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Topic: Maui

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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 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 bin of perfectly ripe Hawaiian papaya awaits tourists at the Olowalu fruit stand, south of Lahaina, Maui. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times) 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…

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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? A paddle surfer rides a lazy wave on Oahu’s North Shore. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times) Northwest Traveler is starting every week with a new topic in our Monday Survey, and…

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