Central Maui Area (Wailuku, Kahului, Paia)

Central Maui Area (Wailuku, Kahului)

Maui’s central plateau is an isthmus and valley between the Haleakala volcano and West Maui mountains.  The expanse of land was ideal for growing sugar cane.

  • Iao Valley State Monument is often shrouded in mist.  See the picturesque site of ancient Hawaiian battles:  King Kamehameha conquered the Maui army in 1790 to unite the Hawaiian Islands.  The locale is known for the feelings of “mana,” spirit, and is used for sacred purposes.  Ancient Hawaiians named the valley “Iao,” meaning Supreme Light” in honor of the god “Io,” and came to pay tribute.  Lush vegetation and cools streams complement the dramatic landscape with deep ravines and cultural architecture.  Arrive early in the morning for the best view of the Iao Needle—a 1,200-foot monolithic lave rock ridge—before clouds cover the top by mid-afternoon.  Or, cool off in the river on a hot afternoon.  Hawaii Nature Center in Iao Valley provides education aimed at children regarding Hawaiian rainforests, and fosters respect for nature for future generations.  Kepaniwai Heritage Garden Park provides cultural exhibits and insights into Hawaiian culture and history.
  • Waihee Ridge Trail is 5 miles across a lush forest to see WaiheeValley.
  • Bailey House Museum is a museum, gallery and includes ancient artifacts and items from the missionary period.
  • Maui Tropical Plantation is a 120 acre preserve.  As a working plantation and fast education on Hawaiian agriculture you can take a 40-minute instructional, guided tram ride through fields and see sugar cane, pineapple, coffee, bananas, mangoes, papayas avocado star fruit and macadamia nuts.  The nursery features hibiscus, orchid, ginger and other flora.
  • Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning:  Go where the locals go, to MauiCommunity College, 310 Ka’ahumanu Avenue, Kahului.  Farmers’ Market and swap meet starts at 6:00 AM and goes to 1:00 PM.(808) 877-3100.  Arrive early for the best fresh food selection.
  • Town of Wailuku is full of hidden surprises. It was once the only real town in Maui and fell into disrepair in the 1960 but has been revitalized with interesting restaurants, historic museums, cultural centers, parks, churches, classic old buildings and cafes.
  • Kahului  town is the modern, commercial center of Maui.
  • The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum is located in the town of Puunene.  Polynesian settlers introduced sugar cane more than a thousand years ago.

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