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