Guest Photo Contest
  • Yummy! by David Davis
  • Refreshing by David Davis
  • Beach from BBQ area by Art F. Woods
  • Maui Nightlife by Russell Wells
  • Mai Tai Sunset by Kevin Powers

Push to CHAT Push to TALK

Maui Destination Guide

Cultural Activities

Maui’s Cultural Activities and Historical Sites

Maui’s culture is based on many different sources – from ancient Polynesian customs and Island myths to early sugar plantations and modern-day surfing. The best way to learn more about Maui's diverse culture is to immerse yourself in the museums, churches, temples, villages and historical sites throughout the island of Maui.

 

Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum

Tropical sugar cane has played a large part in Maui's history; the harvesting of sugar cane began more than 1,000 years ago, building communities and becoming one of Maui’s leading industries. The Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum pays homage to this important part of Maui's history and agriculture—and the people who helped shape it. Visitors learn about sugar cane's long history on Maui, its influence on business and agriculture, and the inner-workings of a sugar mill. In addition, the photos and artifacts left behind by the immigrant workers from the Philippines, Japan and China will paint a picture of the people who helped shape Maui’s culture.

The Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $2 for children ages 6-12. For more information contact the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum at 808-871-8058.

 

Bailey House Museum

Built in 1833, the Bailey House is named for Edward Bailey, a missionary from Massachusetts, who came to Maui with his wife in 1837 as Missionary teachers. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey purchased the home in 1850 and raised a family there. The whitewashed home is built of stone and lumber and holds numerous displays of Mr. Bailey's artwork, Hawaiiana items, as well as, 19th Century clothing and quilts. Outside the house, visitors can view a 1919 redwood surfboard which once belonged to surf legend, Duke Kahanamoku and an early 20th Century, 33 foot canoe, crafted from a single koa log.

Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for Seniors and $2 for children ages 7-12. For more information contact the Bailey House Museum at 808-244-3326.

 

Waiola Church and Waiola Churchyard

Waiola Church was built between 1828 and 1832 and was the first stone church built in the Islands. The church was built by native Hawaiians under the direction of their chiefs for the Protestant Mission. The current church was dedicated in 1953 and was named Waiola (Water of Life), after being unroofed by whirlwinds in 1858 and 1951 and burning down in 1894 and 1947.

In the Waiola Churchyard are buried Hawaiian chiefs, commoners, seamen and missionaries. Here and there is a reminder of the old custom of marking the tomb with a glass-framed picture. Among the stones are those of Governor Hoapili and his wife Kalakua; Queen Ke’opuolani, (first of the chiefs to be converted to Christianity, wife of Kamehameha I and mother of Kamehameha II, Kemehameha III, and Princess Nahi’ena’ena); and pioneer missionary, William Richards.

For more information contact Waiola Church at 808-661-4349.

 

Lahaina Heritage Museum

The Lahaina Heritage Museum is located on the second floor of the Old Lahaina Courthouse in historic Lahaina Town. The museum houses interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, and "touch and feel" displays. Visitors will enjoy exhibits featuring valuable whaling artifacts, documents, tools and scrimshaw art.

The Lahaina Heritage Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information contact the Lahaina Heritage Museum at 808-661-3262.

 

 

Lahaina Jodo Mission and The Great Buddha 

The Lahaina Jodo Mission was founded in 1912 and is located less than a mile from historic Lahaina Town. Originally competed with the support of many Japanese immigrants who worked in the sugar and pineapple plantations, it was once a sanctuary for these immigrants. The Great Budda and Temple Bell were completed in 1968 to commemorate the Centennial Anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to arrive in Hawaii. The Great Buddha stands 12 feet tall and is the largest of its kind outside of Japan.

The Lahaina Jodo Mission is open daily during daylight hours. Admission is free. 

 

 

The Baldwin House 

The Baldwin House in Lahaina was built in 1834 of stone, coral and timer, for Reverend Dwight Baldwin, his wife Charlotte Fowler and their six children. The Reverend and his wife travelled to Maui from Durham, Connecticut to start a Christian Missionary; however, with his background in medicine he took on other roles in the natives Hawaiians' lives; including doctor, priest, educator, dentist and vet. He was also a central figure in fighting the smallpox epidemic on Maui, Lanai and Molokai in 1853. Reverend Baldwin also helped to establish an education and legal system on Maui. The Baldwin House contains household furniture, photographs and artifacts representative of the Baldwin's lives on Maui.

For more information contact the Lahaina Restoration Foundation at 808-661-3262

 

 

Wo Hing Temple 

The Wo Hing Temple in Lahaina preserves the influence and history of the Chinese immigrants who predate the whalers and the missionaries. In 1909 the Chinese living in Lahaina formed the Wo Hing Society, a branch of the Chee Kung Tong, fraternal society with chapters throughout the world. In 1912, using private donations, the society built the two-story temple on Front Street.

For more information contact the Lahaina Restoration Foundation at 808-661-3262.

 

Hale Pa’i (House of Printing)

Hale Pa'i was the original printing house of the Lahainaluna Seminary which was founded by missionaries in 1831 and produced the first newspaper west of the Rocky Mountains on February 14, 1834. It was a four page weekly school paper called Ka Lama Hawaii. Hale Pa'i is located on the campus of Lahainaluna High School, the oldest educational institution west of the Rocky Mountains.

For more information contact the Lahaina Restoration Foundation at 808-661-3262.

 

Hale Pa'ahao (Stuck-In-Irons-House)

In 1850 the Hale Pa'ahao was built at a leisurely pace by convict laborers. It was built out of coral stone from the demolished waterfront Fort and had the standard wall shackles and ball and chain restraints for difficult prisoners. Most of the inmates were there for deserting ships, drunkenness, working on the Sabbath, or dangerous horse-riding.

For more information contact the Lahaina Restoration Foundation at 808-661-3262.

 

The U.S. Seaman’s Hospital

Originally built in 1833 as a hideaway for Kamehameha III; the U.S. State Department leased the building in 1844 as a hospital for sick and injured seamen, particularly whalers who were in abundance between 1820 to 1860. It was rumored that the doctors at the hospital collected per diem fees from the government for patients long since buried in the Seamen’s Cemetery. Next door to the U.S. Seaman's Hospital is an early residence, typical of the homes in sugar plantation camps.

For more information contact the Lahaina Restoration Foundation at 808-661-3262.

 

Maria Lanakila Catholic Church

The first Roman Catholic mass on Maui was held 1846. The Maria Lanakila Catholic Church was established in downtown Lahaina by Father Aubert in 1846. The present church, built in 1928 is a concrete replica replacing an earlier wooden structure.

For more information contact the Maria Lanakila Catholic Church Parish office at 808-661-0552.