Maui Is Like Your First Kiss,
- You Never Forget It
by: Elizabeth Ann Wares
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 area’s 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.
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