A Brief History of Lahaina

Lahaina means cruel sun in the Hawaiian language. It is named so for its dry climate and sunny atmosphere as it receives less than 13 inches of rainfall per year. Lahaina was once the capital city of the Kingdom of Hawaii. It was sacked by King Kamehameha the great in 1795 and later on unified the islands of Hawaii. Lahaina remained the capital from between 1802 and 1845 until Kamehameha III moved it to his choice of Honolulu.

In 1820 the was a great build up of North American whalers around Lahaina. In the winter months whales migrate to Hawaii to breed. Over the next 40 years more and more whalers showed up and Lahaina become known as the whaling capital of the world. Today whale watching for the tourism industry takes precedence, especially between October and April where many whales can be seen breaching off of Lahaina. Among whale watching, tours and activities include: ziplining, snorkeling, diving, shopping, hiking, and luaus.