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Places For A First Time Visitor On Maui

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A first time visitor to Maui may arrive and not be sure of where to go. Maui is not a large land mass and the island is small, however, there are so many places to go that are worthwhile.

I will go over a few places a first-time visitor should definitely visit during their vacation.

Maui Tropical Plantation


The Maui Tropical Plantation is a good first place to visit as you arrive from the Kahului Airport. The Maui Tropical Plantation is located in Wailuku and is a 20 minute drive away from the airport. The plantation is located at the bottom of the west Maui mountains. The plantation offers a large country store, and a landscape full of stunning plants and flowers. The Mill House Restaurant and Bar offers great food and a must see view. The farm tour is also a can't miss experience.



The Plantation is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. It is easy to locate as it resides along a main highway and there is plenty of parking (free parking). The Maui Tropical Plantation Express Tram Tour run 7 days a week, however, they only offer 7 tours a day. At the time of this article, ticket costs were $20 per adult and $10 per child.

Iao Valley



Iao Valley State Park is must see for Maui visitors for good reason. Iao is accessible by car or through a tour company and is full of paved routes, stairs and signs with historical information. The scenery is beautiful and compatible for people of all ages.

Iao Valley is the second wettest place in Hawai’i, so make sure to bring a jacket with you. The valley can receive up to over an inch of rain per day. Iao Valley is filled with a beautiful stream (Iao Stream) that flows from the rainfall.

The main attraction is the ‘Iao needle (Kuka’emoku). The needle is 2,250 feet high from sea level. In Hawaiian culture, Kuka'emoku is known as the phallic stone of the god of the ocean (Kanaloa.)

Haleakala


Haleakalā is a massive volcano. The tallest peak of Haleakalā, "house of the sun" stands at 10,023 feet tall. The Haleakala National Park surrounds the crater and is made up of 30,183 acres as a park and 24,719 acres as wilderness. The park includes the summit depression, Kipahulu Valley on the southeast, and ʻOheʻo Gulch (and pools), and the shoreline in the Kipahulu area. There are two main trails leading into Haleakalā which are the Sliding Sands Trail and the Halemauʻu Trail.

Make sure to consider visiting Haleakala during its sunrise. The sunrise view is a sight to behold and worth the drive and early wake-up call.

Haleakala National Park charges $20 to $25 per vehicle. For pedestrians and bicyclists, the fee is $12. Passes issued by rangers are good for entry for three days.

Historic Lahaina



Historic Lahaina was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820-1845. Today, Lahaina is a popular attraction for shopping and dining. There are many historic sites such as the Bailey Museum, the Lahaina Courthouse, and the Prison. There are also many restaurants with a wide variety of food and entertainment. Front Street is also the hub of West Maui's nightlife.

If you are an art buff, make sure to check out the great art galleries that are available from some word class artists. One end of Front Street is home to the largest Banyan Tree in the United States.

Kihei



Much like Lahaina, Kihei is very sunny and is a hub of shops, restaurants and nightlife. Kihei is one of the sunniest places on the island with only about 12 inches of rain per year. Kihei has six miles of beaches with views of nearby islands in Kahoolawe, Molokini, and Lanai. Kihei is a great place for snorkeling, kayaking and whale watching.

Kihei is filled with cheap hotels, condos, and cottages along its beach road. There are also a collection of small shopping malls such as Kukui Mall and great restaurants. I highly recommend eating at Cuatro Restaurant (1881 S Kihei Rd #111, Kihei, HI 96753) which offers a great blend of Latin and Pacific flavors. After you spend a day at the beach, make sure to explore the nightlife in Kihei. Kihei is filled with karaoke bars, night clubs and sports bars for your liking. The main hub of nightlife in Kihei is at the Triangle which is located near Kihei Kalama Village.

Road To Hana

         

The road to Hana is only 52 miles but with an average speed of 25 mph, the trip is a long one. The road to Hana is very windy and a difficult trip, hence the reason for the low speeds.

The road to Hana is a scenic one which is filled with coastline overlooks, waterfalls, black sand beaches, pools of Oheo and more. The first couple of waterfalls are a big draw and can be a traffic hazard to those who aren’t used to driving on a narrow road with numerous blind curves. Parking is impossible at these waterfall stops. Hana's rainforests are very unique and is filled with a wide variety of rare flowers.






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