Top Things To Do In Hana

The Road to Hana

Unspooling along 52 sinuous miles (84 kilometers) of Maui's eastern coast, this route runs from Kahului to the town of Hana. "The drive is a cliff hanger that strains many a driver's equanimity," says writer Jerry Camarillo Dunn, Jr. In fact a four-wheel-drive is recommended, as are occasional stops to avoid car sickness. The reward? "The modern world seems distant," says Dunn, "everyday cares fade into a papaya-colored sunset, and tensions simply blow away in the trade wind."

This drive, doable year-round, may be the most celebrated in the Hawaiian islands—and gets the consequent traffic, especially on weekends. For the best conditions, try timing your excursion for weekdays in the early morning—and after the afternoon traffic. A driving-tour CD of the Hana Highway is available at


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Hana Lava Tubes

Ka’eleku Cave (aka Hana Lava Tubes) is a cool, dark change of pace from the typical Road to Hana trip. This is the largest and most accessible lava tube in Maui, and also has many interesting features making it a must-see for those interested in caves and geology. Kids also love it, and the majority of the cave is large enough that even claustrophobics won’t have any issues.

Entry to the cave is a reasonable $12, which includes a short orientation and use of powerful flashlights (hardhats are also available for OSHA fans!) Kids under 5 are free, and if you’re going in alone, you’ll be given two flashlights (shut off your lights when you’re inside to see why that’s such a good idea…)


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Waianapapa Black Sand Beach

Waianapanapa State Park boasts a black sand beach that’s simply unparalleled on the island of Maui, or anywhere else for that matter. It’s nestled in a private cove… the pitch black granules glisten, dark and mysterious — there is something about it that draws people here.


Created long, long ago by the rough surf pounding on a fresh, bubbling lava flow, courtesy of Haleakela. It took a millennia or more to be ground down into a beach. Today, it’s a perfect spot for tanning, dipping your feet in to cool off (black sand is considerably hotter than white sand is) and taking a few photos!


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Hana Farms

"This little roadside stand is a “must visit” on your way to Hana (or on your way back). It’s conveniently located on the famous Hana Highway on Maui’s northern shore. Hana Farms is a popular stop not only for visitors, but locals alike. Their banana bread is loved by many and they sell six different varieties of it. They bake it fresh every day and when you buy it it’s often times still warm. They also have fresh-squeezed lemonade, coffee, jams, candy, jewelry, art and ice cream.

Hana Farms roadside stand is located right before the “Welcome to Hana” sign... Best banana bread on Maui"

-Quoted from

Snorkeling at Hana Bay

Also known as Uakea, Hana Bay is one of the best places to go snorkeling on Maui. This large, black sand beach is well protected, and a great place for beginner snorkelers and those who wish to stay in shallow waters. The sand is black due to eroding lava that washes into the bay from a nearby freshwater stream.

When snorkeling at Hana Bay, begin between the base of the wharf and the light beacon at Pu’uki’i Island. The best time of the year for clear visibility is Spring to late Summer. During the Winter months, the water can be cloudy due to natural silt, but you can still catch some good snorkel sessions. You may also catch sight of a North Pacific Humpback Whale during late Fall to early Spring. At Hana Bay, you can survey Hana’s underwater world and see Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Parrotfish, Black Triggerfish, Yellow Tang, the occasional Green Hawaiian Sea Turtle, and more.

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Hamoa Beach

This beach is often ranked up there with the famous beaches in the resort areas of Maui, and deservingly so. A postcard-perfect 100′ wide by 1000′ long crescent.

Hamoa Beach is surrounded by cliffs, with two points of public access – stairs leading down from the hotel shuttle dropoff and a small service road at the other end. (walk, don’t drive on this)

Hamoa Beach is also a popular surf break – in fact this break has been surfed by Hawaiians since ancient times. Boogie boarding and bodysurfing are also popular here. Snorkeling can be good around the left of the cove, however this beach is exposed to open ocean; be aware that powerful currents and surf can often be present – especially toward the ends of the beach.

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Seven Sacred Pools

Just 15 minutes south of Hana on Highway 31 on the lower slopes of Haleakala are the famous Pools of Oheo (aka Seven Sacred Pools) in Oheo Gulch. Verdant and diverse, ‘Ohe’o Gulch is an idyllic valley cut deeply over countless millennia by an equally idyllic rainforest stream. The stream is punctuated regularly along its course by cascading waterfalls and plunge pools until it empties into the deep-blue Hawaiian ocean along the rugged Kipahulu coastline. Weather permitting, you can take a dip in the tranquil waters, fed by streams starting 2 miles inland.


Since Oheo is part of Haleakala National Park, the fee you pay here also admits you to the Haleakala Summit — so save your receipt!

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