Maui

Where to play, eat, and stay in the Hawaiian Islands

Maui's North Shore     Photo: Corel

ON MAUI, IT'S NOT UNCOMMON to see a rusted-out $500 truck with $5,000 worth of windsurfers, kiteboards, surfboards, and mountain bikes bulging off the roof rack. Windsport-happy Europeans and South Americans seem to congregate here, but everyone likes mixing the jungly, slow pace of Hana with the go-go-go west-side town of Lahaina.

ACTIVITIES Rise before dawn to catch majestic sunrise views from Haleakala's 10,023-foot volcanic summit, then hang on for the 38-mile cruiser-bike descent to the ocean. Contact Maui Downhill ($150 per person; minimum height five feet, minimum age 12; 800-535-2453, www.mauidownhill.com).

Trilogy Excursions offers full-day catamaran cruises from Lahaina to Lanai ($169 per person; kids ages three to 15, half price; 888-628-4800, www.sailtrilogy.com) for snorkeling in the marine sanctuary at Hulopoe Bay.

Kids may balk at museums, but never at sugar. Learn about the sweetest plant of all at the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum (adults, $5; kids 6-17, $2; 808-871-8058).

FOOD The tender spareribs steamed in banana leaves and the mango barbecue sauce make Hula Grill (808-667-6636) a mandatory stop.

Near Maui's famous Hookipa windsurfing beach, Mama's Fish House (808-579-8488, www.mamasfishhouse.com) is the place for mai-tais and pua me hua hana, a sauteed Tahitian-style fish.

LODGING With its beachfront setting, free summer activity program for kids six to 12, and fragrant, sculpted gardens, it's no wonder the Napili Kai Beach Resort ($190 per night; kids under 12 free; 800-367-5030, www.napilikai.com) has a 65 percent return rate.

If you can drag yourself from your plantation-style cottage on a bluff at 67-acre Hotel Hana-Maui ($295 per double per night; kids under 18 free; 800-321-4262, www.hotelhanamaui.com), a five-minute shuttle from the beach, you can enjoy the free bikes, boogie boards, and snorkel gear.

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