Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center is one the most highly acclaimed Maui attractions for families providing a terrific opportunity to explore exhibits full of common ocean life surrounding the island. This Maui aquarium is continuously aiming to promote a deeper understanding and respect for marine life in Hawaii. Visitors can take an exploratory journey through the incredible underwater world lying beyond the islands beaches from the elaborate reefs brimming with fascinating creatures from the beryl expanse of open ocean water.

Every last living being encountered in the Maui Ocean Center is native to the islands of Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Big Island fostering a more in depth understanding of marine life visitors may encounter during Maui snorkeling or diving. A large variety of fish, coral, marine plants, large sea animals and more exemplify the underwater environment of one of the rarest aquatic landscapes, and biggest Maui tourist attractions, in the world.

Beginning at the Surge Zone visitors gain an understanding of how juvenile fish and other aquatic species take cover in the crashing waves of the ocean. The Living Reef features amazing, vibrant living reefs, and the marine life that typically feed off them, blanketing the intricate underwater architecture. Green sea turtles are always a hit with visitors and many opt for Maui tours that reveal nesting areas and protection programs. At this Maui aquarium the Turtle Lagoon is a major draw for all ages and the perfect place to watch the turtles languid movements in a natural environment. Hammerhead Harbor features one of Hawaii's curiosities, the scalloped hammerhead shark, and offers a rare opportunity for a face to face meeting.

The other exhibits in the Maui Ocean Center include the Tide Pool and the Marine Mammal Discovery Center. Hawaiians and the Sea explains the complex and close relationship native Hawaiians have with the ocean through displays and exhibits. The Open Ocean is one of the biggest crowd-pleasers inside the Maui aquarium and offers a massive, action packed tank full of magnificent sharks, hundreds of fish and kingly rays. When it's time for lunch or dinner the Seascape Ma'alaea Restaurant is an exciting place to try some island favorites while enjoying the views of Maalaea Bay and of one wall of Maui Ocean Center tanks full of lively sea life.

The Maui Ocean Center is open every day of the year from 9:00am to 5:00pm with hours extended until 6:00pm in July and August. Tickets are reasonably priced and can be purchased online or directly from the aquarium. If you head to the aquarium in the morning you can visit other Maui tourist attractions in the afternoon or vice versa, though the aquarium tends to be more crowded in the afternoon.

The old whaling town of Lahaina is nearby and offers lots of things to do for young and old alike. Kaanapali Beach is a great spot for an afternoon swim where kids can put their newly acquired aquarium knowledge to the test. Central Maui is also an interesting place to visit yet often gets skipped over in favor of the coastal areas. Ka'ahumanu Shopping Center in central Maui is great for a shopping excursion or head to the ancient Hawaiian temples near Wailuku. From Wailuku nearby Maui tourist attractions include the Iao Valley State Park where you can take a nature hike through the valley and see the Iao Needle. With so many great attractions on the west coast it's easy to make extend a trip to the Maui Ocean Center an entire day's outing.

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