Maui Journals

West Maui Cool Places

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A January 2003 trip to Maui by lcampbell

Iao Valley State Park Photo, Maui, Hawaii More Photos
Quote: While spending three months on Maui, I got the chance to explore the whole island. These are the cool places and activities that I found in West Maui. There is more to West Maui than overdevelopement and tourists . . . you just need to know where to look and where not to.

West Maui Cool Places

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Overview

Maui Ocean Center Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
Even though the bulk of my three-month stay was spent in rural and remote Hana, in East Maui, I did get plenty of chances to explore West Maui. Even though West Maui is the more developed, populated, and touristed area of Maui (usually not attractive to me), I did find some worthwhile places and activities. Stops that I consider MUST SEE in West and Central Maui are Haleakala National Park, Maui Ocean Center, and whale watching with Pacific Whale Foundation. One idea to truly escape the crowds into another world, try hiking or camping at PoliPoli Springs State Park. You will think that you have been lifted off of Maui and deposited in the Pacific Northwest woods due to a tree plant...Read More

Iao Valley State Park

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Attraction | "Iao Needle State Park"

Iao Valley State Park Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
Iao Valley (and Iao Needle) is named for Iao, daughter of Maui. The needle is said to be Iao’s warrior lover, found by her father and turned to stone. Once a peaceful taro farming valley, the valley at one time turned into the location of great brutality. It is the site of a famous battle (1790) in which King Kamehameha I defeated the Maui army during Kamehameha’s push to unite the Hawaiian Islands. Warriors from Kahului retreated into Iao Valley where they were bloodily defeated. My guidebook says that "the waters of Iao Stream were so choked with bodies that the area was called Kepaniwai meaning ‘Damming of the Waters.’ Fortunately today, the valley is once again peaceful and green. The ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 17, 2003

Iao Valley State Park
Iao Valley Road
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
No phone available

Maui Tropical Plantation & Country Store

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Attraction | "Maui Tropical Plantation and Country Store"

Maui Tropical Plantation & Country Store Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
Maui Tropical Plantation and Country Store is located on Highway 30 just south of the turnoff for Iao Valley. I visited the Maui Tropical Plantation as part of a road trip around West Maui on the Kahekili Highway. It was an OK stop, but I think that there are better places to spend your time. Actually, the store and couple displays were nice to stop at for a few minutes, and there is free admission. The store has a good selection and decent prices, and a free coffee sample. I was able to buy some freshly grown rambutans, which I had not had since a visit last year to Thailand. They were only 20 cents each, and I was able to show my friends how to open and eat them, so that was fun. The s...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 17, 2003

Maui Tropical Plantation & Country Store
1670 Honoapi'ilani Highway
Maui, Hawaii 96793
808/244-7643

Maui Ocean Center

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Attraction

Maui Ocean Center Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
As I gazed around, I noticed a slight movement out of my right eye. I turned my head slowly, and came face to "face" with a giant manta ray, over four feet across! Do manta rays eat humans?? What do they do with that three foot sharp pointy thing coming out their behind?? No, I wasn’t snorkling in the clear blue Hawaii waters; I was hanging out at the Maui Ocean Center. And the manta ray wasn’t scary, it was angelic. I was observing the manta ray safely through glass as it glided around this section of the 750,000 gallon Open Ocean tank, part of the largest tropical reef aquarium in the United States. I am normally not a fan of seeing animals in captivity, but the Maui Ocean Cente...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 17, 2003

Maui Ocean Center
Highway 30 at Ma'alaea Harbor Village
Maui, Hawaii 96793
(808) 270-7000

Lahaina Historical Walking Tour (part 1)

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Story/Tip

Lahaina Historical Walking Tour Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
If you get completely overloaded with the tourist shops in Lahaina – same old Tshirts in every store, same expensive food in every restaurant, same Hawaiiana kitsch and snooty art galleries – take the time to focus your attention on some of the great historical and cultural spots. They are mixed right in with the tourist junk, so you will have to concentrate in order to get into the history and leave the rest behind. I found that brochures for the walking tour were actually hard to come by. Therefore, I will give you the brochure information word for word, along with a map, so you will be sure not to miss what is truly great in Lahaina. The brochure is called "Lahaina, A Walking Tour o...Read More

Lahaina Historical Walking Tour (part 2)

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Story/Tip

Lahaina Historical Walking Tour Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
(continued from part 1) 16.(site only) The bland, flat surface of MALUULUOLELE PARK hides one of the most interesting parts of old Lahaina. Once there was a pond here, called Mokuhinia, home of a powerful water spirit in the form of a lizard or dragon. A tiny island in the pond, MOKUULA, was for decades a home of Maui chiefs, and then a residence of three Kamehameha kings. Several important chiefs of the early 1800s were buried there. Kamehameha III used to receive visitors at the royal tomb in the late 1830s and early 1840s, showing them the large burial chamber, with its mirrors, velvet draperies, chairs and kahili (feathered staffs), and ornate coffins. Long after the chiefs’ remains were rem...Read More

Kahekili Highway

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Story/Tip

Kahehiki Highway View Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
The Kahekili Highway winds next to the coast on the resort-fee north side of West Maui. The highway, also called Highway 340, connects Wailuku with the resorts of the west side of West Maui with a paved, often one-lane road with spectacular views. It takes about 1.5 hours without stops to drive this section, but I turned it into a day trip making an entire loop around West Maui, stopping at some great sights and activities along the way. See my map below. From Lahaina, we headed east on Highway 30. We passed Maalaea Harbor along the way, the location of the Maui Ocean Center (see separate entry in this journal). We did not stop at this spot, but we did return at a later time (definit...Read More

How to cook on an Imu

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Story/Tip

Imu Cooking Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
While on Maui, I was able to see firsthand how to build and cook on an imu, or traditional underground oven. We built this imu for a birthday party. The party-giver lived in the dry area of Kula, so he called us at our place in the lush, rainy Hana to ask us to bring over some supplies. He needed banana stump, banana leaf, and ti leaf, all of which we had plenty of. Our neighbor, who was also coming to the party, helped us gather and helped us get the proper quantities. We arrived in Kula the night before the party. We helped our friend dig the pit that night. Then some of us prepared the food that would go into the pit. An imu is often used for pig roasts, which many folks may have se...Read More