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Maui Facts

12 Surprising Things Guidebooks Don't Tell You About Maui

by Marcia Yudkin

1. Language. Nearly all the street names and place names in Maui are in Hawaiian. Be prepared for tongue twisters like Alanui Ke Ali'i, Honoapiilani, Kaahumanu and Pu'unene.

2. Scenery. Maui has no billboards. Other than traffic and safety signs, nothing blocks your view of the natural landscape around you. You'll want to know before you set out where you're going and where you'll stop for lunch.

3. Surfing. Coming from a state without surfing, I imagined being able to go to surfing spots and watch surfers there any day I felt like it. Instead, the saying "Surf's Up!"applies - sometimes conditions are great for surfing along Maui's shores, and other times you'll see only novices out learning how to stay on their boards or no one at all. The North Shore has much higher waves than anywhere else on Maui. North of Kapalua in West Maui is an unmarked turnoff where you can park and watch skilled surfers in Honolua Bay when the waves are high.

   

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4. Courtesy. Hawaiians are polite drivers. Practically everyone stops to let pedestrians cross the street in marked crosswalks. Most drivers stop and wave you across between crosswalks as well.

5. Atmosphere. The rich are invisible here. Just about everyone wears T-shirts or Hawaiian shirts and shorts here, all the time. Even in a neighborhood dotted with $10 million-dollar houses, you're hard put to see anyone who looks or acts wealthy. The ambiance is casual and egalitarian.

6. Weather. Despite the tropical location, it can snow on Maui - on the top of Haleakala mountain, which is 10023 feet above sea level.

7. Bugs. You won't be bothered by mosquitoes. Hotels and homes may have screens on windows and doors, but in South Maui, at least, you can sit outdoors day or night and not get bitten or swarmed by mosquitoes.

Reserve a comfortable, well-equipped South Maui beach condo for your upcoming visit to Maui.

8. Ocean access. No one can own the beach in Maui and have the right to keep people off it. Though bad news for territorial zillionaires, this is great for everyone else. Even exclusive beach resorts can't keep the public from walking or swimming "their" beach. Look for "beach access" signs at alleys or roads, which often lead to beachside showers and rest rooms or portable toilets. From there you can walk along the beach freely in any direction.

9. Whales. In winter, you can see whales from shore with the naked eye. At sunset, sweep your gaze across the horizon slowly and you will frequently see large splashes, a spout of water or the arcing body of a whale breaching in the distance. At other times of the day, look for boats that are either stopped or moving slowly - they're watching whales most of the time.

10. Ocean moods. The ocean tends to be significantly calmer in the morning than in the afternoon. Thats why most boat trips from Maui take place in the morning. Plan your swimming and snorkeling excursions accordingly as well.

11. The sun. Sunset is a special time for sun worship in South and West Maui. Plan to join this moving community ritual whenever you can.

12. Lifeguards. Maui has more swimmable beaches than any other island in Hawaii, but only eight of them are manned seven days a week, 365 days a year by lifeguards. Officially known as "ocean safety officers," the lifeguards not only have responsibility for rescuing people in danger of drowning, but also alert the public with red flags on the beach when conditions are hazardous.

Copyright 2011 Marcia Yudkin.  All rights reserved.

Maui Banyan Condo Rental  |  1215 South Kihei Rd. #O-432  |  Kihei, Hawaii 96753

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