Celebrities that Call Maui Home (at least part of the time)

As the top travel destination, visitors from all over the country and the world travel to Maui. So it’s not unusual to see celebrities enjoying the beach, natural environment and laid-back island lifestyle- and some put down roots and call Maui home.

Celebrities choose Maui because its residents are known to respecting their privacy, and it’s just comfortable here.

Here are a handful of Maui’s most well-known residents:

Willie Nelson
Willie, an esteemed long-time resident, is one of Maui’s favorite celebrities. Known as one cool dude, he often dropped by funky Charley’s Restaurant and Saloon in Paia, until it closed its doors in 2021. We hope, with the purchase of a home in Haiku by his equally talented son, Lukas Nelson, the Nelsons will continue to surprise residents and visitors with impromptu performances around Maui.

Oprah Winfrey
Arguably one of the most famous celebrities in Maui is talk show host, Oprah Winfrey. She owns more than 60 acres of land in East Maui and also bought the historic Thompson Ranch near Keokea in 2005, which she renovated into a modern farmhouse. She recently bought more land upcountry next to her farm.

Oprah’s Maui farm grows more than 100 species of organic produce, herbs, fruits, and vegetables, which she distributes to the local community.

Clint Eastwood
The Dirty Harry star thinks Maui is no ka oi! The former mayor of Carmel bought a beachfront property in Wailea. His son, Scott Eastwood, was honored at the Maui Film Festival, but Clint shares the honor. The actor/director/producer/composer was recognized at the 3rd Annual Maui Film Festival event and occasionally drops by the festival when he can.

Eastwood’s home is located in Wailea, South Maui, on the private Palauea (White Rocks) Beach, which he calls his adopted second home.

Steven Tyler
The former American Idol judge, and Aerosmith’s lead man, Steven can’t get enough of the island, so, in 2012, he purchased a home in Wailea. Frequently seen out and about, he likes to make unplanned appearances playing with Hawaii’s Willie K., and Mick Fleetwood (also a Mauian).

Owen Wilson
Owen Wilson, known for making appearances at the Maui Film Festival on a regular basis, can be found on Maui’s North Shore on his SUP, or strolling the aisles of local organic grocery stores. He rolls with the cool crowd and fits in nicely with the local culture, surfing, swimming, or diving. With his love of being on the water, it’s no small wonder Owen he purchased a home near the surfing town of Paia.

Mick Fleetwood
Renowned drummer, cofounder and leader of the band Fleetwood Mac, Mick has a property near Napili Bay. He is one of Maui’s favorite celebrities because not only is he a famous rock star, but he also owns Fleetwood’s restaurant in Lahaina. Occasionally he even stops in to greet guests. And be sure to check out the live music and rooftop bar which is a great place to chill and watch the Humpback whales breach in the winter months.

Woody Harrelson
An environmental activist, yogi, and sexy vegetarian (according to what PETA said!), who doesn’t love Woody Harrelson? This handsome Natural Born Killers and Zombieland actor has two homes in the more remote, jungle-y areas of East Maui.

Kris Kristofferson
Former U.S. soldier, Kris Kristofferson, is also a musician, actor, singer, and songwriter, and is one of the most laid-back celebrities in Maui. From 1985 and 1995, he was part of a country music group comprised of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, called The Highwaymen. He’s also known for writing and recording musical hits such as “Me and Bobby McGee,” and “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.” His home is in East Maui near Hana town.

Paul Simon
Songwriter and singer, Paul Simon is legendary and also a recent celebrity who calls Maui his home. In August 2019, he performed two concerts at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, which was the first Hawaii shows in 50 years when since Simon and Garfunkel performed at the Blaisdell Arena.

Paul devoted his net earnings to local environmental organizations, which included the Auwahi Forest Restoration Project on Maui, led by his friend, biologist Dr. Art Medeiros; as well as Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo (KUA) which works to promote community-based natural resources management across the Hawaiian archipelago.

Larry Ellison
While not on Maui, Oracle founder Larry Ellison purchased virtually an entire island in Maui County and took it to the next level when he bought the island of Lanai and moved full-time to Hawaii last year. Ellison acquired 98% of the island of Lanai, off Maui’s West shore, for a mere $300 million back in 2012. Moving to the secluded and beautiful 140-square-mile island during COVID in 2020, he joined another 3,000 residents and became the only on-island employer. He acquired two Four Seasons-managed resorts and the small Sensei luxury spa hotel that incorporates fine dining and art, medical evaluation, and an adventure camp. His foundation, Pulama Lanai, works to “create sustainable practices, cultural connections and economic opportunities that support our island and community.”

Part-time Maui Residents
Although there are plenty of celebrities who call Maui home, there are an almost equal number who are part-time Maui residents. Who knows? Maybe you will spot one of them during your time on this popular island.

In 2021 Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and his longtime partner Lauren Sanchez, purchased a distinctive South Maui estate.

The purchase, the remote La Perouse Bay property is special because it has seven adjoining parcels of land and the remnant of a fishpond, meaning that Bezos and Sanchez own a completely private white-sand beach. According to records, the large main house is about 4,500 square feet, and there is a 1,700-square-foot guesthouse, several other smaller buildings of unknown purpose, and a perfectly circular, 700-square-foot swimming pool. Modeled after traditional Hawaiian style, all the buildings are single-story, and the main house includes an outdoor kitchen with an ocean view. Dotting the property are many mature palm trees and dense, thick grasses.

So far, Bezos has been a good community supporter on the island, donating many millions to support Maui’s hospital, the Maui Foodbank, nonprofits fighting homelessness, protecting open spaces through Hawaii Land Trust and more.

Other celebs seen on Maui include:

  • Rock musician Sammy Hagar, who owns the Kahului Airport location of the Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill.
  • KISS front man Gene Simmons, who owns the Rock & Brews location in Paia of the California-based restaurant chain.

When on Maui, you may want to keep your eyes peeled just in case you see any of these celebrities who live, or frequent the island, or stop in at a celeb eatery to possibly rub elbows with the famous.


2023-01-01T02:02:32+00:00January 1st, 2023|Entertainment|

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