Wailuku Town’s rich history offers plenty of places to explore from historical landmarks to rich cultural sites and everything in-between. Check out and experience these hidden gems.
2375 Main St A, Wailuku, HI 96793 • 808.244.3326
On the grounds where Maui’s last ruling chief Kahekili once lived stands this 1833 stone house, originally built for missionaries. Discover Hawaiian artifacts, oil paintings by Edward Bailey, a wooden statue of the Hawaiian demi-god Kamapua‘a, and a replica of an ancient Polynesian-style sailing vessel. The museum, which doubles as the Maui Historical Society’s headquarters, occasionally hosts special events, exhibits, and live performances by island musicians.
Chee Kung Tong Society Arch
2151 Vineyard St, Wailuku, HI 96793
At its peak, there were six Chinese Society Halls on Maui operated by the Gee Kung Tong Society providing services to the immigrant Chinese population. All that remains of one of these sites, built in Wailuku in approximately 1897, is the original stone arch. The main building collapsed in 1996.
68 N. Market St, Wailuku, HI 96793 • 808.244.8680
Opened in 1928, Iao Theater was once the main entertainment venue of the city of Wailuku. Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Mickey Rooney have graced the stage of this historic gem, which also screened the Hawaii premiere of the 1953 movie, “From Here to Eternity.” Built in Spanish Mission style, this landmark is listed on the State of Hawaii's Register of Historic Places. Since 2009, Maui OnStage has been presenting monthly theatrical performances at this iconic venue.
2371 W. Vineyard St, Wailuku, HI 96793 • 808.244.7353
Iao United Church of Christ was founded in 1895 by the Hawaii Evangelical Association (predecessor of the Hawaii Conference United Church of Christ) as an outreach to Japanese plantation workers in Wailuku. During World War II, the name was changed to Iao Congregational Church, and all of the services were held in English. In 1957, Iao Congregational Church joined the United Church of Christ, and in 2010 the name was officially changed to Iao United Church of Christ.
103 S. High St, Wailuku, HI 96793 • 808.244.5189
Ka‘ahumanu Church was established in 1832 on the site of a heiau and part of the royal compound of High Chief Kahekili. The original congregation, under the leadership of the Reverend Jonathan S. Green, held worship meetings in a shed. The small church began with just seven members and grew to 3,000 in just two years. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and today, the church offers Sunday services invoked in the Hawaiian language.
327 S. High St, Wailuku, HI 96793 • 808.244.9177
Established in 1866, Wailuku Union Church started as an English speaking church. Today, the congregation reflects Maui’s current diverse ethnic population. In 1942, the Wailuku Chinese Church disbanded and many of its members joined Wailuku Union Church. In 1991, a Jewish Congregation used Dodge Hall for their services. The Greek Orthodox held their services in the sanctuary in 2003, and in 2005 the church opened its sanctuary to an emerging Samoan Congregation.
2140 Main St, Wailuku, HI 96793 • 808.244.4656
The history of this church goes back to 1866 when King Kamehameha V donated this 1.8 acre parcel of land where this church is located to erect a church, school, and rectory. The Church of the Good Shepherd became an independent parish by declaration of Bishop La Mothe on April 16, 1926.
355 S. High St, Wailuku, HI 96793 • 808.984.5622
At the time Wailuku School was dedicated in May 1904, it was described as "the handsomest school building on the island or perhaps the country." Designed by one of the Territory of Hawaii's most prominent architects, C.W. Dickey, it remains the only stone school building in Maui.
Territorial Office Building
2264 Aupuni Street, Wailuku, HI 96793
Built in 1931, the Territorial Office Building was designed by Hawaii-based architect C. W. Dickey. This building was added to the State Register of Historic Places in 1985 and is located within the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District. It currently houses the Governor of Hawaii's Liaison office among other state offices.
Wailuku Public Library
251 S. High St, Wailuku, HI 96793 • 808.243.5766
The current Wailuku Library was built in 1928 to replace another building on the same site used by the Maui County Free Library, which was created by the Maui Women's Club in 1919. It was the first Library on Maui. Designed by Hawaii-based architect C.W. Dickey, the library is operated by the Hawaii State Library System.
Old Maui County Courthouse
150 S. High St, Wailuku, HI 96793
Built in 1907, this old courthouse was used as Maui County's Town Hall. Designed by architect Henry Livingston Kerr in the Beaux Arts Revival style this building is part of the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District. It currently houses the offices of the Prosecuting Attorney.
Kalana Pakui Building/Old Police Station
250 S. High Street, Wailuku, HI 96793
The Kalana Pakui Building built in 1925 and designed by Maui architect William D'Esmond, incorporates Mediterranean Revival Style architecture. The building was originally used as a County Office Building, then as a Police Station. It is located within the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District and is currently used as the Planning Department Offices for the County of Maui.
Kalana O Maui County Building
250 S. High Street, Wailuku, HI 96793
Situated between the Old Maui County Courthouse and the Old Police Station is the Kalana O Maui County Building. Built in 1972, this nine-story building occupies a site formerly used as a firehouse and jail. It is listed as part of the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District.
Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono
2199 Kaho'okele St, Wailuku, HI 96793 • 808.244.5897
Built in 1924 by a wealthy island banker as a wedding gift for his daughter-in-law, the “Queen” of historic Wailuku homes was lovingly restored by her island-born and raised proprietors. Today, the Old Wailuku is a popular bed and breakfast and is recognized as one of the best places to stay in Maui.
Iao School/Old Wailuku Armory
260 S. Market St, Wailuku, HI 96793 • 808.727.5200
Established in 1928 as Wailuku Junior High; when Baldwin High School opened in 1939, the junior high became 'Iao School. In 1998, the adjacent Wailuku Armory was turned over to the Department of Education. After extensive renovations, the school moved into the historic building in 2003.
Nearby historic sites
54 S. High St, Wailuku, HI 96793
This 4,000-acre state park is home to Iao Needle, a rock formation jutting 1,200 feet in the air. The 1790 Battle of Kepaniwai was fought in Iao Valley helping King Kamehameha gain control of Maui. Today, you can hike, picnic and take photos of streams and waterfalls. Within the valley is Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens, where structures such as a Japanese teahouse and Chinese moon gate represent the different cultures that settled on Maui.
Directions: Take Highway 32 (Ka‘ahumanu Road) west. This road turns into Highway 320 which lead directly into the 'Iao Valley State Park.
Halekiʻi Heiau & Pihanakalani Heiau
Heiau are ancient Hawaiian structures used for ceremonial purposes. Haleki‘i or "house of images" got its name from the many ki‘i (images) found on the terraces that guarded the structure. Pihana is reported to have been a luakini heiau, where human sacrifices took place, it also served as the major heiau for Wailuku. Pihanakalani translates to "gathering place of the ali‘i.”
Directions: Take Waiehu Beach Road (Hwy 340), Turn left onto Kuhio Place, then left onto Hea Place where you will see an entrance sign. The heiaus are a 5-minute drive from downtown Wailuku.