Maui, Hawaii is a beloved vacation destination for visitors from around the world. It’s also a tropical paradise for locals who have spent many years on the island. While there are plenty of tourist attractions to enjoy, there’s so much more to Maui than the flower leis, rambunctious luaus, and miles of sandy beaches. Take a cue from the residents and taste the real flavor of Hawaii! Here are some of the best things to do on Maui for locals.
While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our Vacation Guide! You’ll find plenty of things to do on Maui for locals as well as recommendations for great events, activities, and attractions on the island.
Top 5 Things to Do on Maui for Locals
1. Go Camping
There’s nothing better than spending a night under the stars! Camping is one of the most popular things to do on Maui for locals, and there are over a dozen campsites on the island. Some even offer amenities like picnic tables, volleyball courts, restrooms, and showers. Our favorite places to pitch a tent include:
- Waianapanapa State Park
- Papalaua Wayside Park
- Haleakala National Park
- Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area
Note: Both locals and visitors need a camping permit for county and state parks. Most have limited space and can be booked up to a year in advance, so try to get your permit early! You can reserve a campsite at a state park for $12 per night or a county campsite for just $3 per night. Haleakala National Park offers free camping permits in person with no advanced reservation.
2. Go to the Swap Meet
When it comes to local shopping, the Maui Swap Meet offers some of the best deals on the entire island. Admission is only 50 cents and parking is free! You’ll find over 200 vendors selling fresh produce, Hawaiian shave ice, and arts and crafts. Bring a bag and some cash and spend the afternoon browsing. The swap meet is open every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
3. Eat at Food Trucks
Did you know that food trucks were popular on Maui long before the craze hit the mainland? You can find BBQ, gourmet grilled cheese, wood-fired pizza, and just about any ethnic cuisine imaginable. Some park at specific lots while others travel around to events like Maui Fridays and the Maui Swap Meet. Be sure to check out Kalama’s Food Truck in Wailuku, Kinaole Grill in Kihei, and Big Beach BBQ in Makena Beach State Park. You can thank us later!
4. Shop the Farmers Markets
If you need ingredients for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, skip the grocery store and head to a farmers market. The Upcountry Farmers Market in Makawao is a great option; it’s the oldest on Maui and has been operating at various Upcountry locations for over 40 years. You’ll find mounds of organic produce as well as nuts, fresh-caught fish, coffee, and prepared foods. They also have tropical flowers and plants. Learn more about Maui farmers markets on our blog.
5. Get Involved
The vibrant sense of Aloha and community is what makes Maui so welcoming. Locals are proud of their home, and people here are hyper-involved with keeping the island beautiful. Lend a hand and spend a morning volunteering with island organizations. You can participate in a reef cleanup with the Blue ‘Aina Program, or help restore an ancient Hawaiian village site with Maui Cultural Lands. This group leads cleanups in Honokowai Valley every Saturday morning and gives you access to a remote section of the island that isn’t open to the public.
Stay at The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono
Want to get away from the kids for a few nights? Book a room at The Old Wailuku Inn! Our bed and breakfast has everything you need for a relaxing getaway, including luxurious amenities and accommodations. Whether you stay in one of our Veranda Rooms, Garden Rooms, or in the Vagabond’s House, we promise you’ll feel right at home.
Hawaii residents can take advantage of our Kama’aina Discount and enjoy 15% off the room rate at the time of booking. Simply check our availability online and make your reservations. We look forward to having you!