|Just saying the word "Hawaii" conjures up images of brown |
bodies, warm sunshine, and a romantic walk on the beach in
the moonlight. All of this is available and there is much
more than meets the eye. The only thing that could hold you
back from seeing and doing all that there is to do, is your
sense of adventure.
Hawaii is actually made up of six separate islands. Maui is
small compared to the "Big Island". But that doesn't mean
anything, because what Maui lacks in size, it makes it up in
it's atmosphere and personality. Maui serves up plenty of
historic and cultural attractions that will captivate your
imagination, while exposing the timeless traditions of this
magical island. For example, the town of Lahaina is a
National Historic District. This was once a thriving whaling
port. History buffs will enjoy Lahaina-Kaanapali and the
Pacific Railroads provide history lovers with an
unforgettable journey into the area¹s plantation past.
"Paradise" is a word that that has been used to describe
Maui. Any way you slice it, vacationing on Maui is an
experience that will bring families closer together. The
good news is that there is also a focus on fun and
education. You have your pick of outdoor activities, and the
Native Hawaiian culture adds to the world-class atractions.
The Hawaiian culture focuses on the importance of children
and family, and many hotels and resorts have kid and student
discount programs available.
Maui's climate (or better yet climates), is a very unique
subject in itself. You can go from a desert to a rainforest,
all in a matter of hours. And because Maui is small, you can
plan a daytrip easily and know that you are going to catch
all the sights. It's commonplace to visit the top of Haleaka
at 10,000 ft, and still have time to go snorkeling in the
calm blue ocean, all within the same day.
Maui's marine environment is spotlighted at the Maui Ocean
Center in Ma'alaea. With a wide variety of hands-on
exhibits, aquarium displays and a "touch pool", visitors can
get close and personal to various ocean creatures like sea
urchins and starfish. Some of the other features include
live jellyfish, colorful reef fish, shrimp, eels, skipjack
tuna, octopus, lobsters, all sorts of different types of
rays and even sharks
The Maui Tropical Plantation is another attraction which
spotlights the Island's agricultural history. Visitors can
take tram tours and see how plantations have played an
important part of Maui's growth. You will see acres of sugar
cane, papaya, guava, mango, banana, pineapple, kona coffee
and macadamia nuts. It's very interesting, and guaranteed to
have you sitting on the edge of your seat.
Be sure to make time to visit the Hawaii Nature Center.
Here you will discover more more than thirty hands-on
exhibits that will enable you to learn about Maui's
environment. Would you like to be able to experience the
ability to see a hundred directions at once? "Life As A
Dragonnfly" is just one of these exhibits that kids and
adults will find fascinating. The Naturalists offer a guided
tour called the "Rainforest Wilderness Walk" which gives you
a detailed background of the history of the area called the
"Tao Valley." You will walk away with a greater appreciation
for the gifts that nature gives us.
Of course the beaches are another great way to spend your
time getting to know the area. Kaanapali Beach (which has
also been referred to as "Dig Me" beach), is one of Maui's
best beaches. Kaanapali Beach is four miles long, and runs
alongside the sea channel for almost it's whole length. The
sand is a golden color and has a paved beach walk path. The
swimming is awesome and there are many beach activity
vendors, offering any type of water activity or equipment
that you could imagine.
Whether you stay in the upscale resort hotels or Maui's
beach parks and camping facilities, you are guaranteed to
have great memories. Don't be surprised if you find yourself
back in this beautiful island again. There's just something
about the magnetic attraction of Maui.
The author, Elizabeth Ann Wares is the webmaster of
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