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A Guide to East Maui

Lush, rugged and remote, East Maui is the place to go when you want to get away from it all. Sure, the golf courses and beach resorts of upcountry and South Maui have their charm, but if you're looking to see the raw beauty of Maui there's no place better. Here, you'll find secluded beaches and backcountry restaurants serving true Hawaiian fare. This is s-l-o-w country and we’ve put together the following to help you enjoy the best East Maui has to offer:

Take the Road to Hana.

Hana Highway, aka the 'Road to Hana,' is much more a meandering road than any sort of highway. Despite being technically 52 miles, the over 600 hairpin curves and dozens of one-lane bridges take some time to traverse. Plan on spending at least two-and-a-half hours each way, more if you want to really take in the sights, such as stunning waterfalls crashing just a few hundred feet away from the road, or the lush rainforest backdrops filled with vibrant flowers and flowering trees. Stop off at Keanae Park to check out some of Maui's most recent lava flows and enjoy a slice of fresh-baked banana bread.

Dine in at Hana.

After the long drive to Hana, it's time to treat yourself. Of course, there are plenty of roadside trucks and local shacks along the way, but why not feast in Hana? Visit, for instance, local favorite Thai Food by Pranee where you can enjoy a large and delicious curry, complete with locally-sourced mahi-mahi. Or grab a slice of pizza heavy with gourmet toppings at The Clay Oven before finishing the night off with a delicious scoop of ice cream at Coconut Glen's, made fresh from local ingredients.

Camp out at Wai'anapanapa State Park.

This park is a must for outdoor enthusiasts and for more than just a quick photo opportunity. Wai'anapanapa State Park offers a variety of unique landscapes. Try Black Sand Beach, known locally as Pa'iloa Beach, where the sand is actually made up of tiny lava pebbles. Explore the area and peek into some of the ocean caves lining the coastline. Daring visitors may opt to go cliff jumping off one of the islets east of the beach but it’s important to take care as the currents here can be rough. Other things to see and do here include exploring fresh water pools, hiking trails through the jungle and a blowhole that sprays water high into the air. Make your trip longer than a day by camping at one of the onsite cabins and enjoy watching the sun rise over the ocean.

Enjoy the community at Hana Bay Beach Park.

Hana Bay Beach Park is a perfect place to experience Maui as the locals do. Listen to local musicians strum their ukuleles. Play croquet at the beachside park. During calm conditions, go snorkeling or diving just past the pier for some excellent underwater sights.

Book a Maui tour with Maverick Helicopters

If you'd rather see the sights from high over the water, then be sure to book a Maui tour with Maverick Helicopters. Of particular note for those looking to check out East Maui is the Hana Rainforest Experience, a one-of-a-kind trip along Maui's northern and eastern coastlines where you'll see breathtaking sea cliffs, lush tropical hills and cascading waterfalls. The tour culminates in a landing at Maverick’s exclusive site deep within the Hana Rainforest on a former taro plantation.


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