An Island Thanksgiving

Maui could be the most-pleasant place in the country on Thanksgiving, and if you visit at that time, you'll beat the hordes of tourists who come at the start of the high season in mid-December. Here's a guide to a perfect long weekend on Maui: the coolest places to visit, the best places to stay and the tastiest things to eat, including, of course, turkey dinner.

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Cane & Canoe

Montage Kapalua Bay's hotel eatery resembles one of Maui's old canoe houses where locals gathered. Guests can eat in the common area or order Thanksgiving dinner in their rooms.

Photography courtesy of Pacific Dream Photography

Ka'ana Kitchen

Chef Masaharu Morimoto wakes up early and heads here for breakfast — usually the cinnamon roll pancakes with coconut cream and macadamia nuts.

Photography courtesy of Dabe Patterson

Wailea Blue Golf Course

Morimoto, an avid golfer, says this course with ocean views is one of the best on Maui.

Star Noodle

Most of the noodles at this restaurant are made on-site. Morimoto's favorite: udon with wafu dashi broth, radish and scallion.

Mama's Fish House

The kitchen here is run by Maui native Perry Bateman, who will serve boar bacon and poha berry stuffing, pumpkin seed-crusted mahi mahi and roasted kabocha squash soup. You'll find Hawaiian kitsch galore in the dining room, including canoes strapped to the ceiling.

Photography courtesy of Jessica Sample

The Preserve Kitchen + Bar

This restaurant opened at Maui's Travaasa Hana resort less than a year ago, and you should make a pilgrimage for its first Thanksgiving. The menu will include kalua turkey and candied Molokai sweet potatoes with macadamia nuts.

Home Maid Bakery

Try the masaladas. These oversize sugar-dusted, deep-fried doughnut holes came to the islands by way of Portuguese immigrants, and Home Maid Bakery has been churning them out since 1960. You have to order by the dozen, but trust us: You'll wish you had more.

Tamura's Fine Wine & Liquors

The back of a liquor store is, oddly enough, the best place to enjoy Maui's most-popular raw fish dish, poke. Traditional poke bowls come with rice or seaweed salad and marinated chunks of raw fish (poke is Hawaiian for "to slice into crosswise pieces"). The award-winning selection at Tamura's Fine Wine & Liquors includes sashimi-grade tuna, scallops and octopus.

Aloha Mixed Plate

Plate lunches — platters of white rice, macaroni salad and an entree — were first enjoyed by Japanese, Korean and Filipino laborers in the mid-1900s. Aloha Mixed Plate carries on the tradition with a menu of more than a dozen varieties; the most popular is a mix of shoyu chicken, fresh fish and teriyaki beef.

Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice

When Japanese plantation workers came to Hawaii in the early 1900s, they brought a tradition of scraping super-thin shavings from a block of ice, then sweetening it with syrup, today, known as shave ice. Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice was one of the first spots to poke holes in its ice so the real fruit syrups would seep into every last bit.

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