Escape the Ordinary: Best Things To Do in Hana, Maui
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Escape the Ordinary: Best Things To Do in Hana, Maui

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Looking for an escape to Hawaii that’s different from the usual touristy spots? Look no further than Hana, a tranquil haven located on the eastern edge of Maui.

Here, you’ll find a place where time seems to slow down, and you can soak in the beauty of the rainforest and the Pacific Ocean.

The echoes of ancient Hawaiian culture still resonate throughout Hana, making it a unique destination.

From black sand beaches to hidden waterfalls and freshwater pools, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to explore.

Whether you’re looking for a taste of authentic Hawaii or just want to unwind, Hana offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

So pack your bags and get ready to discover a side of Maui that will leave a lasting impression on you.

Book your flight with Skyscanner to Hana, Maui, and drive the famous Road to Hana, a journey known for its breathtaking views and hairpin turns.

Why Visit Hana, Maui?

road to hana

Hana isn’t just another stop on the Maui map – it’s a portal to a different world. Here’s why you should make the journey:

  • Escape from the Ordinary: Ditch the crowded beaches and mega-resorts. Hana offers a chance to slow down and savor the simple pleasures of island life.
  • Untamed Natural Beauty: From the rugged coastline and cascading waterfalls to the dense, emerald rainforests, Hana’s landscapes will fill you with a sense of awe.
  • Immersion in Hawaiian Culture: Experience the heart of Hawaiian heritage. Learn traditional practices, visit ancient temples, and connect with the deep connection to the land.
  • A Spirit of Adventure: The Road to Hana itself is a journey, with hairpin turns, lush vistas, and unexpected discoveries. Hana rewards those who embrace exploration.
  • Unforgettable Memories: Whether it’s snorkeling among vibrant fish, hiking to a hidden waterfall, or savoring a plate of fresh-caught Huli-Huli chicken, Hana will leave a lasting imprint on your soul.

👉Stay in a seaside cottage in Hana to wake up to the sounds of the ocean and have easy access to spectacular beaches and coastal hikes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hana, Maui

Road to Paradise

How long does it take to drive the Road to Hana?

The scenic drive typically takes 2-3 hours one way without stops. However, factor in plenty of time to explore, take photos, and enjoy the journey – it’s best to make a full day of it!

Are there places to eat in Hana?

Yes! Hana has a selection of restaurants, including the famous Thai Food by Pranee, local food trucks, farm stands, and a couple of grocery stores.

What are the must-see attractions in Hana?

Popular must-sees include Wai’anapanapa State Park’s black sand beach, the Pools of ‘Ohe’o (Seven Sacred Pools), Hana Bay, Hamoa Beach, and Kahanu Garden.

Is it safe to swim at Hana’s beaches?

Ocean conditions can be unpredictable. Pay attention to posted signs and lifeguards. Swim in designated areas and be mindful of currents. Hana Bay is usually calmer, but always use caution.

Is Hana a good place to stay overnight?

Absolutely! Staying overnight in Hana allows for a more relaxed experience. Accommodations range from luxury resorts to vacation rentals and campgrounds.

👉Find the best flights to Hana on Skyscanner and explore the pristine black sand beaches at Wai’anapanapa State Park.

Waiʻanapanapa State Park: Where Black Sands Meet the Wild Sea

Wai’anapanapa State Park

Waiʻanapanapa State Park is an awe-inspiring natural wonder situated on the eastern coastline of Maui.

The park’s main highlight is its striking black sand beach, which was formed by volcanic erosion that took centuries to shape.

Take a stroll along the rugged coastline, admire the sea stacks and lava tubes that were sculpted by the force of the waves, and enjoy the refreshing scent of salt and sea spray in the air.

Why Visit:

Waiʻanapanapa offers a starkly beautiful contrast to the typical golden-sand beaches.

It’s a place to witness the raw power of nature and immerse yourself in Maui’s volcanic past.

Things to Do:
  • Walk the Trails: Several paths wind through the park, offering stunning views and access to hidden coves and freshwater caves.
  • Swim with Caution: Swimming can be dangerous due to strong currents, but a lifeguard is on duty.
  • Tide Pool Exploration: Seek out colorful sea creatures in the tide pools left behind at low tide.
  • Experience Hawaiian Culture: Discover ancient ruins, a legendary burial cave, and remnants of a heiau (sacred temple).

👉Book a retreat near Wai’anapanapa State Park to explore its unique black sand beaches, sea caves, and ancient lava tubes.

Hana Cultural Center & Museum: Connect with the Heart of Hana

If you want to gain a better understanding of Hana’s history and present-day culture, then visiting the Hana Cultural Center & Museum is an absolute must.

The museum houses a collection of fascinating artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that provide a glimpse into traditional Hawaiian life.

You can learn about the various skills used for fishing, farming, and navigation and discover how the resilient people of Hana have managed to preserve their culture through countless generations.

Why Visit:

The Hana Cultural Center provides an authentic glimpse into Hawaiian history and traditions, essential for a well-rounded Maui experience.

Things to Do:
  • Explore the Museum: Dive into displays showcasing traditional Hawaiian tools, crafts, and artifacts used in everyday life.
  • Visit the Gift Shop: Support local artisans and find unique souvenirs to take home.
  • Attend a Cultural Event: Check the center’s calendar for special events like workshops, demonstrations, or hula performances.

👉Use Skyscanner to plan your trip to Hana for a day of relaxation at Hamoa Beach, one of Maui’s most beautiful seaside spots.

Hamoa Beach: A Crescent of Paradise

Hamoa Beach, Road to Hana, Maui

Hamoa Beach is a crescent-shaped beach with soft grey sand and turquoise waters that is consistently ranked among the world’s best beaches by Condé Nast Traveler.

The beach is surrounded by lush greenery and lava cliffs, making it a picturesque escape from everyday life.

Hamoa Beach has excellent facilities and a protected cove, making it an ideal destination for families and anyone who wants to enjoy Maui’s natural beauty.

Why Visit:

Hamoa Beach is the picture-perfect Hawaiian beach experience. It’s ideal for those wanting to enjoy classic island activities with a touch of luxury.

Things to Do:
  • Swim, Snorkel, and Sunbathe: The gentle waves and protected cove are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Unwind on the pristine sand and soak up the sun.
  • Picnic and Relax: Hamoa offers picnic tables, restrooms, and showers for a comfortable day at the beach.
  • Enjoy the View: Simply admiring the breathtaking combination of lush cliffs, ocean hues, and Hala trees is reason enough to visit.

👉Find a cozy bed and breakfast near Hamoa Beach, perfect for days spent swimming and relaxing in the sun.

Kahanu Garden: A Journey Through Paradise and Time

Kahanu Garden -- National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hana, Maui (HI) October 2014

Kahanu Garden is not just a mere assortment of beautiful plants. It is a vast sanctuary that conserves living examples of the plants that sustained Polynesian settlers and presents a unique insight into ancient Hawaiian culture.

You can take a stroll amidst towering breadfruit trees, explore exotic palms, and marvel at the majestic Piʻilanihale Heiau, which is the largest ancient temple in Polynesia.

Why Visit:  

Kahanu Garden provides a unique opportunity to connect with Maui’s natural beauty, learn the importance of native plants, and understand the deep ties between the land and Hawaiian heritage.

Things to Do:
  • Explore the Botanical Garden: Wander trails filled with tropical plants from across the Pacific, with an emphasis on those with cultural significance.
  • Marvel at the PiÊ»ilanihale Heiau: Learn about this impressive stone structure, built over centuries within this sacred landscape.
  • Guided Tours: For deeper insight, take a guided tour led by knowledgeable staff and discover even more about the plants and history.

👉Secure your flight with Skyscanner and discover the historic and sacred sites like Pi’ilanihale Heiau, one of the largest ancient temples in Hawaii.

Snorkel at Hana Bay: A Gentle Introduction to Maui’s Underwater World

On The Rocks

Hana Bay is an excellent option for anyone looking to go snorkeling.

The bay is well-protected from strong ocean currents, making it an ideal spot for beginner snorkelers as well as those who prefer a more relaxed ocean experience.

The bay has shallow waters and calm conditions that ensure you can safely snorkel and enjoy the views.

You can marvel at the colorful fish swimming around the unique black sand, created by the nearby lava formations.

The bay also has picnic facilities, which makes it a great place to spend the day.

Additionally, the locals are friendly, and this gives the bay a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Why Visit:

Hana Bay is the perfect place to dip your toes into snorkeling or enjoy a casual swim with beautiful underwater scenery.

Things to Do:
  • Snorkel: Explore the shallows, discover colorful marine life amongst the volcanic rock, and experience the unique environment formed by the black sand.
  • Swim and Relax: Enjoy a refreshing swim in the protected bay or simply relax on the beach and soak up the Hana atmosphere.
  • Picnic and People-Watch: Use the picnic facilities and mingle with locals who frequent this charming seaside favorite.

👉Choose accommodations close to the Hana Cultural Center and Museum to enrich your visit with local history and cultural insights.

Pools of ‘Ohe’o (Seven Sacred Pools): A Waterfall Wonderland

Seven Sacred Pools

Nestled in Haleakala National Park, the Pools of ‘Ohe’o are a stunning natural wonder.

Freshwater cascades down a series of tiered pools, culminating in a dramatic drop to the ocean.

Surrounded by lush greenery, these pools provide a refreshing getaway and embody the wild spirit of Maui’s eastern coast.

Why Visit:

The Pools of ‘Ohe’o provide a truly awe-inspiring experience. It’s a testament to nature’s power and a chance to witness one of Maui’s most iconic landscapes.

Things to Do:
  • Hike to the Waterfalls: Take a scenic walk along the Pipiwai Trail, surrounded by bamboo forests and stunning views, leading you straight to the pools.
  • Swim and Admire: Depending on conditions, some pools might be open for swimming. Even if not, simply marveling at the cascading falls is worth the trip.
  • Explore Further: Continue on the Pipiwai Trail past the pools for even more waterfalls and breathtaking rainforest vistas.

Important Note: Before visiting, check the National Park Service website for the latest information on whether the pools are open for swimming or closed due to conditions.

👉Fly into Hana with Skyscanner and visit the Hana Cultural Center and Museum to learn about the area’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Hike to Fagan’s Cross: A Short Climb, Big Reward

narrow one lane road past Hana

Are you searching for a short yet satisfying hiking trail in Hana?

The route to Fagan’s Cross is a moderately demanding uphill climb, but the breathtaking view at the top is worth the effort.

As you make your way up to the summit of Pu’u o Kahaula, you will be welcomed by a stunning panoramic view of Hana’s coastline, verdant foliage, and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

Why Visit:

Fagan’s Cross offers one of the best views in all of Hana and the hike itself is a great way to stretch your legs and experience the landscape.

Things to Do:
  • Hike the Trail: Enjoy the steady uphill climb with views opening up as you reach higher ground.
  • Snap Photos at the Summit: Capture the stunning views and be sure to take photos next to the iconic cross.
  • Embrace the Serenity: Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and soak up the beauty of Hana from this unique vantage point.

👉Secure a cabin or bungalow along the Road to Hana, providing a peaceful base from which to explore the surrounding rainforest and waterfalls.

Hana Lava Tube: Venture into a Subterranean World

MAUI 2009 LAVA TUBE HANA

Descend into a hidden world at the Hana Lava Tube.

Carved by volcanic forces centuries ago, this sprawling network of tunnels offers a fascinating subterranean adventure.

Wander through passages lined with bizarre lava formations, and imagine the fiery rivers that once flowed here.

With portions of the tube still unexplored, a sense of mystery and wonder lingers in the air.

Why Visit:

The Hana Lava Tube is a unique change of pace from Maui’s beaches and waterfalls.

Explore a hidden side of the island and tap into your inner adventurer.

Things to Do:
  • Self-Guided Tour: Grab a flashlight and embark on a self-guided exploration of the accessible part of the cave.
  • Marvel at the Formations: Observe the fantastical shapes created by the cooling lava, from smooth ropes to frozen drips.
  • Imagine the Past: Reflect on the volcanic origins of this landscape, and the hidden depths still waiting to be discovered.

👉Discover the lush landscapes of Hana by booking a flight with Skyscanner and hiking through the bamboo forest on the Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls.

Thai Food by Pranee: A Taste of Paradise with a Local Twist

Thai Food by Pranee is a renowned restaurant on Maui that is known for serving the best Thai food.

It is more than just a place to eat; it’s an institution in Hana.

The eatery is located under a thatched-roof hut near the Hana town’s baseball field, and it offers a variety of dishes that burst with authentic Thai flavors. 

From classic Pad Thai to spicy curries, every bite is made with fresh ingredients and infused with the warm Aloha spirit by Pranee herself.

Why Visit:

Thai Food by Pranee offers a unique culinary experience in Hana. It’s the perfect spot to refuel after exploring or simply to enjoy some of the most delicious food on the island.

Things to Do:
  • Feast on Flavor: Dive into a menu of perfectly seasoned noodles, vibrant curries, and fresh spring rolls. Don’t forget to order the extra-spicy papaya salad for a true Hawaiian kick.
  • Chat with Pranee: Get to know the friendly face behind the delicious food. Pranee’s welcoming smile and stories often make the experience even more memorable.
  • Pair with Adventure: Thai Food by Pranee is the ideal lunch stop after visiting nearby attractions like Wianapanapa State Park or the Pools of ‘Ohe’o.
  • Embrace the Ambiance: Grab a seat at one of the picnic tables, relax under the palm trees, and enjoy a truly unique Hana experience.

👉Opt for a vacation rental near the Pipiwai Trail for direct access to one of Maui’s most scenic hikes, leading to the impressive Waimoku Falls.

Hana Food Trucks: Taste the Local Vibe

Braddah Hutts BBQ Grill

Hana’s food trucks provide a laid-back and delightful opportunity to experience the diverse flavors of Maui.

They are located near popular attractions and near Hana Highway, where you can find everything from traditional Hawaiian plate lunches to fresh seafood, appetizing barbecue, and even gourmet burgers.

You can take a break and enjoy a meal while socializing with locals and other travelers, getting a true taste of Hana.

Why Visit:

Hana’s food trucks are a fun and affordable way to support local businesses and experience the island’s culinary creativity.

Things to Do:
  • Sample Plate Lunches: Dive into classic Hawaiian comfort food at spots like Braddah Hutts BBQ, known for their generous portions and ono (delicious) mac salad.
  • Savor Fresh Seafood: Indulge in fish tacos, coconut shrimp, and other ocean-fresh creations at food trucks near the water.
  • Huli-Huli Chicken at Koki Beach: Experience this iconic Hawaiian dish, slow-cooked over charcoal, at a scenic oceanfront location.
  • Explore the Options: Stroll through Hana’s food truck lots and discover Mexican fare, Hawaiian shaved ice, smoothies, and more!

👉Book through Skyscanner for a trip to Hana and indulge in a traditional Hawaiian experience at a local luau, complete with authentic food and performances.

Farmers’ Markets: Taste Hana’s Bounty

Experience the freshest flavors of Maui at Hana’s farmers’ markets.

You can discover a vibrant display of tropical fruits, island-grown vegetables, and locally produced treats in these markets.

From juicy mangoes to exotic papayas, these markets are a haven for those who want to sample the true taste of Hana.

Why Visit:

Hana’s farmers’ markets offer a direct connection to the island’s lushness.

Support local farmers and find the perfect ingredients for a picnic or a taste of island life to take home.

Things to Do:
  • Stock up on Produce: Fill your basket with colorful fruits, freshly picked vegetables, and maybe some aromatic herbs.
  • Sample Local Treats: Try homemade jams, banana bread, coconut candy, and other delicious creations.
  • Chat with the Growers: Learn about the different varieties of produce and get tips on how to prepare your newfound treasures.
  • Embrace the Community: Mingle with locals, discover unique finds, and enjoy the laid-back charm of a Hana market day.

👉Discover a boutique hotel in Hana that offers guided tours and cultural activities to enhance your experience of traditional Hawaiian life.

Hana Gold Cacao Plantation: Maui’s Chocolate Paradise

Located in the lush landscape of Hana, the Hana Gold Cacao Plantation is an ideal place to visit for a unique and enjoyable experience.

You can explore the tropical grounds where cacao trees flourish, learn about the process of transforming the beans into delicious chocolate and indulge yourself in sweet treats made right on the premises.

A visit to Hana Gold is perfect for anyone who loves chocolate or is curious about this tropical crop. It is definitely a tasty addition to your itinerary while visiting Maui.

Why Visit:

Hana Gold Cacao Plantation allows you to experience the full journey of chocolate, from the farm to your tastebuds.

Discover the unique flavors of Hawaiian-grown cacao and support a local business with a passion for their craft.

Things to Do:

  • Take a Tour: Learn about the fascinating process of cultivating cacao, harvesting the pods, and transforming them into chocolate.
  • Taste the Difference: Sample various chocolates made on-site, appreciating the nuanced flavors and craftsmanship.
  • Shop for Gifts: Browse the gift shop for delicious chocolate bars, gourmet treats, and other unique souvenirs to take home.

👉With Skyscanner, reach Hana and explore the serene Kahanu Garden, home to a variety of tropical plants and the massive Pi’ilanihale Heiau.

Immerse yourself in the rich artistic traditions of Hawaii at the renowned Hana Coast Gallery.

The gallery is located within the luxurious Hana-Maui Resort and showcases an exceptional collection of artwork by both established and emerging Hawaiian artists.

You can discover stunning oil paintings, exquisite wood carvings, intricate jewelry, and diverse art forms that capture the spirit of the islands.

Why Visit:

The Hana Coast Gallery offers a curated experience for discerning art lovers. It’s a place to appreciate the depth and breadth of Hawaiian artistic expression.

Things to Do:
  • Explore the Collection: Wander through the gallery’s spacious rooms, admiring works inspired by Hawaii’s landscapes, culture, and traditions.
  • Discover New Favorites: Find pieces that speak to you, from vibrant depictions of marine life to abstract interpretations of island landscapes.
  • Support Hawaiian Artists: Invest in a piece of Hawaiian artistry and bring home a lasting reminder of your Maui journey.

👉Select a stay near Kahanu Garden for a tranquil escape surrounded by botanical beauty and historical sites, offering a deeper connection to Maui’s natural and cultural heritage.

Hana Travel Tips: What to Know Before You Go

Road to Hana, Maui

Logistics & Tips
  • Road to Hana: The drive is an adventure in itself! Allow a full day for the trip, especially if you plan to make frequent stops to enjoy the waterfalls, beaches, and viewpoints along the way.
  • Best Time to Visit: Opt for weekdays to avoid weekend crowds, and arrive early to fully experience Hana before other visitors flock to the main attractions. Consider the rainy season (November to March) when waterfalls will be at their peak.
  • Where to Stay: Hana boasts everything from luxury resorts like the Travaasa Hana to cozy vacation rentals and even campgrounds. Book your stay in advance, as accommodations fill up quickly!
  • Packing Suggestions: Pack for adventure! Include rain gear, sunscreen, insect repellent, hiking shoes, a swimsuit, and a refillable water bottle. Remember, shops can be limited in Hana, so bring essentials. If you’re prone to motion sickness, pack appropriate remedies as the road can be winding.
Additional Tips:
  • Drive slowly and be mindful of other cars.
  • Give locals the right of way and be a respectful visitor.
  • Practice safety when swimming in the ocean.
  • Support local businesses and vendors whenever possible.

👉Book your flight with Skyscanner to Hana, Maui, and drive the famous Road to Hana, a journey known for its breathtaking views and hairpin turns.

Beyond the Beaches: Experience the Authentic Hawaii in Hana

Koki Beach

Maui is famous for its beaches and resorts, but Hana is a true reflection of the island’s wild and untamed heart.

As soon as you start on the winding Road to Hana, you’ll discover a world of lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking ocean vistas.

Forget about the rushed itineraries and embrace the spirit of exploration that Hana inspires.

This is your opportunity to connect with the raw beauty of Hawaii and create memories that will stay with you long after you return home.

Are you ready to leave the ordinary behind?

👉Stay in a seaside cottage in Hana to wake up to the sounds of the ocean and have easy access to spectacular beaches and coastal hikes.

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