Travel, as in life, offers spectacular experiences to those who don’t require immediate gratification. Case in point: Hana, HI. Because it is so difficult to reach (a barf inducing drive to Eastern Maui must be endured), there are zero crowds. And, zero resorts. That leaves the “real” Hawaii: pristine jump-off the cliff swimming coves, red sand beaches (often peppered with hippie nudists), crazy, cool hikes featuring mud slides and 400 foot waterfalls, foraging for meals at a handful of food trucks (there are only 2 actual restaurants in Hana) that may or may not open on any given day. It’s a stark contrast to the hyper-developed western side of Maui or Honolulu. Hana is ideal for lovers of adventure and spontaneity. Torrential downpours (Oh, did I mention that it is in a rainforest?) often force a change of plans. And, with few street signs (or, street names) getting lost leads to the discovery of secret sanctuaries. For city folk, patience is often required. But, once you sit down to watch the sunset to the tune of crashing waves, you appreciate the rusticity of the place.
STAY: Travaasa Hana, the only “resort” in Hana.
DO : Hike in Hakealaka National Park, Swim in the Venus Pools
EAT: Surfin’ Burro Food Truck and Hippy Pizza, Hana Ranch