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Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
An idiosyncratic assortment of shops makes Wailuku's Market Street a delightful place for a stroll. Brown-Kobayashi and the Bird of Paradise Unique Antiques are the best shops for interesting collectibles and furnishings. Wailuku Coffee Company houses works by local artists and occasionally offers live entertainment in the evening. On the first Friday of every month Market Street closes to traffic from 5:30 to 9 for Wailuku's First Friday celebration. The fun includes street vendors, live entertainment, and food.
Affectionately called the Sugar Cane Train, Maui's only passenger train is an 1890s-vintage railway that once shuttled crops but now moves sightseers between Kaanapali and Lahaina. This quaint little attraction with its singing conductor is a big deal for Hawaii but probably not much of a thrill for those more accustomed to trains (though kids like it no matter where they grew up). www.sugarcanetrain.com. COST: $22.95. OPEN: Weekdays 10:15--4.
More of a friendly gesture than a town, this tiny outpost is the last bit of civilization before Kula Highway becomes a winding back road. A coffee tree pushes through the sunny deck at Grandma's Maui Coffee, the morning watering hole for Maui's cowboys who work at Ulupalakua or Kaupo Ranch. Keokea Gallery next door sells cool, quirky artwork. And two tiny stores—Fong's and Ching's—are testament to the Chinese immigrants who settled the area in the late 19th Century. The only restroom for miles is in the public park, and the view makes stretching your legs worth it.
Beautiful and secluded, Kapalua is West Maui's northernmost, most exclusive resort community. First developed in the late 1970s, the resort now includes the Ritz-Carlton, posh residential complexes, two golf courses, and the surrounding pineapple fields. The area's distinctive shops and restaurants cater to dedicated golfers, celebrities who want to be left alone, and some of the world's richest folks. In addition to golf, recreational activities include hiking and snorkeling. Mists regularly envelop the landscape of tall Cook pines and rolling fairways in Kapalua, which is cooler and quieter than its southern neighbors. The beaches here, including Kapalua and D.T. Fleming, are among Maui's finest.
The wild side of West Maui and untouched by progress, this tiny village at the north end of Honoapiilani Highway is a relic of pre-jet-travel Maui. Remote villages similar to Kahakuloa were once tucked away in several valleys in this area. Many residents still grow taro and live in the old Hawaiian way. Driving this route is not for the faint of heart: the unimproved road weaves along coastal cliffs, and there are lots of blind curves; it's not wide enough for two cars to pass in places. Watch out for stray cattle, roosters, and falling rocks. True adventurers will find terrific snorkeling and swimming along this drive, as well as some good hiking trails.
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