Play Under an Enormous Banyan Tree

Essential MauiMaui

There is a small park along Front Street in

sheltered by an

, where quiet contemplation, impromptu picnics and the frequent outdoor art show are commonplace.

One of the largest banyan trees in the United States, the Front Street tree was imported from India and planted in 1873 in

to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Lahaina’s fi rst Christian mission. Today, it stands 60 feet tall, and spreads over 200 feet in an area commonly called

The banyan’s 16

stem from one huge core — yes, those trunks all belong to one tree. See, banyans have dangling roots that grow downward, seeking soil, and when the roots connect with the soil, new trunks begin to form and the tree expands. That is why from this single banyan, branches spread over the park like a jungle canopy, perfect for relaxation, refl ection or

(a Hawaiian term for gathering together and playing music).

are held in the park throughout the year, and are often accompanied by

. During the holidays, the tree is lit with thousands of Christmas lights.

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