Road to Hana - A Pilot's Wife

Road to Hana

Heading to Maui? According to my IG feed, it seems like the place to be! Numerous friends have headed to the islands for an early Fall vacation or a honeymoon. I must say, although it was my first trip to Hawaii, Maui far exceeded my expectations. While preparing for our trip, I scoured numerous websites for information on what to do and where to see. One of my favorites is the Hulaland Blog. Cate has all you’ll need to plan a great vacation to any of the islands of Hawaii and other beaches as well!

One of the most popular things to do when visiting Maui is traveling the Road to Hana. It’s a beautiful, winding road through what feels like the rainforest in some spots. There are narrow bridges, beautiful waterfalls and more roadside stands than you can count. The below is the itinerary we followed and notes and images to go along! I printed this and took it with us which was a good thing because occasionally we didn’t have cellular service. There is only one road so it was hard to get lost but we didn’t want to miss a stop! If you have any questions, do be sure to leave a comment below, happy to answer any of your Maui/Road to Hana questions!

Road to Hana Itinerary 

Early wake up, which was never an issue for us. No matter what we did, we couldn’t adjust to the time change! Depending on where you are staying, it could take at least 45 minutes to get to Paia, which is the last town before Hana. It’s a good place for breakfast and to pick up snacks. We left Ka’anapali around 6:30 AM. 

7:30 AM – Arrive in Paia

Before you leave Paia, it’s critical you have a full tank of gas. We also stopped for a full breakfast here as we knew it would be a long day. We ate at Charley’s and it was so good. Willie Nelson loves this place, so we knew it had to be delicious.

8:15 AM – Kuau Store

Need any last minute refreshments? Did you bring bug spray? Stop here to pick up anything you need before you hit the road. When you stop, but sure to grab a photo of the surf board fence!

Kuau Store Road to Hana As you begin, do note that the mile markers are a bit screwy. They start over after MM 16 in Paia. Also, after Hana Town, they jump to MM 51 then go backwards. We returned to Paia around 4 PM, we accomplished almost all the following stops! 

MM 2 – Twin Falls

As the name suggests, there are two main waterfalls to explore here. This is a great place to jump in and enjoy the water, or do more hiking. However, on our visit, the water was too high to cross up the hill (behind a gate with a warning sign) to more falls so we simply stopped to see the two falls which is off to the left shortly after you enter and headed out. 

MM 4-5 – Huelo Lookout

Already need a snack? Stop at this cute roadside stand for shaved ice or coconuts and fruit. I didn’t get a single coconut on our trip, so do me a favor and get two. This does comes up quick around a corner and will be on your left! Definitely a good photo op!

road-to-hana-huelo-lookout

PARROT MAN (MM Unknown) – Your best option here is to do a slow drive by. However, we recommend not stopping. The birds are pretty, but they don’t speak. If you want to be pictured with the birds, he charges $20 and proceeds to make you and whoever you are with do a lot of awkward things with the birds. 

road-to-hana-parrots

MM 10 – Garden of Eden Arboretum

This was a really neat place. There is an entry fee, but there are many great views, and this is part of the area that is in the opening of Jurassic Park. We also were able to learn the names of the plants that grow well in Hawaii like the lipstick plant, the rainbow eucalyptus and of course, birds of paradise. It actually rained while we were there, and the trees were so dense, we stood under one during the storm and stayed totally dry!  It is buggy, so do wear bug spray! Also be sure to use the bathroom here. It’s decent and there aren’t a lot of those along the way.

Garden of Eden Aboretum

MM 17 – Halfway to Hana Stand

You have many options for fresh baked banana bread along the Road to Hana. However, we had heard this was the best. I must admit, it tasted just like my momma’s so I was impressed. Plus, a cold Diet Coke and some Maui Style potato chips held us over.  Halfway to Hana Stand

MM 14 – Honomanu Bay

We found a pullout here where we could get some good shots of the bay. When we turned around we were surprised to also see a waterfall in the distance!

Honomanu Bay Road to Hana

MM 19 – Upper Waikani Falls

This stop can be a bit tricky. There is only parking for a few cars in the pullout on the right. I think we just drove by. 

MM 28.8 – Nakiku Marketplace

There is a park between the last stop and this one, whoever we didn’t stop. This marketplace was dirty and had disgusting bathrooms. A coffee stop if interested. That being said… do take hand sanitizer with you on this journey. 

MM 31- Hana Lava Tube

We skipped this on the way to Hana, but did it on the way back. They close at 4 PM so depending on when you are close, you can make the call. You’ll turn left on ‘Ula’ino Road and drive for less than 1/2 a mile to the entrance. There is an entry fee, and you’ll get flashlights to guide you through this massive lava tube. However, it is a self-guided tour.  We really liked this. It’s amazing what nature can do! Also, they have a garden maze that’s fun to cruise through.

road-to-hana-lava-tube

MM 31 – Hana Farms Stand

Just before we hit the lava tube we stopped here, also on the way back. This was a great stand. Beauty products, food and coffee. We grabbed Coconut Candy here, seriously so good. Coconut slices with brown sugar. What’s not great about that!?

road-to-hana-hana-farm-stand

MM 32 – Wai’anapanapa State Park

You must try this stop. When we went, we could barely get in to find parking. It was packed and our patience thin. However, the views look amazing in other people’s photos, and there is a black sand beach which would have been amazing to see. There are also caves on the beach you can explore! Depending on the time, may be a good stop for lunch! 

MM 34 – Hana Town

You made it! This is a little town, not really a place to stop. This whole trip is more about getting there than actually staying there. Now, keep going if you have time. 

MM 45 – Wailua Falls

You MUST see these falls. They are insane and perfect.  Literally on the road and along a bridge, these falls are tall, and beautiful. Just past the bridge are spots to park. You’ll also find locals selling handmade artwork and sometimes food. 

Wailua Falls

MM 42 – Kipahulu, Haleakala National Park

The line to the park was very long and there is of course an entry fee. It is supposed to be beautiful though! This portion of Haleakala National Park holds ‘Ohe’o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools), the Pipiwai Trail, and Waimoku Falls. We went on to our last stop and then headed home. 

MM 41 – Palapala Ho’omau Church 

As a pilot’s wife, it was a must to stop and see Charles Lindbergh’s grave. It was a simple, quaint church nestled in a beautiful area. It’s easy to miss this spot, so look for the church sign on your left. The cemetery is still being used today. 

road-to-hana-charles-lindbergh

I hope these notes and stops are helpful for you along the Road to Hana. If you use them, you must let me know if there are any updates to share and what your favorites were!  Remember it’s all about the journey, so enjoy!

PS: If you get car sick, I do recommend stopping a bit more on the way back. We did almost the whole way back without stopping with the exception of the Lava tube and boy I was so ready to get off that road! 

 

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