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Northwest Traveler

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Topic: Hawaii

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June 12, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Hawaii tips: A few favorite things from a week on Maui

Raindrops on roses? Whiskers on kittens? I don’t know about those, but these are a few of my favorite things from this past week’s visit to Maui:

Hawaiian-cowboy themed shops are part of the local color in Makawao, in upcountry Maui. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

Hawaiian-cowboy themed shops are part of the local color in Makawao, in upcountry Maui. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

  • Best little tourist town: Makawao. Lahaina has great historical sites and museums, but it’s looking a little careworn and in need of fresh paint, while the surfer-dude haven of Paia is overloved and traffic-jammed. The upcountry cowboy town of Makawao has fun local shops, a couple nice cafes and cream puffs from Komoda’s bakery.
  • Kapalua Bay for snorkeling: Get there early for a spot in the public parking lot of this beautiful little beach with a protected and quiet cove that’s great for beginner snorkelers or old pros. Good reefs with some brightly colored coral, big scarlet-colored slate pencil urchins, and lots to see throughout the bay, including schooling fish like you saw in “Finding Nemo.” Fun to swim with them.
  • Plate-lunch place: Ono Kau Kau Mixed Plate, 3481 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Honokowai. I liked the Lau Lau Pork, wrapped in taro leaf for a taste of the islands. Tip: Unless you’re there for a real FULL meal, get the “Mini” plate ($7.95). All items on the “Local Food” menu come with the typical macaroni salad and
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Comments | Topics: Hawaii, Maui, maui attractions

June 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Finding centuries-old petroglyphs just off a busy Maui highway

A drawing of a big-chested chief and a sail-rigged canoe are among petroglyphs at Olowalu on Maui. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times)

Petroglyphs, or ki`i pohaku, mark the side of a volcanic cinder cone at Olowalu on Maui. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times)

Reporting a recent story for our Washington State Parks centennial series, I got tuned into the impressive petroglyphs at Horsethief Lake and Columbia Hills State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. So when a local tipped me off during my Hawaii visit this week to a “secret” place to see petroglyphs on Maui, I had to go.

Nobody really knows the full significance of these ancient drawings of human figures, animals, boats and other phenomena — whether they told stories or recorded some historical event or were just the idle doodles of that day. In any case, they’re intriguing glimpses of a primitive art style and seem to give some pointer to what was important to the people who did the drawing.

In the Columbia Gorge, native people drew coyotes and moons and deer. On Maui today, I saw 200-to-300-year-old drawings — in Hawaiian, they call them ki`i pohaku, or rock pictures — of what’s

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Comments | More in Hawaii | Topics: Hawaii, Maui, olowalu

June 10, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Report from Lana`i: Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam…

Spam comes in 10 varieties at a market on the Hawaiian island of Lana`i. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

Spam comes in 10 varieties at a market on the Hawaiian island of Lana`i. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

Because of high surf, the weekly supply barge didn’t make it Wednesday to the Hawaiian island of Lana`i (population: 3,000) , so when I visited Saturday the market shelves were getting a little bare.

One lonely gallon of milk sat in the cooler at the Pine Isle Market in grandly named Lana`i City, which was the company town for Dole Pineapple during its 70-year reign here.

“It gets to be slim pickings!” said local resident Bruce Harvey, my guide for the day.

But reflective of Hawaiian tastes, one thing Pine Isle Market did have: the best selection of Spam I’ve ever seen — in 10 varieties. Who knew it came in such gourmet flavors as

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Comments | More in Hawaii | Topics: Hawaii, Lanai, larry ellison

June 6, 2013 at 11:01 PM

A nice rediscovery: Even Hawaii’s best beaches are free

Visitors at a roadside beach park south of Lahaina, on Maui, enjoy the free show of local kids surfing. (Photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times)

Visitors at a roadside park south of Lahaina, on Maui, enjoy the free show of local kids surfing. (Photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

A couple days on Maui have brought back to me how expensive everything can be — from the $4.59/gallon gasoline to the $5.99-a-pound butter and $14 cocktails — but it’s also heartening to be reminded that by state law all of Hawaii’s beaches are public, which means that when your holiday cash feels stretched, you can always take a day off from the tourist traps, put together some sandwiches and head for the beach.

If an island getaway doesn’t feel like it fits your budget once you’ve priced resorts and beachside condos, take a look at the places that aren’t right on the beach. And remember that Maui, for example, has loads of little beachfront parks with picnic tables and barbecue grills, so even if

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Comments | More in Hawaii | Topics: budget holiday, free beaches, Hawaii

June 4, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Waning tradewinds? It’s blowing like stink on Maui

A current report says Hawaii’s tradewinds are waning, causing more muggy days without enough wind to blow away the “vog” — volcanic smoke from Hawaii Island’s volcanic eruptions. You sure wouldn’t know it from Tuesday on Maui. Stepping off an Alaska 737 in Kahului, I watched women’s hair get the full “Hurricane Uplift” hairdo as they…

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Comments | More in Hawaii | Topics: Hawaii, kahului, Maui

February 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Cast your ballot now: What is Hawaii’s best island?

Has Maui gotten too commercial? Is Lanai a secret treasure? Is Oahu tops because of the surfer’s paradise on the North Shore? Northwest Traveler is starting every week with a new topic in our Monday Survey, and this week Hawaii-loving readers responded with their views on the best islands of aloha. Now, it’s time for the…

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Comments | Topics: Big Island, favorite Hawaiian island, Hawaii

February 10, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Getting a real ocean view at Hawaii hotels, condos

The first time I went to Hawaii I was all excited about the “ocean-view” condo I had booked on the Big Island. I couldn’t wait to  watch  the waves and gaze at the setting sun with a Mai Tai in hand.

Reality bit when I arrived. The condo was ocean view if  I stood in one sliver of  living room and stared through a narrow gap between two other buildings in front.

This view, from my room at Kiahuna Plantation Resort on Kauai, is classified as partial ocean view. Well, yes, you can see the ocean beyond the trees. But if you want the real ocean  view in a Hawaii hotel or condo, ask for (and pay more) for an oceanfront room. (Photo by Kristin Jackson / Seattle Times.)

I soon learned, when booking hotel rooms or condos in Hawaii, that the descriptive words really matter.  “Ocean-front” is what you want for the real, close-up view of the waves. If it’s touted as “ocean view” or “partial ocean view” figure out what that really means.  Phone the hotel directly (don’t rely on the reservations staff at the  toll-free phone numbers) and ask how far back from the ocean the  room is, and what’s between the room  and the view. Try to find an online map of the resort, if it has multiple buildings, and figure out where your room would be.

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Comments | More in Hawaii | Topics: condos, Hawaii, Hotels

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