Is­land Views

Where Maui - - THE GUIDE -

HANA HIGH­WAY More of a jour­ney than a place, High­way 360, col­lo­qui­ally known as the Hana High­way, is per­haps the loveli­est and most di­verse 50 miles in all of Hawaii. Sights in­clude but are

not limited to, dozens of cas­cad­ing wa­ter­falls, one-lane bridges arc­ing across cliff­sides wrapped in hang­ing gar­dens and charm­ing small towns.

KAANA­PALI Kaana­pali ex­pe­ri­enced a surge of pop­u­lar­ity in the ‘60s as de­vel­op­ers built re­sorts here to ri­val the beaches of Waikiki on Oahu — and they suc­ceeded. It’s easy to see why this for­mer sugar plan­ta­tion was cho­sen as the is­land’s first planned re­sort des­ti­na­tion: the beaches.

KAHU­LUI Kahu­lui is Maui’s busiest port and most pop­u­lous metro area. This worka­day town of some 20,000 peo­ple is usu­ally the first city vis­i­tors to Maui see af­ter touch­ing down at the nearby Kahu­lui Air­port.

KIHEI This un­pre­ten­tious South Maui town draws lo­cals and vis­i­tors to its beaches.

LA­HAINA The most fre­quently vis­ited spot on the is­land, La­haina is the only town in lee­ward Maui with a gen­uine down­town. Its pri­mary draw is Front Street, a crowded main drag where a va­ri­ety of restau­rants, shops and hide­away cafes tucked into side streets cre­ate a maze of quirky charm.

PAIA Once an plan­ta­tion town cen­tered on Hawai­ian Com­mer­cial & Sugar Com­pany, to­day Paia en­joys its sta­tus as one of the top wind­surf­ing des­ti­na­tions in the world. At nearby Hookipa Beach Park — host of the an­nual Aloha Clas­sic Wave Cham­pi­onships, the crown jewel of wave sail­ing events — sail­board­ers per­form com­plex aerial ma­neu­vers.

UP­COUN­TRY With its mild cli­mate, fer­tile soil, graz­ing lands and di­verse botan­i­cals, Up­coun­try has be­come the Maui ver­sion of Napa. Up­coun­try is where bou­tique food em­po­ri­ums and the is­land’s for­ward-think­ing chefs get top-qual­ity or­ganic in­gre­di­ents. Up­coun­try con­sti­tutes the land­scape sur­round­ing Haleakala from the 3,000-foot el­e­va­tion all the way up to the vol­cano’s cloud-shrouded peak. In this high-al­ti­tude ter­rain, pan­iolo ride herd on the 30,000-acre Ulu­palakua Ranch, in the hills above Wailea, and on Haleakala Ranch, which cen­ters on the town of Kula. One of the area’s ma­jor at­trac­tions is the “cow­boy town” of Makawao, an un­likely mix of ranch­ers, hip­pies, moun­tain bik­ers, artists and real es­tate bro­kers, and home to many of Maui’s best eater­ies and gal­leries.

WAILEA The pop­u­lar South Maui des­ti­na­tion is a land of posh re­sorts, man­i­cured golf cour­ses, up­scale re­tail, din­ing and, one can con­fi­dently say, the is­land’s best beaches. Here, ex­panses of im­mac­u­late sand, ul­tra­ma­rine wa­ters and lazily sway­ing palms are the stuff of those prover­bial “get away from it all” dreams. There is prime snor­kel­ing and un­ri­valled views of Ka­hoolawe and Molokini, while the coastal walk be­tween Mokapu and Polo Beaches is a great way to ex­pe­ri­ence the area with­out get­ting into your car.

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