By Melanie Lieberman
September 27, 2019
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Hawaii’s golden child, Maui, has no shortage of beauty. Lush palm forests blanket the island’s mountains, and five-star resorts flank the golden beaches. But there’s more to this destination than just good looks.

Want to discover why Maui was voted the No. 1 island in Hawaii by Travel + Leisure readers in the annual World’s Best Awards survey?

Book a room at the best hotel on the island: Montage Kapalua Bay. Spread among 24 lush acres along Namalu Bay, the residential-style getaway encompasses just 50 one-to-three-bedroom suites, each redesigned in 2018 and featuring separate living areas, full kitchens, furnished terraces, and either ocean or garden views.

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Seek out hidden waterfalls while driving the serpentine Road to Hana, which stretches for 65 miles and navigates 50 narrow bridges, and watch the sun crack over the horizon at dawn from Haleakala’s 10,023-foot-summit (but be sure to make a reservation).

Just as amazing are lazy afternoons in the quiet little surf town of Paia, or learning to stand-up paddleboard at Wailea Beach.

A tour of Maui will quickly show travelers how it earned the nickname “the Valley Isle” — and how it became not only the best island in Hawaii, but also the No. 15 island on Earth.

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And getting there is easier than ever now that Southwest Airlines has direct flights from California, as well as flights between the islands if you’d like to extend your trip. Want to find a deal? Check out our guide to using the Low Fare Calendar and get planning.

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