In geologic terms Keanae Peninsula came to be recently, when a massive eruption blew out the side of Haleakala Volcano and a zillion tons of lava flowed down and fanned out from the east shore of Maui. But it was long enough so that bananas, palms, and lush greenery now carpet the site of a sleepy village. Don't make the mistake of buzzing by on the way to Hana--or make this place a destination for the day.
River pools (included the one pictured, that on this day was muddied by rain runoff) provide good swimming, and the Keanae Arboretum is one of Maui's best family nature walks. The town, a collection of farm houses and a mom-and-pop lunch stand, is centered around a field and the little church with the big name, ihi'ihioiehovaona, which was built in 1860. Wave watchers can see lava stacks do battle with windward surf. See Maui Trailblazer, pages 124 to 127 for more stuff.