MAUI THINGS TO DO
in June, July and August
Maui is an amazing island to visit anytime of year and summertime is one of the most popular for visitors. Many people enjoy traveling with their families in the summertime and Maui is a great place for a family vacation. Take in the summer holidays like Makawao’s 4th of July parade or the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival!
Summertime is actually a busy time for the tourist season on the island. From July through September the weather can be hot and muggy but with much relief brought in by the trade wind breezes. It is also hurricane season. Even though there may not seem to be much difference between seasons in Maui one way to tell is by the fruit trees. Mango and avocado trees are loaded in the summer months and it is one of the best times of year to load up at the various island fruit stands – especially out on the road to Hana!
Summertime is a popular time of year for families to visit Maui. Though it can get hot the ocean and trade winds to make it easy to cool off while enjoying paradise with family and friends!
The winter months in Maui are spectacular with warm days (mid 70’s) and cool nights (mid 60’s). It’s a popular time to visit for people looking for a break from the cold and snow of northern climates.
A Sustainable Lifestyle
Ancient Hawaiians developed a brilliant land and sea resource management system that ensured the sustainability of food sources throughout the year. The land was divided up into districts called Moku’s, and within each Moku the land was divided again into pie shaped areas called an Ahupua’a. The tip of the pie-shaped triangle started at the mountaintop, usually containing a stream and expanded and widened down the mountain slope to the ocean.
Along the stream, gardens were planted with diverted stream water used for irrigation. The irrigation water was returned to the stream after flowing through the garden plots (Loi) loaded with nutrients. These nutrients flowed to the ocean where stone walled fishponds were built at the mouth of the stream some 20 yards or more out into the ocean. These ponds had gates built into the stone walls that allowed small fish inside. As the fish fed on the stream nutrients, they became too large to fit back out through the gates to the open ocean, thus becoming trapped. The larger fish were then netted and became a constant source of food for nearby Ahupua’a village. All resources were shared within the Ahupua’a and traded with other Ahupua’a villages and districts.
Though the food was grown and gathered year around the ancient Hawaiians were very much in touch with their environment. Their religion was based on nature and rituals were performed for fishing, planting, and hunting. In the upper mountain slopes and valleys, wild hogs were hunted and captured along with the gathering of wild foods and logging used for house building and canoes. Farming occurred farther down the slopes with fishing and tide pool gathering at the coastline. The flow of nature was recognized and managed, such as fish spawning and tree and bird harvesting, by what is called the Kapu system.
In ancient Maui the literal meaning of Kapu was “Obey or die”. This strict form of managing resources was harsh but kept the society productive and assured the survival of the people. Kapu’s on things like fishing and tree harvesting allowed the plants and animals to reproduce and continue to thrive for generations to come.
Manaiakalani (Maui’s Fishhook, or Scorpio) in the SE evening sky. Humid weather, sudden storms. ‘Ohi’a ‘ai (mountain apple) ripens; gourds and melons ripen. In traditional times,’opelu (reef fish) kapu (forbidden) lifted; aku kapu (forbidden) through Jan. during its spawning season; akule spawning.
Leo in the western evening sky. ‘Ohi’a ‘ai abundant. He’e (octopus) fishing with lures.
Sun rises due east and sets due west (fall equinox). Tubers ripen for harvest; sugar cane blossoms; vines dying off. Ula and moi season; ‘opelu fishing.
There is always so much to see and do in Maui throughout the year and summertime is no exception. From events like the Slack Key Guitar Festival to the Maui Film Festival, there is plenty to take in along with the year-round activities. From ocean tours like snorkeling Molokini Crater to land excursions up to Haleakala National Park or out on the road to Hana, it’s never a dull moment on this amazingly diverse island!
Check out each month below if you’re planning to visit Maui this summer. Chances are there is something fun and culturally entertaining to do that most visitors don’t get a chance to enjoy! Go local style this summer!
Maui Jim OceanFest – June 2nd and 3rd 2020
If you’re the ocean sports type, you will not want to miss this jam-packed two-day festival comprised of 10 individual sprint races and multi-disciplined event. Also known as the Maui Jim Shootout, the course is set up off Ka’anapali beach where men and women of all ages can test their water skills in events like stand up paddleboarding, surf skiing, swimming, and running in combination with all three disciplines! Whether competing for awards and prizes or as a spectator, this is a fun event for all beach and ocean lovers!
Kapalua Food & Wine Festival June 6th thru 9th 2020
This popular Maui festival is in its 37th year and is the longest running food and wine festival in the U.S. The 4-day festival includes wine tasting seminars, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations and a selection of food from Maui’s top restaurants and resorts. A real foodie’s paradise awaits! Check out the schedule of events for this year and bring your evening Gala resort wear for this decadent festival!
King Kamehameha Day – June 11th 2020
On the island of Maui, the King Kamehameha Day festivities includes the Na Kamehameha Commemorative Pau Parade which boasts a string of local marching bands and colorful floats that make their way down Front Street in the historic town of Lahaina. The parade route ends at the illustrious Banyan Tree Park where a Ho’olaule’a commences featuring traditional Hawaiian foods, popular island entertainment, arts, crafts, and hula dancing.
Father’s Day – June 17th 2020
Maui is a great place to be for Father’s Day. Plenty of golf and cold beer (craft or otherwise) awaits the Dad lucky enough to be here for this holiday! Check out our Father’s Day post for the latest happenings. Since Maui is such a wonderful place for families, it won’t be hard to find something Dad, and the kids can do together. One of our favorite things to do (other than a road to Hana excursion) is getting into the ocean. If you get a chance check out Hawaiian Paddle Sports outrigger canoe tour. The whole family can learn together about the Hawaiian culture and the teamwork involved in this ancient form of transportation. Plus you’ll get to do some snorkeling in one of Maui’s pristine environments – Honolua Bay!
Maui Film Festival – June 13th thru 17th 2020
Film festivals are hosted throughout the country, but few are as exciting and beautiful as the Maui film festival. Screening venues are set up on multiple sides of the island, but most of the parties and premier film screenings are in Wailea. From the Taste of Summer opening night bash at the Grand Wailea to the Taste of Chocolate to the taste of Wailea there are parties galore to attend. The Celestial Cinema is the festivals crown jewel venue. A 50-foot screen is erected in the natural outdoor amphitheater of Wailea Golf courses driving range, and the whole venue is powered by a solar array! Aside from the film screenings, awards, tributes and filmmakers panels the celebrities in attendance include Scott Eastwood, Colin Ferrell, Teresa Palmer, Adam Driver, and the always entertaining Laura Dem. Check out all the venues and screenings at //www.mauifilmfestival.com/ and keep up to date on the latest updates on their Facebook page !
For tickets call the Maui Film Festival Box Office at 808.579.9244 or email us at [email protected] with any questions you may have.
Slack Key Guitar Festival – June 24th 2020
Nothing says Hawaii quite like slack key guitar music. The music created by this uniquely Hawaiian style of playing is recognized throughout the country and the world as incredibly soothing and beautiful. If you’ve ever wondered how this style of tuning and playing is performed than this festival is for you! Workshops and seminars for guitar players of all levels is a hallmark of this event. Stay up to date on attending entertainers on their Facebook page. Listen and learn about slack key guitar while lounging in the sun of Maui Arts and Cultural Centers outdoor amphitheater….and it’s free!
July is a busy time in Maui. Though the only holiday is the 4th of July, there are some wonderful parades and even a rodeo in Makawao! Fireworks displays happen offshore of both Kihei and Lahaina with most sunset cruises offering a 4th of July dinner and fireworks cruise! Check out the info below for more details…
65th Annual Makawao Parade – July 4th, 2020
This parade has been an upcountry tradition for over 60 years, and it’s got a fun and entertaining vibe unlike any 4th of July parade you may have experienced. From bands of flatbed trailers to dancing clowns to bagpipe bands and classic cars all intermingled with horses and riders decorated to the hilt, it’s a beautiful start to an action-packed Makawao rodeo!
Makawao Rodeo July 4th thru 7th 2020
The Oskie Rice rodeo arena is just up the road from downtown Makawao with a shuttle running from the arena to the rodeo parade. Parking is limited in Makawao, so this is a great way to get to the parade from the ample parking at the rodeo grounds. This rodeo is the largest one in the state with over 350 cowboys arriving from all over the world! Thursday and Friday are qualifying runs with free admission. The Bull Bash on Thursday night (June 30th) for $15 and starts at 7 pm. The weekend events start after the parade with a $10 admission for adults, $5 for seniors and students and kids 10 and under are free. It’s the best bang for your buck of any event you’ll see in Maui!
While you’re in Makawao check out all the hip art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. It’s a wonderful small town with foodie tendencies including a local Maui favorite Komoda Bakery. Try a creme puff or some stick doughnuts that the bakery has been cranking out since 1916!
Independence Day in Lahaina – July 4th
Front Street may have the feel of a tourist trap to some, but if you look closely, you’ll see hundreds of years of history dating back to ancient Hawaii. The remains of King Kamehameha’s brick palace is the footsteps left by an enclave of over 1000 Hawaiians in his entourage. From here in front of the Lahaina Inn you can imagine the King’s war fleet of 800 canoes stretching out along the beaches of Front Street.
Today the town has a historical trail with plaques throughout Front Street describing the fantastic transformation from ancient Hawaii to missionary days to the sugar cane economy and finally the tourism industry. The Lahaina banyan tree covers almost a full block of the town, and from the nearby shoreline, you can watch a spectacular 4th of July fireworks show firing from a barge just of shore! Many events during the day include a parade, music, food and kids activities preceding the fireworks show which starts at 8 pm. Events start at 4 pm along Front Street which is closed to traffic. Get there early for a decent parking spot!
4th of July Fireworks Sunset Cruises
If you’re not into the crowds on Front Street for this holiday, you may wish to consider a sunset dinner and fireworks cruise! Almost every boat tour in Maui leaving from either Maalaea on the south side or Lahaina Harbor on the west side has a sunset dinner cruise to view the fireworks show from offshore of Lahaina. If you have a favorite boat tour when you’re visiting Maui give them a call, chances are they’ll have a tour for the fireworks show. If you’ve not been to Maui yet check out some of the larger boats as they have upper open decks that are great for viewing this wonderful fireworks show!
Here are a few of the upper deck type boats doing a Lahaina fireworks cruise for the 4th of July.
Pride of Maui – One of Maui’s largest boats offering an incredible sunset dinner cruise along the coast to Lahaina for the fireworks show!
Maui Princess – A double deck dinner cruise with live entertainment on board
Lahaina Princess – Sister ship to the Maui Princess
Pacific Whale Foundation – Double deck catamaran departing from Lahaina
Quicksilver – A beautiful boat running out of Maalaea harbor
Lanaʻi Pineapple Festival – July 3rd
The island of Lana’i sits just across the channel from Lahaina. This small island (17 miles across and around 3000 residents) is known as the “Pineapple Island” due to Robert Dole’s purchase of the island in 1922. His pineapple plantation covered most of the arable land. At one point Lana’i pineapple production constituted around 75% of the world’s canned pineapple market! While pineapple production ended in the late 1980’s, each summer the island celebrates its nearly 100 year history as the Pineapple Island!
The Lanaʻi Pineapple Festival is a free all-day event for residents and visitors alike featuring crafts, food booths, activities, prizes, exhibitors and live Hawaiian entertainment and hula and of course plenty of pineapples! The evening will be capped off with a beautiful fireworks display. Lana’i is a wonderful island to visit even if just for the day, but it also boasts two of the most extravagant resorts in Hawaii, The Lodge at Koele in the mountains near Lana’i City and the Four Seasons Manele Bay at the coast.
Expeditions ferry runs out of Lahaina Harbor daily, and they are doing a special ferry fun for this event if you’re traveling from Maui. For Maui visitors interested in attending the event and utilizing the late-night return ferry, reservations can be made by calling Expeditions at 808-661-3756.
Statehood Day August 19th
Also known as Admissions Day, the day Hawaii became a state in 1959 was cause for much celebration for the 50th state. After the Territory of Hawaii introduced statehood bills to Congress starting in 1919 when Prince Kuhio (he has his own springtime holiday) proposed becoming part of the United States but was not passed. Subsequent bills were introduced in 1935, 1947 and 1950. Finally, the 1959 Hawaii Admission Act was passed, and Hawaii residents voted 94% in favor of becoming a state. It was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on August 21st and has been celebrated ever since.
Today this holiday has mixed emotions for Hawaiians as the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy by U.S. interests in 1898 is somewhat tied to eventual statehood. It is, however, a good time to learn about Hawaii’s history and culture by visiting museums like Bailey House in Wailuku or the Sugar Museum in Pu’unene. Banks, schools and government offices are closed on this day.
MACC – Maui Calls Fundraiser Event – August 19th
Cultural events in Maui are some of the most interesting things to do while on vacation. Maui Arts and Cultural Center is the island’s gateway to many fantastic events throughout the year. The Maui Calls event is the MACC’s biggest fundraiser of the year and helps bring amazing art, movies and live music to the community all year long. It’s a gala that starts with a fresh flower lei greeting at the door with live Hawaiian music, a silent auction, delicious food from some of Maui’s top chefs and premium wines severed by boutique vintners from around the world! Bid on hundreds of uniquely Maui items and vacation packages including autographed music instruments from musicians who’ve performed here over the years! Tickets are on sale NOW! Don’t miss one of the most fabulous parties of the year. Box office: 242-SHOW $175 per person
Rinzi Paia Zen Mission Obon festival services begin at 6pm. and Obon dancing to follow at 7pm. At 120 Alawai Rd., Paia. Call 808-268-2209.
Obon Festivals are held in Maui throughout the summer months, and Maui’s Buddhist Temples throw down for this centuries-old Japanese tradition honoring the spirits of the ancestors and the deceased. Kimono-clad dancers and local food and music make these celebrations a great way to immerse yourself in the island culture! Along with Paia temple Obon festival check out the beautiful Buddhist Mission temples in Lahaina, Kahului, Wailuku, Makawao, and Kula!
First Friday Town Party
Each month town party events are happening each Friday all across Maui. The four First Friday events include live music, food and special street party shopping in each town. Wailuku, Kihei, Lahaina, and Makawao are host to many wonderful shops and restaurants and August is a perfect month to enjoy the warm nights taking in local talent and food. Stop on by and immerse yourself in the island culture of a good old fashioned street party!
Since summertime in Maui has a lot to do with families traveling to the island we put together a quick list of activities that families can do together.
Whether young or old there is something for everyone to do in Maui! Pick a favorite or try them all… it will be fun and informative to check out these tours which highlight the Hawaiian culture and natural world!
It can be quite hot at the beach in the summertime, so it’s a great time to check out the rainforest on the eastern side of Maui. If you want to experience a relaxing day in an air-conditioned van with a wonderful guide sharing the stories and legends of this amazingly beautiful part of Maui check out a road to Hana tour!
Working as a team is one of the amazing things about the Hawaiian culture that many don’t hear much about unless you’re on an outrigger canoe tour! These boats can weigh as much as 700 lbs, but you’ll learn not only how to manage these beautiful boats, but you’ll also learn the Hawaiian language and ways of the canoe but also have the wonderful experience of being out on the ocean in true Hawaiian style fashion!
There are some wonderful boat tours all over Maui but if you want something with a little different from the large capacity boats than you may enjoy a rafting tour. These boats often have a max capacity of 24 passengers which allow the boats to be maneuverable so they can go where the larger boats cannot. Snorkeling the more remote spots in addition to the popular ones will give you a less crowded and more personalized experience of Maui’s amazing reefs!
The popularity of stand up paddling has exploded in the last few years, and Maui is a fantastic place to get up close and personal with the natural wonders of the island’s coastlines. Though it’s a bit risky to do it on your own as conditions change quickly, it’s best to do a SUP tour. A guide will not only keep you safe and help with your paddling technique, but they also know all the cool spots where turtles and dolphins will be your partners of exploration for the day!
Well, there you have it. Summertime is a wonderful time for families to travel to Maui and we hope the events and things to do in this post will give you a good idea about what’s going on and when would be a good time to plan your Maui vacation!
Aloha Nui Loa