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Heavenly Hāna: One of Hawaiʻi’s Last Old-Style Towns

June 30, 2015, 12:25 PM HST · Updated November 13, 2:57 PM
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Hāna Maui. Googleimages 2015.

Hāna Maui. Googleimages 2015.

By Alexandra Mitchell

After traveling the sometimes grueling road to Hāna, guests can practically blink and miss Hāna Town (mile marker 34). If you drive past the Hasegawa General Store (est.1910) and the gas station, you’re passing it by!

Hāna is commonly regarded as one of the state’s last Old Hawaiʻi-style towns. The sleepy town of Hāna is a secluded, quiet Maui village inhabited by residents enjoying the rural life.

There are a handful of things to explore in Hāna, so definitely do your research beforehand.

Be sure to check out the Hāna Cultural Center & Museum, snorkel at Hāna Bay, visit art galleries (Hāna Coast Gallery & Laura Mango Art), and stop at any farmers markets that you see. You’ll be so happy that you did!

There are a handful of local artisans who sell their works alongside the road, or in their front yards all year round.

The Annual Taro Festival is an incredible event that takes place in late April.

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These are all really great things to see in Hāna, and totally worth checking out!

The absolute best Thai food restaurant on Maui is in Hāna. It is called Nutcharee’s Authentic Thai Food (and no, they do not have a website). The menu is rotating, and full of locally grown produce, fresh coconut milk and spices, Maui-grown meats and seafood selections. It is an open-aired hale (thatched-roof structure) located near the Travaasa Hāna bungalows. Ask a local for directions if you have a hard time finding it.

For those that enjoy hiking, Fagan’s Cross above the Hāna Ranch pasture offers a to-die-for view. There are also a handful of shorter trails in the area.

Queen Kaʻahumanu, Kamehameha I’s favorite wife, was born in Hāna Bay in 1768. Her birthplace is believed to be a sheltered rock site at the tip of Kauiki Head. You can reach this trail from the South end of Hāna Bay by starting at the wharf, and then following a 400-foot rise up a red cinder trail. Stay along the shoreline near the ironwood trees and you will see the trail head. As expected, please do not move anything, and do not  touch or climb on any structures.

For more information about Hāna Town, go online.

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