Maui Summer Checklist

Our writer shares her list of top events on the island this season.

By Stirling Kelso

A trip to Maui can easily mean a week of beach time broken up by the occasional surf lesson or waterfront lunch. If you’re looking for a little more variety, consider filling your itinerary with island events. Here are some favorites from Maui’s loaded summer calendar.

Maui Film Festival

June 3–7, 2015

Wailea, known for its plush hotels and waterfront condos, is the set of this five-day festival, in which international films are screened against a Pacific Ocean backdrop. The summer programs are still in the works, but you can count on global premieres punctuated by Hawaiian-dance festivals, celebrity galas and other red-carpet events. For a treat between screenings, consider stopping by the festival’s Taste of Chocolate. (Wailea; 808-579-9244;; tickets, from $22)

Kapalua Wine & Food Festival

June 11–14, 2015

One of the oldest food-and-wine events in the country turns 34 this year. Attendees can look forward to cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs Michael Mina, whose restaurants span the States, from Seattle to Miami, and Charlie Palmer. A slew of local chefs will also make appearances at the popular grand tasting. Between bites, vino fans can swirl and sip Willamette Valley pinot noirs with winemakers from the Argyle, Gran Moraine and Adelsheim vineyards. (Kapalua Resort, 200 Village Rd., Lahaina, and other venues; no phone;; tickets, from $90)

Makawao Rodeo & Paniolo Parade

July 2–5, 2015

Paniolos, or Hawaiian cowboys, are descendants of the Mexican and Californian vaqueros who in turn had emigrated from Spain. Hawaii’s largest rodeo honors that global spirit by inviting participants, about 350 in all, from the mainland United States, Mexico and around the world. Buy tickets to see calf roping, barrel racing and bronco riding in Makawao’s Oskie Rice Arena. You can also brush up on your two-step at one of the event’s country-music concerts or get a front-row seat for the Paniolo Parade, along Baldwin Avenue. (Makawao; 808-283-2741; no website)

Ka’anapali Fresh

August 28–30, 2015

Interested in a local-food festival? This three-day event focuses on Hawaiian talent and food (though international wines also make the cut). Enjoy ingredients from island farms, such as Surfing Goat Dairy, one of two dairy farms in Hawaii, and the Maui Gold Pineapple Company. Chefs at some of Maui’s top restaurants and resorts also host cooking demonstrations, cocktail-making classes and farm tours. (Various locations; no phone;; tickets, from $44)

  • NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
  • Published: April 2015