Kepaniwai Park & Heritage Gardens
Picnic facilities dot the landscape of this county park, a memorial to Maui's cultural roots. Among the interesting displays are an early-Hawaiian hale (house), a New England-style saltbox, a Portuguese-style villa with gardens, and dwellings from such other cultures as China and the Philippines. Next door, the Hawaii Nature Center has excellent interactive exhibits and hikes easy enough for children.
The peacefulness here belies the history of the area. In 1790, King Kamehameha the Great from the Island of Hawaii waged a successful and bloody battle against Kahekili, the son of Maui's chief. An earlier battle at the site had pitted Kahekili himself against an older Hawaii Island chief, Kalaniopuu. Kahekili prevailed, but the carnage was so great that the nearby stream became known as Wailuku (water of destruction), and the place where fallen warriors choked the stream's flow was called Kepaniwai (damming of the waters). COST: Free. OPEN: Daily 7--7.