Even though the "town" is little more than a gas station, a post office, and a general store, the relaxed pace of life that Hana residents enjoy will likely have you in its grasp. Hana is one of the few places where the slow pulse of the island is still strong. The town centers on its lovely circular bay, dominated on the right-hand shore by a puu (volcanic cinder cone) called Kauiki. A short trail here leads to a cave, the birthplace of Queen Kaahumanu. Two miles beyond town another puu presides over a loop road that passes Hana’s two best beaches—Koki and Hamoa. The hill is called Ka Iwi O Pele (Pele’s Bone). Offshore here, at tiny Alau Island, the demigod Maui supposedly fished up the Hawaiian Islands.
Although sugar was once the mainstay of Hana’s economy, the last plantation shut down in the 1940s. In 1946 rancher Paul Fagan built the Hotel Hana-Maui (now the Travassa Hana) and stocked the surrounding pastureland with cattle. Now it’s the ranch and its hotel that put food on most tables. It’s pleasant to stroll around this beautifully rustic property. In the evening, while local musicians play in the lobby bar, their friends jump up to dance hula. The cross you can see on the hill above the hotel was put there in memory of Fagan.