Gift shopping for yourself or others while on Maui? Check out our shopping guide for an overview. We’ve also gathered some specific ideas plus where to find everything below. So if friends, family or co-workers have dropped some not-so-subtle “bring me back something” hints, we’ve got you covered- including things you can pick up at or on the way to the airport!
In Hawaii, a lei is a common symbol of love, friendship, celebration, honor, or greeting. It is an enduring symbol of Aloha that you can pass along to friends and loved ones back home. While on Maui, you may want buy and wear a fragrant flower lei for yourself, but find a less perishable version to take home. Choose shell leis, or the more masculine kukui nut leis for men. Good places to buy leis is Walmart or Long’s Drugs in Kahului or Hilo Hatties in Lahaina.
For the person that has everything, Hawaiian inspired food gifts are always welcome. Macadamia nuts- the slightly sweet nut with a soft, somewhat oily texture- are a popular choice. For a chef, macadamia nut oil is also a great alternative. Macadamia nuts come in handy traveler multi-packs, available at Costco, Walmart and Long’s Drugs in Kahului.
Another alternative is to take home fresh Maui Pineapple. However, you cannot just buy a pineapple in the store and bring it home- it has to be inspected. Fortunately, you can buy pre-inspected pineapples in a convenient carry pack right at the airport.
Want a little upgrade? The most delicious shortbread cookies are made right here is Hawaii, and you can sample them all at Honolulu Cookie Company in Wailea, Lahaina or Kaanapali. Shaped like a pineapple, some are hand-dipped in premium chocolate, some have tropical fruit morsels or coffee bean pieces. All are ono-licious! Individually wrapped plus a variety of packaging options not only ensure safe travels, but make a really nice gift presentation.
Maui is full of folk lore, and a great way to share it with young ones is through books. From an entertaining version of how Maui was formed to the adventures of Limu the Blue Sea Turtle, you can find all sorts of colorful books for little ones. Check Target or Barnes and Noble in Kahului. Or, if your family is into re-use and recycling, check out one of the used book places, like Maui Friends of the Library bookstore at Queen Kaahumanu shopping center in Kahului.
Perfect for the office
Reusable Maui coffee mugs are a thoughtful gift. But why not add a little Maui coffee too? If you are buying multiple gifts, some stores like Long’s Drugs in Kahului sell sampler packs- small packages of ground Maui coffee in a variety of flavors. You can put a coffee pack or two right into the mug.
An outing for island collectibles
One of the best places to find a variety of gifts all in one place is the Maui Swap meet. Held in the ocean side parking lot of the UH Maui campus, the Maui Swap meet is a great place to pick up unique t-shirts, affordable jewelry, Hawaiian print bags, a few antiques like coins and bottles, and everything in between. Find out more about the Maui Swap Meet, and other flea markets on Maui here.
Downtown Wailuku, on Market street, is probably your best bet if you want to find a other antique memorabilia on Maui.
Those loud printed, often flowery shirts that scream Aloha are still wildly popular here, and as a gift for your more creative mainland friends or family. Hilo Hattie’s in Lahaina has a huge variety of aloha shirts and dresses for the whole family. Costco also has a decent selection of more muted men’s aloha shirts and ladies pareos (selection at Costco may not be available during Christmas season).
A high-end treat
Let’s face it, the person that will most likely appreciate a substantial memento of your visit to Maui is you. Take a journey up to the Curtis Wilson Cost Gallery in Kula, on the same property as Kula Lodge. This pocket gallery is home to some of the most exquisitely painted scenes on Maui. Painting in an “enhanced realism” style, many scenes are of an idealic Maui- a highly detailed landscape with a charming, rusty tin-roof cottage, or a distant view of the ocean through lush palms. An investment in an original would be an asset, with shipping available. There are also affordable, hand-signed giclee’s, prints and gift items, included a pen shaped like a paintbrush with a set of notecards.
Just going to gallery is an adventure in itself. Make sure to plan to have lunch at Kula Lodge, with sweeping bi-coastal views. Next door is Kula Marketplace- featuring more local art, quilts and culinary gifts from Hawaii’s renowned artists and craftsmen. It is the perfect place to round out your Maui shopping adventure.