No one that I know actually stays in Lahaina. They just do the “Lahaina crawl”: shopping, dining, taking a boat ride out of the harbor. They stay in Kihei, Kaanapali, Kapalua. As for my years as a concierge on Maui, my favorite dining experiences in Lahaina are: Io Restaurant http://www.iomaui.com/, Gerards (it’s French, he was a master chef from France) http://www.gerardsmaui.com/cms/index.php, and was awarded five stars by Forbes. If you go, ask to be seated on the veranda; the restaurant is in a lovely old hotel. For luaus, my favorite is the Feast at Lele http://www.feastatlele.com/ because the food is fabulous and you can’t get any closer to the beach. It’s small and intimate (about fifty tables) you have your your own table,your own server, and the price includes champagne if you desire. I always told my guests at the hotel that it was a great last-night on Maui celebration place.Be sure to take a sweater or wrap, ladies, it cools down on the beach after you watch that spectacular sunset.
Here’s the AP article on Lahaina from the Maui News May 17th:
NEW YORK – Lahaina was ranked 10th on Coastal Living’s 15 “Happiest Seaside Towns.”
The survey is a first for the magazine that covers life along the coast and is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Beach communities from California to South Carolina were ranked as the “best places to live along the coasts of the United States.”
In an announcement of the ranking, the magazine called Lahaina, “the charming gateway to Maui’s world-famous Kaanapali and Kapalua beach resorts to the north.”
“Its banyan trees add a courtly air to the downtown, and its brightly colored Front Street, busy with shops and galleries, keeps things lively,” the announcement said. “Lahaina has nearly perfect air quality, and when you add its dry, sunny climate in a tropical paradise, that makes life pretty ideal.”
There were no other Hawaii seaside towns listed in the survey. The No. 1 “Happiest Seaside Town” was Kiawah Island in South Carolina, followed by Naples, Fla.; and Sausalito, Calif.
“It’s wonderful news,” said Lynn Donovan, executive director of LahainaTown Action Committee, an organization that helps promote the west-side town. “Our reaction is that we are thrilled that this is happening and that we are lucky that we live Lahaina.”
She noted that the honor comes on the heels of being ranked 21 out of 25 island destinations listed in a TripAdvisor survey and Front Street being named one of the “Great Streets of America.”
The Coastal Living ranking appears in the June issue, which hits newsstands Friday.
…So folks, how do YOU feel about Lahaina? Do you look forward to visiting it when you come, or do you avoid it and its crowds?
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