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In this post I’ll share all the highlights I’ve found during my trips to the beautiful island of Maui, Hawai’i. Arguably this post is the ultimate post about Maui, Hawai’i, and the only itinerary you’ll ever need to plan your trip to this beautiful Hawaiian island.
For all my trip, I opted to stay in Kihei. Kihei is a convenient central location to all destinations listed below. Just rent a car from the airport and you can get anywhere you need to be on the island.
Personally, I prefer going all out and renting a convertible, in my opinion the only legitimate mode of transportation on Maui. But if you want to go for some more economical options, those are available as well.
The 50th state of America but quite unlike any of the other 49, Hawaii is a blend of raw, breathtaking beauty and an easygoing love for life. You can scramble up volcanos, wild swim in secluded waterfall pools, kayak to remote islands, pull on your wetsuit and surf, take long walks along palm tree-flanked beaches, hike through lush rainforests, splash about in valley streams – ‘paradise’ means different things to different people, but there’s no question that Hawaii is exactly that. There are many hundred of islands in the Hawaiian archipelago; each has their own character and charm, each ache to be explored. Oahu is home to Honolulu and is great for surfing, Hawaii Island is where you’ll find Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kauai boasts canyons and verdant valleys – rest assured, all have fantastic beaches. The sunrises and sunset are glorious wherever you are, too, but the sky at night is something else altogether; you can practically read your book by the light of a full moon in Hawaii. You’ll be too busy staring up at the blanket of stars twinkling back in return to focus on your book, of course.Travel Revolution
The Old Lahaina Luau is one of the most authentic luaus on the island. It features an grand buffet of traditional Hawaiian food, including emu cook kalua pork) and wonderful mai tai (plus more) drink. The show present dances from across Polynesia. This luau is a must to really experience Hawai’i.
The Banyan Tree in the center of Lahaina is oldest living banyan tree on Maui and one of the largest in the United States. It stands 60 feet tall and has branches and roots literally cover an entire block. This tree is awesome to behold!
The Jojo Mission Buddha is a replica of an authentic Japanese Buddhist temple. It contains the largest Buddha statue outside of Asia. As you explore the grounds of the temple you find a beautiful towering pagoda and sense of beauty and tranquility.
Cigar Store Maui Grown Coffee this coffee estate was once part of the Pioneer Mill sugar plantation. It is a now a 500 acre coffee estate just 4 miles north of Lahaina in West Maui. They offer self-self-guided tours where you can learn about the coffee-growing process. It also offers some great views panoramic view of Maui.
Front Street is the second most visited spot in Maui. It is the only full-featured, walkable “down-town” you’ll find on Maui. Here you’ll find great restaurants, an exciting night- life, and many shops which feature “made-in-China” trinkets to exquisite local hand crafts to cheap jewelry and more. There more than 40 fine art galleries which display a wide variety of art.
The Old Lahaina Courthouse is located in the iconic Banyan Tree Park. It dates from 1859 and was an ideal spot for customs operations during the whaling period. It also contains a jail. The excellent Lahaina Visitor Center is on the building’s 1st floor. On the 2nd floor, there is the Lahaina Heritage Museum. There are also two art galleries operated by the Lahaina Arts Society, one being in the old jail in the basement.
Kamehameha Iki Park is located at the south end of Lahinia and was once home to royalty. Restoration projects have restored an historic heiau (an ancient Hawaiian temple or sacred site) and a traditional hale (a traditional Hawaiian thatched house). There are also two surf breaks to the north and south. The south break, called Shark Pit is dangerous, and should be left to the locals. The north break is called Lahaina Breakwall and is a great source of small waves for beginners.
Aloha Mixed Plate is an open-air patio restaurant which is a great place for traditional Hawaiian platters that are huge! The ambiance is a relaxed, beachside setting. You’ll stunning oceanfront views. It’s the best place in West Maui to go for local cuisine and fun cocktails.
The Fish Market Maui is the place to get delicious fresh fish. Every day local fishermen bring you the catch of the day. Here you will find some of the freshest fish on the island. You can dine in or take out. They have a fun menu of sandwiches, sandwiches, sushi rolls, chowder, lobster, crab, tacos, poke, fish burgers, and much more!
Ka’anapali beach & Parkway. Ka’anapali Beach is a mile-long, wide and sandy beach, where water entry and swimming are wonderful. It is home to seven resorts, high-end shopping, various restaurants and activities. Black Rock offers cliff jumping (and cliff-jumper watching). There is also a long concrete walk where you can stroll along as you meander between shops, eats, drinks, sunset, and the beach.
Pu’u keka’a Beach is also known as Black Rock. The beach is divided in half by a large rock which was formed by an old lava flow. Here you can watch young cliff jumpers climbing the rock and leaping into the waters below. The area surrounding the rock is an excellent snorkeling spot.
Kapalua Beach was ranked as “America’s Best Beach” in 2018. Kapalua Bay offers a sheltered sanctuary for exploring the wonders of the ocean. It has gentle breaking waves above and gorgeous marine life below. A beach activities desk offers a wide variety of water sports equipment and activities.
Oneloa Beach, also known as Ironwoods Beach, is a 1/4 mile long, sandy and uncrowded beach next to the Kapalua resort. It is a favorite spot for locals looking for a secluded setting and fast-breaking winter surf. If you’re not wanting to get in the water, the Kapalua Coastal Trail runs along the beach’s sand dunes.
Launiupoko Beach Park is Maui’s premiere West Side ocean park. It’s just a mile south of Lahaina. This county park has great facilities and is popular with locals and visitors alike. The picnic area is shaded by coconut trees and runs the entire length of the park. On the left side is a sandy beach, and there is an enclosed cove which protects swimmers from the swells and currents outside the cove. During the winter season you can see whales right from the shore, as they cruise the waters between Maui and Lana’i.
Slaugterhouse Beach, also known as Mokule’ia Beach is a dramatic cliff-framed beach and bay. The name “Slaughterhouse Beach” comes from the Honolua Ranch slaughterhouse and tanning/storage shed that were located on the cliff’s edge. During the winter months there are large well-formed waves that are perfect for more experienced boogie boarders and surfers. In the summer months the waves are much more mellow and are often suitable for beginners.
Honolua Bay was historically used by Honolua Ranch to receive supplies and ship products. Honolua means “two harbors” in Hawaiian. Today the main attraction is great snorkeling and surfing. You’re guaranteed to see lots of fish, turtles and coral as long as you’re willing to swim out a bit from the beach. In winter months storms bring excellent surf to Honolua – one of the best surf breaks on Maui (and thus the world.) When swells come in, surfers flock here by the hundreds. There’s an overlook on the east cliff where you can pull up to watch the action.
The Hula Grill is on the water’s edge on Kaanapali Beach. It offers a fantastic view of the ocean and of the islands of Lanai and Molokai. In the grill dinner is served in an open-air dining room which allows you to enjoy the ambiance of a plantation era beach house. Then there’s the Barefoot Bar which offers a more casual menu under authentic thatch roof umbrellas and a sand floor where you can dig your toes in.
The Honolua Store is located on the grounds of the beautiful Kapalua Resort. The resort has been a landmark since the days of pineapple farming on Maui. The store offers a variety of gifts and apparel, a nice selection of fine wines and spirits and cosmetics, groceries. It likewise features a full-service espresso bar and fresh deli service, all in a historic plantation setting.
Nakalele Point & Lighthouse. Nakalele Point is famous for a blowhole which produces powerful geyser-like water spouts. Water shooting up from the blowhole can rise as high as 100 feet in the air. A lighthouse was erected at Nakalele Point in 1908. Originally it had of a 40 foot high wooden mast on top where a temporary light was placed. By 1910, an actual dwelling was built with a fixed white light placed on the roof. In 1922, the light was automated so that it would flash. The lighthouse is currently owned by the United States Coast Guard.
The Natural Ocean Baths, known as the Olivine Pools, are swimmable tide pools located on a barren lava flow along the ocean’s edge. They are located in a remote area that has no sandy beaches or easy water access. This is a lovely side-trip to stop and play in the tide pools in the beauty and peacefulness of the rugged natural West-Maui coastline.
Center Maui and Iao Valley
‘Iao Valley State Park is the place to be if you like the tropical flora of Hawaii. Here you can take a scenic walk on the ‘Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop to learn about the plants that Hawaiians brought. The ʻIao Valley State Monument also has historical relevance as the site of the battle of Kepaniwai where King Kamehameha defeated the Maui army in 1790.
The Iao Needle is the second wettest place in Hawai’i (the wettest is on the island of Kauai which is also the wettest place on earth). The summit of the valley receives an average of over an inch of rain per day, although some days it may be as much as 7 inches in one day!.The water from these rains flows into the `Iao stream which is drained by a massive diversion that Wailuku Water takes off just outside the park.
The Swap Meet on Maui has grown from what used to be a combination garage sale and crafts fair, into what is now a unique outdoor shopping experience. It takes place every Saturday morning and is located in the town of Kahului. Vendors set up their art and craft work in outdoor stalls side by side with produce, flower, and import vendors. It is the best concentration of easy shopping that you will find on the Island. It also offers views of the green mountains which fill the background and ocean breezes that blow from the sea 100 yards away. What a great shopping environment!
Kanaha Beach is definitely the beach with the widest variety of every day uses on Maui. It offers some of the best kiteboarding and windsurfing on earth! It’s a popular spot for locals and water sports fans of all kinds. The beach is a beautiful, sandy, two-miles with unbelievable views of the West Maui Mountains. It has full facilities including camping, fishing, canoeing, surfing and family gathering places for picnicking.
Wailuku is the county seat of Maui County and is located just west of Kahului, at the mouth of the ʻĪao Valley. There are a number of historic sites in the town including the Kaʻahumanu Church (named after one of Hawaiʻi’s great monarchs, Queen Kaʻahumanu), the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District, the site of the Chee Kung Tong Society Building, and the Bailey House, a 19th-century former seminary and home that houses a history museum and the Maui Historical Society. There are two ancient temples near Wailuku, called heiau — the Halekiʻi Heiau and the Pihanakalani Heiau.
Haleki’i-Pihana Heiau State Monument is a 10 acre park containing two important heiau (religious sites/temples) near the mouth of the ʻIao Stream in Wailuku. Halekiʻi and Pihana were associated with important Hawaiian chiefs. Originally they were places of worship. In ancient times these two heiau served as the religious center of the entire Wailuku ahupua‘a, or land division. Many of Maui’s ali’i (rulers) came here to either honor their deceased or commune with religious deities.
The Pa-ina Food Court, also known as The Pa‘ina Culinary Arts Center, is a first-rate Pacific-Asian culinary arts teaching facility. It is the home to Maui Community College’s award-winning Culinary Arts Program. The $17 million center spans about 38,000 square feet in a two story structure and includes nine kitchens, 6 quick-serve outlets and an upscale, full-service restaurant called The Class Act.
North Shore and Upcountry
Maui Wine and Vineyards. Ulupalakua is home to Maui Wine which offers wines that carry the essence of Hawai’i, the spirit of Maui. Maui Wine welcomes you to taste the fruit of the island in wines made from their 23 acre vineyard on the slopes of Haleakala, as well as the tropical wines made from the famed Maui Gold pineapples. Everything is grown in the Upcountry of Maui. The Maui Wine tour starts at 10:30am.
Ho’okipa Beach is a famous surfing and windsurfing destination. There is an easy highway pull-off with a lookout on the edge of a cliff a top of the “Pavilions” – the popular surfing-end of the beach. On just about any day there are also professional windsurfing competitions held at Ho’okipa. You can watch pros doing their thing. It also gives sightseers a stunning backdrop to watch the best windsurfers and surfers effortlessly play in the ocean.
Pa’ia Town is quaint north shore location reminiscent of a funky 60’s California beach town. It has great, reasonably priced restaurants, an eclectic selection of unique, interesting and affordable shops and the best natural food store on the Island. On a stroll through Pa’ia you’ll encounter old-school hippies, professional surfers, new-age mamas, Hollywood actors and street corner preachers. You might even see singer Willie Nelson show up unannounced to play with a local band!
Baldwin Beach Park is a wonderful, long, wide, sandy beach park just outside of Paia. Lifeguards are usually on duty and the park is equipped with, bathrooms, showers, barbecues, picnic tables and a covered pavilion. During winter months, the main stretch of beach can have fairly large and regular waves breaking on the shore, so it becomes a popular destination for more experienced boogie-boarders. There are also protected swimming areas on both the east and west ends that offer calm pools for even the littlest ones.
Makawao, the Cowboy Town, is located on the mid-slopes of Maui’s Haleakala volcano. This charming town was once named one of the top 25 arts destinations in the United States. It is the biggest little town in the region locally known as Upcountry Maui. Its Hawaiian cowboys, or paniolo have made it famous; in fact, there is rodeo held every year on the Fourth of July. The rodeo is Hawaii’s largest paniolo competition. Makawao is also a town of working artists. Here you can watch glassblowers, wood sculptors and painters doing their work.
Grandma’s Coffee House motto is “have a taste of Maui, and enjoy a cup from the end of the rainbow”. The coffee is grown on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano, at an elevation of 3,000 to 3,500 feet. The beans are picked by hand and are dried naturally in the hot Hawaiian sun. Then they are roasted right at Grandma’s. Grandma’s coffee has become one of Hawaii’s premier gourmet coffees. This is a step back in time to the rural pastures of Maui’s Upcountry.
Haiku is a small village in the northern part of Maui, approximately 14 miles (22.5 km) east of Kahului. It is an appealing town which is off the beaten path and gives you a chance to explore a side of the island that isn’t crowded with tourists. It is known for it’s serene and peaceful atmosphere where you will find yourself in the company of kind locals at a relaxed pace.
Holy Ghost Church is a little jewel built in 1895 by Portuguese immigrants who had come to work on the local sugarcane plantation. The drive to the church in Upcountry Maui is beautiful and so is the view. The church is an historic octagon-shaped Roman Catholic church building. In 1983 it was placed on both the Hawaiian and National Registers of Historic Places. It is the only historic octagonal building in Hawaii.
South Kihei and Wailea
Malu’aka Beach is also known as Turtle Beach Maluaka Beach is one of the best places on the Island for snorkeling with sea turtles in their natural habitat. It is located along a stretch of Wailea-Makena coastline in front of the Makena Beach and Golf Resort. The snorkeling on the south end of the beach is the best where you’ll see lots of fish in addition to sea turtles.
Makena Landing is an incredibly scenic, well-used cove and landing for kayaking, fishing, snorkeling and shore dives. It has showers, restrooms and parking, and is a favorite place for Maui families to hang out on the weekend. The beach sand slopes gently in to the bay, and wave action is usually minimal (except during large summer swells) so it’s a good beach for little ones. There is also plenty of sea life and shallow reef to explore in the large bay. This can be a very good place to learn to snorkel.
Eskimo Candy (the nickname for the belly strip of a smoked salmon) is a provides wholesale seafood, poultry and meat to restaurants, hotels and grocery stores. In 2003 the owner opened the Eskimo Candy Seafood Market and Cafe. Ocean murals cover the walls, nets cluttered with starfish dangle from the ceiling, and giant rubber shark heads hang behind the wood-paneled counter. Their goal is to serve the best Maui fresh fish and the top of the line quality food with affordable prices.
Big Beach is also known by the names Makena Beach and Oneloa Beach. It is a beautiful, over half a mile long, wide, undeveloped sandy beach with impressive views and a large shore-break. When the surf is up, you’ll have a front-row seat to the most extreme boogie boarding you’re likely to see on the Island. This is one of the most outstanding beaches in Maui. Big Beach is also the access point to Little Beach, perhaps the most famous nude beach on Maui.
Keawakapu Beach is a much loved long sandy beach at the end of South Kihei Road is a .7 mile long sandy beach which runs to the end of Kihei, where the road departs from the shoreline. It’s a great place for swimming, boogie boarding, snorkeling or just lazing in the sun. The shoreline is fully developed here, including impressive beach houses, hotels, condos and restaurants.
Café O’lei is Maui’s go to place for fresh seafood, sushi, steaks, and fresh locally-sourced cuisine. The restaurant provides in a casual but elegant location in the heart of Kihei next to the beach. From the outside it looks unassuming and quite small; however once you head up the steps up and open the door, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. On the inside, the restaurant opens to a larger space with lots of seating options for any party size.
Ulua Beach & Mokapu is one of the best spots to snorkel, dive, or swim on the south side! Ulua Beach/Mokapu Beach Park complex is comprised of two nice stretches of white sand separated by a bridge of rocks jutting out to sea about 100 yards. Ulua Beach is found on the left side of the rocks and Park. There is excellent beginner to intermediate snorkeling around the rocky outcrop on the north end of the beach. It is a nice beach for tanning and relaxing as well. Ulua Beach is not far from the ritzy shopping center “The Shops at Wailea”, where you will find pricy but top quality brand stores, coffee and food.
Da Kitchen Express, located in Kihei, is basically take out Hawaiian food. They serve what is known as “Loco Moco”, a dish featured in contemporary Hawaiian cuisine. This includes such items as kalua pork, plate lunches, and macadamia nut pie. They serve great portions at a reasonable price. If you’re looking for good food to go and don’t want to deal with the hassle of a restaurant, this is the place to go!
Secret Cove is an extraordinarily beautiful, must see spot! It is a hidden little pocket of sand that’s actually not so secret anymore. This intimate spot is popular for Maui beach weddings. It is hidden behind a rock wall, with a generous amount of lava rock sprinkled along the shoreline and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Secret Cove is not a good beach for swimming and you won’t find any facilities. Most people come here for the lovely scenery and nice views which includes two islands on the horizon – Kahoolawe and Molokini.
La Perouse Bay is located on Maui’s south shore in the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve. The bay has a series of small coves that lie between rocky points. These are often covered with tidal pools. Some of the coves have small sandy beaches, but most of them have coral-rubble beaches.The bay is protected from strong currents, but during periods of storms and heavy surf, the water inside the coves can become very turbulent. The small coves which are along the northern end of the bay are known to be great snorkeling spots.
Pu’u Ola’i is also know as Little Beach and Earthquake Hill or Red Hill. It is located in South Maui and is the unofficial place to relax and bare it all! Even with the clothing-optional reputation, Little Beach, which is adjacent to Makena (Big) Beach, is often as packed as it’s larger brother. This is a good spot to body surf as well as swim and snorkel when the surf is calm.
The Road to Hana
Honomanu Bay is a picturesque bay, and your first option for ocean goodness on the Road to Hana (after Ho’okipa). It is nestled inside a dramatic, lush valley. The best views are looking down into the bay from the road; however, looking up into the valley from the bay is also spectacular. A stream flows year-round through the valley and into the bay, often forming a large pool of fresh water on the mauka (towards the mountain) side of the beach. This is a great place to stretch your legs, have a picnic lunch, or take a quick dip.
Haipua’ena Falls is an easily accessible waterfall and pool suitable for swimming. The small waterfall is just a short stroll from the road. While it is nothing spectacular, it is still a refreshing place to take a dip. If you need a place to stretch your legs, you certainly won’t be disappointed doing it here.
Ke’anae is a traditional Hawaiian village known for its taro fields. This area attracts fisherman and photographers from all over the world looking to catch Maui’s famous North Shore waves crashing against the beautiful Ke’anae peninsula. There is no swimming here, but grab yourself a smoothie and some coconut candy at the stand close to the Keanae Congregational Church and marvel at the spectacular waves.
Upper Waikani Falls (a.k.aThree Bears Falls) is very popular set of falls because it is very photogenic and is like a drive-thru right on the road. If you’d like more than a drive-by view, go about 1/10 miles past the falls to a small parking area and walk back along the road. When these falls are at a safe flow rate you can take a short hike down from the road and swim. Once down at the falls it is a gorgeous scene! The water on these falls is usually exceptionally clear and you can stand under the waterfalls for a great photo.
Nahiku is a paradise for all things green. A steep downhill turn off for Nahiku Road toward the ocean (makai) puts you on a road that is lush and surrounded by a jungle setting. This area receives 300 inches of rain a year. At the end of the road you’ll come to the gorgeous scenic bay at Opuhano Point. To your left is Honolulunui Bay. The coastal views here are some of the best on the entire road to Hana. Also take a moment to listen. To the right, near the small ledge where the waves pound the shore, you’ll find thousands of pebbles being rolled back and forth in the surf. The harmonic sound of the rolling rocks is quite unique.
Kahanu Garden is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG). It showcases many native and Polynesian introduced plants. The garden is 464 acres and contains many native and canoe plants such as taro, ipu, sweet potato, banana, coconut and more. It is also home to the most diverse collection of breadfruit varieties in the world. Beyond the manicured gardens is the largest remaining wild hala forest in Hawaii, and many native coastal plants have been reestablished in their native habitat along the coastline. Anyone interested in plants or Hawaiian culture will find a visit here a treasure trove of information.
The Pi’ilanihale Heiau, located in the Kahanu Garden, is Hawaii’s largest heiau (sacred place or temple). You can’t appreciate how large the structure is in photographs. It is made of countless rocks stacked on top of one another – an amazing feat of engineering to have been constructed long ago, with limited tools. The heiau measures 450′ x 320′ at the top platform. It was built in stages over several centuries by an estimated 120,000 man-days of labor.
Wailua Falls & Valley State Wayside is a small cut in the cliff that has three parking stalls and a set of steps to a lookout. At the top of a set of stairs you will have a perfect ariel view of Wailua when facing the ocean, turn around and you can take a look into the Wailua Valley. There is also a private road you can walk down to the left, but if you’d like a more dramatic close-up view of the Wailua Valley, check out the Wailua Valley Hike.
The Wailua & Ke’anae Valley Hike is an easy 30-minute hike that can turn into a spectacular multi-hour moderately easy-going hiking adventure. It passes for miles through an undeveloped Eden of Maui rainforest and watershed. You can make this hike what you want of it. You can dip in a cool, fresh pool complete with dramatic waterfall in as little as a half an hour round-trip. Or take the better part of a day to hike into largely untouched and spectacular rainforest. The valley immerses you in an endlessly changing panorama so spectacular, it almost feels as if you’ve stepped into a dream with steep valley walls, countless cascading waterfalls, tropical flowers and plants in every hue of the rainbow.
Pua’a ka’a State Wayside Park is a nice place for a break. There are restrooms, covered picnic tables and a small waterfall with plunge pool. Once out of the car it can be a convenient and fairly nice place to sit down The pool really isn’t worth a dedicated stop when compared to all your other options in on the Road to Hana.
Hanawi Falls is one of Hana’s most cherished and spectacular spots. The Upper Waterfall is a 30-foot (9 m) cascade and plunges down from the cliffs into a small pool. During or after heavy rainfall, the waterfall is much larger. The other part of Hanawi Falls is downhill from here. Water at the Lower Falls cascades from a height of two hundred feet, rainforests glisten in the oft-seen rain, and the Pacific booms and beckons just below. Given the surplus of water at its base, the falls—both Upper and Lower—cascade year-round, making it one of the most prodigious and photographed waterfalls in Hawaii.
Makapipi Falls is one of the most interesting on the Hana Highway. There are many waterfalls in this part of Maui, but what makes this one special is that you’ll be able to stand right above it, giving you a unique vantage point. The Makapipi Stream flows within the lava stream bed into a beautiful, clear blue pool. The Hana Highway crosses directly over the stream allowing a view of the falls over the bridge railing.
Hana Lava Tube, also known as Ka’eleku Cave, is an interesting lava tube where you can explore about 1/3 mile of unusual underground formations. Lava tubes are formed when massive lava flows cool on the surface forming an insulating conduit or tunnel for the hot lava flowing underneath. 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.
Wai’anapanapa State Park is among the very best of the Road to Hana sights. It offers outstanding, nearly 360-degree sweeping panoramic views. This place looks like a living postcard from heaven. Besides the outstanding scenery, there are hikes, easy walks, a blowhole, a black sand beach, ocean caves, sea arches, islets, cliff diving, fresh water pools, pre-contact archeological remnants, camping, cabins and more. With so much packed into one stop, Wai’anapanapa is a “must see” destination on the Road to Hana.
Pa’iloa Beachis a black sand beach located at Wai’anapanapa State Park. Most of this beach is actually less like “sand” and more like “small black pebbles”, so this isn’t a beach you’ll want to lay out on.There is also a neat little cave here that the ocean laps up into. To find the cave, go to the right side (as you face the ocean) and look for a small hole in the cliff wall. Duck down and go in – soon the ceiling opens up to allow you to stand. You’ll see some holes in the ceiling which allow light through, and the other end of the cave opens into the ocean. If you’re really adventurous, you can climb through one of the further large holes to pop out on the cliff outside.
Hana Beach Park is located within Hana Bay, which has a long black-sand beach and is the safest swimming beach along the East Maui coast. The bay is protected by a coral reef and protected from big swells by its curved shape. It has its numerous picnic tables, pavilions, kayak rentals and the local outrigger canoe club. Hana Beach Park is a hub of activity in this otherwise quiet little hamlet. On the right side of the park is Hana Pier where outrigger canoe racing is frequently practiced.
Hamoa Beach is often ranked up there with the famous beaches in the resort areas of Maui. It is a postcard-perfect 100′ wide by 1000′ long crescent surrounded by cliffs. There are two points of public access – stairs leading down from the hotel shuttle drop off and a small service road at the other end. Hamoa Beach is also a popular surf break and has been surfed by Hawaiians since ancient times. Boogie boarding and bodysurfing are also popular here.
Haneo’o Road Loop was described by James Michener as the most “South Pacific” beach he’d come across, even though it’s in the North Pacific. It is half-moon shape with a stretch of salt-and-pepper sand, all in the shade of palm trees. The jutting black coastline is often outlined by rain showers out at sea. Early mornings and late afternoons are best for swimming. At times the churning surf might intimidate swimmers, but the bodysurfing can be great.
Bruddah Hutts BBQ is a family-owned, roadside food truck that serves delicious island style cuisine. It’s at the end of your journey to Hana, just about a mile past the world-famous Hasegawa General Store. Don’t be put off by the appearance, because the food is worth driving 3+ hours for! Portions are very sizable. The kalua pork, bbq chicken, and the fish are highly recommended. Some say this is where you’ll find the best lunch in Hawaii. Look for the sign that says “Last Food Stop” and you’ve reached it.
Nahiku Marketplace comes as a welcome surprise for weary travelers. It is located approximately 6 miles before Hana Town. Nahiku Marketplace is a great place to stop, stretch your legs, shop, eat, relax, and re-energize for the rest of your journey. It is Home to several excellent, low-key and recommended outdoor dining options, including the Up In Smoke BBQ, Jen’s Thai Food, Nahiku Cafe, Island Chef, Island Style Tacos, and Hana Highway Sorbet. It also offers excellent shopping from several local vendors.
Before you go
P.S. I’ve never paid more than the taxes for my airfare to Hawai’i. There’s a level of relaxation about Maui that I cannot achieve anywhere else in the world. Simply getting off the plane on this magical island will get me in that relaxed state of mind.
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