The key to to appreciating Maui's Hana Highway is really taking the time to stop and explore along the way. One of my favorite places along the famous drive is Waianapanapa State Park. The 120-acre park is a mix of dense tropical forest, black lava cliffs and caves, and a black sand beach (the sand is actually small, smooth lava pebbles). Daredevils can cliff jump off the rocks that are nicknamed "rabbit's ears" because of their shape. And the park is open to campers.
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Inside a Lava Tube in Maui
My kids were so excited to visit a beach with black sand. After playing in the waves for awhile, I convinced them to venture into the lava tube adjacent to the beach. My kids had to muster some bravery to crouch down and enter that dark space, trusting that they would see light again around the corner. They did it, and were rewarded with this spectacular view of crashing waves. Their experiences not only made for an exciting vacation day, but also taught them lessons about bravery and trust.
Honokalani Black Sand Beach is located in the Wainapanapa State Park on the island of Maui. This large beach is set among lava cliffs, and the sand is actually fine, smooth, lava pebbles. A small sea arch, sea caves, and seaside lava tubes are located in the beach area. But half the fun of this beach is the drive that gets you there. Black Sand Beach is one of the last stops on the world-famous “Road to Hana,” so unless you have accommodations in nearby Hana itself, you probably can’t afford to spend too much time sunbathing, which is unfortunate.