If you didn’t know, the main tourism hubs on Maui are in Lahaina and Wailea. Opposing ends of the island possess the largest and most luxurious hotels on Maui. Multiple hotels such as the Ritz Carlton and Westin Maui lie in the Kaanapali and Kapalua area in Lahaina while Wailea is home to the Grand Wailea, Andaz and etc. You should take the time to explore Kahului.
Somewhere in the middle is Kahului which is not as filled with as many tourism focused businesses and landmarks. Many locals from all over the island visit the Kahului area to go the only Walmart, Target, Costco, Home Depot, Lowe’s and etc. on the island.
Kahului is the hub of the Kama’aina of Maui, local institution, shopping malls, residential areas and etc. lie in this area. I will go over things to do in Kahului which includes discovering art, culture, and flea markets.
Maui Swap Meet
The Maui Swap Meet has been running on Maui since 1981. The swap meet is held every Saturday morning from 7 am to 1 pm at the University of Hawaii Maui College which is located across the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Call 808-244-3100 for information.
Many places may be overpriced. Maui is expensive as it is (milk per gallon can run for $7). The Maui Swap Meet is a great place to find bargains as you explore Kahului. T-shirts, jewelry, flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, hand-painted shirts and dresses, and an amazing variety of other na mea, is available for sale. There are hundreds of vendors and thousands of customers who show up at the Maui Swap Meet. I like seeing some of the up and coming clothing designers that bring unique and attractive clothing to these swap meets. A lot of the clothing sold here can at times grow in popularity and be seen in larger stores later on.
There’s also plenty to eat at the Maui Swap Meet. Food trucks and other vendors sell snacks, candies, drinks, shave ice, and lunch plates. Most of the food offerings revolve around its unique local tastes, so make sure to try these out. This is an opportunity to taste some authentic Maui foods for less money than you would pay in many of Maui’s restaurants. I personally enjoy eating shave ice and the chocolate malasadas.
As someone who worked near the Maui Swap Meet on Saturday, I have many memories of hanging out at the swap meet before work. I have seen many businesses grow from the Maui Swap Meet which include Donut Dynamite, Ak’s Cafe and others.
Maui Arts and Cultural Center
The Maui Arts & Cultural Center is a community hub where the community can celebrate creativity through their experiences of the arts. The MACC is a must see when you explore Kahului.
Popular and innovative performing artists are showcased by the MACC as a connection of Maui’s community to the world. It is also a place for the community hub that is a multi-disciplinary complex. The MACC contains multiple venues, a dance studio, meeting rooms and classroom space.
I love going to concerts, plays and art exhibits. So I am a frequent visitor of the MACC. The MayJah RayJah Music Festival is an annual concert that I like to attend in the summer. The MayJah RayJah has been hosted by world famous reggae bands such as Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and SOJA.
Maui Nui Botanical Garden
Maui Nui Botanical Gardens formerly known as the Maui Zoological and Botanical Gardens. The botanical garden is a botanical garden covering 7 acres that is located in Kahului. The garden is full of rich native plants and cultural heritage. By collecting, cultivating, and distributing native and Polynesian-introduced plants the garden provides people with a gathering place to see and understand the important relationship these plants have to the Maui community.
The botanical garden has a $5 general admission fee and parking is available along the road near the entrance. The garden is great for having a picnic with a great view.
Kahului is the town on Maui that is less “tourism influenced” than other parts of the island. Kahului is the industrial complex of Maui with many construction businesses, the airport and marquee department stores such as Walmart, Costco, Target, Lowe’s and etc. If you are visiting Maui, I would recommend browsing through Kahului after you arrive from the airport.
Have you ever been to Kahului? What is your opinion of Kahului?
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