Your Guide to the Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is Maui’s famous road trip along the eastern coast of the island. It features countless waterfalls, gorgeous vistas, beaches of all colors, bamboo forests and even banana bread!
There is so much to see and explore that you’re going to need help planning your driving tour!
Here are my Overall Tips:
- There’s seriously so much to see that if you try and see it all, you will wind up stopping every few miles. I recommend picking a few places you know you want to go, and allow yourself enough time to stop a few extra places that catch your eye.
- Make your plan ahead of time and know where you’re going since you most likely won’t have cell service.
- Start EARLY. Since we were staying in Kaanapali, we picked up breakfast at 6:30, so that we could get there by 7:30. The road can get super busy, and there are a ton of one lane bridges and tight turns.
- Because of the tight turns, plan your day accordingly. You don’t want to be driving back in the dark.
- Bring cash, water, snacks and a full tank of gas.
- Some say to wear a swimsuit, but I didn’t end up needing it. I recommend wearing comfortable clothing and hiking boots. You can definitely bring a swimsuit and change of clothes in case you decide to swim!
Now let’s take a look at all the places we stopped!
2.1: Twin Falls–I don’t recommend stopping here. It’s the first waterfall/hike on the Road to Hana, so everyone stops and it gets super crowded. I can’t speak to the waterfalls themselves since we didn’t stop, but I’m sure they’re beautiful. You could potentially think about stopping here on your way out since it’ll most likely be less busy!
4.5: Huelo Lookout–you can get smoothies at this little fruit stand. We didn’t stop here, but I read that it was good!
6.7: Na’ili’ili-Haele Stream & Waterfalls–you will find the entrance on the right side of the road (see below). We spent over an hour hiking around in this incredible bamboo forest. We kept searching for the waterfall, but couldn’t find a good way to get there. We had almost given up, but we turned around and decided to go look again, and we made it to a big clearing. We got to look down a 50 ft waterfall and it was gorgeous! We were never able to figure out how to get to the bottom of it though, haha!
14.4: Honomanu Bay Lookout–we just pulled off on the side of the road to soak up this gorgeous vista!
16.5: Aunt Sandy’s–I read a lot about the different banana bread options along the Road to Hana, and Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread had raving reviews. When we arrived, they had just run out, but were making more. We waited by the ocean, and Steve found a coconut that he decided to crack open. It took some time, but he got it open and we enjoyed some fresh coconut water and coconut meat, which was really tasty!
After about 20 minutes, we went back and got our fresh, warm banana bread. It’s possible that we were pretty hungry and ready for a bite, but it was DELICIOUS.
Aunt Sandy’s is located at 210 Keanae Rd, Haiku, HI 96708. Head down the turnoff to the Ke’anae Peninsula (on the ocean side of the road) to this little roadside stand.
18.8: Wailua Valley State Wayside–there is a pull of on the right side of the road. It’s just a quick 1 minute hike up to this beautiful view!
19: Upper Waikani Falls–we were able to get a good look at these beautiful falls from the car, so we actually just paused and didn’t need to stop.
32: Thai Food By Pranee–5050 Uakea Rd, Hana, HI 96713. We stopped here for lunch, and we got Chicken Pad Thai and a coconut macadamia brownie. Both were so good, highly recommend.
32: Wai’anapanapa State Park–this was definitely one of our highlights. Steve laughed every time I tried to pronounce the name of the park. The big black lava rocks against the bright blue water and green plants was unbelievably gorgeous. Steve had fun (carefully) playing near the blowholes, and I had fun taking videos of him getting drenched. The black sand beach and the lava tube made for some pretty cool pictures, but Steve wanted to go back to the blowholes, so we spent another 15-20 minutes just exploring the lava rocks and water. I ventured out and sat with Steve in a precarious spot watching the waves crash against the rocks, but got some pretty cool shots.
In Hana: Kaihalulu Beach (Red Sand Beach)–this was probably our favorite spot and it’s the most tricky to get to. You have to park at the end of Uakea Rd, which runs on the ocean side of Hotel Hana Maui, parallel to Hana Hwy. You’ll pass the Hana Community Center on your left and you can park along the road. You’ll have to cut through the grass going towards the ocean on your left, where you should find a trail. The trail runs right along the ocean, so you have to be careful.
It was AMAZING, probably one of the coolest places we’ve ever been. Deep red sand and the bluest water we’ve ever seen. The cove of water was chaotic and powerful, and the waves were huge. We were mesmerized by the water, and I swear we watched the waves and walked around the beach area for 30-45 minutes.
Past Hana: The mile markers for some reason start going down when you pass Hana.
45: Wailua Falls–this beautiful waterfall is right next to the highway, but we decided to stop and get a closer look since its one of the biggest falls on this drive. There were places to park along the road just past the falls on the right.
This is where we turned around and headed back. If you have the time, you can always stop at a few places along the way that may have been too busy earlier or didn’t catch your eye coming in. Just be careful to not get too close to sunset since you don’t want to be dealing with one lane bridges and tight turns in the dark.
Have so much fun and enjoy the adventure!
Share your experience on the Road to Hana below in the comments!