Located amidst the hustle and bustle of Front Street, Wharf Cinema Center Shops have been a mainstay of Lahaina for decades. Originally built around Maui’s first multiplex movie theatre, this vibrant shopping and dining destination has evolved over the years, while still managing to keep most of its quaint, casual, Hawaiian charm. The three-story open-air shopping complex features stores, restaurants, and courtyards connected by a maze of stairways.
Despite a few vacant storefronts, there are some one-of-a-kind shops here that we really enjoyed perusing. If you are traveling with children or doll lovers, we highly recommend you stop at Forever H&A Maui. This small gift shop specializes in a wide variety of handmade Hawaiian outfits for American Girl Dolls and Barbies. The colorful prints and whimsical designs are sure to excite younger travelers.
We also had a great time shopping at Hangloose Hammocks. This island-born business has been selling handmade, ethically sourced Hawaiian hammocks since 2007. We especially loved browsing the brightly colored, super lightweight line of parachute silk hammocks. If you’re looking for a more wearable souvenir, we recommend checking out the huge selection of t-shirts, tanks, and hoodies at Crazy Shirts. Their vibrant pomegranate and honey-dyed products were some of our favorites.
Aside from the shops, this is also a great spot to get some quality grub. The top level is home to Cool Cat Café, a popular 1950s style diner with award-winning burgers, and fun, retro décor. Down the Hatch is another in-demand dining destination, with a huge menu, daily live music, and great happy hour deals.
Even if you’re full and shopped out, the Wharf Cinema Center Shops are a fun place to people watch, wander, take in live music, or sit and relax by the small waterfall and koi pond. Sometimes, you can even watch local Polynesian artisans hard at work crafting handmade goods. Whether you stop by for an hour or an afternoon, the Shops are a fun, low-pressure destination the whole family can enjoy together.
-There is free parking available on Front Street and the surrounding side streets. There is also a paid parking garage behind the center. If you park in the garage, be sure to get your parking ticket validated at one of the stores or restaurants.
-Don’t have a car? Wharf Cinema Center Shops are a stop on several of Maui’s public bus lines. This is a great starting point if you’d like to use public transit to explore other areas of the island.
-Directly across the street, in front of the Lahaina Courthouse, is the Banyan Tree, the oldest tree on the island of Maui. Determined to be one of the oldest trees in the entire United States, this absolutely massive tree is a must-see destination when you’re on this side of town.
-Breakwell Shave Ice, adjacent to Down the Hatch, serves adult shave ice. Yes, you heard us correctly. Take your favorite alcoholic beverage, like a margarita, mai tai, or pina colada, and combine it with a classic shave ice. What do you get? Pure deliciousness. These things are addictive. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.