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Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
Home to one of Maui's only black-sand beaches and freshwater caves for adventurous swimmers to explore, this park is right on the ocean. It's a lovely spot to picnic, hike, or swim. To the left you'll find the volcanic-sand beach, picnic tables, and cave pools. To the right is an ancient trail that snakes along the ocean past blowholes, sea arches, and archaeological sites. The tide pools here turn red several times a year. Scientists say it's explained by the arrival of small shrimp, but legend claims the color represents the blood of Popoalaea, said to have been murdered in one of the caves by her husband, Chief Kakae. In either case, the dramatic landscape is bound to leave a lasting impression. www.hawaiistateparks.org. COST: Free.
It takes goats to make goat cheese, and they've got plenty of both at this 42-acre farm. Tours range from "casual" to "grand," and any of them delight kids as well as adults. If you have the time, the "Evening Chores and Milking Tour" is educational and fun. The owners make more than two dozen kinds of goat cheese, from the plain, creamy "Udderly Delicious" to more exotic varieties that include tropical ingredients. All are available in the dairy store, along with gift baskets and even goat-milk soaps. www.surfinggoatdairy.com. COST: Free; tours $10--$25. OPEN: Mon.--Sat. 9--5, Sun. 9--2.
About a mile from Alii Kula Lavender are 8 acres of salad greens, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and berries—all of it headed directly to restaurants in Lahaina. Owned and operated by the restaurateurs, more than 300 pounds of fresh Oo Farm produce ends up on diners' plates every week. Tours include an informational walk around the gorgeous grounds and a pick-your-own lunch, supervised by a chef. Reservations are necessary. www.oofarm.com. COST: $50. OPEN: Mon.--Thurs. 10:30--2.
When Maui's cash crop declined in importance, a group of visionaries opened an agricultural theme park on the site of this former sugarcane field. The 60-acre preserve offers a 30-minute tram ride with an informative narration covering the growing process and plant types. Children will enjoy such hands-on activities as coconut husking. Also here are an art gallery, a restaurant, and a store specializing in "Made in Maui" products. www.mauitropicalplantation.com. COST: Free; $15 for tram ride. OPEN: Daily 9--5.
You'll feel as though you're walking from the seashore down to the bottom of the reef at this aquarium, which focuses on creatures of the Pacific. Vibrant exhibits let you get close to turtles, rays, sharks, and the unusual creatures of the tide pools; allow two hours or so to explore it all. It's not an enormous facility, but it does provide an excellent (though pricey) introduction to the sea life that makes Hawaii special. The center is part of a complex of retail shops and restaurants overlooking the harbor. Enter from Honoapiilani Highway as it curves past Maalaea Harbor. www.mauioceancenter.com. COST: $25.50. OPEN: Sept.--June, daily 9--5; July and Aug., daily 9--6.
Stories to inspire your own adventures at Outrigger's travel blog.