Just a few of the sights, Mile by Mile
Paia is the last town before you make your journey clockwise to Hana Town. Here, you can have a great breakfast, grab some coffee, and pick up a Hana picnic lunch for the road and a Hana CD Guide. There's also some excellent shopping and fun people watching.
From the bluff, Ho'okipa is a great spot to stop and watch some of the best surfing in Maui. In the winter, the waves can get pretty massive here. Maui is Mecca to windsurfers and Kiteboarders due to consistent wind. DO NOT SURF HERE unless you are very experienced and are able to go with a local.
The hike to see Twin Falls is unique and beautiful. These picturesque waterfalls offer a large area to swim at. Consider sticking to the closest falls along the path (lower falls) in order to save time on your trip. You'll always see cars parked here due to it being the first waterfalls along the Road to Hana with easy access. There's a farm stand selling delicious smoothies and goodies at the entrance.
This is a nice hike with a picnic area. It has 2 loops. One takes about 10 minutes and the other takes about half an hour. Waikamoi Trail can sometimes be muddy, but it's a pretty hike through the trees.
It's worth paying to enjoy walking the grounds, which are immaculately kept up and offer all kinds of photo opportunities. Here you can see an 100 year-old mango tree, bamboo, ocean views and Puohokamoa Falls.
This wayside park on the way to Hana boasts a lookout point with a beautiful view of Maui's North coast. Apart from the view, the park offers bathrooms, a picnic area, and various trails meandering through the forest.
There are a few turnouts where you can get a good photo of the bay, but not many. You can also drive down to the bay, but we don't suggest it. You should have 4x4 and be prepared for muddy conditions. This is not a spot you want to get stuck at. The rocky beach is pretty but not good for swimming or sunbathing.
Ke'anae has an interesting history, some beautiful views, and an excellent arboretum. The coastline is rocky and exposed to the elements, so you won't find any swimming opportunities here. The people of Ke'anae grow taro, bananas, yams, and other crops much like their Hawaiian ancestors.
You have many options for fresh baked banana bread along the Road to Hana. I think we've tried them all. And though we've never been disappointed by any of the breads sold, we think the bread here is the best. They sell other food and drinks as well.
Another historically rich community can be seen from the Wailua Overlook. This is a great spot to have a picnic and watch the views of both Wailua on the ocean and also the Ko'olau Gap in the mountains. It's easy to miss this little turnout, and there's only room for 3-4 cars.
AKA 3 Bears, there's enough room for 2-3 cars, but it's a no parking zone. Once a few cars park, 6-7 more park behind it and take up most of the road becoming a hazard. There is, however, a turnout further up the road where you can park and walk down. The walk is a little hairy because there isn't a path.
This rest stop offers a quick hike to a waterfall and freshwater pool, as well as bathrooms and a picnic area. A great place to stop to stretch your legs, and cool off with a quick swim.
Some beautiful falls along a bridge can be found at Hanawai Falls. Most of the time, only the right side flows, but when the flow is heavy, you'll find more falls to the left. Make sure to park in safe areas off the road.
This is a fun spot to pick up some gifts and have a great meal. They have some of the better kalua pork tacos we've ever had.
Some guidebooks will have you travel down Nahiku Road. We feel it's just as beautiful as Hana Hwy and frankly a waste of time. Also, much of it is private land, so it's best to respectfully move on.
At around the 31 mile marker, you'll need to turn left on 'Ula'ino Road and drive for less than 1/2 a mile. On the left, you'll see where you can get your flashlights for this massive lava tube. Also, they have a garden maze that's fun to cruise through.
Also off of 'Ula'ino Road, drive a bit further and on the right you'll see the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. They have the only accessible view of Pi'ilanihale Heiau, which is the largest Temple in Hawaii. This ancient temple took hundreds of years to complete and sprawls over 3 acres. This is a MUST SEE!
The area at Wai'anapanapa is filled with history, legend, and gorgeous views. The black sand/pebbles at Pa'iloa Beach is as picturesque as can be. The loop trail will take you down to the fresh water caves where some powerful legends live. Also, there are caves on the beach for exploring and camping for those that plan way ahead (you need a permit.)
Some see Hana as a very small sleepy town on the water. A place known as not having changed much for centuries. Others know Hana as a place of deep roots, historic battles, legendary locations, and a place for the Gods. The area is so rich in history and culture, it can't be explained in a few sentences and it shouldn't be driven through without knowing more about it.
A beautiful beach with perfect water, Hamoa Beach is a great spot to do some swimming and sunbathing. You'll need to park on the street above the beach and walk down a very steep hill to get here.
A favorite hangout spot among local surfers, Koki Beach is located just minutes south of Hana. We don’t recommend swimming here due to offshore rip currents, but it’s a great place to have a picnic while you take in the ocean view.
Wailua Falls are what we consider the perfect falls. 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.
Well worth the drive, and definitely worth spending hours at, this portion of Haleakala National Park holds 'Ohe'o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools), the Pipiwai Trail, and Waimoku Falls. There's camping, a visitor center, bathrooms, waterfalls, and ancient Hawaiian ruins.
This sleepy little area has one of the prettiest, simplest churches you'll go to. The Church is nestled among some beautiful foliage, and has a nice little park as well as Charles Lindbergh's grave. It's easy to miss this spot, so look for the Stables. Be respectful when you enter the area.
This remote little general store is the only stop on the back-road to Hana for refreshments. It's full of character in the beautifully remote Kaupo area of Maui. Like a step back in time.
After a long day of winding roads, waterfalls, hiking and beaches, The Maui Tropical Plantation is the perfect place to recover on your way back to South or West Maui. Enjoy a cocktail and a gourmet meal made from fresh local ingredients while relaxing out by the pond or inside the newly renovated restaurant.