Return visitors to Maui are always looking for something they may have missed before. This journal offers some ideas.
by two cruisers on January 16, 2009
Being return visitors (fifth trip) we had already knocked off an impressive list of "Things to Do on Maui". Therefore on this trip we looked for some places where we hadn’t been and returned to others that had a lot of appeal. Any Maui list contains restaurants and I have addressed that in my journal "Maui Grinds". Often we look for an activity that is in the neighborhood of places where we want to eat. That’s why we went to see Dragon Teeth. On the other hand we found a terrific restaurant, Café 808, because it is near Kula Botanical Gardens. Maui offers such beautiful scenery; just the drive from Lahaina to Ma’alaea is a joy. Even with gasoline selling at $3.85 per gallon we only spent $40 on gas during a two-week stay. Part of that is due to careful planning of our day trips, but mostly we allowed Polynesian Paralysis to set in. We spent a lot of time on our lanai or walking through the neighborhood. We arrived on Halloween night. That means party time in Lahaina. Finding our condo meant dodging lots of costumed and "happy" people. Sorry we missed the parade. A few days later it was Election Day when Hawaii’s native son Barack Obama was elected to the presidency. We saw a lot more happy people that day. We like to get the feel of places we travel to as potential places to live. That includes checking out the real stores like hardware, drugstores and groceries. We made two trips to the Lahaina Library and to two bookstores. We also attended two church services at Emmanuel Lutheran Church at 655 Wainee Street. They have a small but friendly congregation who sing one hymn in Hawaiian at each service. One thing is for sure; Maui has a lot to offer.
This aptly named geological formation is found on a peninsula between Oneloa Bay and Honokahua Bay. To get there take Honoapi’ilani Highway (Hwy 30) to Office Road north of the "Twin Cities" of Napili- Kapalua. Turn makai (seaward) and at the T- intersection turn right. There is a small parking lot next to a golf course. My guidebook said it is a five-minute walk along the side of the golf course. That would be if you really step it off. Us old folks took 2 or 3 times that time going out. Coming back we cut across the golf course since no one was playing at the time. Why did I drag you here? Because, you can see a rare and interesting form of lava. It is fine grained, light colored to almost bleached white. That’s unique in Hawaii but top that off with the formation and you really have something. Salt spray on the upwind side forced the lava into shapes resembling dragon’s teeth. Ok, I never personally have seen dragon teeth, however it still is a good way to describe the formations. Since you walked all this way you might as well sit on a boulder and enjoy the wave action coming into the bay. We could see D.T. Fleming Beach Park off to the right. I recommend that when you leave the parking lot, follow Lower Honoapi’ilani Road into Napili and stop at Napili Shores condo resort where you can have breakfast lunch or coffee break at The Gazebo. They are open from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Or, proceed on to Fleming Beach, one of the top rated beaches and popular with the locals. It is long and wide with plenty of shade and park facilities.
On our first trip to Maui the Tour director took us directly from the airport to the ‘Iao Needle. What an exotic beginning to a trip! This trip we saved it for our last day. Headed for the airport we had lots of time to kill between hotel checkout time and airport check-in time (one of the biggest frustrations of traveling here). You never, ever want to leave all your stuff in the car and be out of sight of the car. We have talked to too many people who had a great trip until the last day when they were ripped off while shopping or lunching or beaching. At the ‘Iao Needle one of us stayed with the car while the other one hiked up the trail. There is no fee for the park.The Iao Needle is a monolith rising from the floor of stream fed valley. It is a deceptively peaceful area, lush green with lovely flowering plants and lively water over a bolder strewn streambed. This was also an historical site. It was here that Kamehameha the Great backed the Maui tribesmen up this valley where they were then slaughtered. It was one of the bloodiest battles in the "unification" process that joined all the islands under Kamehameha’s rule. There is now a recreation of a Maui "pre-European discovery" settlement alongside the streambed. That includes flooded taro beds and other plants used for food and objects for daily living. The day we visited there were busloads of school kids visiting, too. What a great learning experience.Leaving the area you can make a side trip through the Heritage Gardens Park. Another nearby attraction we have visited and enjoyed is the Bailey House Museum on Main Street in Wailuku.
This is one of the most serene and lovely places to be found in Lahaina. From Front Street turn makai (seaward) at the church with the "Jesus Coming Soon" sign on the roof. The road immediately forks. The right one takes you to the Mala Wharf. The left one, Ala Moana Street, takes you to a beach access, the Puuphia Cemetery and the Jodo Mission. The beach access park has a lot of local activity including some who appear to have taken up residence in junker cars and vans. The cemetery is like none other I have seen. Instead of lush green lawns it is dry and desolate. Snow fences indicate an effort to control the encroaching sand dunes. The Jodo Mission has two entrances; the one closer to the beach appears to be for business or members only.A sign at the other entrance welcomes visitors to this Lahaina Historical Site. In 1968, to commemorate the Centennial Celebration of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii a great Buddha statue was dedicated. It is the largest of its kind outside of Japan. The 3.5 ton copper and bronze bell was also dedicated that year. In 1970, the Temple and Pagoda were added. All of the architecture is authentic to that found in Japan. It is a lovely site. The grounds are spacious and well maintained. I wish there had been a brochure or a guide to help us learn what we were looking at. Since it is an active worship site I was reluctant to explore inside the buildings. I read later that in forgoing that part of the tour I had made a mistake, as there are five outstanding Buddhist paintings inside the temple. So, don’t be shy, just be respectful. In the neighborhood, over the stream bridge is the Lahaina Cannery Mall on the right and Aloha Mixed Plate restaurant on the left. Both are worth the stop.
Upcountry Maui is so different from the resort areas. First of all it’s cooler, but not cold. The roads are narrow and twisting, but well maintained. There is more rain but also more lush landscapes. On other trips Upcountry our goal was to see the crater at Haleakala, a worthy goal. This time we decided to stop and smell the flowers. Kula Botanical Gardens is located at 638 Kekaulike Ave (Hwy. 377) in Kula. There will be an official Hawaii Visitor Bureau Warrior sign on the road to tell you were to turn. My advice is to drive slowly or you could be past the sign before it registers. If you get to the intersection with Hwy 37, you have gone too far!The McCords set up the garden as a display for his landscape architecture business in 1968. It is still family owned and operated garden covering 8 acres. Admission is low at $2.00 for kids, $7.50 for adults and $6.50 for us seniors. The hours are 9-4 daily. If there is a hint of rain be sure to pick up the loaner umbrellas in the gift shop. They also loan you a laminated map to help you enjoy the garden better and to prevent you from walking in circles! Features of the garden are an aviary, carved tiki exhibit, waterfalls, koi pond, specialized gardens for orchids, bromeliads, and protea. To two tourists from Iowa it is always startling to see what we think of as house plants growing to be as tall or taller than we are. Our absolutely favorite part of the garden was the protea and banksias flowers. They are so unique. Overall the garden had been well planned with good variety and interesting displays. However, the whole garden seemed to be suffering from benign neglect. Some areas were really overgrown and often the informative signs were hidden by overgrowth. The most disturbing part of the garden was the Nene habitat, where two nene geese, two Africans Cranes and a few other ducks were "protected". Four of these animals were in ill health. One of The African Cranes had open wounds. The water they were swimming in was thick and murky with lots of floating debris. I’m not including our pictures taken here because they are disgusting. The aviary also was poorly attended to. Bird droppings were very thick under the perches. Because of these two disturbing areas I hesitate to recommend this attraction. The Jackson Chameleon exhibit near the gift shop was well maintained.
I had an afternoon of laundry to do and the extra heat in the condo drove Bill out in search of good air conditioning. Since Lahaina relies on the mountain breezes for natural cooling, not many places are air-conditioned. He ruled out the Cannery Mall, which does have AC as too distracting. We found the address for the Public Library and he set off for an afternoon of quiet and cool, his two favorite things. On four previous trips to Maui we had walked by this unprepossessing building and hadn’t even given it a second glance. But then we were walking on Front Street in Lahaina and really looking at its backside. Looking at it from the harbor side, it is quite charming. It has a lovely shaded yard, complete with a couple of napping people. Parking is a real challenge but after much circling and backtracking he found a spot. The surprise was the Public Library was the only open-air library he had ever seen…no air conditioning. He settled in anyway and enjoyed it. A week later we returned so I could check it out. It is a very nice small library with friendly staff that is good with visitors. They have several library carts near the entrance with books for sale cheap. If you finished your "airplane" book and none of the books at your condo/hotel exchange appeal to you, check out this charming place. There were no easy chairs but the library tables had comfortable chairs and vases full of flowers, too.In the neighborhood you will find all the joys of Lahaina town: scenery, shopping, and cafes aplenty.
This is one of Central Maui’s most worthwhile attractions. They take you on a tour of the Ocean by starting in the shallows of a Surge Zone and proceeding to ever increasing depths of reef tanks. Our first trip through here we used the talking wands for information. At each numbered stop, we would key in the correct number and hear a detailed description of the type of marine life present in the tank. These are great sources of information, however we noticed that almost everyone is just carrying it by the end of the exhibit. There may be just too much detail given. Also, after awhile my ear hurt! Maybe those used to I-pods would be better adjusted to their use. On this second trip, I toured wand-less. I enjoyed the sense of freedom, being able to move on when it was an unexciting tank. Linger at the more lively ones. I do think the Living Reef exhibit is the best in the center. Moving on from that building, I briefly visited the turtles, hammerhead sharks and tide pool exhibits. At the tide pool you are allowed to gently handle the critters. The next best exhibit is the Marine Mammal Discovery Center. There are a lot of hands-on displays geared at educating groups of school children, but lets face it, as an adult I like to play the games, too. One very small display on the Hawaiians and the Sea seems to be ignored by most tourists as they hurry on to the spectacular jellyfish tanks. The most dramatic tank is saved for last. Visitors walk through a clear 54-foot acrylic tunnel that cuts through the Open Ocean tank. Sharks and Rays and many other "big guys" swim over you and passed you. If your timing is good, a scuba equipped guide answers questions from inside the tank. This could be an all day adventure, especially if you stop for lunch at Seascape Ma’alaea Restaurant where the food is elegant, tasty and the harbor view is lovely. There is more family fare food available at the Reef Café. We haven’t tried their menu as seating is outside in the hot hot sun. They also have a good gift shop with enough variety to please all the members of the family. I paid $25 admission, which may have been the geezer rate. In the neighborhood are the Harbor Shops which include: Moonbow Tropics a good store for resort wear: and The Whaler General Store where you can stock up on postcards, calendars, candy, coffee, nuts and other must have Hawaiian souvenirs.
Located between the Banyan Tree and the Lahaina Harbor is a blocky two story building with four columns on the front. This is the Old Courthouse. Built in the 1800s using stones from the demolished palace of Kamehameha III, it served as courthouse and customhouse. Presently it has four functions: offices for The Visitor Center, co-op gallery for local artists, museum and gift shop. I confess that on previous trips I only ventured in here to use the public restrooms. Now I know its other values.The gallery occupies one half of the first floor and a rabbit warren of rooms in the basement that include a few jail cells. The artwork here is generally less professional than can be found in Maui’s many galleries, but it is a good starting place for artist and artisans. On the upper floor half the building is office space, restrooms, and elevator. The other half of that floor is nice little museum of Maui historical items. There is no admission fee. We saw lots of scrimshaw, whalebone artifacts and other mariner crafts and tools. On the remaining half of the first floor was a gift shop. It was the answer to my dreams. On the two weeks we had been on Maui, I had been looking for the perfect print to take home for that honored place above our fireplace. We had done a lot of gallery hopping, and I had been very disappointed to find there was nothing available in my price range that fit my specifications of color, style, subject and price. But this gift shop that catered to all things Lahaina, had what I wanted and I even had a variety to choose from. Each year Lahaina holds a poster contest. Artists enter paintings of Lahaina or Lahaina-esque subjects and a jury selects the winner. The winning painting is labeled with Lahaina and the year, and then reprinted in lots of 2000-2500. Each print for sale is numbered and is personally signed by the artist. An authenticity document accompanies each print. All this for $10 a piece! This is possibly the best bargain you can find in Maui. I bought three and raced to the UPS Store we found at The Fairway Shops at Ka’anapali, 2580 Kekaa Drive. When we arrived home a week later our poster prints were waiting for us and they were in good condition. I found places of honor for all three prints. If I lived on Maui I would buy the new winner each year.
We came for the bakery and stayed for the art galleries and boutique shops. Makawao is an Upcountry paniolo town. The shops lining Baldwin Avenue have that old west ghost town look except they are filled with fun shops and galleries and that wonderful Komoda Bakery (see my journal "Maui Grinds"). A must see stop is the glassblower at Hot Island Glass. His art glass objects are pricey but when compared side by side with some of the imported stuff we saw, I’d say his work is top notch. He specializes in jellyfish and other nautical themes. Another favorite gallery is the S. Reeve Gallery. She does wonderful watercolors of botanicals, landscapes and sea animals. She markets her art in a wide range of items from signed and numbered prints to affordable sets of coasters or placemats. The day we were there the artist was present signing purchases. We have also been repeat customers at the David Warren Gallery where we have purchased boxes made from coconut, letter openers whose handles are carved banksias cores, and well crafted placemats with petroglyph designs. I also really liked a boutique called Collections Maui, inc. We bought a variety of Hawaiian blends of herbal tea at a General Store.Heading down the mountain towards Paia we stopped at Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center. The famous Hawaiian architect C.W. Dickey designed this elegant circa1917 Mediterranean Style mansion named Kaluanui. It was the home to Maui’s pineapple king Harry Baldwin. His wife Ethel founded the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Society in 1934. Eventually Kaluanui was granted to Hui No’eau as a Visual Arts Center. The society promotes several of the arts by providing studio space for printmaking, papermaking, woodworking, ceramics and jewelry. We were very disappointed to arrive when the galleries were closed due to changing exhibits. We were welcome to tour the gift shop and the grounds. The grounds were interesting; we peered into a courtyard and strolled the lawn. One surprise was the tower of pots forming a totem pole near the ceramics studio. Hui No’eau is located at 2841 Baldwin Ave. Continuing down Baldwin Avenue we appreciated the lovely scenery often being able to see the entire isthmus connecting West Maui from the Haleakala Mountain. In Paia we stopped at two more good galleries. Maui Hands and Maui Crafts Guild are located on opposite sides of the Hana Highway surrounded by other shops and restaurants. The first sells fine arts, such as sculptures, paintings, prints and jewelry. The second one sells fine crafts including ceramics, glass, fibers, baskets and photography. The guild shop is a co-op so your clerk may be the craftsman who made your purchase.
This is our seventh trip to the Hawaiian Islands and the first time we have gone to a Luau. On our first trip we went to a Japanese Tea Garden Party and we have made two trips to the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu where they have a huge luau like buffet. As for hula shows, we had seen them at the cultural center, various malls, parks and even on TV with nightly live-casts of the Merry Monarch Festival. I had developed a "Been there, seen that" attitude. However while researching online for this trip I became convinced that we had been missing out on a wonderful experience. I selected the Old Lahaina Luau based on fellow traveler’s reviews and the terrific website OLL has. It also was only two blocks from our condo, so I knew we wouldn’t get lost in the dark trying to find out way home!Be warned, reserve as early as you can. This luau offers two kinds of seating: table and chair, or low table and big pillows. You select your seating at the time you make your reservation. You reserve late…no choice. At our age getting up and down from the pillows would have been a problem. Sitting for hours in that position would have required even louder drum music to drown out my howls of pain. We saw lots of lovely younger people enjoying the pillow seating, which is culturally more correct. Bravo to them. When we arrived at the luau we were served Mai Tais, given a lei and a lovely souvenir program then taken to our assigned table. Then we were seated the waiter encouraged us to tour the grounds before mealtime. This was a great time to go on a photo safari. The landscaping is interesting, waterfront views of Mala harbor and Lanai beyond, the craftsman making and selling items, the imu, the Hale ‘ai (eating house) and the musicians hut were all photo worthy. I think we read that this luau accommodates 350 people. It took a while to seat everyone. The waiters were kept busy supplying free drinks. The bad part of the luau set up is you share a table with strangers. Our experience with that was good and bad. The young couple across from us was from the area we were traveling to next so we had conversational material. The other two couples were more interested in testing the limits of the free bar. Nothing embarrassing happened, but they weren’t very courteous about leaving our view of the stage unobstructed. Bill and I have never been big on buffet meals. I try to take little dabs of lots of things, but then end up with two good tasting dabs and seven so-so. And that’s what happened here. My two good dabs were: Kalua Pua’a, which is pork, roasted in the underground imu and Taro salad a cooked salad of taro and spinach in coconut sauce. At least I now know if we go again which foods to take normal size servings of. Bill liked the pork, Island Style Chicken, and was a little disappointed with the overcooked (burned) sweet potatoes. We looked forward to dessert. Just before the entertainment began the waiters had cleared plates and then placed the dessert trays on the table. Each tray had four varieties of mini-mini sized desserts. If you took one of each it wouldn’t add up to a normal size dessert. We were disappointed.The entertainment was awesome. These people had honed their craft. The program was divided into five sections. Starting with the ancestral Polynesian home of Tahiti the dance troupe gave us a very high energy Tahitian hula. Next we had my favorite the Ancient Hula. The next segment reflected the change the Missionaries and The Merry Monarch brought to the hula. The fourth section featured the Modern Hula like what I used to see on the Arthur Godfrey show as a kid. The Finale brought back the Tahitian style plus solo dancers.It was an excellent presentation. Leaving the Luau we were bid aloha by our tip seeking waiters (they earned, it be generous). Several of the dancers were also available for photo-ops and a very small gift shop was set up in the out door lobby. Would we go back to a luau? I would go or the entertainment, but I would ask for ringside seats or go with friends.
Spend the day here or just stop in for supplies. The Whaler’s Village is perfectly located in the heart of Ka’anapali Beach resort area. Take the seaside or street side walkway to arrive on foot. Park in the ramp for three hours and it’s free if a merchant validates your ticket. Take the Lahaina shuttle bus for $1, or the free Ka’anapali Resort Shuttle from your hotel. There are stores for most of your needs and desires. That includes jewelry stores (No Hoku was my favorite), clothing, souvenir shops that appeal to children such as the Gecko Store and Endangered Species; galleries, scrimshaw, and art prints; and my three favorites: Borders Express, ABC Store and Totally Hawaiian. This Borders has a very good collection of local interest books, gifts and stationary. At the ABC store we bought groceries (including fresh fruit) for our condo kitchen, postcards, perfume and CDs. At the Totally Hawaiian, I had trouble limiting my purchases. They have a good line of Hawaiian quilted items. There are two levels of prices. The less expensive ones have been allowed to incorporate some machine stitching. I bought a lovely table runner that was inspired by tropical plant leaves. They also specialize in Koa wood objects, Christmas ornaments with tropical theme, and Ni’ihau Shell jewelry. Tired from so much shopping? Well stop and refresh yourself with a meal, snack or special coffee from the several restaurants and shops in the complex. Our favorite for a leisurely lunch is Leilani’s. For fast food try Nikki’s Pizza/Smooth as Ice in the food court. For coffee, tea or cookies I recommend Sir Wilfred’s Coffee & Tobacco and Honolulu Cookie Company. Both are found on the lower lever.Ready to move on? Well don’t leave till after you check out the sperm whale skeleton at the grand entrance. I also suggest you spend an hour at the Whaler’s village Museum on the upper level. It is filled with interesting displays about the whaling industry. Maui was a whaling capital and that industry put down the roots of American/European civilization that changed Hawaii forever. We have visited the museum three times would return on future trips.
Bill’s top three choices for things to do on this trip were: eat, sit on the lanai, and go on a boat ride. Just a boat ride with no cocktails, no dinner, no snorkeling, No fishing, no back jarring speed adventure, no claustrophobic underwater experience, and no parasail. Just a nice boat ride to experience that bobbing, rolling, and pitching movement you can’t get on land. The folks at Pacific Whale Foundation came up with just the right tour for us. This was early November and the whales were still in transition from their summer home in Alaska’s waters. So we were steered towards the "Wild Dolphin Encounters" tour. They guaranteed dolphin sightings. With the cooperation of another tour group on a catamaran, our boat captain was able to locate dolphins for us. There were only three and they weren’t doing the acrobatics we have come to expect from captive dolphins in sea parks. The captain and crew identified them as Bottlenose dolphins that like to swim along side the boat. The more acrobatic Spinner dolphins are often found in large social groups in quiet bays. That explained why our captain took us directly across the channel from Lahaina to follow the coast of Lanai. That coastline was one of the big thrills of the trip for me. We saw interesting geological formations of sea caves, sea stacks, and changes in lava flow. We also took note of how undeveloped Lanai is and will remain. The terrain we saw is not that accommodating to agriculture, resort development, or industry. We did cruise by The Four Season Resort that had been the site of Bill and Melinda Gates wedding. It was very isolated and must have been a great place for those seeking privacy. The crew distributed free water and pop, and would have been glad to sell us beer, wine or Mai Tais. This early morning cruise was primarily a family oriented adventure, and we only saw one person who was overloaded on alcohol. The crew is available to answer questions and help with the sightings. Bill spent most of the cruise inside the main cabin out of the sun, but I ventured out to the bow deck and enjoyed the fresh air and closer look at the water. Most of the other tourists were on the upper open deck. When it came time to turn around and return to Lahaina, I remembered why I wanted to go on a boat ride. It is because the view of Maui and particularly Lahaina backed by the West Maui Mountains is gorgeous when seen from the water. While coming into shore we also saw a yellow school bus boat delivering students to the Hokuleia. Hokuleia is a reproduction of the type of double hull the original Polynesians used on the long journey to Hawaii.We returned to land in time for lunch. In the neighborhood are a wide variety of excellent food choices. We picked Burger King in part to offset the price of the boat tour, but also because for some reason boat rides make us hungry for good old greasy cheeseburgers. The Burger King was also located near the Pacific Whale Foundation shop where we had parked. Be sure to revisit the gift shop here for a good selection of postcards, illustrated books and marine wear. Now about the costs: parking in the lot near PWF was $20 for the time we needed and boat tour admission for two was $93.62. The parking would have been cheaper if we had found a free handicapped spot and used my tag. The boat tour cost would be considered a bargain on Maui.
The average tourist on Maui spends some time on Front Street in Lahaina doing the shops and galleries. There is a gap in the shops of the 800 block of Front Street where an ornate two storied wood frame building stands. I had been curious about this structure for a long time. This trip we figured out it is the Wo Hing Museum and it is open for tours. There weren’t many people on tour there and that is a shame. This is a very important structure to the cultural history of Lahaina and in particular to the Chinese community. I was surprised to learn the arrival of the Chinese predates the whalers and missionaries. The Wo Hing Museum was once affiliated with the Chee Kung Tong, a Chinese fraternal society. The Chinese immigrated here in large numbers to work the sugar plantations, build tunnels and irrigation systems. The Tong societies sprang up to help keep in contact with their ancestral homeland and to care for the aged and infirm. On the second floor is an altar room, but primarily the building was used for social concerns. Many of the Chinese immigrants worked hard to start their own businesses. On the first floor is a tribute to one family who started a grocery/general store on Front Street. Besides early photographs of store and family there are pieces of furniture and other treasured items on display. The Chinese are known for intricately carved items and there are some good examples here. In the side yard the former cookhouse has been partially restored with giant size woks and other kitchen needs. The majority of the building holds rows of benches that make up the Cookhouse Theater. A large screen TV shows a looped video of a rare treasure. We sat and watched fascinating films made by Thomas Edison on his trips to Maui and Oahu in 1898 and 1906. They really brought to life the historical and cultural books we have read of that era. This facility does not charge an admission. There is a box for donations and they do sell a watercolor print on heavy stock with the history of the museum printed on the back. I gladly bought one of these because I found it very difficult to take a photo of the building. Traffic, parked cars and hordes of people getting in the way didn’t encumber the water colorist.In the neighborhood are lots of restaurants and shops. I would try Bubba Gumps or Kimo’s for lunch and a walk through the Banyan Tree Park for an unforgettable experience afterwards.
Shopping is fun in Lahaina. Most tourists spend some time on Front Street going in and out of shops and galleries. Some days it feels like all the tourists on Maui are on Front Street! Parking is difficult to find on the street, but there are parking lots hidden behind and between some buildings. If you have a handicap tag for your car at home, take it with you. We found several handicap spots that are free, just watch your time limit. Some of the really nifty shops are a few steps off Front Street so keep your eyes open for alleys and courtyards that lead to these. These are the shops I found most interesting or of most value for budget shopping. Moonbow Tropics – quality tropical resort wear Kush Gallery – whimsical sculptures and fantasy paintings Bella Vetri Gallery – quality glass art from earrings to massive vases by well known artists Celebrities Gallery – prints by and/or featuring rock stars movie stars and TV celebs Vintage European Posters – Art Nouveau and Art Deco or more modern collectable posters Maui Hands – paintings, prints, jewelry, wood products, all by local professional artists. I buy something here on every trip Whalers General Store – bargain prices on coffee, macadamia nuts, good selection of low cost souvenirs Old Courthouse Visitors Center Gift Shop – Lahaina posters, local interest books Mission House Gallery – affordable treasures ABC – The go to store for snacks, calendars, totes, hats and more. The Wharf is a collection of shops and restaurants in a multi-level building. Crazy Shirt is the best known. I remember this is the place the tour buses stop at and probably they get a lot of business from cruise ships. It was pretty dead when we were there. Bargains can be had.They all are located on or near Front Street.505 Front Street is a collection of stores and restaurants about three blocks south of the Banyan Tree. I had a table runner custom made to go with a set of placemats I bought in the Needlework store. There is also a wonderful gallery, Maui to Go, that has an excellent selection and range of items. The saleslady there is a hoot, too. Unfortunately there are several empty shops, hope that turns around.The Lahaina Cannery Mall is air-conditioned, has a food court and a couple of better restaurants. We go there to shop at Borders, Banana Wind, Hats Galore, ABC and Longs Drug. They often have hula shows and craft demonstrations. Another advantage to shopping here is the Safeway next door.The fun thing about shopping in Lahaina is everyone seems to be having a good time. Some husbands look a little shell-shocked, but a good lunch or a tropical drink mellows them out. If you need to sit and rest, there are benches near the seawall and in the Banyan Tree Park. And where else can you walk out of a shop and see the ocean or the beautiful West Maui Mountains as a back drop?
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