The banyan tree at Lahaina is the largest banyan tree in Hawaii, and is one of the largest banyan trees in the world. The Lahaina Banyan Court Park is located on Front Street in the town of Lahaina, once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii (from 1820 to 1845). Banyan Tree Park contains multiple heritage sites on the Lahaina Historic Trail, and is part of a self-guided walking tour through Lahaina’s Historic Districts.
The park occupies the site of the Old Lahaina Fort, originally built in 1831 by Hoapili, the Royal Governor of Maui. The fort was demolished in 1854, and a courthouse was built in its place. A portion of a wall of the old Lahaina Fort was reconstructed in 1964 at the southern corner of the Lahaina Banyan Court Park.
Sheriff William Owen Smith planted an imported Indian banyan tree in the courtyard square in April 1873 to memorialize the 50th anniversary of the first American Protestant mission in Lahaina. Banyan trees grow sideways, with roots growing down until they hit the ground and form new trunks. While it looks like a small forest, the extensive trunk and aerial root system is actually one tree that reaches up to 60 feet in height.
Most weekends the park hosts musicians, dancers, artists and festivals throughout the year, including the weekly Great Hawaiian Guitar Show (Wednesdays), Festivals of Aloha, Festival of Canoes, and the Lahaina Arts Society art fair.