How to spend a full day in Lahaina
The Pioneer Inn is the most historic hotel on Maui. Ask for a room overlooking Front Street so you can people-watch the tourists walking down below you.
Eat dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise, a famous hamburger chain that started in the Hawaiian Islands. Live music is usually provided nightly.
Lastly, be sure to book a two- to three-hour whale-watching cruise, Molokini snorkel cruise, or sunset cruise through the Pacific Whale Foundation which departs from...
1 hide detailThe Original
Wildly successful, always crowded, highly visible, and very noisy (especially when live music plays in the evenings), Cheeseburger is a shrine to the American classic. The home of three-napkin cheeseburgers with attitude, this is burger country, tropical style, with everything from tofu and garden burgers to the biggest, juiciest beef and chicken burgers, served on whole-wheat and sesame buns baked fresh daily. There are good reasons why the two-story green-and-white building next to the sea wall is always packed: good value, good grinds, and a great ocean view. The Cheeseburger in Paradise -- a hefty hunk with jack and cheddar cheeses, sautéed onions, lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and Thousand Island dressing -- is a paean to the basics. You can build your own burger by adding sautéed mushrooms, bacon, grilled Ortega chiles, and other condiments for an extra charge. Onion rings, chili-cheese fries, and cold beer complete the carefree fantasy.
2 hide detailUpscale Eatery at the Ritz
The most recent chef de cuisine, in a long line of outstanding chefs chosen from the stables of the Ritz-Carlton resorts around the globe, is Jojo Vasquez. His distinctive menu includes sautéed Kona kampachi with mustard greens, avocado, and poached-shrimp salad; steamed onaga with Chinese black beans and pineapple emulsion; and roasted Muscovy duck breast with snake beans, enoki mushrooms, and pineapple gastrique. The four- and five- course tasting menus incorporate Hawaiian gold Kapalua pineapple in every course (pineapple scallops, steamed onaga with spiced essence, crispy duck confit, and pineapple tiramisu). The atmosphere is extremely romantic, overlooking the ocean with the island of Molokai in the distance -- get reservations for sunset.
3 hide detailWhale and dolphin watching
Since 1980, nearly two million people have joined experts on the Eco-Adventure cruises. High-tech catamarans powered with biodiesel fuel take you dolphin and whale watching in Maui. The Pacific Whale Organization aims to scientifically identify adverse factors affecting the recovery of endangered marine mammals and works to eradicate those factors. Educational programs involving whales, dolphins, porpoises, and other marine mammals are regularly organised. The organization also maintains speakers' bureau and a library on marine mammals and their habitat. Most popular are the Sunset Cocktail and Dinner Cruise.