Shopping on Maui
Maui offers a great range of shopping options including swap meets, farmer’s markets, boutique stores, and modern department stores. Visitors to the island will have the opportunity of trying out some of the local goods, and even just window-shopping can be a fun experience in this part of the world.
What to Buy on Maui?
One of the nice things about shopping on Maui is you will find plenty of items that are hard to come by outside of Hawaii. As well as traditional style clothing and souvenirs, you will also find things like Maui coffee, local fruits, Kula onions, dark chocolate with macadamia nuts and specialty cookies. If you intend to spend a lot of time on the beach, it is a good idea to purchase a straw mat like the locals use – this is much better for dealing with sand than a towel. It is also well worth checking out the handcrafted jewelry and handbags, as you will likely pick up something really special for a nice price.
Where to Buy Souvenirs on Maui?
The most popular souvenirs that visitors will pick up during a trip to Maui will include things like Aloha t-shirts and hats. If you are looking for something a bit more unique, you could choose to buy some local coffee, island specialty soaps, local perfumes, or a Maui calendar. You can also pick up some traditional crafts such as a koa wood bowl or jewelry box. One of the best places to pick up Maui souvenirs would be Maui Swap Meet (see markets below) or Maui Hands (an art gallery shop with branches all over the island).
Best Shopping Areas on Maui
There are a number of locations on Maui where shopaholics can really go wild including:
Some of the most expensive shops on the island are to be found around Wailea Resort. There are about seventy boutique stores here along with some fancy restaurants. If you enjoy art there are six galleries to choose from where you will be able to pick up work created by some of the local artists. Some of the big name stores with branches at Wailea include: Banana Republic, Coach, Gucci, Malibu Shirts, Gap (also Baby Gap), Louis Vuitton, L’Occitane En Provence, St John’s Boutique, and Tiffany & Co.
Lahaina Main Street (Front Street)
The main street in Lahaina is a mile long, and it offers a good selection of shops and restaurants. The buildings here mostly date back to the early nineteenth century when Lahaina functioned as the capital of Hawaii. It was predominately a whaling town in those days, and it is easy to imagine what it must have been like. This has to be one of the most laid back shopping streets in the world, and there are plenty of spots where you can just sit down and enjoy the sun.
Some of the best shopping in Ka’anapali is to be found at Whaler’s Village Mall (see below). There are also plenty of small shops in the area as well, and it is often cheaper to buy from them than go to the mall.
Wailuku was the most popular tourist town on the island a hundred years ago, and it is currently undergoing a bit of a revival. There are some nice boutique shops and mom-and-pop diners to be found on the main street and the alleys. This is a particularly good option if you are on the lookout for antiques. These days Wailuku feels more like a regular town, and this is what can make it such a nice place to visit if you want to get away from the tourist-circus.
Kahului is right beside the airport so almost all visitors will at least pass through here. The best shopping options are to be found on Dairy Road (Highway 380), and this is where you will find stores like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Office Max, Costco, and Eagle Hardware. This tends to be where the local people go for their weekly shopping trip, but it often gets missed by tourists who usually just stick to the resort areas.
Best Malls on Maui
Maui has an impressive selection of modern department stores to choose from. This is the place to go if you are looking for the big-name brands or you just want to escape the heat of the day by shopping in an air-conditioned environment. The most popular malls on the island would include:
Queen Kaahumanu Center
275 West Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului, HI 96732
The Queen Kaahumanu Center is the biggest mall on Maui. It opens daily from 9:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. – except for Sundays when the opening time is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are well over a dozen shops to choose from including Macy’s, Toys R Us, The Walking Company, T-Mobile, Sears, Game Stop, Forever 21 and the Fun Factory. There are also plenty of places to eat such as McDonalds, Panda Express, Fernando’s Mexican Grill, Starbucks, and Ben & Jerry’s.
70 East Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului, HI 96732
Maui Mall is the best department store when it comes to entertainment options. They have a large 12-screen Megaplex Cinema (all digital), and a great choice of restaurants including: Dragon Chinese Restaurant, Tasaka Guri-Guri, Thailand Cuisine, Wendy’s, IHOP, Subway Sandwiches, and Pizza Hut. Shopping options include the Whole Foods Market, Longs Drug Store, The Pet Shop, and the YNVU Clothing Company. This is a nice place to go with the family and every week they have ‘Family Sunday’ when there are extra activities for kids to enjoy.
2435 Ka’anapali Parkway, Lahaina, HI 96761
Whaler’s Village is probably the most attractive mall on Maui, and it is right beside the Ka’anapali beach. This is an open-air mall so it can get a bit hot if you are walking between shops during the day. The most pleasant times to come here is in the evenings – they open every day from 9:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. There is a small museum on the premises, and this can be a good place to take the kids – they have an impressive whale skeleton on display. There is also a stage in the mall where they have daily activities such as Lei making, hula-hoop lessons, and coconut husking. They have a cultural performance on Monday’s Wednesdays, Saturday, and Sunday at 7 p.m. There are many high-end stores in Whaler’s Village such as Louis Vuitton, Coach, and Tori Richard.
Lahaina Cannery Mall
Lahaina Cannery Mall is completely indoors, so this means that it is a great option on a hot day because of the air-conditioning. This building was once a functioning cannery, but it was converted to a mall almost a quarter of a century ago. They have a Safeway grocery store that stays open twenty-four hours. They also have many clothes shops and a couple of jewelers. Bikers will want to check out the West Maui Harley-Davidson store. There is also a Starbucks. Lahaina Cannery Mall also has a number of dining establishments including: Chopsticks Express, Edo Japan, Casa Maya Mexican Restaurant, Dairy Queen, and Lulu’s Lahaina Surf Club & Grill.
Best Markets on Maui
The best deals in Maui are usually to be found at the markets. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it can still be nice to go to these places to just to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells. Some of the best markets on Maui would include:
Maui Swap Meet
Grounds of the University of Hawaii Maui College, Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului, HI 96733
The Maui Swap Meet takes place every Saturday between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. There are over two-hundred vendors here, and they sell every type of product including: baked goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh flowers, souvenirs, knick-knacks, traditional arts and crafts, carvings, cosmetics, clothing, organic food, and hats. There are also plenty of food concessions here as well.
3636 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Lahaina, HI 96761
The Farmer’s Market is open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. This is the place to go if you are looking for healthy organic food or vegan products. This is a family run business, and the staff will usually go out of their way to help customers. The prices here are also very reasonable, and most of the food here is locally grown. There is also a nice salad bar with a good selection of options.
Kula Country Farms
375 Koheo Road, Kula, HI 96790
Kula farms can be found right of Kula Highway. It is another family run business, and they also allow other local farmers to sell here as well. They do not officially certify their fruit and vegetables as organic, but they do use integrated pest control which they claim means they can avoid using toxic chemical sprays. They open between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends.
Maui’s Fresh Produce Farmers Market
Queen Kaahumanu Center, 275 West Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului, HI 96732
This farmer’s market is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. All of the fruit here is locally grown and very good value. There is also usually a good selection of backed goods and other edibles on sale here as well.
Kihei Farmers Market
61 South Kihei Road, Kihei, HI 96753
Kihei Farmers Market opens on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The vendors take great pride in providing some of the freshest produce on the island and most of it is organic. You can also pick up things like salsa spreads, banana bread, and granola. It is a very laid back kind of place, and it never really gets busy.
Best Places to Buy Books on Maui
There are few things better in life than spending the day on the beach with a good book. The popularity of the eBook has meant that most of the small bookstores on the island have closed. The best selection of books is to be found at Barnes & Noble (325 Keawe Street, Lahaina, HI 96761), and they open every day from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Another good option for reading material would be to go to Kahului Public Library (90 School St, Kahului, HI 96732), which is close to Maui Mall. There is also a group called Maui Friends of the Library, which sells second-hand books at their small shop (Puunene School, Wailuku HI 96793), and occasionally at the local markets.
Best Places to Buy Computers, Appliances, and Electrical Goods on Maui
If you are looking for digital or electrical goods on Maui, you will have a few good options. Fans of the Apple brand can visit MacNet (444 Hana Highway, Kahului, HI 96732) – they are an authorized Apple service provider. There is a Home Depot on Pakaula Street in Kahului, and this store offers a good selection of home audio equipment and other electrical products. There are also shops Lahaina and Wailuku where you will be able to pick up digital products like cameras and video recorders.
Where to Buy Food on Maui?
If you are looking to do some cheap grocery shopping the best option would probably be Wal-Mart or Costco. For fresh fruit and vegetables, the best option will be one of the Farmer’s Markets (see above) – this is also the place to go for organic food. Foodland (1881 S. Kihei Road, Kihei, HI 96753) also offers a good selection of products. Another good place to pick up some food would be Maui Swap Meet – this is only open on Saturdays (see above).
Where to go Shopping with Kids on Maui?
All of the large department stores are kid-friendly on Maui. The Queen Kaahumanu Center offers a large indoor play structure. Maui Mall regularly puts on special activities to attract families – especially on Sundays. Whaler’s Village is a good option with kids because they have activities like learning to hula-hoop – there is also a similar show at Lahaina Cannery Mall. If you want to go shopping at Foodland in Kihei, you can stop off at Kalama Park playground and there is a play structure here that younger children tend to love.