I’ve lived in Los Angeles for half of my life and on Maui for the other. Since being on Maui, I’ve seen 100 times more celebrities than I ever did in LA.
Why do celebrities come to Hawaii? Hawaii is the closest tropical vacation getaway to LA. Also, paparazzi are not quite as prevalent on the islands. Don’t get me wrong, paparazzi are still here, but islanders are not fond of their invasive tactics. Most islanders are hard on these parasitic people. Another reason comes from the many film locations available here.
Britney Spears is a regular to Maui, Hawaii. She and her crew of bodyguards jaunt around South Maui with her family on a regular basis. This editor watched Britney change her shirt at a table at Tommy Bahama’s Maui restaurant as well as fall a sleep at the table during her meal. Her mother was taking care of the kids, while their bodyguards frantically patrolled the restaurant and it’s complex for the 3-4 paparazzi that had been following her.
Not only do high-profile celebs regularly visit Hawaii, many have second homes here. To name a few, Helen Hunt, Carlos Santana, Randy Travis, Willy Nelson, Woody Harrelson, Roseanne Barr, and Kelsey Grammar have Maui homes. Oprah happens to own many parcels of land, much of it in Hana. Willy Nelson spends a large amount of time here and also owns a restaurant in Pa’ia called Charlie’s. On occasion, you’ll find Willy playing a couple sets there. Many celebrities were born here. Presidential candidate, Barack Obama was born on Oahu as well as musician and surfer Jack Johnson who owns a home in front of Pipeline on the North Shore. Bette Midler was born in Hawaii and has a home on Kauai.
Mike Myers spends a good amount of time each year on the South Shores of Maui as well as Alice Cooper. Cooper is a big golfer, which makes for a strong attraction to the many world-class Maui golf courses. Many athletes come to Hawaii. Kareem Abdul Jabar visits as well as Horace Grant. Horace is one of the most low-key and nicest of all the celebrities to visit Hawaii. Not only is he extremely generous, but also Horace is polite and a pleasure to be around. Another surprisingly low-key celebrity, when in Hawaii, Paris Hilton spends a good amount of time in the Wailea area of Maui. Cameron Diaz also enjoys Hawaii. She is a regular on Oahu and is a decent surfer.
On Kauai, Ben Stiller, Pierce Brosnan, Michael Crichton, Drew Barrymore, and Natalie Merchant own second homes. Many cast members of the hit NBC TV show “Lost” have homes on both Oahu and Kauai. Most of the filming is done on Oahu. Since the State of Hawaii has issued large tax breaks and incentives to the film industry, movie and television filming has become increasingly attractive on the islands. The fact that the Hawaiian Islands are home to some of the most beautiful spots on the planet also make our islands popular with filmmakers. Recently both the last addition to Indiana Jones and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies have been filmed here, particularly on the neighboring island of Molokai.
Most of the information has been confirmed by reliable sources. Some of the above information is word of mouth and may not be accurate.