A December 2004 trip
to Hana by baen
Quote: We ignored all of the advice to stay away from Hana, and the payoff was spectacular. Our 8-day Maui vacation was divided evenly between Hana on the rainforest side of the island, and the dry, sunny area of Ka'anapali. Our best memories are of Hana.
When you are in Hana and are looking for something to do, get in your car and drive. Stop anywhere that looks interesting. There are dozens of waterfalls, and the hikes of varying distances are exhilarating. The birds and flowers seem to have escaped Eden. There is no one place you have to see, though the National Park at O'heo Gulch would be that place if there were one. Blue Pool provided us with the waterfall picture that makes everyone most jealous. You should, and will, discover your own favorites in addition to these obvious examples of why Hana, the road to Hana (and past it), and the rainy side of the island constitute the reason to go to Maui. And to return.
There is one great meal on this side of the island after you pass Paia (if you are a Willie Nelson fan, stop at Charley's there). It is at the Hotel Hana Maui, and it’s fantastic. Eat there every night if you can afford the to per person average. Also, make time to go to Mama's at the beginning of the Road to Hana. Otherwise, picnic a lot.
Bring your own snorkel gear--you may want to pull over and dive in sometimes, as we did--and some tabbies for your feet. And sneakers you can leave in the garbage before packing to go home.
Vitally important tip! Buy the Ultimate Guide to Maui--it's a Blue Trade paperback. This is all you need to find more than you imagined when seeing the sites. But don't rely on their restaurant picks.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 10, 2005
Hotel Hana Maui
P.O. Box 9
Hana, Hawaii 96713
I grew up on the Gulf Coast and am very particular about seafood. One of my favorites has always been what we call dolphin fish. In Hawaii, it’s mahi-mahi. Despite my seafood parochialism, I must confess that what I ate at Mama's deserved its more exotic local moniker. The service was slow, but that seemed like an advantage at our open-air table, looking out at the sea and the stars. I even got to meet "Mama," who took our photo and confirmed my suspicion that they buy their fish right off the charter boats and get it on the tables the same day.
Mama's Fish House
799 Poho Place
Maui, Hawaii 96779
We heard the people in Hawaii were fantastic. We found this true at the restaurants and resorts. We found the opposite from locals who were not directly benefiting from our dollars. But I couldn't blame them sometimes. Don't tailgate or hold up traffic, and for pete's sake, don't park in someone's yard on your way to Blue Pool. And don't go to Hana and complain about the weather or the roads. Both of these conditions keep the place a true paradise.
You will hear that you must get up one morning at 3am and drive to the summit of Haleakala. Well... you must. Bring a coat and a blanket. And a camera.