LAHAINA - Maui's first capital city once the center of whaling in the Pacific. Today it provides an amazing look into the past and one of the prime whale-watching destinations in Maui. Don't miss the splendor of this West coast gem. A Look Into the Past - In the early 1800s Lahaina was the capital of Hawaii and the center of activity where the royal family called home and a huge whaling industry was based. Today the royals and whaling are long gone but Lahaina still treats its guests like kings and queens and exists as one of the best whale-watching destinations in Hawaii. Visitors flock to Lahaina for a variety of reasons. The consistent warm sun and calm waters always make a vacation enjoyable and the historic attractions scattered throughout town are a definite draw. Don’t miss the Carthaginian, a replica of an 1870 whaling vessel that sits in dock near the center of town. The port of Lahaina was at one time filled with ships of this type when the town was a whaling hotspot. Next, stop off in the park and admire the natural beauty of the town’s impressive banyan tree, with its above ground roots and wide-reaching branches. On the northern edge of town at Puunoa Point is the beautiful Lahaina Jodo Mission, the home to the largest Great Buddha statue outside of Japan. Views of surrounding islands Molokai, Lanai, and Kaho’olawe are stunning—don’t miss it! If you’re interested in whale-watching, Lahaina is the place to be. During peak season, trips leave everyday to see humpback whales in their natural habitat. December to May is the best time of year to see the whales and in many cases visitors are guaranteed to see these magnificent creatures or the next trip is free. Lahaina is also home to beautiful beaches, warm water and plenty of shopping. Make sure to make it one of your stops when visiting Maui.