maui paddling standing

Photo: Courtesy The Anthology Group

Stand-up paddleboarding at Travaasa Hāna.

Maui

Hawaii’s isle of romance

FIRST-TIME ESSENTIAL  Snorkeling shots from Honolua Bay front many a Facebook photo album. Dedicated as a conservation district where no fishing is allowed, this large bay just north of Lahaina offers the best of Maui aquatic life. TIP: Go early to avoid crowds, and keep to the right (north) side of the bay, where fish flock to the coral.

MAXIMUM EXPOSURE   Kihei’s Keawakapu Beach holds all the beauty of South Maui’s plentiful beaches—pillowy sand, gentle currents, cerulean water—but less of the crowds. No resorts sprawl along this half-mile stretch of shoreline, leaving the waterfront property to locals and visitors in the know.

ZEN MOMENT  Watching the sun peek through a blanket of cotton-candy clouds and turn the sky into a watercolor canvas from 10,000 feet on Haleakal?. Catching a Hawaiian sunset is easy, but rousing at 3 a.m. to see the rays’ morning display takes dedication (and sleep deprivation). It’s worth every lost z.

tuna sashimi

Tuna Sashimi at Mama’s Fish House

EAT THIS  Mama’s Fish House has been serving fresh fish (the menu details not just where supper came from but who caught it that day) from a secluded beach on Maui’s north shore since 1973. Planted among coconut trees, Polynesian-themed Mama’s is reminiscent of a Trader Vic’s … minus some of the kitsch. mamasfishhouse.com

  • 1 flight from PDX daily
  • 81 average high temp in February
  • 5,950 weddings here in 2010

REST YOUR HEAD  Opened in 2009, the Honua Kai Resort and Spa, is the newest lodging option in idyllic Kaanapali. Elegantly appointed suites range from 600 to 2,650 square feet with glass paneled walls framing the turquoise Pacific just outside. Can’t bear to leave? You can buy one of your very own (for a mere $404,000). honuakaimaui.com, from $479

WHAT YOU DIDN’T DO LAST TIME  The 50 narrow, winding miles that lead from Kahalui to the remote village of H?na abound with waterfalls, black sand beaches, and breathtaking ocean views. Once there, dissolve lingering road weariness in Travaasa H?na’s steam room, hot tub, and cold plunge—free to guests. travaasa.com/hana