Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kahului Harbor

Kahului Harbor—on the eastern (windward) side of the isthmus that separates West Maui from the Haleakala (the south)—is for sure the business end of vacationland, where you'll find the Costco, dockyards for freight ships and ocean liners, and the variety of warehouses and modest neighborhoods that are home to 'real' people. But that doesn't mean tourists need to take a pass.

On Saturdays, check our the Maui Swap Meet for acres of tourist trinkets, artwork, booths of fresh flowers, and tons of island fruit and veggies. Then bop over to the harbor to see if local canoe clubs are racing or if rideable waves are breaking at several popular spots along the breakwater.

For something new, try the Queen Ka'ahumanu Shopping Center, which has enough design (atrium, statuary, sail-like roof) to make it a fun place to hang out or have lunch and see where locals gather on weekends. For something old, take a short drive to the Haleki'i-Pihana Heiaus State Monument, a vast structure spread out over 10 acres on the high ground.