Best Place to Catch the Sunrise


A must-do ritual on Maui is shivering through a sunrise (or sunset) from the summit of Haleakala, 10,000 feet above the ocean. Sure, it’s touristy, but it’s a thrill. Get a 2 a.m. wakeup, call the National Weather Service 1-808-871-5054, and if it reports heavy clouds and whipping winds, turn over and go back to sleep. Otherwise, dress warm and figure on a two-hour drive and a $10 per vehicle entry fee.

Best Place to Stand: in the heated “House of the Sun” visitors center. There’s no food or drink, and park rangers aren’t thrilled about Irish coffees in thermos bottles, so beware. For something comfier with a better calories burn, MAUI MOUNTAIN CRUISERS company picks you up at your hotel between 2:00-2:45 a.m., warms you up with coffee and muffins, whips you up to the summit by van, puts you on a bicycle, and sends you on a 38-mile downhill tour. The ride is punctuated by a “no host” breakfast stop, and you’re back at the hotel by noon. Price for the nine-hour get-up and getaway is $150-$185 per person. CallMAUI MOUNTAIN CRUISERS at 1-808-871-6014 internationally and on Maui or 1-800-232-6284 from the US Mainland and neighbor islands. And anyone with a sturdy pair of hiking boots can trek down into the belly of this beast to view pheasants, mynahs, white-tailed tropical birds, and Hawaii’s rare and exquisite state bird, the nene.

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