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Local Attractions
Things to Do in Maui
The Wailea Area
More on Maui Activities


The earliest settlements in the Hawaiian Islands were made by Polynesians who traveled to Hawai‘i using large double-hulled canoes bringing pigs, dogs, chickens, taro, sweet potatoes, coconut, banana, and sugarcane. There are several theories (single, multiple, and continuous) regarding Polynesian migration to Hawai‘i. On January 18, 1778 Captain James Cook and his crew, while attempting to discover the Northwest Passage, made the European discovery of the Hawaiian Islands, naming them the "Sandwich Islands." There are competing claims, supported by signed maps and sea charts, for earlier discovery by the Spaniard Juan de Gaitán in the 1550's. After the discovery by Cook became widely known, other Europeans and Americans came to the Sandwich Islands.

The islands were united under a single ruler, Kamehameha I, for the first time in 1810. Dynastic rule by the Kamehameha family ended in 1872 with the death of Kamehameha V. After the short reign of Lunalilo, the House of Kalakaua came to the throne. During the intervening years various interactions occurred between the Hawaiian rulers and British, French, Russian and America business, political, military and religious leaders. As the sugar and pineapple industries in the islands grew, an influx of plantation workers from China, Japan, Puerto Rico, Korea, the Philippines, Portugal and Europe arrived in Hawai‘i. These immigrants became the foundation of the multi-ethnic culture of Hawai‘i today.

It is impossible to give a fair or representative summarization of Hawaiian history in a few paragraphs. An interesting means to gain familiarity with the history of Hawai‘i, is to read a fictionalized history such as that portrayed by James Michner in his epic novel Hawai‘i. The novel, which is available in 32 languages, starts with the creation of the islands via volcanoes over millions of years, relates the discovery of the islands by Polynesians, and narrates the immigration by various later groups: missionaries, merchants, industrialists, and laborers.

Maui, the Valley Isle, is the second largest island in the Hawaiian chain, providing diverse cultures, climates, and landscapes: from the black, white, red, and gold sand beaches to the pastoral village of Heavenly Hana, to the soaring sea cliffs and the seven sacred pools. Legends say the demigod Maui pulled the Hawaiian Islands from the sea and lassoed the sun atop Haleakala, the island’s highest peak. The island of Maui was named after this mythological being, perhaps because the shape of the island is said to resemble his head and body. King Pi‘ilani was the first ruler to unite all of Maui under a single family of ali‘i (royalty) in the early 15th century. In 1790, King Kamehameha I defeated Kahekili, Maui’s last king, after a fierce battle in the iconic ‘Iao Valley. Kamehameha took control of Maui and made Lahaina the new capital of the unified Hawaiian Kingdom. For nearly five decades, Lahaina served as the center of government for Hawai‘i. Simultaneously, the town experienced a surge in its whaling industry. At the height of the whaling era (1840-1865) as many as 500 ships anchored in Lahaina’s port.

Things to Do in Maui

The conference hotel room rate extends all the way till December 22, 2012. So after the conference, stay a few extra days to enjoy the many unique and unforgettable Maui experiences.

  • Whether you read, nap, stroll, or swim, relax at beach. At the hotel it is easy and convenient, especially if the kids are enjoying the pool, water slides, and water elevator. The Wailea area offers a variety of additional top beaches, as does the Ka‘anapali area.
  • Take the trip to Hana. Hana is a journey, not a destination. This is a full day excursion, so leave early on a day without other commitments. There are numerous points of interest along the way: swim at Hamoa Beach or the Red Sand Beach, hike to waterfalls or lava tubes, visit the Pools of ‘Ohe‘o (formerly known as Seven Sacred Pools). A good tour book, cassette tape, CD or professional guide is highly recommended.
  • Explore Haleakala National Park. The area is only reachable through Kahului, so the round trip will take several hours and require either a car or an organized tour. Hiking, watching sunrise or sunset, and star gazing are all popular. When the skies are clear you can see three other Hawaiian islands from Haleakala’s lookouts: Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and Hawaii, the Big Island. The mountain top often clouds up over the course of the day. Round the trip out by visiting the Tedeschi Winery or the Surfing Goat Dairy on the return trip. Dress for cold weather.
  • Explore ‘Iao Valley State Park. The park offers towering emerald peaks guarding a lush valley. It is home to one of Maui's most recognizable landmarks, the 1,200-foot ‘Iao Needle. This iconic green-mantled rock outcropping overlooks ‘Iao stream and is an ideal attraction for easy hiking and sightseeing. The valley has great historical significance. It was here in 1790 at the Battle of Kepaniwai that King Kamehameha I clashed with Maui's army in his quest to unite the islands. Also visit the Bailey House Museum to learn the areas cultural and historical significance.
  • Tour historic Lahaina with a sunset walk on Front Street and dinner at any of several well known establishments. Lahaina is a town of major historical significance serving as the first capital of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, a busy whaling port and a plantation settlement. Visit the Lahaina Visitor Center in the Old Lahaina Courthouse to get a pamphlet for the self-guided, historical walking tour highlighting 62 historic sites. Many of the sites have been designated as National Historic Landmarks. Look for the informative bronze plaques near Front Street, pointing out dozens of important points of interest.
  • Kayak or Paddleboard. Both are relatively easy with a few minutes of instruction from the hotel staff at the rental kiosk.
  • Snorkel or scuba dive. Wailea beach offers excellent morning snorkeling. Tours with paying customers anchor near the lava rock formations at the south end of the beach, which is easily and freely available to hotel guest. Tours are also available to the submerged volcanic crater that forms Molokini or to Lana‘i. Lana‘i was formerly known as the “pineapple island.” Its hidden secrets include spinner dolphins off the white sand beach at Manele Bay and underwater treasures so unique that Lana‘i has been rated one of the top 10 snorkel destinations in the world.

The Wailea Area

Wailea beach is famous for calm clear blue water, golden sand, and crescent-shaped beach. The beach offers miles of beach walking along paved paths, sandy beaches, and black lava points. The view from the beach includes neighboring Kaho‘olawe, Lana‘i, and Molokini islands. In season (Dec.-May), Wailea beach offers excellent shore-based whale watching. Year round the Wailea beaches are renowned for excellent snorkeling.

The nearest town, Kihei, is three miles to the north of the Grand Wailea. Kihei offers many restaurants and grocery stores spread along a six mile strip of beach known for spectacular sunsets. During the non-banquet evenings of the conference, a free shuttle will run between the conference registration area at the hotel and prearranged stops in Kihei. Information about the shuttle will be available at the conference registration desk.

The Shops at Wailea is a very short walk from the front entrance of the hotel. Of the seventy businesses at the Shops, six are restaurants and the general store contains a deli. Some evenings the Shops offer live musical entertainment.

Hotels within walking distance include the Marriott and the Four Seasons. All other hotels and condo rentals are in Kihei.


Maui contains numerous microclimates. In December, weather on Maui can be cold and sometimes snowy at the top of Haleakala, while sunny and above 80F at the Wailea beaches.

Wailea is west-facing beach on the south side of Maui. Being the leeward side of Maui, this is a dry, desert climate. In December, typical temperatures at Wailea range from a high of 82 F (28 C) to a low of 65 F (18 C). Typical water temperature is 76 F (24 C). Average precipitation is 3 in.

More on Maui Activities

PaperPlaza Submission site
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Key dates (2012)
Submission Site Open:January 4
Invited Session
Proposals Due:
March 1
Initial Paper
Submissions Due:
March 7
Workshop Proposals Due:May 10
Paper and Workshop
Decision Notification:
Final Submission Open:August 1
Registration Opens:August 1
Accepted Papers Due:September 5

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