Maui’s Hana: Where’s the beach?
After the thrills and spills amid a cavalcade of rental cars along Maui’s notorious Hana Highway (waterfalls, one-lane bridges, tropical jungle) many visitors get to the actual town and experience a mild disappointment. The bay at Hana is not known for swimming, and that’s about all you see of the coast. But wait … there’s more.
Black Sand Beach at Waianapanapa State Park has clear water and, when the shore break is low, excellent snorkeling. The pretty park is a couple of miles off the highway, just north of Hana.
Around the point from Hana Bay, via a short-but-sort-of-hairy hike, is the town’s darling, Red Sand Beach. A jagged reef protects the swimming cove. Worth noting: One section of the trail is narrow along a ledge, some of the embankment at the beach is crumbly, and some sunbathers might go naked, even though nudity is not allowed on Hawaii beaches and the bodies on display are not all works of art.
Koki Beach Park is a surfer’s beach, not far from Hana headed toward the Pools of Oheo. Rip currents here can be killers, literally, so stay out of the water when the surf’s up. But palms and backshore flora make Koki one of the better stops on south Maui.
Just down the road from Koki is Hamoa Beach, the one use by the guests at the upscale Travaasa Hana (formerly Hotel Hana Maui), though the beach itself is public. All aspects considered, Hamoa stacks up well with other Maui beaches, and is the best choice for visitors needing a beach fix. Swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and chilling are among the popular activities.
Maui Trailblazer has more details on Hana beaches, as well as hikes, gardens, and fun stuff that is off the tourist trail.