Time Travel: Lahaina History Tour

History buffs and cultural hounds will delight in this itinerary that brings the past into the present.    


Story by Lehia Apana

7:30 a.m.  If Pioneer Inn’s walls could talk, they’d divulge more than a century of local lore, not to mention the names of its famous guests ranging from political royalty (including Sun Yat-sen and Jackie Kennedy) to literal royals, such as Hawaiʻi’s last queen, Liliʻuokalani. Built in 1901, this hotel retains much of its original charm. March past the life-size wooden sea captain standing just outside Pioneer Inn Grill & Bar, and get your fill with hearty options like macadamia nut pancakes or the island-favorite loco moco (two scoops of rice topped with Maui Cattle Company burger patty, eggs and gravy). 658 Wharf St., Lahaina; 800-457-5457; PioneerInnMaui.com

9 a.m. Early Polynesians survived in these islands with help from the mighty niu (coconut), which provided food and drink, plus building materials, household items, clothing and more. Visit the postcard-worthy  Punakea Palms, where you’ll step inside a working grove, taste coconut water and meat at various growth stages, and even make your own milk to take home. Reservations are a must. 225 Punakea Loop, Lahaina; 269-4455; PunakeaPalms.com

Noon The oceanside and open-air Aloha Mixed Plate has a decidedly local accent. Try the house-made Spamp musubi, which elevates the old plantation favorite with made-from-scratch fixings and fancied up with nori and flavored rice. (“Spamp” plays on the restaurant’s initials.) Or go big with the aliʻi (Hawaiian for royalty) plate that includes more traditional dishes like lau lau, poke and poi. 1285 Front St., Lahaina; 661-3322; AlohaMixedPlate.com

2 p.m.  Lahaina is a treasure for history buffs. Here you can learn about a former compound for Hawaiian royalty, step inside a Chinese temple from the early 1900s, or visit missionary settlements from an even earlier century. The nonprofit Lahaina Restoration Foundation has preserved more than a dozen landmarks throughout the town, and volunteer docents are posted at several sites. Start at the Lahaina Visitor Center, where you can view exhibits and purchase a guide that allows you to navigate the area’s historic sites at your own pace. Guide costs $2, and is also available at Wo Hing Museum and Baldwin Home Museum. Lahaina Visitor Center, Old Lahaina Courthouse, 648 Wharf St., Lahaina; Lahaina Restoration Foundation, 661-3262; LahainaRestoration.org

6 p.m. Let your appetite do the exploring at the award-winning Feast at Lele lūʻau, where a five-course meal leads you through the Pacific islands of Aotearoa, Tahiti, Samoa and Hawaiʻi. Performances from these cultures correspond with each course, and individual table service means you’ll be seated with family and friends. And the location? You’re practically on the beach. 505 Front St., Lahaina; 808-667-5353; FeastAtLele.com

A Perfect Day on Maui: Maui Day Trips


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