Located at the intersection of the Honoapi’ilani (Hwy 30) and Mokulele Highway (Hwy 310), Maalaea is home to restaurants, shops, and the Maui Ocean Center. Serving as the launch point for most charters to Molokini, Maalaea Harbor is a great place to spend a day in Maui.
Maui Ocean Center
Home to hundreds of species of fish, rare corals, sea jellies, sharks, and turtles, the Maui Ocean Center is a beautiful place to spend half your day. Their largest tank is 750,000 gallons and includes a 54 foot long clear tunnel from which to view sting rays and sharks as they swim overhead. You can even hop in the tank for Shark Dive Maui, a special scuba diving experience.
Exhibits on reef ecology, the Hawaiian green sea turtle, and Hawaiian culture make this a unique aquarium experience. The Seascape Ma’alaea Restaurant is located inside the aquarium and provides excellent views of the harbor.
Aquarium Hours: 9 am to 5 PM (6 PM in July and August)
• Hula Cookies and Ice Cream – 300 Ma’alaea Road – 808.243.2271
• Ma’alaea Grill – 300 Ma’alaea Road – 808.342.2206
• Seascape Ma’alaea Restaurant – 192 Ma’alaea Road – 808-270.7043
• Ma’alaea Waterfront Restaurant – 50 Hauoli Street – 808.244.9028
• Beach Bums Bar and Grill – 300 Ma’alaea Road – 808.244.8844
• Saltimbocca – 300 Ma’alaea Rd – 808.243.3463
Plan a Day in Ma’alaea
• Beat the wind and book an early morning snorkel trip to Molokini Crater departing from Ma’alaea Harbor.
• Get lunch time appetizers at Beach Bums Bar and Grill, top it off with a sweet snack from Hula Cookies and Ice Cream, and then spend the afternoon perusing the aquariums and cultural exhibits at the Maui Ocean Center.
• Enjoy a sunset stroll down Ma’alaea Beach and then return to the harbor to enjoy dinner at Buzz’s Wharf.
Ma’alaea Nature Walks
Located at mile marker six on the Mokulele Highway (Hwy 310), the 691-acre Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is one of the only remaining natural wetland areas in Hawai’i. Dry during the summer months and flooded during the winter months, the pond is an important part of Maui’s ecosystem, filtering and cleaning fresh water runoff before it reaches the ocean.
Kealia Pond also supports endangered species such as the Hawaiian Stilt (ae’o), the Hawaiian Coot (‘alae ke oke’o), and a large number of migratory birds. A newly installed boardwalk complete with interpretive signs makes Kealia Pond a great stop for walkers, bird watchers, and photographers.