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Just a couple miles from the Kahului Airport, this harbor is the main artery for almost everything arriving on Maui. The harbor handles everything from people to petroleum and is the largest harbor on the island. The small harbor is always busy, but there is still room for afternoon canoe clubs to hold practice sessions and still picturesque enough to provide a moving canvas of scenery along the shoreline. Cruise passengers will be happy to know it is within walking distance of to two of Maui's largest malls and it very easy to get to the airport to rent cars for the day.
Located just past Mile Marker 10 on the road to Hana (Highway 36) are the verdant tropical gardens where the opening sequence of "Jurassic Park" was filmed. The 26-acre (10.52 hectare) park, designed by Alan Bradbury with the aim of restoring the area's natural ecosystem, contains 500+ trees, plants and flowers native to the Pacific islands. Stroll along Maui's best nature trails and enjoy a leisurely lunch in a lush picnic area. This is a great activity for nature lovers and families with children.
Tightly bound to the lissome eastern coastline of Maui, the iconic Road to Hana navigates through a motley of mesmerizing scenery, all packed into a 64.4 mile (103.6 kilometer) long drive that extends from Kahului to Hana. Around every corner, there is a slice of deep azure waters to encounter, a variegated expanse of close-knit jungles that hold mysterious worlds, and an enchanting mix of waterfalls, beaches and jade groves that are a mere hairpin-curve away. As one drives along the merrily winding coastline, frothy waves kick and crash against the side of the steep cliff, and nature's sounds lead the way. As many as 600 curves are wrapped into the serpentine embrace of this scenic road, and nearly 59 one-lane bridges mark the roadway. While this uninterrupted highway to Hawaii heaven and its deep cliffside curves may have one's stomach in knots, the visual reward that remains a constant throughout the journey caps off this remarkable drive.
Located in the heart of Wailuku, this 179 year old church is one of the oldest in the island. The church was originally a small pili grass thatched roof on the compound of Maui's high chief Kahekili. After Kahekili was beaten by King Kamehameha in the fierce battle at Iao Valley just down the road, the new church was built in 1837 of stone to honor Queen Kaahumanu. Today, the church stands in the hearts of islanders as one of Wailuku's most beloved landmarks.
One of the most prominent nature preserves, Haleakala National Park was established to protect the unique craggy wilderness of Maui in the year 1961. Home to a virtually never-ending variety of natural wonders, the national park's uneven 33,265 acre-lands (13,462 hectares) shelter intricate networks of craters that pass through the mystical Kipahulu Valley, much of which is closed to tourists. The Kipahulu region is one of the park's most ecologically-rich areas that are home to more than 31 different species of Tardigrade colonies that populate most of Haleakala's eastern shores. The Haleakala Observatory offers the best views of the park's serene surroundings through a 12.04-feet (3.67-meter) advanced electro-optical lens.