Lahaina, Where it is Still Hip to be a Hippie

Robert Ramstetter By Robert Ramstetter, 27th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Hawaii

As you gaze across the street at the vintage fast food eatery, something unusual drives past. It is a VW Microbus, complete with peace signs and flowers painted on the side.

Travel Back in Time in a Tropical Location

Imagine, for a moment that your journey begins by being in a deep sleep and waking up in a location unknown to you. It is part of a surprise, and your companion will not give you any clues as to your whereabouts. The blindfolds come off and you are in a quaint little town that is bustling with tourists. Okay, you realize you are in a resort town, but where?
You stroll along the sidewalk, past palm trees lining the streets. You are somewhere tropical, no doubt. The buildings, mostly two and three stories high, all appear to be from the turn of the century. A large banyan tree, with its trunk growing from the branches to the ground and reminiscent of a cavern, is located in the center of a park near the shore. Small children run through its maze of roots, delighted at such an unusual growth that they virtually ignore the nearby playground.
The main street is lined with souvenir shops, dive shops, and bars. Music radiates from the open air establishments all around you. Your first guess may be that you are in Key West. Something across the street catches your eye: a Burger King that time forgot. Looking at it, you wonder if you are somehow back in the 1960's or early 70's. Its retro atmosphere causes you to want to eat there, even if that particular restaurant chain does not usually appeal to you. As you gaze across the street at the vintage fast food eatery, something unusual drives past. It is a VW Microbus, complete with peace signs and flowers painted on the side. The idea that you have been magically transported back in time has just become a bit more of a possibility. Another Microbus drives past, sporting its own variation of peace signs and flowers.
In the distance, you see mountains on one side and waves gently lapping the shore on the other. You are not in Key West because that place has neither mountains nor waves along the shore. Where is this place? The locals have a particular look about them. Although they are older, they look as though they are going to some 70's themed costume party, but they are not. Their beards and long hair are real, as are their bell bottoms and tie dyed tee shirts. You are in a hippy community. As if to confirm this theory, another microbus drives by.
It seems that you have somehow been transported back in time. Of course, if you knew that pineapple was growing in the nearby fields, you might have a better idea as to your whereabouts. You are in Lahaina, Hawaii, a hippie community where a bygone era is alive and thriving.
Take a leisurely stroll through the town. If you see a couple of guys who remind you of Willie Nelson or Mick Fleetwood, pay extra attention. It may be them. Both frequent the area, and Mick even owns his own bar right in town. Nearby, you can book a sunset dinner cruise aboard one of several charter vessels, or take in a luau. Vintage coffee shops, dive shops, and souvenir shops are intertwined with the architecture to make the area feel as if you have stepped back in time.
If you have been to Hawaii but not to Lahaina, then you have not really experienced Hawaii.


70S, Hawaii, Hippie, Hippie Counterculture, Vw Microbus

Meet the author

author avatar Robert Ramstetter
Robert Ramstetter is a world traveler and writer of short stories, full length novels, and a vast array of technical articles.

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