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Wailea, in South Maui, is one of the most breathtaking resort communities in the world. The air is perfumed with island blossoms, the beaches (all of them public-access) are white sand, and the resorts are architectural wonders. Marvel at the palatial Eastern-themed Fairmont Kea Lani Resort or the understated elegance at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. Shopping in this area is decidedly upscale. The best place to go is The Shops at Wailea, which offer high-end stores such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Tiffany & Co, to name a few.
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.
Touted as the largest tropical aquaria with a reef in the Western Hemisphere, this impressive oceanfront aquarium has become one of most popular attractions of Maui. With more than 50 marine habitats, a massive ocean exhibit and a Whale Discovery Center, this is a must-see for anyone interested in the undersea world. Guided tours and audio guides are available, and there is an entertaining Keiki Program for the little ones. Check out the Marine Mammal Discovery Center here—it is educational and fun too!
Designed by Harry Livingston Kerr and built in 1907, this Wailuku landmark was built with state-of-the-art foresight and materials in the islands. Using molded concrete blocks, the more expensive quarried rock will make you realize how beautiful this material is to view in person. The stone was installed using a random pattern in tinted concrete that was very new to the islands. The structure incorporates French architectural styles and was wired for electricity before the island of Maui even had a power plant. Furthermore, the courthouse consists of 7000 square feet, a basement, a wood framed roof and it has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1986. - Lottie Tagupa
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.
With its seemingly endless expanse of golden sand beach and perfect bodysurfing waves, the Makena State Park is a must-see. Big Beach is the number one spot for sunbathing and swimming. Little Beach, a five-minute hike up and over rocks, is a world-famous nude beach. The surrounding environs are perfect for a hike that offers splendid views of the deep blue ocean
Watched over by imposing, viridescent peaks, this park is replete with refreshing tropical woods sliced by winding trails and pathways. Dubbed as the 'Yosemite of the Pacific' by Mark Twain, this serene park is home to clearings, gardens and a spacious picnic area. This is an invigorating hiking destination, accentuated by the beauty of rejuvenating rainforests. The focal point of this park is the Iao Needle, a natural rock formation covered in green moss that towers mightily over the park as well as the Iao Stream that flows alongside it. Once the site of a great battle, this is a stirring centerpoint of history and natural beauty.
Let it be known up front: these caverns are not an ancient burial ground, contrary to previous beliefs. If this revelation does not disappoint you too much, then perhaps this is the spelunking experience for you. Excursions range from a quick 50-minute lava tube tour to a six-hour adventure that is advertised as a journey to the center of the earth. You will view some breathtaking sights, including ancient stalactites, ledges and the stunning Dancing Sunbeam Skylight. Two different excursions are available. Call for prices and more information.