While bumper stickers, shell lei and T-shirts from souvenir stands are great gifts to take home to friends and family, there are a surprising amount of other options as well.
In fact, locals say that each area of the state has a special treat that must be sampled and, if possible, brought back home to share. The local colloquialism for these in-demand (and usually edible) gifts borrows from the Japanese language. Called OMIYAGE, a few such treats include GURI GURI from TASAKA GURI GURI SHOP (70 E. Ka‘ahumanu Ave. in Kahului) and crispy MANJU from HOME MAID BAKERY (1005 Lower Main St. in Wailuku and at Kahului Industrial Park). Check out “SAMPLE A SWEET TASTE OF THE ISLANDS” a little further on for more ideas.
A few other ways to take home the taste of Maui, and Hawai‘i, is with COFFEE, MACADAMIA NUTS and JAM. MAUIGROWN COFFEE can be bought at its location in Lahaina, while macadamia nuts can be found everywhere from grocery stores to resort shops. For homemade jams, visit the SWAP MEET held every Saturday in Kahului.
American poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. wrote, “Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel.” Rekindle Maui memories with a scented souvenir from ISLAND SOAP & CANDLE WORKS. Established in 1984 on the neighbor island of Kaua‘i in the sleepy, sugar plantation town of Kehaha, Island Soap & Candle Works started as a small assemblage of HANDMADE COCONUT SOAPS sold in local souvenir shops. The company’s popularity grew, expanding their stock from solely soap to Hawaiian beeswax CANDLES, botanical LOTIONS, SALVES and LIP BALMS—all fashioned from natural, island-derived ingredients. You can find these fragranced soaps, scrubs and creams at many stores throughout Maui, including Maui Paradise boutique in Lahaina, ABC Stores, Times supermarkets and various boutiques. Visit islandsoap. com or call (808) 300-6067.
For other made-in-Maui finds, visit MAUI TROPICAL PLANTATION at Wailuku. The plantation’s COUNTRY STORE is jam packed with island-crafted souvenirs, Maui-grown goods, coffee, jewelry, crystals and more—ideal for your loved ones back home! After shopping the gift store, don’t leave the property without touring through the plantation’s 60 acres of fruit fields and orchards, grabbing a bite at Waikapu Grill or taking advantage of the property’s many activities. Visit mauitropicalplantation.com or call (808) 244-7643.
Surfing is synonymous with Hawai‘i, so where better to purchase SURF MEMORABILIA than Maui? QUIKSILVER has clothed the wave-riding elite since 1969, offering tees, boardshorts, hats and outdoor gear—all fashioned of high-quality material—to people whose lives revolve around the tides. Pick up a locals’ favorite sunscreen, Eddie Aikauthemed T-shirt or aloha-inspired towel, and take home a piece of Hawai‘i’s celebrated surf culture. Store locations in Wailea (at Shops at Wailea), Lahaina and Whalers Village stock men’s, women’s and kids’ clothing and accessories. For more information, visit quiksilver.com.
During whale season (or really, any time of year), any WHALE-RELATED MEMORABILIA makes the perfect memento. Offerings range from the quirky (a whale coffee mug, anyone?) to the gorgeous (try a 14-karat gold whale tail pendant).
If you want to get a gift for a fashionista who may not fall for kitschy island souvenirs, there are numerous boutiques that carry locally designed and created goods that would be in style anywhere. Head to local boutique MAHINA, or check out WINGS HAWAII, which offers earrings with interchangeable shells from the island’s beaches. Mahina can be found in Pa‘ia (23 Baldwin Ave.), Kihei (1913-B South Kihei Road) and Lahaina (335 Keawe St. #208). Wings Hawaii is located at 71 Baldwin Ave. in Pa‘ia.