Iao Valley, Makawao and Ho’okipa

One of our favorite outings on Maui was a visit to Iao Valley, a gorgeous state park, not too far from Wailea. There were very easy walking paths through the jungle which the kids loved and getting there before anyone else was an added bonus. The park itself is considered sacred land, therefore public access deep into the valley and up its famed needle is prohibited. The kids can’t hike far anyway, so that was ok with us. The Iao Needle, below, was an awesome warrior look-out post hundreds of years ago, and remains today one of mother nature’s greatest phallic symbols.

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Mathilda: " Dinosaurs are ex -stinky."

Mathilda: ” Dinosaurs are ex -stinky.”

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After Iao, we checked out the upcountry (meaning on the slopes of Haleakala) town of Makawao. We enjoyed extremely good donuts and cream puffs at Komoda Bakery, a family run place that has been in business for 100 years. I could not believe Merle finished all six of his skewered coconut doughnuts. Mathilda dug into a custard-filled long john the size of her face.

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Makawao is a cool place, with cool galleries, cool cafes and cool dogs like this one:

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So far, no day has seemed complete without a turtle sighting. After the upcountry drive, our stop at Ho’okipa Beach was so worth it, as there was indeed a turtle feeding on the rocks just beside the beach.

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The water was extremely calm and we had a great time at this unexpected gem of a beach.

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