Hawaii, Maui, Lahaina, Courthouse and gallery.

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Old Lahaina Courthouse

Top choice in Lahaina

Tucked in the shadows of the iconic banyan tree, Lahaina’s 1859 courthouse is a repository of history and art. Its location beside the harbor is no coincidence: smuggling was so rampant during the whaling era that officials deemed this the ideal spot for customs operations, the courthouse and the jail – all neatly wrapped into a single building. It also held the governor’s office. On August 12, 1898, the US annexation of Hawaii was formally concluded here.

The excellent Lahaina Visitor Center is on the building's 1st floor. On the 2nd floor, there is the Lahaina Heritage Museum.

There are also two art galleries operated by the Lahaina Arts Society, one in the old jail in the basement (entrance outside).

The building was given the Greek Revival style you see today in 1925 and the courthouse and other government offices here were used until the 1970s.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lahaina attractions

1. Lahaina Heritage Museum

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This small museum on the 2nd floor of the Old Lahaina Courthouse celebrates Lahaina’s prominent role in Maui’s history. Exhibits spotlight ancient…

2. Banyan Tree Park

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A leafy landmark (the largest tree in Hawaii) stands in the center of Lahaina. Remarkably, it sprawls across the entire square. Planted as a seedling on…

3. Fort Ruins

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This imposing stack of coral stone blocks standing at attention is a reconstruction of a section of an 1832 fort, originally built to keep rowdy whalers…

4. Lahaina Lighthouse

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Directly in front of the Pioneer Inn is the site of the first lighthouse in the Pacific. It was commissioned in 1840 to aid whaling ships pulling into the…

5. Brick Palace

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The first Western-style building in Hawaii, the Brick Palace was erected by Kamehameha I around 1800 to keep watch on arriving ships. Despite the name,…

6. Lahaina Public Library Grounds

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The gardens here were once a royal taro field, where Kamehameha II toiled in the mud to instill in his subjects the dignity of labor. Today they offer a…

7. Hauola Stone

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Well, that doesn't look entirely comfortable. At the northern shoreline of the small plaza behind the Lahaina Public Library, look beneath the water’s…

8. Baldwin House


Built in 1834–35, the Baldwin House is the oldest surviving Western-style building in Lahaina. It served as the home of Reverend Dwight Baldwin, a…