The 2009 Shaka List
From Honolua Bay to the happy-faced spider--25 reasons Maui rocks!
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25 Treasures that make Maui no ka 'oi
Maui is a refuge and a reward, a red-carpet-ready celebrity, and a shy tendril of fern uncurling in the sun. Its landscape runs the gamut from thunderous walls of water bearing down on the North Shore to fragrant, rain-forested valleys that reveal themselves soft-bellied, with tousled hair, like a lover in the morning. A tangle of contradictions, Maui wears a Gucci heel one on foot and a puka-shell anklet on the other. It’s the Hawaiian humpback whale’s curious serenade and the machine-gun fire of raindrops on a tin roof. It’s a warrior with a long memory, a glistening treasure washed up from the sea, a whiff of plumeria as you step off the plane.
Each of us who calls Maui home—for a lifetime or a few days—has a collection of impressions that spells out our personal paradise. Sure, more traffic lights sprout up around the island every year. And some of our cherished landmarks are mere memories now. But even as Maui transforms, its allure remains. After three years of composing this lucky-we-live-Maui list, we haven’t run out of fresh material yet. Here’s our latest sampling of what makes Maui truly no ka ‘oi.
1. Kite Beach. On the way to or from Kahului Airport, stop at Kite Beach, the west end of Kanaha, via Amala Place, the side road past the rental car companies. Dig your toes into the sand and watch daring waveriders perform aerial acrobatics—you can’t help but feel your spirit lift vicariously.
2. Stargazing. If the night sky seems somehow bigger or closer here, it’s no accident. Astronomers hail Haleakala as one of Earth’s top spots for staring into the sky. Each night, Mauians can be humbled by a dizzying kaleidoscope twinkling in the distance: planets, stars, comets, satellites, and other cosmic stuff. Watch Scorpio and Orion trade places as the seasons shift and search for the Southern Cross—Hawai‘i is the only spot in the U.S. where it can be seen.