Sure, you visit Maui for sand and surf, but there’s more to Maui and Kahului than wetsuits, luaus, and beautiful beaches. The island’s beach culture is alive and well, and isn’t going anywhere. Maui has you covered with an amazing arts and culture scene when you need a break from the beach. Artists are drawn to this island paradise for inspiration — no surprise there — and that inspiration has paid off big time.
Alexander & Baldwin Museum
What do Maui and sugar have in common? Sugar cane or “ko” grows wild on Maui, and the island is home to a busy sugar industry that has cranked out the sweet stuff for more than a century. The best place to see the effect on island life is the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum, located next to the largest working sugar factory in Hawaii. This 1,800-square-foot museum is home to six rooms that walk you through everything from early plantation life to the milling process. Does it get any sweeter than that?
Maui Arts & Cultural Center
The Maui Arts & Cultural Center, or “The MACC” as locals call it, brings the community together to celebrate the arts. The Maui News calls it the island’s “entertainment and arts crown jewel,” and islanders know it as their go-to place for everything from concerts headlined by big-name artists to locals celebrating Hawaiian culture. It’s also worth checking out the exhibits at Schaefer International Gallery.
Hana Cultural Center
Feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you visit the Hana Cultural Center & Museum. The town itself — one of the most isolated in Hawaii — feels like a throwback. The center takes you on a cultural journey with its four replicas of traditional thatch structures and more than 5,000 artifacts, books, and photos that bring Hana’s history to life. Bonus points for surviving the thrilling Road to Hana!
Slack Key Show
You don’t get much more Hawaiian than the slack key guitar. The sound is unmistakable, created with a unique playing style with finger picking and slacked strings. You can hear it in many different spots on the island, but three-time Grammy Award-winning George Kahumoku Jr.’s Slack Key Show in Napili Kai Beach Resort is hands-down one of the very best. You can expect award-winning performers, plenty of ukulele music, and hula dancers for an authentically Hawaiian experience.
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