Moving from the mainland poses some unique problems but none that cannot be solved with careful planning. The main question will be how you get your stuff here. The most economical option is usually to sell what you cannot ship, downsizing so you don't pay a year's salary in shipping costs. If you aren't sure how well you will adapt to island life, you might consider putting your things in storage or asking your parents to temporarily store your stuff for you until you've had the chance to adjust to your new surroundings. Once you have made your move, hit the thrift shops to find the items you need to hold you over temporarily.
The stunning tropical surroundings, the pleasant climate and the wide availability of exciting outdoor activities are the main attractions in this quaint town. Consequently, the real estate in Lahaina is among the most expensive in Hawaii, which means that rental housing is also similarly priced.
Although Lahaina is a small town, it offers most types of apartment and home rentals. The trick is to find something that you not only like but can also afford. If money is not an issue, the luxury apartments located near the larger resorts may be a fitting option. Rental homes in Lahaina are located in all areas of town, but the closer you get to the beach and the more exclusive areas of town, the more expensive the rent will be. It might be difficult to find affordable three-bedroom houses for rent, but it is definitely not impossible. If you are patient, and maybe a little lucky, you may actually snag an all-bills paid property. Other than the lack of reasonably priced rental properties, another source of frustration you may run into is that many rental properties may not be available long-term.
Some of the main neighborhoods in Lahaina -- all of which are coastal -- are populated with a mixture of owners and renters, and have high vacancy rates and are desirable places to live! Check out the list below to find out which part of Lahaina you'll want to call home.
Town Center: This part of Lahaina is where all of the action happens. Expect to find stores, restaurants and more places to run errands. Want to rent an apartment? This is the place. Most of the buildings here are renter occupied, and nearly everyone walks (without a car). Contrary to logic, Lahaina's town center is on the shore (the western edge), not the geographical center.
Wahikuli: This northern part of town is home to a large pump ditch. However, next door but closer to the shore is sought-after coastal property, as well as some beautiful homes. This area is also home to the Kaanapali Golf Course and the Hyatt Regency Maui.
Lahainaluna: Home to the Lahainaluna Farm, this southeastern part of town has the most residential streets. Check out the pretty homes here, or visit Kelawea Mauka III Park.
Lahaina's main industry is tourism, as evidenced by the long line of shops lining Front Street that specifically cater to tourists. Although Lahaina is not widely known as a sightseeing destination, numerous cruises and activities geared to tourists depart from the waterfront, and the luaus and nightlife are appealing as well. Lahaina is home to the Lahaina Education Center, and numerous elementary, middle and high schools. Lahaina boasts a wide variety of shopping options, restaurants, art galleries, historical sites and the lovely downtown park that is home to a massive banyan tree. This park is the heart of town during the daytime but can be a magnet for revelers when the sun goes down.
Although the cost of living in Lahaina is high, the quality of life you will enjoy here is worth it. If you decide that the mellow island lifestyle is for you, Lahaina is the ideal place to pursue a laid-back island lifestyle surrounded by tropical beauty and friendly, easygoing people.