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"With the magnificent Pacific views and elegant Maui condos along the beach, our stay here was magical."
Although the average yearly rainfall is only 18 inches, Wailea 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.
Masterpieces aided by nature’s subtle, steady hand blanket the resorts that make up the Destination Resorts Hawaii collection. Palm trees throughout Wailea Elua Village generously share their trunks with tropical orchids, towering bougainvilla boldly color the landscape of Wailea Ekahi Village, purple lilies float in the mirror-like waterways of Wailea Beach Villas and giant red, orange, pink and yellow hibiscus bow to guests strolling along the cobbled pathways at Makena Surf.
Drag your hand along the tops of the herbs growing in the gardens at both Polo Beach Club and Makena Surf and fill the air with the scents of basil, oregano, rosemary and more and clip to your heart’s content for that perfect recipe you’re planning to prepare in your suite.
For a formal introduction to Maui’s natural bounty, venture outside the resorts where several tours are available. Maui Tropical Plantation offers a tram tour and demonstration of the various plants and trees that make up this rich property at the base of the West Maui Mountains including coffee beans, sugarcane, macadamia nuts, taro, mango and guava. Learn the best way to crack into a coconut at the base of a picturesque backdrop every wedding planner dreams of. The Maui Nui Botanical Gardens in Kahului is dedicated to the protection of Maui’s rich native plants and preserving the island heritage with poi pounding demonstrations and other cultural exhibits. Next, the relaxing scent of lavender in everything from teas, scones, aromatherapy and bath products awaits you on the slopes of Haleakala at Ali’i Lavendar Farm in the cool Upcountry where fields of this fragrant purple plant lead your eye skyward. (No trip to Maui is truly complete without a trip Upcountry!) The Garden of Eden Botanical Garden and Arboretum on the Road to Hana is 26 acres of trails alive with unique flowers and rare trees and a perfect place to picnic - above Keopuka Rock, made famous in the movie Jurassic Park.
Not up for a tour? You’ll still have a chance to enjoy Maui’s bounty and any number of restaurants that boast local vegetables from Kula Country Farms - 180 acres of vegetables including corn, beans, lettuce, spinach, peas, artichokes, herbs, pumpkins, tomatoes, zucchini and strawberries. And Farmer’s Markets dot the roadsides of every town.
The Hawaii state flower is the Pua Aloalo – the yellow hibiscus, and each of the main islands that make up the state has its own flower. Maui’s flower is the Lokelani, a small rose. Hawaiian traditions since ancient times have included flowers. Still a significant part of today’s culture is the floral lei which is given in greeting and to celebrate special occasions. Before leaving the islands, it has become customary for visitors to toss their lei into the ocean. The belief is that if the lei returns to shore, you will one day return to the islands. May Day - also known as Lei Day - is a celebration of lei that dates back to 1927.
Everywhere you go in this island wonderland, the sidewalks and pathways are littered with dainty flowers and bright pedals like some leftover celebration of nature itself. The sun is shining and the seed has been planted. Come and experience Mother Nature on Maui!