Publisher’s Note


Story by Diane Haynes Woodburn

Diane Haynes WoodburnI remember a special box hidden away in my Aunt Hilda’s dresser drawer. Each time my sister and I would visit her, our artistic aunt would ceremoniously bring us the box. Inside, we’d find an array of treasures—ribbons, bows, sparkling buttons and pins. I loved that green velvet box, because each time we opened it, there was something new, something beautiful, and always something kind of . . . odd.

I find this “Best of Maui” issue reminiscent of that lovely green box. Inside are treasures to inspire a new adventure or rekindle a fond memory—a thoughtfully chosen list that is quintessentially Maui. Here are predictable favorites, like the romantic black-sand beach at Wai‘anapanapa State Park; and a surprise or two, among them a blond-tufted fellow, akohekohe (honey creeper) whose name references, well, you’ll have to read for yourself. Our list is eclectic and sometimes quirky (even the Maui Swap Meet made the cut), yet each of these 31 choices has its own allure—and some, like the velvet box in Aunt Hilda’s dresser drawer, have acquired the patina of nostalgia.

Search these pages further, and you’ll meet 10 of Maui’s most intriguing people: folks who have made their way into our lives, invited or not, because of what they do and how they do it. From Ram Dass, a man who helped lead an entire generation to “turn on, tune in, and drop out”; to local activist Mike Moran, whose close encounter with floating waste launched a campaign to clean Maui’s harbors; we’ve assembled an interesting lot.

And just when you thought you’d read it all, the crème de la crème of this “Best of Maui” issue sweetens the pages. The annual ‘Aipono Awards list! Here are some favorite restaurants on Maui, as voted by you, our readers. Congratulations to ‘Aipono winners David Paul’s Lahaina Grill (“Restaurant of the Year”) and Ivan Pahk (“Chef of the Year”). Go to our Aipono Awards section under dining for more winners to delight your palate.

The “Best of Maui” is our most packed issue of the year. I invite you to explore with ravenous appetite, and if you aren’t quite sated, log onto for more. Better yet, send us your own list. We promise to store carefully and share the best with you next time, just as Aunt Hilda would do.

A hui hou,

Diane Haynes Woodburn
Publisher, Maui No Ka ‘Oi


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