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Waianapanapa State Park

Waianapanapa State Park Review

Home to one of Maui's only black-sand beaches and freshwater caves for adventurous swimmers to explore, this park is right on the ocean. It's a lovely spot to picnic, hike, or swim. To the left you'll find the volcanic-sand beach, picnic tables, and cave pools. To the right is an ancient trail that snakes along the ocean past blowholes, sea arches, and archaeological sites. The tide pools here turn red several times a year. Scientists say it's explained by the arrival of small shrimp, but legend claims the color represents the blood of Popoalaea, said to have been murdered in one of the caves by her husband, Chief Kakae. In either case, the dramatic landscape is bound to leave a lasting impression. With a permit, you can stay in a state-run cabin for a steal. But you have to book a year in advance as these rustic spots book up quickly.

Updated: 02-27-2014

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