One of the best signs of Maui getting back to “normal” is all of the local galleries, open air marketplaces and other artsy enclaves reopening. Picking up a little something from each place you visit will fill your home with warm travel memories. If you are looking to buy something artistic like a giclée print or a blown glass ornament or just a few unique souvenirs like a handmade purse, hat made from coconut fronds or Maui inspired notecards or beer koozies, here are our best recommendations of where to shop, neatly spread out throughout the island.
- For over 30 years, the Maui Swap Meet has been an island staple for a variety of gift items, handmade crafts, collectibles and a farmer’s market. After a brief pandemic closure this outdoor shopper’s paradise reopened in June. This is the largest outdoor marketplace on Maui, with over 200 vendors. The location is on the ocean side of UH Maui College in Kahului, which is in central Maui. Our best advice for this outdoor venue: come early for best selection, bring a reusable shopping bag and refillable water bottle, wear comfortable shoes and a hat or sunscreen. Bring an extra bag if you plan to buy fresh fruits or vegetables. The swap meet is open each Saturday from 7am to 1pm and admission is $2.
- The award for best retail shop at an attraction goes to Maui Ocean Center aquarium’s Maui Ocean Treasures, hands down. Besides an abundance of marine themed items, there is a large eco-friendly section, jewelry at all price ranges, a huge selection of kid’s items, and plenty of Hawaii food gifts, including coffee and gourmet fudge that might not make it all the way home. Rainbow fudge with sprinkles? Yes please! This massive store has cornered the market on quality souvenir items. There is truly something for everyone. Located in Maalaea Village inside the aquarium park, Maui Ocean Treasures offers nationwide shipping and is open daily 9am to 5pm. Aquarium admission is not required to shop in the retail store- just ask at the front entry.
- If you want to buy art directly from Maui artists, there is no better place than The Lahaina Arts Society. Located in the Old Lahaina Courthouse under the historic Banyan Tree, the gallery is staffed mostly by volunteers who are among the 70+ artists with work in the gallery. Unlike other galleries on Maui’s west side, there is a good mix of local art at reasonable prices. You’ll find everything from oil paintings and watercolors, to ceramics, wood carvings, baskets and custom jewelry. The gallery is open daily 10am to 2pm, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. A few of the artists can also be found outside the Lahaina Cannery Mall Saturdays and Sundays 9am to 4pm.
- Starting in the upcountry town of Makawao in 1992, The Maui Hands Art Gallery is another place to find a wide variety of art from Hawaii artists. Maui Hands has now expanded to three more locations, in Pa’ia town, in Ka’anapali at the Hyatt Regency hotel and on Lahaina’s Front Street. Each month the galleries showcase a different local artist who is also on site on a scheduled basis, creating and talking with customers. Gallery hours are: Makawao Mon-Sat 10AM-5PM & Sun 11AM-4PM, Lāhainā Mon-Sun 10AM-5PM, Pā’ia Mon-Sun 10AM-5:30PM, and Hyatt Kā’anapali Mon-Sun 8AM-2PM.
- There are many individual galleries and funky open air markets around the island. One is Kihei Kalama Village in South Maui. The open air stalls are fully covered with a high roof structure, making a shady spot to spend an afternoon souvenir shopping. Open daily 10 am to 7:30 pm.
- On the way to Hana in east Maui, you’ll find several funky art enclaves, like Nahiku Gallery, and other roadside stands with local crafts, as well as fruit, flowers and banana bread. When you buy souvenirs from these local vendors, you are supporting the community. There are no posted hours for roadside stands and funky galleries on the way to Hana and around Hana town. Just stop in when open!
There are many fine art galleries, jewelry stores and high-end gift shops around the island too, but these suggestions are best if you want local art and unique souvenirs, including items actually made by Maui artists!