To get to the Maui Tropical Plantation in the center of the island, use Highway 30. This road cuts across the center of Maui from Wailuku to the western coast between Kihei and Lahaina. The road is the main gateway to the beautiful Iao Valley, so it is on the way if you are going to visit this area. You can stop at the Maui Tropical Plantation and walk around the lush grounds with no admission fee. Look for the big windmill as a landmark for the highway turnoff.
The plantation in Maui has played an important part in the history of the island. Laborers imported to work on the plantations from Japan, China, the Philippines, and other Asian countries made up the ethnic melting pot that is integral to today’s Hawaiian culture and heritage. The cash crops of sugar cane and pineapples established the economic foundation and commerce of all the islands, and today many an old Maui plantation plays an important role in preserving the natural beauty and ecosystems that make Hawaii so beautiful and unique.
This 60-acre working Maui plantation with beautiful views of the Haleakala Crater cultivates numerous kinds of tropical fruits and flowers that have traditionally been the island’s most important cash crops. You pay a modest fee for the narrated Maui Plantation tour that drives you around in an open-sided tram that is shaded from the tropical sun. You will see fields of papaya, guava, mango, macadamia nuts, coffee plants, avocados, bananas, sugar cane, star fruit, and more. You will learn how to husk a coconut and learn about the origins and cultivation of much of the food you eat every day. This is one of the most fascinating Maui tours you can take. Come home knowing how to tell which pineapple in the supermarket is ripe (over ripe), that no machine has ever been invented to husk a coconut, that mango trees produce fruit for as long as 100 years, and how much water (one ton!) is required to produce a single pound of sugar.
This plantation in Maui is popular for Maui weddings and other events, such as family reunions and company banquets. The setting is exquisite, with lush tropical gardens, fountains, a sparkling lagoon, and charming gazebo. The Maui Plantation dining area and restaurant can accommodate up to 500 guests, and as many as 3,000 guests can be catered outdoors. If you are just dropping in for a stroll through the grounds and a bite to eat, the Maui Plantation Waikapu Grill is open and serving healthy meals with homegrown produce from eleven in the morning to two in the afternoon—with a full bar.
The Maui Tropical Plantation offers helicopter tours that buzz over the scenic Iao Valley, Haleakala Crater, and spectacular coastlines before landing in their Field of Dreams for a wonderful catered meal. There is a Country Store where you can purchase some of the delicious products to eat or take home with you. Visitors should visit a plantation in Maui before returning home, and this is one of the best.