Maui’s Hana Town – A Hidden Hawaiian Gem
At the end of the Road to Hana, just past Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach, resides one of the true gems of Hawaii. The small town of Hana is an isolated, quaint town, tucked right against the water, and harkens back to the days of Hawaii, prior to the boon of tourism and the arrival of visitors from all over the world.
Hana has existed in some form between 500 and 800 AD, and was the longtime location of a sugarcane plantation, providing locals with steady work for nearly 100 years. In total, 6 sugarcane plantations were located in the area, the final shutting down operations in 1946. This forced locals to travel to the West Side of Maui for work, and also taking many residents from the local population.
One of the more interesting pieces of history about Hana is that in 1946, the owner of the San Francisco Seals baseball team opened the Ka’uiki Inn and brought his baseball team to the area for preseason training. This helped to generate interest and word of mouth in his hotel spread, aiding in bringing tourism to the area. The hotel, now known as the Travaasa Hana Resort and Spa, is still operating in the area, and is a fantastic options for a true Hawaiian getaway.
The most famous feature surrounding Hana is the Hana Highway, stretching 65 miles from Kahului and giving travelers a stunning, though challenging drive around Maui. The highway features many bridges that were part of the original construction of the road, though much of the highway has been retrofitted and rebuilt to handle today’s use.
All along the highway are incredible attractions and roadside stops, providing spectacular views of the island’s coastline. One of the best stops is Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach and State Park, a beautiful cove that features volcanic sand, caves, and a great options for enjoying lunch and a view. The currents here can be very treacherous, and caution should be exercised when entering the water.
Enjoy a visit to the area, and discover as many amazing stops and sites as you can. Hana and the surrounding area are just one of the many stops along the highway, and a visit should be on an agenda during a Hawaiian vacation.
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