Alana Folen


  • Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Alana Folen is a correspondent who lives in Honolulu and covers Maui for Forbes Travel Guide. With a passion for writing and a love for food, Folen landed her dream job — she’s the editor of the Dining Out section in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Born and raised in Honolulu and a graduate of the journalism program at University of Hawaii, Folen has interviewed international journalist Lisa Ling, Broadway star Lea Salonga, international singer Lani Misalucha and many more. Folen also writes for HILuxury, Waikiki Magazine and Go Kailua Magazine.

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  • On August 16, 2012
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    Where is the best shopping in Maui?

    Take a break from Maui’s beaches or outdoor adventures and visit the island’s top shopping destinations. The best shopping in Maui is in some ways the best shopping in Hawaii—only Honolulu has as many high end and brand name stores. Queen Ka’ahumanu Center is Maui’s largest shopping mall with more than 100 stores and the island’s only department store. Don’t miss out on the high-end collection at The Shops at Wailea. With designers like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta, you’ll get your fashion fix.
    Pay a visit to Lahaina’s quaint Front Street to explore the eclectic array of art galleries, clothing stores and jewelry shops. Here you’ll find one-of-a-kind souvenirs to bring home. Finally, if you’re looking to score great deals, bargain for your buck at the Maui Swap Meet, held every Saturday morning in Kahului. With close to 200 vendors and thousands of customers, it’s a flea market worth browsing.
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    What are the best things to do with kids in Maui?

    The kids (or keiki as they say in Hawaii) will fall in love with Maui. The Hawaiian culture revolves around family, and as such, kids are welcome (and catered to) just about everywhere. Here are five of the best things to do with kids in Maui:
    1. Explore Maui Ocean Center. Take a journey under the sea without getting wet. Open year round, Maui Ocean Center brings the wonders of Hawaii’s ocean to life as it showcases more than 60 indoor and outdoor exhibits, such as Turtle Lagoon and Hammerhead Harbor.
    2. Ride the Sugar Cane Train. Hop aboard the Sugar Cane Train and take in the sights and sounds from historic Lahaina to the resorts of Kaanapali. With a blast of its steam whistle this open-air locomotive is reminiscent of Hawaii’s nostalgic charm.
    3. Play at Baby Beach. Perfect for little ones, Baby Beach, located in the north part of Lahaina, is known for its calm waves. The attractive beach’s offshore breakwater blocks many of the big waves from reaching shore.
    4. Smell the flowers at Ali’i Kula Lavender. Make your way to Upcountry Maui and make a day of it at Ali’i Kula Lavender. The intoxicating aroma of lavender will awaken your senses. Kids will enjoy exploring the farm, which flourishes with lavender, vibrant proteas, roses, native Hawaiian plants and more.
    5. Giddy up at Piiholo Ranch. Get in touch with your inner cowboy, or paniolo, at Piiholo Ranch in Upcountry Maui. Located on the edge of the rainforest, 2,000 feet above sea level, this ranch is a top-notch spot to saddle up and explore the rugged upcountry Maui landscape. Riding lessons for kids are available, and the children will also love the Kids “Wrangler” Camp.
  • On August 16, 2012
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    What are the best things to see and do in Maui?

    A large island with a topography that ranges from lush and tropical to volcanic, Maui has the perhaps the widest range of things to see and do of any Hawaiian island. Whether you’re spotting humpback whales frolicking in the Pacific or hula dancing at a luau, this Hawaiian island has plenty to offer. Here are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks of the five best things to see and do in Maui.
    1. Explore Haleakala National Park. Feel as if you’re on top of the world at Haleakala. This 10,023-foot summit offers unforgettable views of the island. Witness an enthralling sunrise, explore the park with ranger-guided tours or marvel in an explosion of stars as Haleakala provides a picture-perfect view of the night sky. This historic park is open 24-hours a day.
    2. Whale Watch. Embark on a whale-watching journey from Lahaina Harbor. The channel off the coast of Lahaina is a premier spot to catch humpback whales at play. We recommend a visit during the winter months when the whales are most active.
    3. Attend an Old Lahaina Luau. Submerge yourself in the Hawaiian culture with an evening of traditional Hawaiian music, cultural dances, island crafts and signature cuisine. This  luau is presented nightly on private grounds behind the Cannery Mall in Lahaina, West Maui.
    4. Hike Iao Valley State Park. Central Maui’s Iao Valley State Park features one of the island’s most recognizable landmarks, the 1,200-foot Iao Needle. This renowned green-mantled rock outcropping overlooks Iao stream — perfect for hiking and sightseeing. It was here in 1790 at the Battle of Kepaniwai that King Kamehameha I clashed with Maui’s army in a quest to unite the islands.
    5. Drive the Road to Hana. Deemed one of the best drives in the nation, Maui’s Hana Highway offers a uniquely breathtaking view of the island complete with more than 600 curves and 50 bridges to navigate. Although the trek may be a bit grueling (it can take up to four hours each way), the pristine beaches, lookouts and scenery you’ll find along the way are worth the effort.