when the gods turned her into the flat, seat-shaped lava rock. This rock is said to possess powerful healing properties. In ancient times, mothers placed the child’s piko (umbilical cord) beneath the stone so that their child would be strong and healthy.

Lahaina Lighthouse

Just south of Hauola Stone is the Lahaina Lighthouse, said to be the Pacific’s oldest lighthouse. It was originally constructed in 1840 and then rebuilt in 1916.

The Brick Palace

In front of the Pioneer Inn are the remnants of a structure now called the Brick Palace. King Kamehameha I had two Australian ex-convicts build the structure using locally made bricks. Completed around 1800, it was likely the first Western-designed building in the Hawaiian Islands.

King Kamehameha I lived in the building for just one year, and for the next 70 years the structure was used as a meeting place and storehouse. It was last used in the 1850s. The building’s foundations and cornerstones were later excavated, and are now visible.

[Brick Palace, located at the makai (ocean) end of Market Street, Lahaina.]

Wo Hing Temple Museum

The Wo Hing Temple, located on Lahaina’s Front Street, was built in 1912 by a Chinese fraternal society called Chee Kung Tong, which was originally founded in the 1600s.

The Lahaina temple was restored in 1983, and is now a museum exhibiting various Chinese artifacts, documents, and photos, as well as information about early plantation immigrants.

Also on display at Wo Hing Temple is Maui’s only public Taoist altar. The adjacent cookhouse has been converted into a small historic theater that shows films taken by Thomas Edison during his 1898 and 1905 visits to the Hawaiian Islands.

[Wo Hing Temple, 808-661-5553, 858 Front Street, Lahaina, 10-4:15 daily.]

Lahaina Whaling Museum

The Lahaina Whaling Museum displays a variety of whaling-era artifacts, including scrimshaw, harpoons, and a whalers’ try-pot that was used for boiling whale blubber. The Museum also has photos of the original Carthaginian meeting its final fate as it sank outside Lahaina Harbor in 1972.

[Lahaina Whaling Museum, 865 Front Street (in Crazy Shirts store), Lahaina.]

Waine‘e Cemetery and Waiola Congregational Church (Waine‘e Church)

Located on Waine‘e Street in Lahaina is Waine‘e Cemetery, the final resting place of Keōpūolani [Keōpūolanikauhiakama; Kalanikauika‘alaneokeōpūolani] (1778-1823), who became queen as the sacred wife of King Kamehameha I at age 17.

Queen Keōpūolani gave birth to two future kings, Kalaninui ‘Iolani Liholiho (Kamehameha II) and Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III), and a princess, Nāhi‘ena‘ena [Nāhi‘ena‘enaikekapuewela‘aikapēkapuokeakua; Nā‘ahi‘ena‘ena; Nahienaena; Harriet Keōpūolani]. An hour before her death, Queen Keōpūolani became the first native Hawaiian to receive the Protestant rite of baptism. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1778.)

Another prominent Hawaiian buried at Waine‘e Cemetery is Governor Hoapili (1776-1840), also known as Ulumāheihei [Ulumāheiheihoapili; Hoapili]. He was given the name Hoapili because of his close friendship with Kamehameha I (Hoapili means “Close friend”[i]).

After King Kamehameha I’s death in 1819, Hoapili was entrusted with hiding King Kamehameha’s bones. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1819, May 8.)

After Queen Keōpūolani [Keōpūolanikauhiakama; Kalanikauika‘alaneokeōpūolani] died, Hoapili married Kalākua (the daughter of Ke‘eaumoku Pāpa‘iaheahe and Nāmāhānaikaleleonalani [Nāmāhana]), and had a child, Kekāuluohi [Miriam ‘Auhea], who gave birth, with Charles Kana‘ina, to the future King Lunalilo.

Kalākua also gave birth (with King Kamehameha I) to Kamāmalu [Kamāmalunuiomano], who became queen as wife of King Kamehameha II (Kalaninui ‘Iolani Liholiho).

Hoapili married King Kamehameha’s sacred wife, Keōpūolani, becoming her sole husband when she abandoned polygamy. From 1836 to 1840, Hoapili was Governor of Lāna‘i, Maui, and Moloka‘i. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1776.) Another prominent person buried at Waine‘e Cemetery is Lahaina’s first missionary, Reverend William Richards.

Waiola Congregational Church is located next to the Waine‘e Cemetery, and was founded by Hoapili. Formerly on the site of Waiola Congregational Church was Waine‘e Church, which was constructed of stone by Hawaiians, by order of their chiefs, for the missionaries. The structure was completed in 1832, and Governor Hoapili named the church Ebenezer.

In 1838 the bell and steeple of Waine‘e Church fell down. Then in 1894 anti-annexation royalists set the church on fire because the church’s minister favored of annexation.

The structure was rebuilt, then burned down again in 1947 and was rebuilt once again. Just a few years later a storm toppled the structure. The current church was completed in 1953 and named Waiola, which means “Water [of] life.”[ii] Waine‘e means “Moving water.”[iii]

[Waiola Church and Waine‘e Cemetery, 808-661-4349, 535 Waine‘e Street, Lahaina.]

Malu‘ulu-o-Lele Park / Lahaina Hongwanji Mission

Malu‘ulu-o-Lele means “Breadfruit shelter of Lele”[iv] (Lele referred to the Lahaina district). This park was once home to Maui chiefs and later to King Kamehameha I, then his sons, King Kamehameha II (Kalaninui ‘Iolani Liholiho) and King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli). Also located at the site was a royal burial chamber.

Next to Malu‘ulu-o-Lele Park is the Lahaina Hongwanji Mission, built in 1927.

[Lahaina Hongwanji Mission, 808-661-0640, 551 Waine‘e Street, Lahaina.]

Hale Pa‘ahao (“Stuck-in-Irons House”)

At the corner of Waine‘e and Prison Streets is an old prison known as Hale Pa‘ahao (“Stuck-in-Irons House”). Convicts built the prison’s 8-foot (2.4-m) high stone walls in 1852 with blocks taken from a fort that once stood on the town’s waterfront. (See Fort above.)

Various exhibits, including ball and chain restraints and wall shackles, are a reminder of the prison’s heyday when the town was full of boisterous whalers and other salty seamen.

[Hale Pa‘ahao, Prison and Waine‘e Streets, Lahaina; open 8 to 5 daily.]

Maria Lanakila Church

On Waine‘e Street is Maria Lanakila Church, Maui’s first Catholic Church. The church was dedicated in 1858. Maria Lanakila means “Mary [Our Lady of] Victory.”[v]

[Maria Lanakila Church, Waine‘e and Dickenson Streets, Lahaina.]

Seamen’s Cemetery

Next to Maria Lanakila Church is the Seamen’s Cemetery, where many whaling-era sailors were laid to rest. Also buried at the cemetery is a cousin of the famed Moby Dick author Herman Melville, and a man that came to the islands with Melville on the Acushnet.

Seamen’s Hospital

On Front Street is the old Seamen’s Hospital, now used for offices. Seamen’s Hospital was established in 1844 by the United States government to care for sick seamen (the State Department leased the building). A large anchor on the lawn fronting the building is a reminder of the many sick and injured seamen that visited this hospital.

A purported scandal at the hospital involved the adding of the names of deceased sailors to reimbursement sheets in order to collect fees from the United States government. A United States warship arrived and completed an investigation of the notoriously corrupt hospital, but the ship mysteriously disappeared at sea on its return voyage.

The Seamen’s Hospital building was originally constructed in the 1830s for use by the royal court of King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli). Adjacent to the old hospital is a sugar plantation camp residence built around 1900.

[Seamen’s Hospital, 808-661-3262, 1024 Front Street, Lahaina; the building is now used for offices.]

Lahaina Jodo Mission

Farther north along Front Street is the Lahaina Jodo Mission (open to the public), where a huge bronze Buddha statue that is said to be the largest outside of Asia was erected in 1968 to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the immigration of Japanese to the Hawaiian Islands.

Pioneer Sugar Mill

Above the center of Lahaina is the Pioneer Sugar Mill, which began its West Maui operations in 1862 and harvested its last sugarcane crop in 1999 when Amfac/JMB closed the plant. The Pioneer Mill Company once farmed 17 miles (27 km) of coastal sugarcane fields,

During the early 1900s, about 1,600 Pioneer Mill Company workers were harvesting more than 5,000 acres (2,025 ha) and producing an annual crop of more than 45,000 tons (40,825 mtons). Amfac/JMB Hawai‘i closed the plant in 1999. Coffee and diversified agriculture products are now grown throughout the region.

Lahainaluna Seminary

The Lahainaluna Seminary is located at the end of Lahainaluna Road, a little over 1 mile (1.6 km) up from the Pioneer Sugar Mill. Though it is now a public high school, Lahainaluna was originally established in September of 1831 as the first English school in the Hawaiian Islands. The seminary’s goal was to provide advanced education for young Hawaiian men while training them to become preachers with the goal of advancing Christianity.

On February 14, 1834, the first issue of Lahainaluna Seminary’s four-page Hawaiian language weekly, Ka Lama Hawaii was printed. This was the first periodical printed in the North Pacific region.

In 1836, Lorrin Andrews (1795-1868) was head of Lahainaluna Seminary, and published the first significant Hawaiian-English vocabulary book, including about 5,700 words. (Note: Earlier lists had been published—see Hawaiian Language section, Chapter 3.)

Andrews also published a grammar book of the Hawaiian language in 1854, and then a dictionary in 1865. Andrews was an associate justice of Hawai‘i’s Supreme Court, and a judge on the probate court.

In 1838, Lahainaluna’s Reverend Sheldon Dibble (1809-1845) published Ka Moolele Hawaii (Lahainaluna: Mission Press). As a history teacher at Lahainaluna, Dibble had his students collect oral histories from native Hawaiians (their own elders, and others), resulting in the gathering of a great deal of information about the pre-contact history of the Hawaiian Islands.

The information (for the first time) was extensively written using the newly constructed written Hawaiian language, which was modeled after the oral Hawaiian language. (See Hawaiian Language section, Chapter 3.)

Dibble’s historical reports were developed with the assistance of two particularly prolific Lahainaluna students, David Malo (c.1793-1853) and Samuel Mānaiakalani Kamakau (1815-1876), now highly regarded as two of the era’s most prominent Hawaiian historians.

Malo and Kamakau collected and document many legends, genealogies and chants as well as specific details of historical events of pre-contact Hawai‘i. (See Writings of Ancient Hawaiian History section, Appendix 2.)

In 1839, Dibble published A History and General Views of the Sandwich Islands Mission (New York: Taylor & Dodd). Then in 1843 Dibble published the History of the Sandwich Islands (Lahaina, Maui: Press of the Mission Seminary). (See (See Writings of Ancient Hawaiian History section, Appendix 2.)

Malo’s writings were dated around 1840, but were not published in English until Nathaniel Emerson’s translation entitled Hawaiian Antiquities (Ka Moolele Hawaii), published by the Hawaiian Gazette Company in 1903. David Malo’s gravesite is located on the hillside above Lahainaluna.

Kamakau wrote historical articles for Hawaiian language newspapers Ke Au ‘Oko‘a and Ka Nupepa Kū‘oko‘a, producing more than 200 articles between 1866 and 1871. Samuel Mānaiakalani Kamakau was also a founding member of the Royal Hawaiian Historical Society in 1841, and served in the Legislature from 1851 until his death in 1876.

Kamakau’s Ruling Chiefs of Hawai‘i (Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools Press, 1961) was translated by Mary Kawena Pūku‘i (1895-1986) and published by Kamehameha Schools Press in 1961.

A second volume of Kamakau’s writings, entitled Ka Po‘e Kahiko: The People of Old (Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1964) was translated by Pūku‘i and published by Bishop Museum Press in 1964, 88 years after Kamakau passed away. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1815.)

In 1845, the Lahainaluna Seminary Press published the first English-Hawaiian Dictionary, which was prepared by Artemas Bishop (1795-1872) and Joseph S. Emerson (1800-1867). (See Hawaiian Language section, Chapter 3.) The first printing press in the Hawaiian Islands was established on the Lahainaluna grounds in 1837, six years after the school was established. The Ramage press was used to produce Bibles as well as a variety of other books totaling hundreds of thousands of pages. It also produced the first newspaper in the Hawaiian Islands.

A restoration of Lahainaluna’s printing house was completed in 1982. A replica of the original Ramage press is now on display at Lahainaluna’s Hale Pa‘i (“House [of] Printing”) along with numerous examples of early printing efforts, including manuscripts, books, and newspapers. The replica press may be used by visitors to print a page from the first primer in the Hawaiian Islands.

[Hale Pa‘i at Lahainaluna, 808-661-3262, 980 Lahainaluna Road, Lahaina.]

North of Lahaina

Wahikuli Wayside Beach Park

Wahikuli Wayside Beach Park is 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Lahaina. Wahikuli means “Noisy place.”[vi] The beach is a good place to swim and snorkel, with restrooms and showers available. The beach park is across the street from the post office, police station and civic center.

Hanaka‘ō‘ō Beach Park (Canoe Beach)

Hanaka‘ō‘ō Beach Park, north of Wahikulu Wayside Beach Park, is also a nice place to swim if the waves aren’t too big.

Also called Canoe Beach, the waters are used by local outrigger canoe paddlers who are commonly seen traversing the bay’s waters. Hanaka‘ō‘ō means “The digging stick bay.”[vii]


Just 2 miles (3.2 km) up the coast from Lahaina is the resort area of Kā‘anapali, which includes a stretch of pristine white-sand beach more than 2 miles (3.2 km) long.

Kā‘anapali also includes six high-rise hotels fronting the beach, with numerous swimming pools, two 18-hole championship golf courses, and 40 tennis courts. The Royal Lahaina Resort Tennis Ranch has a 3,500 seat stadium court.

The three-story Whalers Village shopping center has many restaurants and stores as well as the Whalers Village Museum, which includes various photos, artifacts (e.g., harpoons), scrimshaw, whale models, ship’s logs, and displays related to whaling. The whaling era took place from about 1825-1860, when ships arrived from New England as well as Canada and England.

The museum also includes a re-created whale ship forecastle as well as a scale model of a whale ship. The museum is located on the mezzanine level of the shopping center. Above the entrance is a 40-foot (12-m) skeleton of a palaoa (Physeter macrocephalus, sperm whale).

Kā‘anapali resort began when the Royal Lahaina Hotel and the Sheraton Maui Hotel were opened in 1962 on former sugarcane land owned by Amfac, owners of the Pioneer Sugar Mill. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1849.) Today Kā‘anapali Beach, fronting the large hotels, is a mecca of sunbathers, windsurfers, parasailers, and boat cruises as well as shops and concession stands.

Kā‘anapali’s offshore waters are also frequented by koholā (Megaptera novaeangliae, humpback whales) during the winter months, so whale watching is often possible from shore.

The lobby of the Hyatt Regency Maui includes a multi-million dollar art collection. Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i are visible across the ‘Au‘au Channel from Kā‘anapali.

[Kā‘anapali, directions: take Honoapi‘ilani Highway to any of three Kā‘anapali exits.]

[Visitor Information, 808-661-3271, 2530 Keka‘a Drive.]

[Whalers Village Museum, 808-661-5992, 2435 Kā‘anapali Parkway, Suite 816, open 9:30-10 daily, free admission,]

Keka‘a (Black Rock)

Near the Sheraton Maui Hotel is the sacred site called Keka‘a, commonly known as Black Rock, Maui’s westernmost point. At this site in ancient days Maui’s King Kahekilinui‘ahumanu [Kahekili] was known to leap from the rock into the sea. Today other brave souls make the exciting jump from atop the rock.

If the currents aren’t too strong, the southern side of the rock is a great snorkeling location, as is the horseshoe-shaped cove off the tip of the rock. According to legend, the rock’s origins involve a man named Moemoe insulted the demigod Māui, who then turned Moemoe into the rock.

Keka‘a is said to be a place from which spirits departed to go to their ancestral homelands. Keka‘a means “The rumble,”[viii] and refers to sounds made by the rock during storms.

Lahaina Kā‘anapali & Pacific Railroad

The Hawaiian Islands once had 33 industrial railroads. The main use of these railroads was to transport sugarcane to mills and bring the workers to the fields. Seven common carrier railroads in the Hawaiian Islands also transported passengers and freight.

Today the Lahaina Kā‘anapali & Pacific Railroad, the “Sugarcane Train,” is Maui’s only passenger train.

From about 1890 to 1950, the Sugarcane Train was used for transporting the sugarcane to the mill. The 1890s vintage train with replica Kalākaua coaches now provides a nice ride through the former sugarcane fields over the 6 miles (9.7 km) from Lahaina past Kā‘anapali to Pu‘ukoli‘i. The scenic train ride traverses a wooden trestle that spans 415 feet (126 m).

[Lahaina Kā‘anapali & Pacific Railroad

Lahaina Station, 661-0089, Hinau St. off Honoapi‘ilani Highway (Highway 30), 1½ blocks north of Lahainaluna Road.

Kā‘anapali Station, mauka side of Hwy. 30 off Pu‘ukoli‘i Rd.


On the northwestern most part of Maui is Kapalua, including five ocean bays formed by lava peninsulas.

The Kapalua Bay Hotel was built in 1978 by the Maui Land & Pineapple Company. Today it remains as a vacation spot for many rich and famous guests. The resort also has gift shops and some of Maui’s finest (and most expensive) fare. Less expensive, local-style plate lunches are available at Honolua Store.

[Kapalua Discovery Center, Kapalua Shops, 115 Bay Drive.

[Kapalua Nature Society, 808-669-0244, 800 Kapalua Drive.]

Nākālele Point / Kahakuloa

Western Maui has beautiful mountains, rugged and remote beaches, and pristine bays that provide spectacular summer snorkeling. The region’s ahupua‘a (traditional watershed land divisions) are still inhabited by the descendants of ancient royalty.

North of Kapalua and Honolua Bay, the road winds along the coast around the top of the island to Nākālele Point and then south to Kahakuloa (“The tall lord”[ix]), a small village reminiscent of old Maui,. The nearby coast has great swimming and snorkeling locations.

Nākālele Point is a lava landscape with erupting geysers of water when the waves are breaking. There is a modest sized U. S. Coast Guard Lighthouse. A 636-foot (194-m) hill on the south side of Kahakuloa Bay is known as Pu‘u-koa‘e (“Tropicbird hill”[x]), also called Kahakuloa Head, which provides habitat for various native seabirds. This area of western Maui’s coast has good swimming and snorkeling spots as well as hiking opportunities.

[Kahakuloa, North end of Honoapi‘ilani Highway (Hwy. 30), western Maui.]

Central Maui—Wailuku and Kahului

Central Maui is the isthmus separating eastern and western Maui, includes the towns of Wailuku and Kahului. Historic Wailuku is the county seat, while Kahului Harbor hosts cruise ships and ocean barges.

Kahului is home to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (see below). Ka‘ahumanu Shopping Center in Kahului is Maui’s largest mall, and includes a Visitor Information Center.

Wailuku Historic District

The Wailuku Historic district is located on Ka‘ahumanu Avenue, and includes the ‘Īao Theater, a well-photographed local landmark. Built in 1927 and later restored in the Art Deco style, the theater has long been the site of community gatherings, and is home to the Maui Community Theater.

Wailuku’s Historic District includes numerous buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A self-guided walking tour brochure is provided free by the Wailuku Main Street Association (see below). The mayor’s office is at the corner of Main and High Streets.

[Wailuku Historic District, Market, Vineyard, and High Streets, Wailuku.]

[‘Īao Theater, 808-242-6969, 68 North Market Street, Wailuku.]

[Wailuku Main Street Association, 2062 Main Street, Wailuku, 808-244-3888.]

Ka‘ahumanu Church

Located on High Street, this New England style wooden church was constructed in 1876. The church is said to have been built at the site after Queen Ka‘ahumanu attended a service at the location and then asked that a permanent church be built there. Ka‘ahumanu Church still has an all-Hawaiian language Sunday service.

On High Street is Ka‘ahumanu Church

[Ka‘ahumanu Church, 808-244-5189, 103 South High Street, Wailuku.]

Keōpūolani Park and War Memorial Stadium

Keōpūolani Park and the War Memorial Stadium (where the annual Hula Bowl is held) are located on 101 acres (41 ha) in Kahului on Ka‘ahumanu Ave. A botanical garden at the Park is a good place to see native plants, and the park has a 3 mile (4.8 km) walking path.

[Keōpūolani Park and War Memorial Stadium, Kanaloa Ave, Kahului.]

Bailey House Museum (Hale-Hō‘ike‘ike)

On Main Street across from Ka‘ahumanu Church is the Bailey House, built from 1833 to 1850 using lava rock and native woods such as koa (Acacia koa).

Edward Bailey supervised the construction of the building which housed the Wailuku Female Seminary, Maui’s first Hawaiian girls’ school, which trained girls in the “feminine arts.”

The Wailuku Female Seminary was founded by Edward and Caroline Bailey, who came to the Hawaiian Islands with the Eighth Company of American missionaries in 1837. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1837, April 9.).

The building was home to the Wailuku Female Seminary until about 1847, and then served as the Bailey’s house until 1888. Edward Bailey was the head of the Wailuku Female Seminary.

The structure is now plastered over, and is known as the Bailey House Museum. Edward Bailey was also an artist, and some of his oil paintings may now be seen at the museum.

Also on display is ancient Hawaiian weaponry, kapa (tapa) barkcloth, and other culturally significant items. The structure is also known as Hale-Hō‘ike‘ike (House of Display), and it is operated by the Maui Historical Society.

[Bailey House Museum, 808-244-3326, 2375-A Main St., Wailuku,, open 10-4, Mon-Sat.]

Kepaniwai Heritage Garden

Further up, Main Street becomes ‘Īao Valley Road and leads to Kepaniwai Park & Heritage Gardens, a county park where ethnic displays memorialize various cultures, including traditional dwellings of the Hawaiian Islands, New England, Portugal, China, and the Philippines.

‘Īao Valley

‘Īao Valley, an ancient burial place of chiefs, is also the site of one of King Kamehameha I’s most famous battles. In 1790, Kamehameha landed his troops on Maui to fight against Kalanikūkupule, son of Kahekilinui‘ahumanu [Kahekili].

Fighting between the two groups of warriors began in Wailuku, and the battle proceeded up into ‘Īao Valley where precipitous cliffs at the head of the valley blocked escape.

Kamehameha’s forces had the advantage of superior western weapons (muskets) as well as a cannon manned by the foreigners John Young (I) [‘Olohana] and Isaac Davis [‘Aikake]. (See Olowalu above.) Kamehameha’s forces prevailed in the conflict, and the island of Maui came under Kamehameha’s rule.

In Kamehameha’s victory at ‘Īao Valley, dead bodies from both sides are said to have blocked the river, giving the battle its name, the Battle of Kepaniwai (“The water dam”[xi]).

Kahekili’s son, Kalanikūpule, fled over a narrow mountain pass along with his high chiefs, and they sailed to O‘ahu where Kahekili began war preparations. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1790 for more details of the Battle of Kepaniwai.)

‘Īao Valley is also home to the 1,200-foot (366-m) tall ‘Īao Needle, which stands at an elevation of 2,250 feet (686 m) above sea level. ‘Iāo means “Cloud supreme,”[xii] and was the site of ancient rituals.

At the end of ‘Īao Valley Road is ‘Īao Valley State Park and the prominent ‘Īao Needle, known in ancient times as Kūka‘emoku. Rising up steeply about 1,200 feet (366 m) from the floor of ‘Īao Valley, ‘Īao Needle’s peak stands at an elevation of 2,250 feet (686 m).

The Hawai‘i Nature Center provides hiking and educational opportunities in ‘Īao Valley. The Interactive Nature Museum with more than 30 hands-on exhibits about Hawaiian natural history.

[‘Īao Valley State Park, Hawai‘i 32, ‘Īao Valley Rd., 808-984-8109.]

[Hawai‘i Nature Center, 808-244-6500, 875 ‘Īao Valley Road, Wailuku, open 10-4 daily,]

Kanahā Pond Wildlife Refuge

Located in Central Maui, Kanahā Pond Wildlife Refuge is home to many native birds including the endangered ae‘o (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni, Hawaiian black-necked stilt) and the ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Fulica alai, Hawaiian coot).

[Kanahā Pond Wildlife Refuge, 808-984-8100, 2 miles (3.2 km) west of junction of Hāna Highway (Hwy. 36), and Haleakalā Highway (Hwy. 37).]

Maui Tropical Plantation

Maui Tropical Plantation is an agricultural theme park set on 60 acres (24 ha) of former sugarcane land located in Central Maui off the Honoapi‘ilani Highway (Hwy. 30) just outside of Wailuku. A narrated half-hour tram ride educates visitors about sugarcane varieties and growing techniques

Maui Tropical Plantation also displays historic and cultural exhibits, and there are opportunities for coconut and fruit tasting as well as lei making. The “country store” sells many locally-made products.

[Maui Tropical Plantation & Country Store, 808-244-7643, 1670 Honoapi‘ilani Highway (Hwy. 30), Waikapū, open 9-5 daily.]

Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum

Maui’s sugarcane days are relived at Central Maui’s Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum. The firm of Alexander & Baldwin was one of the “Big Five” companies, which also included: Castle & Cooke; Amfac; Theo H. Davies; and C. Brewer. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1858.)

The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum features exhibits about the production of sugarcane (including a scale model of a cane crusher) as well as displays about immigrants and plantation life.

Also told is the story of Samuel Alexander and Henry Baldwin, including their ambitious irrigation ditch construction projects, and their battles with Claus Spreckels over Upcountry water.

The firm of Alexander & Baldwin was originally established in 1870 by Samuel Thomas Alexander and Henry Perrine Baldwin. Baldwin (who had lost his arm in a factory accident) and Alexander had purchased 12 acres (4.9 ha) of land in Makawao, Maui for $110 just a year earlier (1869) for the purpose of growing sugarcane.

In 1876, the firm began the construction of the 17-mile (27-km) long Hāmākua irrigation ditch to carry water from Haleakalā to East Maui.

The Hawaiian Sugar Company was established by Alexander & Baldwin in 1889 in Makaweli, Kaua‘i, and then in 1894 began its own sugar agency in San Francisco, California. In 1898, Alexander & Baldwin took control of the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company in Pu‘unēnē, Maui, and then incorporated in the Hawaiian Islands in 1900.

Today the firm of Alexander & Baldwin is worth more than $900 million. The company owns Matson Navigation, numerous commercial properties on the United States Mainland, and significant amounts of land in the Hawaiian Islands.

The Sugar Museum is located across from the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company sugar mill, which began operating in 1902, and at one time was the world’s largest sugar mill.

Workers and plantation families lived in Pu‘unēnē, which was home to as many as 10,000 workers in 1930. From the museum, Wailuku is reached by traveling northwest to the end of Pu‘unēnē Avenue and then turning left on Ka‘ahumanu Avenue.

[Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum, 808-871-8058, 3957 Hansen Road (at Pu‘unēnē Avenue), Pu‘unēnē, 9:30-4:30, Mon.-Sat. (open Sundays during the summer),]

Kahului Harbor

Kahului Harbor is the island’s main port and Maui’s only deep-draft harbor. It is also the destination of weekly cruise ship stops as well as the arrival point of cargo ships.

[Kahului Harbor, Kahului Beach Road, Kahului.]

Maui Arts & Cultural Center

Located above Kahului Harbor, the Maui Arts & Cultural Center is a world-class facility, commonly known as the “Center,” this $32 million complex was built by generous public donations, and includes the luxurious 1,200 seat Castle Theater (with orchestra, mezzanine, and balcony levels).

Less formal affairs, such as rock and roll shows, take place in the A & B Amphitheater. Also at the Center are exhibits, classrooms, an art gallery, another theater, and a lava rock wall.

[Maui Arts & Cultural Center, 808-242-2787, Box office: 808-242-7469, 1 Cameron Way, Kahului Beach Road (above Kahului Harbor), Kahului; open 9-5 weekdays.]

Haleki‘i-Pihana State Monument

King Kamehameha I’s sacred wife Queen Keōpūolani [Keōpūolanikauhiakama; Kalanikauika‘alaneokeōpūolani] was born at this location.

The site was also the residence of the residence of Kahekilinui‘ahumanu [Kahekili], Maui’s famous warrior and last ruling chief. It is also where King Kamehameha I came after the battle to make an offering to his war god.

The site, with panoramic views of central Maui, consists of two heiau: Haleki‘i and Pihanakalani. Pihanakalani was a luakini (where human sacrifices were performed), and is thought to have been the site where King Kamehameha I enacted the last of such sacrifices on Maui.

Haleki‘i Heiau was rebuilt in 1958 with the goal of replicating its original structure as it looked when it was built, which is thought to have occurred around A.D. 1200.

[Haleiki‘i-Pihana Heiau State Monument, Kea Place, off Kūhiō Place, from Waiehu Beach Road (Hwy. 340), Kahului, Open 7-7 daily.]


Maui’s “upcountry” towns offer leisurely walks through botanical gardens as well as many scenic views. The upcountry region starts at about the 1,000-foot (305-m) elevation, at Pukalani (“Heavenly Gate”[xiii]), and then ascends higher on Haleakalā’s slopes to the ranching communities of Makawao, Kula, Kēōkea, and ‘Ulupalakua.

[University of Hawaii Maui Agricultural Substation, 808-878-1213, 209 Mauna Place, off Copp Rd.]

[Enchanting Floral Garden, 808-878-2531, Hawai‘i 37 at Milepost 10, Kula.]



The town borders ranch lands, and still evokes the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) spirit. Local rodeos include the annual Makawao Rodeo held every July 4. Makawao’s false-front buildings give the town an Old West feel.

Many of Makawao’s original founders were Portuguese and Japanese immigrants who came to the Hawaiian Islands to work on the sugar plantations, and then later moved “upcountry.”

A Makawao town landmark is the Komoda Store and Bakery, which has changed little in the last 75 years. Also located in Makawao is Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center, in an old plantation-era home. Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center offers classes as well as exhibits.

[Makawao, Highway 365, East Maui.]

[Komoda Store and Bakery, 808-572-7261, 3674 Baldwin Avenue.]

[Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center, 808-572-6560, 2841 Baldwin Ave., Makawao,, open M-Sat., 10-4.]


Kula is known for its flower farms where protea, bird of paradise, orchids, carnations, and many other flowers bloom in great quantities. Kula farmers also produce a variety of agricultural products, including large strawberries, sweet Kula onions, and various specialty items used in Maui’s finer restaurants.

Kula Botanical Gardens is a 6-acre (2.4-ha) garden at an elevation of about 3,300 feet (1,006 m), and displays various native and Polynesian-introduced trees and plants as well as many exotic flowers, including an orchid house and about 60 varieties of proteas.

A gazebo, aviary, and koi pond also add to the setting. On the nearby property are twelve thousand pine trees, and about 1,800 are sold each Christmas.

Kula’s Church of the Holy Ghost was built in 1897. The church has a baroque-style altar and a replica of the crown of Portugal’s Queen Isabella, which was a gift from the Portuguese royal family.

[Kula Botanical Gardens, 808-878-1715, open 9-4 daily.]

Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area

Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area is located on Haleakalā’s western slope at an elevation of 6,200 feet (1890 m) in the Kula Forest Reserve. Numerous hiking trails at Polipoli lead through coniferous forests that include sequoia and redwood groves as well as cedars and pines.

Other species at Polipoli include eucalyptus, cypress, and ash. The region was extensively planted in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a work program that was instituted during the Depression.

Camping at Polipoli is allowed with permits, and one cabin is available for rent (see information below).

[Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area, 808-984-8109. Directions: From Kula, take Kekaulike Avenue (Hawai‘i 377), turn up Waipoli Road; Reservations: Division of State Parks.]

HaleakalāNational Park 

East Maui, the drier leeward side of Maui, is dominated by Haleakalā Volcano, an important location in ancient Hawaiian culture.

According to legend, Hina, the mother of the demigod Māui, did not have time to dry her kapa cloth, and so she asked her trickster son Māui to do something about the short days. Māui saw the sun appear at the top of Haleakalā each morning and then race across the sky, so he went there and waited for the sun to rise.

When the sun appeared, Māui lassoed its rays and made it agree to move more slowly across the sky. Haleakalā is defined as “House [used] by the sun.”[xiv] or “House of the shadow of the sun”[xv] (hale means “house,” aka means “shadow,” and lā means “sun.”

Ancient astronomers of the Hawaiian Islands used the bowl of the summit crater somewhat like a giant sundial, observing the points of rising and setting of the sun that revealed to them the beginning and end of particular seasons.

According to legend, Māui went to Haleakalā to seek the knowledge of a‘o hōkū (astronomers) there, who used the movement of shadows passing over the bowl of the summit crater to study the transition of the sun.

Haleakalā summit is said to have been an ancient school of astronomy, and the traditional legend of Māui ensnaring the sun is said to mean, more literally, that he snared the knowledge of the sun, and then went on to become the most famous ho‘okele (navigator) in all of ancient Polynesia.

Today locals consider the summit of Haleakalā, which rises to 10,023 feet (3,055 m), the best place in the world to see the sunrise. Many visitors arrive before first light to stand in awe as the sun arrives.

The volcano is still potentially active. In 1790 Haleakalā released an estimated 22 square miles (57 sq. km) of lava, totaling nearly one billion cubic feet (28,316,847 cu. m) of lava.

The lava flows reached the sea and formed the Cape Kīna‘u Peninsula, changing the shape of the southwest Maui coastline. An ancient proverb states, “Akāka wale o Haleakalā,” (“Haleakalā stands in full view.”), which was “...said of anything that is very obvious or clearly understood.”[xvi]

Relatively recent lava, ash, and cinder flows have left black, yellow, gray, and red streaks across the summit crater of Haleakalā. The 21-square-mile (54.4-sq-km) summit crater is 7 miles (11.3 km) long and 3,000 feet (914 m) deep.

Haleakalā’s summit crater is a moonscape of brown, red, green, and black mineral deposits, as well as cinder cones, some of which are more than 600 feet (183 m) tall. The summit area is so lunar-like it was actually used by astronauts training for missions to the moon.

A unique phenomenon occurs at the summit area when mist or clouds roll into the summit crater. A person standing at an overlook may find their shadow cast onto the clouds below and completely encircled by a rainbow. This phenomenon is known as akakū ānuenue (rainbow apparition), and is also known as the “Specter of the Brocken,” referring to a place in Germany where this phenomenon also occurs.

Science installations atop Haleakalā include the Advanced Electro-Optical System 3.7-meter Telescope (1997); the Mees Solar Observatory (1964); the Lunar Ranging Facility (1976/1984); and the Maui Space Surveillance Site and Haleakalā Observatories Projects.

[Photograph: Haleakalā Summit]

[Haleakalā National Park, 808-572-4400, 871-5054; Summit Visitor Center, 11 miles (18 km) from entrance;]

[Pony Express Tours (in summit caldera), 808-667-2200.]

The Road to Hānā

Pā‘ia / Ho‘okipa Beach

Pā‘ia is a former sugarcane town, which had a mill and plantation housing. Pā‘ia grew rapidly during World War II when marines were stationed at the nearby town of Ha‘ikū.

About 2 miles (3.2 km), past Pā‘ia is Ho‘okipa Beach, a world famous windsurfing and surfing location where experts of the sport ply their trade in the offshore wind and waves.

[Pā‘ia, junction of Highways 390 and 36.]

[Ho‘okipa Beach, 2 miles (3.2 km) past Pā‘ia on Highway 36.]

The Hāna Highway

The road to “heavenly Hāna” begins after passing the town of Pā‘ia and the famous windsurfer beach of Ho‘okipa.

From Pā‘ia, the Hāna Highway (Hwy. 360) proceeds to wind its way along 53 miles (85 km) of rugged lava coastline and past dozens of waterfalls. The road also rounds 617 turns and crosses over 56 bridges, most of them one lane, and each with its own poetic name.

Along the Hāna Highway are many pleasant stops, including several wayside parks with waterfall views as well as some opportunities for short hikes.

Huelo and Kailua

A small farm town, Huelo is the site of two churches and several Bed and Breakfast accommodations. Kailua’s residents are mostly employees of Alexander & Baldwin. Near Mile Marker 11 is the bridge over Puahokamoa Stream with waterfalls and pools as well as picnic tables (but no restrooms).

[Huelo and Kailua, Mile Markers 5 and 6, Hāna Highway (Hwy. 360).]

Ke‘anae Peninsula

Ke‘anae Overlook is located near Mile Marker 17, with great views over the lo‘i kalo (taro ponds) of Ke‘anae and the Pacific Ocean. A turnoff from the main road near Mile Marker 17 leads to the Ke‘anae Peninsula, the site of ancient lo‘i kalo (taro patches) and more scenic, rugged lava shoreline.

[Ke‘anae Peninsula, Overlook, near Mile Marker 17, Hāna Highway (Hwy. 360).]

Ke‘anae Arboretum

Ke‘anae Arboretum displays many native and Polynesian-introduced plants. The Ke‘anae Arboretum also has a swimming hole on the Pi‘ina‘au Stream. A hiking trail near a lo‘i kalo (taro patch) leads to a nice forest area.

[Ke‘anae Arboretum, Hāna Highway (Hwy. 360), Mile Marker 17, Ke‘anae, open daily.]


Wailua Overlook provides views of Wailua Canyon and Wailua Village. At Wailua Village is the historic church now called Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, and formerly called St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church. The historic church was built of coral in 1860.

[Wailua Overlook, near Mile Marker 21, Hāna Highway (Hwy. 360), Wailua.]

Waikāne Falls

A prodigious supply of water makes Waikāne Falls among the most scenic of the waterfalls along the Hāna Highway.

[Waikāne, just past Mile Marker 21, Hāna Highway (Hwy. 360), Wailua.]

Wai‘anapanapa State Park

Just before the town of Hāna is Wai‘anapanapa State Park, a scenic camping and picnic spot on a grassy lawn atop the coastline’s black sand beaches. Also located on this stretch of coastline are tide pools, sea caves, and lava stone arches. Sacred sites nearby include a heiau (sacred place of worship) and a burial site. Cabins at Wai‘anapanapa are available by advance reservation.

[Wai‘anapanapa State Park, 808-984-8109, near Mile Marker 32, Hāna.]


On Maui’s eastern shore is “Heavenly Hāna,” known for its spectacular coastline and beautiful beaches. Hāna is also known for its many rivers and streams, scenic waterfalls, and refreshing swimming holes.

The town of Hāna is centered on Hāna Bay. On the southern side of Hāna Bay is Ka‘uiki, the site of major battles between warriors from the islands of Hawai‘i and Maui. A short trail on the right side of Hāna Bay leads to the cave that was the birthplace of Queen Ka‘ahumanu (1768-1832).

At the base of Ka‘uiki Head is the beach called Kaihalulu, also known as Red Sand Beach. The red sand was produced by the erosion of a nearby cinder cone. Kaihalulu means “Roaring sea.”[xvii]

Hotel Hāna-Maui

Hāna is the site of Maui’s first resort, the Hotel Hāna-Maui, which opened in 1961 and has since hosted many famous guests including Clark Gable. The low-key hotel includes a restaurant, bar, and gift shops.

The last sugarcane plantation in the area shut down in the 1940s. Ranching became a mainstay of the region’s economy after 1946 when rancher Paul Fagan built Hotel Hāna-Maui and stocked a cattle ranch in the surrounding area. A cross on the hill above the hotel was placed there in memory of Fagan.

[Hotel Hāna-Maui, 808-248-8211, Hāna Highway (Hwy. 360), Hāna.]

Hāna Ranch

The Hāna Ranch encompasses 3,000 acres (1,214 ha).

Kōkī Beach / Hāmoa Beach

About 2 miles (3.2 km) past Hāna are Kōkī Beach and Hāmoa Beach, and the important Hawaiian cultural sites known as Ka-iwi-o-Pele (“The bone of Pele”) and ‘Ālau Island, which is a seabird sanctuary offshore of Kōkī Beach.

According to Hawaiian legend this is where the demigod Maui fished up the Hawaiian Islands from the sea. ‘Ālau means “Many rocks.”[xviii]

The beaches are accessed by taking the 1½-mile (2.4-km) Haneo‘o Road Loop that runs past both Kōkī and Hāmoa beaches and also passes two ancient loko i‘a (fishponds). Hāmoa Beach is used by patrons of the Hotel Hāna-Maui. Public access is provided by steps leading to the beach.

[Kōkī Beach/Hāmoa Beach, turnoff is about 2 miles (3.2 km) past Hāna, ½-mile (.8 km) south of Hāna Ranch headquarters.]

Pi‘ilane-hale Heiau / Kahanu Gardens

Just north of Hāna town is Pi‘ilane-hale Heiau, said to be the largest of all heiau (sacred places of worship) in the Hawaiian Islands. The heiau was built for the famous Maui chief Pi‘ilani around A.D. 1400.

Pi‘ilani also supervised the building of a 10-foot (3-m) wide road encircling Maui. The heiau, still overseen by local caretakers, offers a brochure for those interested in a self-guided tour (for a fee).

The heiau is located within the 472-acre (191-ha) Kahanu Gardens, which exhibits Pacific Island plant collections, particularly the important cultural plants of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. The Gardens are known for having one of the largest collections anywhere of cultivars of breadfruit.

Groups of four or more may reserve guided tours, which include the 122-acre (49-ha) Kahanu Garden

[Pi‘ilane-hale Heiau and Kahanu Gardens, 808-248-8912. Directions: At Mile Marker 31, turn left on ‘Ula‘ino Road, proceed onto gravel road, and then another 1½ miles (2.4 km), Open 9-3 M-F.]

Hāna Cultural Center and Museum

The Hāna Cultural Center is located on the Hāna Highway (Hwy. 360) in a former police station that was built in 1871. The Cultural Center provides information and exhibits about the history of the region. Also on display are traditional thatched structures and Hawaiian artifacts.

[Hāna Cultural Center, 808-248-8622, Uakea & Hāna Roads, near Mile Marker 35, Hāna Highway (Hwy. 360), open 10-4 daily,]

Kīpahulu / Ohe‘o Gulch

Kīpahulu is about 10 miles (16 km) south of Hāna, and is the site of dense rainforest and the popular ‘Ohe‘o Gulch, commonly (though inappropriately) called Seven Sacred Pools, a name not favored by Hawaiians as the pools did not have a sacred history. This whole area (Kīpahulu) is part of Haleakalā National Park.

The Pīpīwai Trail provides a ½-mile (.8-km) hike to the Makahiku Falls Overlook. A trail to the left leads to the swimming hole at the top of the falls. Beware of rising waters as this pool may be dangerous. The trail goes another 1½ miles (2.4 km), passing through groves of bamboo and leading to Waimoku Falls, which plunges 400 feet (122 m) down the mountain.

Another pool is found at the base of Waimoku Falls. This pool was partially filled by a 1976 landslide caused by an earthquake. Falling rocks (from the sheer cliff above) remain a danger, so swimming in this pool is not recommended.

Yet another swimming hole can be found by walking up the small stream that is about 100 yards (91 m) before Waimoku Falls. About halfway between the two waterfalls is another pool.

[Kīpahulu Ranger Station, 808-248-7375, Kīpahulu, Maui.]

Palapala Ho‘omau Congregational Church / The Grave of Charles Lindbergh

Built in 1857, Palapala Ho‘omau Congregational Church is the burial site of famous American aviator Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974), a former resident of Kīpahulu with his wife, writer Ann Morrow Lindbergh.

Charles Lindbergh’s granite headstone is taken from the Bible’s Psalm 139, and reads, “If I take the wings of morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea...”

[Palapala Ho‘omau Congregational Church, Pi‘ilane Highway (Hwy. 31), 1 mile (1.6 km) south of ‘Ohe‘o Gulch, Kīpahulu.]

[Garden of Eden Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 808-280-1912, Mile Marker 10.]

South of Lahaina


Located south of Lahaina, Olowalu was the site of the infamous 1790 Olowalu Massacre by Simon Metcalfe, who was in command of the snow Eleanora in the Hawaiian Islands when one of his skiffs was stolen by the chief Ka‘ōpūiki.

To exact revenge, Metcalfe lured native Hawaiians in canoes to his ship to trade, and then opened cannon fire on them, killing more than 100 Hawaiians. Off the coast of Hawai‘i Island, Metcalfe then punished Kame‘eiamoku (a high chief, and one of the sacred twins of Kekaulikenuiahumanu [Kekaulike]) by whipping him.

Some weeks later, Kame‘eiamoku attacked the Fair American, which was under the command of Metcalfe’s 18-year-old son, Thomas. Thomas and all of the Fair American’s crew were killed, except for Isaac Davis (later known as ‘Aikake ) (1758-1810), who was tied to a canoe and left half blind and nearly dead. It is said that Davis’ life was spared because of his brave fighting.

Simon Metcalfe sailed away, leaving his boatswain John Young (I) (later known as ‘Olohana) (c.1749-1835) onshore. The Fair American was taken over by Kamehameha.

Davis and Young became Kamehameha’s supporters and advisers, manning large guns from canoes during the invasion of the northern coast of Hawai‘i Island as well as during later attacks on O‘ahu and Maui. (See ‘Īao Valley below). (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1790.)

Young (also known as ‘Olohana) eventually became governor of several Hawaiian Islands and had estates on all the Hawaiian Islands. Davis (known as ‘Aikake) eventually became a chief and married a relative of King Kamehameha I.

Davis later became Governor of O‘ahu, and owned estates on O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i, and Hawai‘i Island. Young’s granddaughter was Queen Emma [Emma Na‘ea Rooke; Kalanikaumakeamano; Kaleleonālani] (1836-1885), wife of King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho ‘Iolani).

Young’s grandson, Isaac Young Davis, became the second husband of Princess Ruth Ke‘elikōlani (1826-1883).

Olowalu to Mā‘alaea

The span of coastal road heading south from Olowalu along Honoapi‘ilani Highway (Hwy. 30) toward Mā‘alaea is a prime area to see koholā (Megaptera novaeangliae, humpback whales) during the winter months. (See Humpback Whales section.)

A scenic lookout at Papawai Point on the west end of Mā‘alaea Bay is a great place to look for the huge cetaceans. Visible offshore are the islands of Kaho‘olawe and Lāna‘i, as well as Molokini Islet, a pristine snorkeling site now designated as a Marine Conservation District.

Molokini is a crescent-moon-shaped volcanic crater with great coral reefs teeming with colorful fish. Molokini is located about 3 miles (4.8 km) offshore from Mākena, and rises about 165 feet (50 m) above sea level, encompassing about 18 acres (7 ha)).

Mā‘alaea Bay and Harbor

Mā‘alaea Harbor is a busy place, offering whale watch excursions as well as opportunities for scuba diving and evening sails. The small boat harbor also has 89 slips for boats.

On the left of Mā‘alaea Harbor is a popular surfing spot called “freight train.” Inland from the harbor, the hills begin their rise up to the peak of Haleakalā, while across the channel to the west are the islands of Kaho‘olawe and Lāna‘i.

[Mā‘alaea Harbor, off Honoapi‘ilani Highway. (Hwy. 30).]

Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center is located in Mā‘alaea overlooking Mā‘alaea Harbor, and is devoted to marine life of the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Ocean.

The Center features a custom-designed 750,000 gallon (2.8 million l) saltwater aquarium holding nearly 2,000 fish. A 50-foot (15-m) long acrylic tunnel through the aquarium allows the viewer to be surrounded ocean life.

The Turtle Lagoon features honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles), and the Discovery Pool allows children to hold sea stars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. An outdoor pool features stingrays and eaglerays. A restaurant and a store at the Center sell food and gifts.

[Maui Ocean Center, 808-270-7000, 192 Mā‘alaea Road, Mā‘alaea; 9-6, M-F (June-Aug).; 9-5, M-F (Sep.-May), Directions: From West Maui take Hwy.30 past Mā‘alaea Boat Harbor. Turn right on Mā‘alaea Road. Maui Ocean Center is on the left.]


Kama‘ole Beach Parks

Kīhei is the site of many relatively new homes, condominiums, hotels, and stores built during the last two decades. The local beach parks, called Kama‘ole Beach Parks I, II, and III provide restrooms and showers as well as nice lawns with tables for picnics.

Keālia Pond National Wildlife Reserve

Also in Kīhei is the 700-acre (283-ha) Keālia Pond National Wildlife Reserve, home to many native birds. A boardwalk through the ponded areas provides opportunities for bird watching.

[Keālia Pond National Wildlife Reserve, 808-875-1582, Junction of Pi‘ilani Highway (Hawai‘i 31) & Mokulele Highway, Hawai‘i 350.]

Also in South Maui is the town of Kīhei, and the resort areas of Wailea and Mākena.

Mākena Beach State Park

Located just south of Wailea are the two beaches of Mākena. The main stretch of sand at Mākena is an exceptionally large, white-sand sand beach known as “Big Beach,” (Mākena means “Abundance”). The beach is about 3,000 feet (914 m) long with no homes or hotels to disrupt the serenity.

Pu‘u Ōla‘i, a cinder cone, rises up on the right end of the Mākena. A walk over the rocks of the cinder cone leads to the area known as “Little Beach.”

[Mākena Beach State Park, off Wailea Alanui Drive, Mākena.]

La Pérouse Bay (Kalepolepo)

From Mākena Beach, the highway leads over lava flows that formed during Haleakalā Volcano’s most recent eruption in 1790 when the volcano released an estimated 22 square miles (57 sq. km) of lava totaling nearly 1 billion cubic feet (28,300,000 cu. m) of lava.

The 1790 lava flows reached the sea where they cooled and hardened, forming the Cape Kīna‘u Peninsula. These massive lava flows changed the shape of the southwest Maui coastline, and created the area now known as La Pérouse Bay. (See Hāleakalā Volcano section above.)

La Pérouse Bay is now part of the ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘u Marine Preserve and is located at the end of Mākena Alanui Road in south Maui. Rocky reef and coral provide great snorkeling opportunities when the trade winds aren’t too strong.

La Pérouse Bay was named in honor of the 1786 visit by French admiral Jean François de Galaup, Comte de La Pérouse, who had been chosen by Louis XVI to command two, 500-ton (452-mton) armed frigates, the Boussole and the Astrolabe.

On March 6, 1786, Count de la Pérouse surveyed a Northwestern Hawaiian Islands atoll reef that later came to be known as French Frigate Shoals. Pérouse’s two frigates almost wrecked on the reef, and the French Frigate Shoals gained their name in honor of this near mishap. This was the first documented Western discovery of French Frigate Shoals.

On May 29, 1786, Pérouse’s two French naval frigates arrived at Maui. Sailing along Maui’s southwest coast, Pérouse was met by about 150 canoes. Pérouse first made a landing on Maui on May 30, 1786 at the spot now known as La Pérouse Bay (Hawaiian name: Kalepolepo). The next day Pérouse went ashore with an armed party and exchanged gifts.

Pérouse’s ships also visited the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and named Necker Island after a French statesman. After other adventures, the two ships (carrying goods to trade) left Australia in 1788 and then mysteriously vanished. Some 40 years later it was revealed that the ships were caught in a storm off the island of Vanicoro, part of the Santa Cruz group.

[La Pérouse Bay, about 7 miles (11 km) south of Wailea.]

[i] Pukui, Mary Kawena, and Elbert, Samuel H. Hawaiian Dictionary: Revised and Enlarged Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986.

[ii] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[iii] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[iv] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[v] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[vi] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[vii] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[viii] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[ix] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[x] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[xi] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[xii] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[xiii] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[xiv] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[xv] Pukui, Mary Kawena, and Elbert, Samuel H. Hawaiian Dictionary: Revised and Enlarged Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986.

[xvi] p. 13, Pukui, Mary Kawena. ‘Ōlelo No‘eau: Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1983. Proverb 96.

[xvii] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[xviii] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.