The Bailey House Museum offers a portal to Maui's missionary past. ©Wkimedia Commons
Built in 1833, Wailuku's Bailey House get a glimpse of both pre-contact Hawai‘i – the site was once the Royal compound of Maui’s last ruling chief, Kahekili, and Hawaiians’ sense of place makes the pre-contact component here critical – and a slice of missionary-era life. Reminders of the 19th century can be found throughout the museum, from the fine furniture constructed of European woods to koa, which was so abundant that it was thought of as the “cheap” wood. Today, of course, it is extremely scarce and highly prized. The museum also houses Maui’s largest public collection of ancient Hawaiian artifacts, which represent every aspect of life in pre-contact Hawai'i – from fishing to warfare, food preparation to weaving. Nearby, a canoe house shelters the beautiful “Honaunau,” one of the last koa fishing canoes of its kind. Past and present harmoniously exist on these manicured grounds, which are abloom with 40 plant species, many endemic or indigenous, and still gathered by modern Hawaiians for use in cultural practices.