As anyone from Maui will tell you (yes, I admit to resident bias), Maui no ka 'oi - Maui's the best, from the white sands of Kaanapali and the touristy bustle of Lahaina to paniolo (cowboy) country halfway up the slopes of Haleakala and the lush rain forests of Hana. Want nightlife, plenty of sunshine, and a beautiful wahine wearing a sarong bringing you cocktails poolside? Book a hotel on Kaanapali Beach, and spend your days slathered in SPF 15, trying to decide which great restaurant to try that evening. For a little cultural entertainment, a west-side must is the Old Lahaina Luau.

Thousands of windsurfers and kiteboarders flock to Maui each year, and most head to the funky little town of Paia and world-renowned Hookipa Beach Park. Sign up for lessons with Hugh and Linda Stott at Maui Sports Unlimited (808-877-7778, www.mauisportsunlimited.com) if you're new to the sport or need a refresher. Kids' windsurfing courses offer unparalleled learning opportunities (and free time for their parents) for ages six to twelve.

Near Paia, lodge at one of dozens of hidden B&Bs. Hookipa Hale (www.hookipahale.com) is minutes from Hookipa and Jaws, the famous tow-in surf spot where master surfers ride waves up to 40 feet during winter swells. If you're looking for something tamer - white sands and lazing around - but need to watch your budget, book a furnished condo in Kihei, buy papayas for breakfast and fresh fish for lunch, and grill out on your lanai.

No matter which group you're in, splurge on dinner at Mama's Fish House in Kuau Cove or the Haliimaile General Store - you won't be disappointed. And if you're game, wake up well before dawn and make the trek to the summit of Haleakala (pack a jacket) to watch the sun rise across one of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. Wind back down the mountain and stop for breakfast at Kula Lodge or at Casanova's in Makawao and tour the galleries and shops when the town wakes up.