Cultural Activities

Maui’s culture is as diverse as the people that have inhabited these islands for centuries. From ancient Polynesian customs and island myths to early sugar plantations and modern-day surfing, each group has influenced and left a lasting mark on the culture, traditions and beliefs practiced today. Immerse yourself in Maui's diverse culture by visiting the museums, churches, temples, villages and historical sites that pay homage to Hawaii’s past.

Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum pays homage to tropical sugar cane and the important role it played in Maui's history and agriculture—and the people who helped shape it
Bailey House Museum was built in 1833 and holds numerous displays of Mr. Bailey's artwork, Hawaiiana items, 19th century clothing and quilts, a 1919 redwood surfboard and an early 20th Century, 33 foot canoe, crafted from a single koa log. 

Waiola Church and Cemetery was built between 1828 and 1832, and was the first stone church built in the Islands. The Waiola Church Cemetery is the final resting place for many Hawaiian royalty, chiefs, commoners, seamen and missionaries. 

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

Lahaina Jodo Mission and The Great Buddha was once a sanctuary for Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. The Great Buddha was completed in 1968 to commemorate the Centennial Anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to arrive in Hawaii. 

The Baldwin House was built in 1834 for Reverend Dwight Baldwin and his family and is the oldest house still standing on the island of Maui. The Reverend and his wife travelled to Maui from Durham to start a Christian Missionary; however, with his background in medicine he took on other roles in the natives Hawaiians' lives. 

Wo Hing Museum and Cookhouse 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. 

Hale Pa’i (House of Printing) 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'ahao (Stuck-In-Irons-House) was built in 1850 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. 

The U.S. Seaman’s Hospital was 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. For more information, click here.

Maria Lanakila Catholic Church where priests held the first Roman Catholic mass on Maui in 1846, 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.