World's Best Islands 2010
R Garnett/AirScapes/Courtesy of Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau
No. 8: Maui
2009 ranking: No. 6. Verdant, gorgeous, and far more manageably sized than its southerly Big Island sister, Maui makes for a perfect weeklong Hawaiian holiday. You’ll be able to hit all the high points, like the flower fields and pastures of the up-country, the cliff-hugging drive to the historic north-coast village of Hana, and the trails around Haleakala—the world’s largest dormant volcano, which peaks at over 10,000 feet. A particular experience you shouldn’t miss in winter, though, is humpback whale–watching in the protected Auʻau Channel, between Maui and Lanai; each year, pods of whales migrate all the way from Alaska to feed and calve in the warm waters.