7 Surprising Things Maui and Seattle Have in Common

Updated on:
April 1, 2024

Newest Maui Article: Road to Hana

Pacific Vibes:

7 Surprising Things Maui and Seattle Have in Common


Washington State is Maui’s second-largest visitor market, with over 300,000 people from the Puget Sound area alone visiting the islands each year.

It’s hardly a surprise. Maui’s near-constant sunshine is a huge appeal to Seattle residents, who endure an average of 156 rainy days a year. And with several daily direct flights from Sea-Tac to OGG, getting to the Valley Isle is easier than ever for Seattleites.

Obvious differences aside, Seattle and Maui share some distinct similarities. Could this be – in part – why Seattle folks are drawn like magnets to Maui’s shores?

You be the judge. Let’s explore the parallels between the two areas. Here are seven surprising things Maui and Seattle have in common.

Maui Seattle Similarities Waterfalls


Greenery and Waterfalls Galore

Like Maui, Washington is known for its evergreen forests (Seattle is called the Emerald City for a reason!) and picturesque waterfalls. There is a surplus of waterfalls within a few hours of Seattle – like the ultra-famous Snoqualmie Falls and the show-stopping Bridal Veil Falls near Mt. Index.

Meanwhile, Maui’s northeastern coast (aka, the Road to Hana) is littered with waterfalls and verdant rainforests. This part of Maui actually gets more annual rainfall than Seattle: Hana receives an average of 115 inches of rain per year.

Maui Seattle Road To Hana


Outdoor Adventures Abound

Not to be stereotypical (ok, we’re totally being stereotypical), but Seattle residents have a reputation for being outdoors-obsessed.

How could they not be? Beautiful national and state parks surround the Sea-Tac area. Opportunities for skiing, hiking, paddling, mountain biking, camping, and sailing are boundless.

The same is true on Maui. Sure, some visitors come to Maui to relax and sit by the pool. But most people take advantage of the island’s epic outdoor activities. With the sheer amount of hikes, snorkeling, zip lines, and beaches, outdoorsy Seattle residents won’t be bored on the Valley Isle.

Maui Seattle Similarities Outdoors


Whale Watching Adventures

Maui is famous for whale watching. Each winter, thousands of humpback whales descend from the North Pacific to Maui’s warm waters.

But did you know you can whale watch in Seattle too? Puget Sound and the Salish Sea are home to diverse whale species, including orcas, humpbacks, grays, and minke whales.

While Seattle’s whale-watching industry isn’t as booming as Maui’s (chalk it up to cold temperatures and lots of rainy days), you can spot whales almost year-round in the Seattle area. Humpbacks, minkes, and orcas are common between May and October, while gray whales usually turn up in March and April.

Maui Seattle Similarities Whales


Craft Beer Connoisseurs

A few years ago, Seattle had more breweries than any other city in America (according to Seattle Magazine). Chicago has since taken Seattle’s title, but the craft beer scene in the Emerald City is still exploding.

Meanwhile, there is a burgeoning craft beer industry on Maui.

There are three independent breweries on Maui – Maui Brewing, Kohola Brewing, and Mahalo Aleworks. There are also a handful of brewpubs – like What Ales You and the Pint & Cork – that have hard-to-find craft creations on tap. Don’t be surprised if you spot a Seattle brew like Elysian Space Dust on tap at a Maui bar! We even recently spotted Elysian brews at Hana Ranch Store. Craft beer on Maui is really taking off.

Maui Seattle Similarities Beer


Pacific Island Culture

Iam Tongi, the 2023 winner of American Idol, put Seattle’s Pacific Islander community on the map. Washington has one of the highest Pacific Islander and Hawaiian populations in the United States, rivaling Las Vegas, California, and Hawaii. About 46,000 people of Hawaiian and Pacific Island descent live in Washington – mostly in the Seattle metropolitan area.

Maui Seattle Similarities City

Look closely, and you’ll see Hawaiian influences all over Seattle. It’s common to spot Hawaii decals on cars while driving on the freeway. Near the University of Washington, a general store sells Hawaiian-style snacks, clothing, art, and books – aptly named Hawaii General Store. And in Everett, you’ll find Hui Wa’a O Puget Sound, a canoe club dedicated to perpetuating Hawaiian values and traditions.


…And Ono Hawaiian Food!

And, of course, with the migration of Hawaiians to Seattle comes tasty island cuisine.

There are several L&Ls in the Seattle area, but there are even more mom-and-pop Hawaiian restaurants. Bobby’s Hawaiian Style Restaurant in Lynwood is a longstanding favorite. Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, the menu here is lined with classic island eats like kalbi ribs, loco moco, and kalua pork. Bobby, the restaurant’s proprietor, was born and raised on Molokai, so you know his food is the real deal.

Maui Seattle Similarities Hawaiian Food

Even famous Hawaii-born chefs have recognized the market for Hawaiian food in the Sea-Tac area. Sam Choy – one of the founders of Hawaii Regional Cuisine – opened Poke to the Max in Hillman City. The restaurant’s artful, oh-so-ono poke is a knockout.


A Buzzy Coffee Industry

Seattle is synonymous with coffee. Obviously, Seattle is known as the birthplace of Starbucks, but the city is home to countless other independent coffee shops. And when we say countless, we mean countless. There are about 56 coffee shops per 100,000 residents in Seattle (according to SeattlePI.com).

Maui Seattle Similarities Coffee Shop

On the other hand, coffee shop culture isn’t as widespread on Maui. Sure, we have a few good coffee shops, but the scene is nothing like Seattle’s.

What we do have, however, is a perfect coffee-growing climate – and Maui-grown beans are some of the best in the world.

You can try Maui-grown coffee at a handful of places. Grandma’s Coffee House in Keokea grows and roasts its own beans. Up the road from Grandma’s is O’o Farms, where you can purchase bags of coffee grown and roasted on the slopes of Haleakala. Meanwhile, Island Press Coffee in Kaanapali sells and serves coffee grown less than a mile from their shop.

Maui Seattle Similarities Coffee


Seattle Residents:

What draws you to Maui? The sunshine, the activities, the food? All of the above?

Let us know what your favorite thing about the island is. We hope to see you here soon!

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