Maui High, Maui Low

The "Valley Isle" has plenty of peaks: Secluded beaches, folksy villages, teeming rain forests, and a 10,023-foot-high volcano

Day 4: Lahaina to Kahului

Our Lahaina fix filled, we head north to Maui's rarely visited shoreline beyond resort-heavy Kaanapali and Kapalua. First stop is Honolua Bay, a marine reserve and one of the world's finest surfing spots. Next up is picturesque Honokohau Bay, a half-mile-long beach with a few sand pockets for swimming. Our only companions for the next two hours of tide pooling, walking, and swimming are three surfers.

Near Mile Marker 16 is the Bellstone, a large volcanic rock on the side of the road. If you hit it just right it sounds like a bell because of the chemical composition of the lava. I do, and it does.

The road suddenly narrows and we hug the sandstone cliff inches from the few ascending cars. What's really distracting is the sight of the Hawaiian village of Kahakuloa -- around 100 total residents -- bordered by a deep-blue bay and 636-foot Kahakuloa Head. We never knew the village existed and feel like we've been thrown back in time.

We park at Panini Pua Kea fruit stand, run by lifelong resident Randy Boteilho, who offers us brown-sugar-coated coconut pieces and dried mango. There are no accommodations here per se, but Randy allows campers to pitch a tent on his lawn for $30 a night.

Back at Waihee, where our trip started a few days ago, I spot some newly patched potholes and remember my unsuccessful search for Jaws. It's refreshing to know that there are still special places to discover in paradise.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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