Honolulu, Waikiki, Lahaina, Wailea… All beautiful in their own way, but it wasn’t until I first drove into Hana, Maui that I discovered the real Hawaii. It’s the Hawaii in old postcards and the still unspoiled place of palm trees, plantation cottages (like historic Hale Pumehana below) and large amounts of undeveloped coastline.
Hale Pumehana, Historic Hana Plantation Home
Hana is one of those places that attracts a special kind of person. I always say that if you were not born in Hana, you have be a little eccentric and adventurous to want to move here, and since I have lived here for 16 years, I have to include myself in that description. After all, Hana is a 52 mile winding drive from Kahului. Along the way, you will experience lush rainforest, spectacular waterfalls and pools, and be greeted by the sweet scent of ginger.
The Famous Road to Hana
Living in Hana, I had to get used to the few stores and the town’s only gas station closing in the early evening, the limited shopping options, no Starbucks on every corner and only a handful of dining options. I also had to get used to having one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Hamoa Beach, moments away, incredible hiking trails, endless outdoor activities, the occasional rain cooling down the day and the random cow walking along the road.
I generally spend one day a month driving to Kahului (or as the locals say, “going to town”) to do my major shopping at the big box stores and then we buy or grow our fruits and other produce locally.
A Fruit Stand in the Maka’alae Area of Hana
Hana is a community in the truest sense of the word. Just about everyone gathers to celebrate yearly festivals and fundraising events for the local non-profits, like the Hana Youth Center. Local musicians, like Leokane Pryor and CJ Helekahi, are well known state-wide for their authentic Hawaiian Music and can be found performing at events like the yearly Taro Festival.
Driving down the road, the residents all wave at each other, the post office will deliver a letter if it just has my name and no address other than “Hana” and the local general store, Hasegawa’s, calls when I have a UPS package. Hana is also the kind of place where, if you need something from “outside” (a term for the rest of Maui), it’s usually a phone call or Facebook post away to find someone to pick it up.
Hana is steeped in Hawaiian history. It is the birthplace of Queen Kaahumanu and land of the Hawaiian chiefs- the most famous being Piilani. Kahanu Garden, the site of Polynesia’s largest heiau (or temple), was once part of a larger ahupua’a (an ancient Hawaiian method of land division) running from the sea up to the mountaintop. Currently, the upper 558 acres of that ahupua’a is for sale as one of the largest residential land holdings on Maui:
Another local ancient site is the beautifully restored “loko” or fishpond at Waikoloa in Hana. This pond was restored years ago with the aid of the surrounding homes, including this property currently for sale:
134 Waikoloa Road, Hana on Waikoloa Pond
For years we ran a small vacation rental in Hana. We had people visit from all over the world and we made many lifelong friendships. My friends on the mainland often ask me if I get bored here and I find myself explaining how it takes a lot of effort to have “down time” from all the socializing.
Whether you are coming for a visit and planning to stay at the local Travaasa Hotel or one of Hana’s many vacation rental properties (check out Hana’s Finest Rentals website), I highly recommend you plan more than just a of couple days and instead, plan some time to sink into the lifestyle and see how it fits.
Haneoo Road at Hamoa Beach – Hana By The Sea
I recently listed for sale one of Hana’s most appealing properties (above and below). It is currently a vacation rental (short term rental permits on Maui are nontransferable, but that’s a topic for another post). It has for many years been an impressively popular accommodation due to it being steps away from the white sands of world famous Hamoa Beach.
522 Haneoo Road, Hana – Hana By The Sea for sale steps from Hamoa Beach
Hana isn’t for everyone and that’s a good thing. There is very little development and the community likes it that way. It’s a slow-paced life, based around nature and clean living. If you truly want to live in paradise, you may have to give up a few of life’s other amenities, but for me, it was well worth the trade off…
I specialize only in Hana real estate. If you would like to learn more about Hana, please feel free to contact me.
Chris Harrington Pryor, Realtor