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Tip: This town on the Big Island is also known as "Kamuela."


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Tiny Ma’alaea is home to a small boat harbor and the Maui Ocean Center. Located off Honoapi’ilani Highway between Kahului and Lahaina, the center is an attraction visitors flock to. The walls, fitted with more than 40 aquariums, are alive with tropical fish flashing like prisms of dazzling light through living coral reefs. In this surround, humans tend to lower their voices and gawk. This is what you see when you’re scuba diving — if you’re lucky!

In a courtyard outside the reef building are three outdoor exhibits—a turtle lagoon, a touch pool filled with sea stars, helmet shells and other tide-pool animals and a Sting Ray Cove where Hawaii’s enchanting rays glide to and fro on their underwater wings.

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