Take A Botanical Tour of Maui

Although the average yearly rainfall is only 18 inches, South Maui is alive with colorful blooms all year. Accented by the delicate scent of flowers wafting on gentle island breezes, a tour of Maui’s botanical gardens and lush landscapes is enchanting and educational.

Hawaiian Red GingerMasterpieces created by nature’s subtle, steady hand blanket the area: palm trees generously share their trunks with tropical orchids, towering Bougainvillea boldly color the landscape, purple lilies float in the mirror-like waterways that grace the resorts and giant red, orange, pink and yellow hibiscus bow to guests strolling along pathways.

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Hand Made Maui Gifts for this Holiday Season

Handmade gifts are not only unique and personal, they genuinely convey the time and thought that goes into finding the perfect gift. The island of Maui is brimming with artists whose imaginations see beyond natural elements and envision these magnificent creations. From sea glass jewelry and Koa wood carvings to island-scented soaps and handmade slippers (that’s Hawaiian for flip-flops) – this island is teeming with one-of-a-kind gift-giving possibilities. So take a break from today’s fast-pace and “slow down and smell the Plumeria”!

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Maui Coffee and the Long and Winding Roads to the Island’s Best Banana Bread

There’s something magical that happens when the rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the sweet scent of Maui’s morning air. Throw in some just-baked banana bread and a view of the Pacific Ocean and it really is the best part of waking up.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF HAWAII’S COFFEE

Although coffee is not native to the Hawaiian Islands, the islands’ climate and topography are ideal, providing the perfect conditions to grow some of the richest coffee in the world: rich soil, proper elevation (between 500 and 3000 ft.), sunshine, afternoon cloud cover, occasional rain and a moderate slope for optimal drainage.

Hawaii’s original coffee trees, grown from plants brought to Oahu from Brazil in the early 1800’s, were later introduced to the other islands, including Maui.  Today, on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains, sits a 500-acre coffee farm, watered naturally from the West Maui Mountain streams, where the coffee beans are roasted daily and sold under the Maui Coffee Company label.  (Coffee makes a great gift!)

Maui Coffee Farm

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Gifts for the chef in your life

Located in the outdoor shops of Kihei Marketplace is Tutu’s Pantry, a small space stocked full of spices, jams, dressings, syrups, seasonings, coffee, tea, candy and more – all made in Hawaii which makes it easy to bring a taste of the islands home with you.  Generous with the samples, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting, and once you start smelling and tasting some of the combinations of flavors even those of us who don’t particularly like to cook begin planning a menu.  Perfect for those looking for a souvenir for the cook in their life!  From the Kihei Road entrance, Tutu’s Pantry will be on your left a few stalls in.

Personal recommendation:  Try the Thai Basil spice on fish and chicken!  It’s ono!

Put a Little Aloha on your Plate with these Favorite Hawaiian Recipes

While driving along the miles of Maui coastline, mouth-watering aromas escape the open-air restaurants and roadside stands, and mingle with the sweet smell of teriyaki riding in on the breeze from the beach park BBQ grills. Who needs billboards! Where do I park?

One of the best things about living in Hawaii is being able to spend so much time outdoors. Whether you’re playing in the water, biking, hiking or enjoying a picnic under the palms, there’s a delectable island recipe to fuel your fun and please your palate.

Here are some island favorites to help put a little aloha on your plate this summer.

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