The jewel in the crown of Maui and the home of Hawaiian heritage: These are just two of Lahaina’s claims to fame, both well earned by the beauty and history of this vibrant town.

The vast majority of visitors to Maui spend time in Lahaina. Why? Well, it could be the history that oozes from the streets, or maybe the stunning coastal scenery. Then again, it could also be the carnival atmosphere or the huge selection of dining options. Join the throngs of visitors to the island and you’ll discover that it’s all of these reasons and more.

Start in famous Front Street, one of the most picturesque streets in the U.S. It started out as a port for whalers; its most famous patron was none other than Moby Dick’s author, Herman Melville. Wander down it today, though, and you’re far less likely to encounter drunken sailors (although don’t rule it out entirely). Instead, expect to find trendy art galleries with works by Hawaiian residents and restaurants serving the best poke on the island.

History buffs will be ecstatic at the choice of what to see. Hit the town’s historic trail and you could spend your entire trip jumping between the heritage attractions in Lahaina. Choose from 62 sites to visit, including the old Lahaina Prison and the Baldwin Home. Everyone should take a moment to visit the giant Banyan Tree, a marvel of nature that splays out across the walkway.

Lahaina may maintain its old-world atmosphere, but rest assured that its industry of whale hunting has taken on a much different, far happier form. Hop on a boat and head out to sea for photos of the mighty marine mammals – go between January and March for the best results.

Don’t miss Halloween in Lahaina. The Mardi Gras of the Pacific has swiftly become a world-famous party. If you’re lucky enough to be in Lahaina on October 31, join thousands of costumed revelers hopping between the different events on the pedestrian-only streets.