12 REASONS WHY LOS ANGELANS FEEL AT HOME WHILE VACATIONING ON MAUI
At first glance, Los Angeles and Maui couldn’t be more different. After all, Maui has a fraction of LA’s population, there’s not a freeway in sight, and smog is basically nonexistent— although we do get vog (volcanic smog) on occasion. But upon closer inspection, you’ll discover the two places have characteristics in common. When it comes to dining, weather, and recreation, the two locales are almost sister cities. If you’re from Los Angeles, here are 12 reasons you’ll feel right at home on your next visit to the Valley Isle.
1. Both Maui and Los Angeles have near-perfect weather.
In Los Angeles, average temperatures range from about 56 to 74 degrees. Meanwhile, Maui’s average temps fluctuate between 65 and 88 degrees. While Maui weather averages are a bit warmer, the Valley Isle doesn’t get scorching, 100-plus-degree summer days like Los Angeles.
But it’s not the heat that worries Los Angelenos or Mauians. Instead, both populations tend to take to social media to express their exasperation when temperatures get a little chilly— like below 60. We can only imagine the amount of eye rolls our complaints get from people in the northern states.
2. The two locales are home to incredibly diverse populations.
Los Angeles is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. 224 languages are spoken in LA County by people from 140 different countries. Meanwhile, Maui is often called a “melting pot” of cultures. The Valley Isle’s population is composed of multiple ethnic heritages like Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Samoan, Tongan, Caucasian, and, of course, Hawaiian.
3. Los Angelenos can satisfy their love of poke on Maui.
Los Angeles is bursting at the seams with poke restaurants. It seems as if each neighborhood in Los Angeles is home to— at the very least— one poke restaurant, especially in and around the South Bay.
But, as most Hawaii residents will attest, the bar for authentic poke in SoCal is pretty low. After all, in Hawaii, you will never find a poke bowl topped with mango, radishes, or quinoa.
One of the few places in Los Angeles that does traditional poke justice is Jus’ Poke in Redondo Beach. Jus’ Poke is owned by a Hawaiian family who moved from Pu’unene, Maui, and their poke recipes are as authentic as authentic gets. Plus, King Harbor is right down the street, so you can count on getting served the freshest ahi tuna.
Here on Maui, the creme de la creme of poke restaurants include Tobis Shave Ice, Tamuras, Like Poke?, and Foodland. See more local Maui food stops.
4. Maui and Los Angeles have health-conscious populations.
One of the biggest Los Angeles stereotypes is that everyone is a health nut. Of course, we can’t generalize a population of almost four million. But judging by the sheer amount of juiceries, acai bowl shops, and Lululemon-clad hikers parading up and down Runyon Canyon, it’s clear there are a fair few people in Los Angeles who take their health seriously.
The same goes on Maui. Many people on the island have very active lifestyles, spending their downtime surfing, scuba diving, biking, hiking, or just playing in the ocean. Although we love our spam musubis and loco mocos, healthy eating is popular on the Valley Isle.
Health-conscious Los Angelans will have no trouble keeping up with their healthy lifestyle while on Maui. While you won’t find any Pressed Juiceries on the Valley Isle, Choice Health Bar is an excellent substitute. For more ono healthy eats, you can also check out Sprout Vegan Cafe, Moku Roots, A’a Roots, and Alive and Well.
5. Both Maui and Los Angeles are known for their surf and sunshine.
From Malibu to Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles beaches have long inspired surf culture. In the late 50s, Los Angeles was the epicenter of the surfing craze that swept popular culture. Some of surfing’s biggest icons emerged from LA beaches during this era, like Miki Dora, Gidget, and Mike Doyle. However, nowhere is more emblematic of surfing, beaches, and sunshine than Hawaii. Some of Maui’s beaches, like Kaʻanapali Beach and Kapalua Bay, have even won ‘Best Beach in the World’ titles.
6. Celebrity sightings are frequent on the Valley Isle.
Any Los Angeles native can tell you about their run-ins with Hollywood A-listers. But you might spot some big-name celebs on Maui as well. Maui is a favorite getaway for top celebrities like Steven Tyler, Willie Nelson, Britney Spears, Oprah, Owen Wilson, and Adam Sandler. Plus, more and more movies and TV shows are being filmed on Maui, like HBO’s The White Lotus.
7. One word: Traffic.
One of the biggest woes of living in LA: the I-5. And the 110. And the 405. And the 101. And don’t even get us started on the 105 near LAX.
Coincidentally, one of the biggest woes of living on Maui: the Honoapiilani Highway. If there’s a crash or roadwork or a fire on Honoapiilani Highway, forget about going anywhere. Traffic won’t move an inch. But on the bright side, at least you’re surrounded by beautiful views while inching your way toward Lahaina for two hours.
8. The culinary scene in both places is next-level.
In Los Angeles, the culinary possibilities are endless. Craving bulgogi at 2 am? No problem. How about some Japanese-Italian fusion? LA has got you covered. From ten-course tasting menus at Michelin Star Manzke to piles of tacos from Tito’s Tacos, Los Angeles is a foodie haven.
But Maui’s dining scene can also hold its own. You might not be able to find much grub after 10 pm, but the island is home to countless five-star eateries, James Beard-nominated restaurants, and a slew of big-name chefs like Sheldon Simeon, Peter Merriman, and Lee Ann Wong.
If you’re a visiting foodie from Los Angeles, be sure to try some local dishes. You can’t go wrong with saimin, spam musubi, kalua pork, loco moco, or huli huli chicken. For some of the best local dining on the island, check out Tin Roof, Sam Sato’s, Southshore Grindz, Kalei’s Lunch Box, and Havens.
9. Both Mauians and Los Angelenos are passionate about preserving the environment.
Because Maui is a small island with one (quickly filling) landfill, the county council continues to take measures to reduce plastic waste on the island. Plastic bags have been banned since 2011, and plastic straws, polystyrene (styrofoam) containers, and single-use plastic utensils have been ousted more recently. In addition, the sale and use of non-mineral sunscreen were completely outlawed in 2022 to help preserve Maui’s coral reefs.
Los Angeles County has enacted similar bans. Thin plastic bags have long been banned. And starting in May 2023, restaurants and stores will be prohibited from using and selling styrofoam and non-recyclable utensils, to-go containers, and cups.
10. Both locales are major tourist destinations.
In 2019, Los Angeles saw a whopping 50 million visitors. Between Universal Studios, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the countless museums and beaches, and epic shopping and dining, there are plenty of draws to visiting the City of Angels.
Comparatively, Maui sees about three million annual visitors, which doesn’t sound like a lot compared to LA’s half a billion. But Maui’s population is only a little over 160,000, while 3.8 million people call Los Angeles home. Visitors to Maui have many options for things to see and do, while Haleakala National Park is at the top of most lists.
11. Housing prices are through the roof.
Unfortunately, this problem isn’t confined to LA and Maui. Housing prices in almost every desirable location around the country are spiking. In September 2022, the average median home price in Los Angeles was $950,000, just behind Maui’s median listing price of $1.2 million for the same month. Paradise ain’t cheap.
12. Angelenos can get their coffee fix with Maui-grown coffee.
Coffee culture is strong in Los Angeles. The City of Angels is home to over 700 coffee shops, the most out of any city in the US. While coffee shops are not nearly as abundant on Maui, visiting Los Angelenos can score some of the finest coffee grown on US soil: Maui Mokka. Maui Mokka is a chocolatey, medium-bodied brew grown and produced exclusively at MauiGrown Coffee.
If you’re looking for a tasty cup of joe while on-island, skip Starbucks. There are enough of those in Los Angeles (161, to be exact). Instead, head to one of Maui’s fine local establishments, like Maui Coffee Roaster, Wailuku Coffee Company, Bad Ass Coffee, Crema Maui, Lava Java Coffee Roaster, or Paia Bay Coffee. See more of the best Maui coffee shops.
Direct air fares are one of the cheapest to Hawaii from west coast, including LA.