What: Small town connected to central Maui by a famous scenic drive
Where: Maui’s eastern coastline
- More Info: Hana Cultural Center, (808) 248-8622
Along Maui's rugged eastern coastline is the peaceful town of Hana, considered one of the last unspoiled Hawaiian frontiers. The legendary road to Hana is only 83 kilometres from Kahului, however the drive can take anywhere from two to four hours to complete since it's fraught with narrow one-lane bridges, hairpin turns and incredible island views.
The Hana Highway (HI-360) has 620 curves and 59 bridges. The road leads you through flourishing rainforests, flowing waterfalls, plunging pools and dramatic seascapes. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the lovely views, so get an early start and take your time on your drive.
Historic St. Sophia’s Church marks your arrival into Hana, where the pastures roll right up to the main street. The historic Travaasa Hana is a luxurious retreat in this village whose origins can be found in Hawaiian tradition. Browse the Hasegawa General Store and Hana Ranch Store for unique souvenirs. Swim and sunbathe at Hana Beach Park or Hamoa Beach, cited by author James Michener as the most beautiful beach in the Pacific. Snorkel at Waianapanapa State Park, a beautiful black sand beach. Or visit Hale Piilani, the state’s largest heiau (Hawaiian temple), in Kanahu Gardens, one of five National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Hawaii.
Beyond Hana, venture 16 kilometres south to the outskirts of Haleakala National Park in Kipahulu. There you’ll find the popular Pools of Oheo, where waterfalls spill into tiered pools leading to the sea. Take a swim in these tranquil natural pools or hike up the Pipiwai Trail to the 120-metre Waimoku Falls.