Travel

The Hawaiian Town with Some of the Freshest Food on Earth

Hana plays home to just-caught fish, vibrant produce, workshops and farm tours
Things to Do in Hana, Hawaii
Photo: Travaasa Hana via Facebook

"Growing up in Hana, this tiny ohana of a community, it's instilled in us from a very young age to appreciate, cultivate and prosper from the abundance of natural resources available to us," says Hana native Kauka'ohulani Morton, who works as the spa and retail manager at local luxury retreat Travaasa Hana. It's a geographically isolated town under the Haleakala volcano on Maui's eastern shore, where Morton says food is essential to keeping the sense of community alive. 

This culinary-first idea lends itself well to a delicious trip, making Travaasa Hana a necessary stop for those looking to truly experience the Hana way of life. Here's why you should skip the crowded beaches in favor of a farm-focused vacation in Hawaii.

① The resort's executive chef, Bella Toland, works directly with local farms and fishermen to source all of the food for the eco-friendly resort—try the creative breakfast loco mocos, the best of which features fresh mahi mahi and taro leaf purée. There are also smoothie workshops, botanical cocktail classes, fishing excursions and coconut-husking lessons.

② Hāna Fresh, a farm affiliated with the Hana Health clinic and nutrition center, has a weekday farm stand where passersby can grab raw fruits and vegetables, along with salads, smoothies and other treats sourced directly from the hills behind them.

Down the road, visit 42-year-old Ono Organic Farms for fruit, coffee and chocolate tasting tours, where guests can scale the orchards before sampling a long list of property-grown fruit like papaya, durian, star fruit,  guava and tangelo.

 

A post shared by ONO Organic Farms Inc. (@onofarms) on

 Hana Gold is Maui's only bean-to-bar chocolate farm and facility, and it also offers tours. Guests can learn about chocolate while walking through a working plantation with one of its owners, Aldon Frost. At the end, everyone gets a chance to try Hana Gold chocolate, which includes bars made with ginger, cacao nibs and coffee beans.

Any visitor to Hana with good intentions will be extended the generosity of spirit that Morton houses—in the most delicious and freshest way possible.

Jackie is a food and travel writer based in San Diego. Follow her on Instagram at @jacqbry.

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