Hawaiian Summer Camp

Today I’m giving the people what they want…

…photos of Maui’s beautiful beaches.

Thus far, most of my posts about Hawai’i have centered on my experiences living and working on an organic farm, but, never fear, I do occasionally stop gardening and go to the beach.

There are three well-known beaches near Hana — Waianapanapa State Park, Red Sands, and Hamoa — as well as a smattering of more secret beaches (including one that the people on the farm actually refer to as “Secret Beach”) that I have yet to visit.

I should probably let the photos speak for themselves, but I’m terrible at that, so you’re all stuck with my usual witty commentary.


Waianapanapa (or Waianaps, as it is affectionately called) is the first beach I visited in Hana, and while the entire state park is worth exploring, the star of the show is definitely the black sand beach.

The black sand is actually tiny volcanic rocks!
The black sand is actually tiny volcanic rocks that have been smoothed by the ocean

There’s a short hike (approx. 45 minutes) between the black sand beach and the Hana airport called the King’s Trail, which offers some spectacular views.

View from the King's Trail
View from the King’s Trail

Supposedly, you can sometimes see whale breaches from the King’s Trail, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up. (I’m bitter – I didn’t see any.) Because it’s so close to the airport, though, you might see a plane!

I really just wanted to include a photo of that beautiful blue sky.
I really just wanted to include a photo of that beautiful blue sky

Continuing with the theme of outrageously-colored beaches, Red Sands (the beach’s official name is Kaihalulu Beach, but you’re more likely to get directions there if you just call it Red Sands) is the only red sand beach on Maui.

Appropriately-named beach
Appropriately-named beach

The sand is red because it’s rich in iron and contrasts strikingly with the turquoise ocean.

The 10-minute hike to get to Red Sands includes walking through private property and across land prone to rock slides, so watch your footing. And, once you arrive, you may be greeted by the naked hippies who have decided Red Sands is a clothing-optional beach, but you’re in for a beautiful view (teehee) and a pleasant swim.

Red Sands
Looking out to sea from Red Sands

My favorite beach, however, is probably Hamoa because it’s the most fun for a typical ocean swim with large waves that you can jump over or dive through.

I know you can't really see the beach in this photo, but don't you just want to dive into that water?!
I know you can’t really see the beach in this photo, but how could you resist that water!?

Unfortunately, Hamoa is the farthest away from Hana Farms — almost seven miles. E and I did not know this when we decided to bike there last weekend, but that is a story for another day.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of beach porn.

Especially any of you who are experiencing winter snowstorms right now… Sorry, Mom, it’s beautiful here!

Emma Holliday is well-traveled. After 5 years in Boston, she and her husband upended their lives to move to Berlin where she is currently writing a (funny) book about travel and grief and attempting to learn German.


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