Maui’s best shopping is found in the small, independent boutiques and galleries scattered around the island—particularly in Makawao and Paia. (If you’re in the market for a bikini, there’s no better spot than the intersection of Baldwin Ave. and Hana Hwy. on Maui’s North Shore.) The two upscale resort shopping malls, the Shops at Wailea in South Maui and Whalers Village in Kaanapali, have everything from Louis Vuitton to Gap—plus a handful of local designers. If you’re looking for that perfect souvenir, consider visiting one of Maui’s farms (or farmer's markets), most of which offer fantastic value-added products. Take home Kaanapali coffee, Kula lavender spice rub, Ocean Vodka, Maui Gold pineapple, and other tasty treats that can be shipped worldwide.
Don’t be afraid to stop by a table on the side of the road to purchase some fresh fruit, dried fish, wooden carvings, or handmade shell jewelry; you’ll also find arts and crafts vendors in rotation at hotel lobbies, luau grounds, and regular evening art festivals in Lahaina and Wailuku. “Talking story,” localstyle, is part of the appeal.
THE ESSENTIALS[em]Major shopping centers are open Monday through Saturday from 9:30am to 9pm and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. The United States has no value-added tax (VAT) or other indirect tax at the national level. The state general excise tax (GET) can vary in Hawaii due to county surcharges; on Maui, it’s 4.166% on all purchases. Keep in mind that mainlandbound passengers cannot take home most fresh fruit, plants, or seeds (including some leis) unless they are sealed and labeled as permitted for transport— you cannot seal and pack them yourself.
Kahului’s shopping is concentrated in two malls. The Maui Mall, 70 E. Kaahumanu Ave. (www.mauimall.com; 808/877-8952), is home to Whole Foods, Longs Drugs, T.J. Maxx, and Tasaka Guri Guri (the decades-old purveyor of inimitable icy treats that are neither ice cream nor shave ice, but something in between) and Kahului’s largest movie theater, a 12-screen megaplex that features mainly current releases. This mall also has a large Longs Drugs, a Hawaii institution selling great stashes of local food treats, Hello Kitty Hawaii–themed items, beach mats, etc., as well as items typically found in its mainland counterparts in the CVS chain. 70 E. Kaahumanu Ave. www.mauimall.com. [tel] 808/877-8952.
Queen Kaahumanu Center, 275 Kaahumanu Ave. (www.queenkaahumanucenter.com; 808/877-3369), a 7-minute drive from the Kahului Airport, offers two levels of shops, restaurants, and theaters. It covers the bases, from arts and crafts to Macy’s and everything in between: a thriving food court and mall standards like Victoria’s Secret, Sunglass Hut, and Local Motion (surf and beach wear). The Maui Friends of the Library (www.mfol.org; 808/877-2509) runs a new and used bookstore that is an excellent source for Hawaii reading material. Like Tasaka Guri Guri, Camellia Seed Shop (808/877-5714) is a throwback to plantation days when locals enjoyed strange sweet-and-sour treats made from pickled plum seeds. Give them a try! ger. 275 Kaahumanu Ave. www.queenkaahumanucenter.com. [tel] 808/877-3369.
Wailuku’s vintage architecture, antiques shops, and mom-and-pop eateries imbue the town with charm. You won’t find any plastic aloha in Wailuku; in fact, this is the best place to buy authentic souvenirs.
Stores stay open late the first Friday of each month, with live music and entertainment from 6 to 9pm along Market Street.
Lahaina’s merchants and art galleries go all out from 7 to 10pm every Friday, when Art Night ★ brings an extra measure of hospitality and community spirit. The Art Night openings are usually marked with live entertainment and refreshments, plus a livelier-than-usual street scene. A free walking map of participating galleries is available at the Lahaina Visitor Center in the Old Lahaina Courthouse, 648 Wharf St. #101, Lahaina (www.visitlahaina.com; 808/667-9175).
Across from the seawall on Front Street, you’ll find the Outlets of Maui, 900 Front St. (www.theoutletsofmaui.com; 808/667-9216). There’s plenty of free validated parking and easy access to more than two dozen outlet shops, including Calvin Klein, Coach, Banana Republic, Adidas, Kay Jewelers, and more.
At the northern end of Lahaina town, what was formerly a big, belching pineapple cannery is now a maze of shops and restaurants known as the Lahaina Cannery Mall, 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy. (www.lahainacannerymall.com; 808/661-5304). Inside the air-conditioned building there’s a Longs Drugs and a 24-hour Safeway for groceries, an ABC store (a ubiquitous souvenir and convenience shop), plus more intriguing independent stores like IPU Island Crafts and Maui Art A La Carte.
Honokowai, Kahana & Napili
Those driving north of Kaanapali toward Kapalua will notice the Honokowai Marketplace, on Lower Honoapiilani Road, only minutes before the Kapalua Airport. It houses restaurants and coffee shops, a dry cleaner, the flagship Times Supermarket, and a few clothing stores.
Kihei is one long stretch of strip malls. Most of the shopping is concentrated in the Azeka Place Shopping Center on South Kihei Road. Across the street, Azeka Place II houses several prominent attractions, including a cluster of specialty shops with everything from children’s clothes to shoes, sunglasses, and swimwear.
Makawao has several gorgeous boutiques and galleries to browse, plus a small grocery. Rodeo General Store, 3661 Baldwin Ave. (808/572-1868) offers ready-made items, dry goods, and a fine deli. A superior wine selection is housed in a temperature-controlled cave at the back of the store. Fuel up with stick donuts from one of Maui’s oldest and most beloved mom-and-pop shops, T. Komoda Store & Bakery.
Fresh Flowers in Kula
Like anthuriums on the Big Island, proteas are a Maui trademark and an abundant crop on Haleakala’s rich volcanic slopes. They also travel well, dry beautifully, and can be shipped worldwide with ease. Proteas of Hawaii, 15200 Haleakala Hwy., Kula (https://proteasofhawaii.com; 808/878-2533, ext. 210), located next door to the Kula Lodge, is a reliable source of this exotic flower.
Maui’s North Shore Is Bikini Central
Paia has a half-dozen boutiques dedicated to Maui’s sun-kissed beach uniform, the bikini. And that’s not all; many of the other shops lining Baldwin Avenue and Hana Highway also sell swimwear. Head to this north-shore beach town for everything from Brazilian thongs to full-figured, mix-and-match-your-own suits. The best of the bunch are Maui Girl, 12 Baldwin Ave. (www.maui-girl.com; 808/579-9266; daily 9am–6pm); Le Tarte, 24 Baldwin Ave. (www.letarteswimwear.com; 808/579-6022; daily 10am–6pm); Pakaloha, 120 Hana Hwy. (www.pakalohamaui.com; 808/579-8882; daily 10am–6pm); and San Lorenzo, 115 Hana Hwy. (www.sanlorenzobikinis.com; 808/873-7972; daily 9am–9pm).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.