Travel + Leisure
February 24, 2010


Beaches, beaches, beaches, and stunning vistas around every corner. Few beat those at Haleakala National Park, whose peaks rise upwards of 10,000 feet and offer views up to 115 miles away. Rare flora and varied bird life, too.ACTIVITIES/SIGHTS

No question, on Maui life centers on the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific. When you're not swimming, snorkeling, or surfing, learn more about the island's aquatic ecosystem at the hands-on Maui Ocean Center in Wailuku.RESTAURANTS/FOOD

Immigrants from Asia, Polynesia, Europe, and the U.S. mainland make for true fusion cuisine. Be sure to try malassadas (Portuguese doughnuts), saimin (a Japanese noodle soup), and Spam (try it at Tasty Crust in Wailuku).PEOPLE

Maui's mad with tourists year-round, but you can mix with the locals at the Saturday Maui Swap Meet in Kahului, where more than 100 vendors sell everything from local fruit to South Asian furnishings.VALUE

Hotel and restaurant prices can be steep, so save on activities: a tour and tasting at Tedeschi Vineyards in Ulupalakua is free; a gorgeous six-mile journey on the Sugar Cane Train is $15.75 per person (watch for whales).

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