Road to Hana Stops and Other Tips
So you’ve made the amazing decision to make the Road to Hana part of your Maui vacation. Your experience will depend largely on what you decide to make of your day (or two) up front. Planning your Road to Hana excursion is a good idea because with just a little research you can maximize this part of your trip – and believe us you will want to maximize the Road to Hana! Even if it is not your first time traveling the Road to Hana, we actually discover something new each and every time we venture out.
The Road to Hana is a must-do for first-time Maui-goers. Whenever we have new guests, it is on our list. We customize the trip based on who is going, as well. A group of adults is different than having young children along for the ride, for example. We’ve come up with a plan below for first-time Road to Hana travelers that is family-friendly. Customize it for your needs and let us know if you survived the trek and if you would add or delete anything from our plan – we’d love to hear (and see – send us photos and videos) your feedback!
Preparation and FYIs
Designate a day for your trip as soon as you arrive on island – or better yet – before you even get here. Island time flies by, so we have learned that if you don’t sit down and have a rough plan for some of the bigger things you want to do, time gets away from you and it’s hard to fit it all in at the end of your trip. You want to make sure to get plenty of rest the night before, as well as pack what you need, so preparation will make everything easier and more enjoyable for you.
Purchase the Road to Hana audio guide. We still listen to this when we make the drive because it guides you mile by mile and points out things you will most definitely miss on your own. Local shops carry a CD, however it can be hit and miss, and once you’re there you won’t have wifi to download, so best to purchase it and know you have it. It isn’t a bad idea to purchase motion sickness bands and/or medicine ahead of time, either. The road is curvy and slow-going, but worth the beauty you will experience along the way!
Plan for lunch. There are places on the way to purchase picnic lunches or if you are staying in a condo, you will save money by packing your own. Our condos have coolers and everything you need to pack your lunches. Paia Town is the last stop before you start the adventure to Hana Town. You can grab coffee, breakfast or shop in Paia Town and the atmosphere is charming and laid back.
Dress in layers. The weather can change quickly. Make sure to have your swimsuits underneath all of your layers! Bring towels, too.
Be aware that the mile markers aren’t exactly always easy to follow. Know this: they start over after #16. Then, once you get to Hana, they jump to #51 and then go backwards. One mile on the Road to Hana is not your typical mile, keep this in mind!
Stops to Make
Mile marker 2: Twin Falls
There will be a lot of cars parked here due to people stopping and hiking to Twin Falls. There are really good smoothies and fresh fruit stand at the entrance, as well as great photo opportunities. Watch for flash floods but enjoy this beautiful hike!
Mile marker 10: Garden of Eden Arboretum
Check out a 100-year-old mango tree, bamboo, waterfalls and wonderful ocean views at this stop.
Mile marker 12: Kaumahina State Wayside Park
There are bathrooms here, we don’t need to say more. Although you will fall in love with the gorgeous views of Maui’s north coast.
Mile marker 17: Halfway to Hana Stand
It takes longer to get here than you thought, didn’t it? Take a bite of all of the different homemade banana breads here! You’ll be hungry.
Mile marker 22: Pua’a Kaa State Wayside Park
Pure family fun! You can take a short hike to a waterfall and freshwater pool. There are also bathrooms and picnic areas. This is a great place to stretch your legs and cool off with a swim.
Mile marker 29: Nahiku Marketplace
This is a great place to buy gifts and Road to Hana souvenirs. Did anyone say Kalua pork tacos?! We recommend staying on Hana Highway here, instead of being guided down Nahiku Road.
Huge lava tube, garden maze and the largest temple in Hawaii! You are in the thick of the Road to Hana here. Take a lot of pictures and enjoy!
Mile marker 32: Wai’anapanapa State Park
Get bare foot on the black sand beaches. The fresh water caves are pretty awesome, too.
Mile marker 34: Hana Town
If you are staying overnight, this is where to stay. Hana town is rich in history and culture – and worth exploring.
Mile marker 45: Wailua Falls
Perfect water falls.
Last stop: Maui Tropical Plantation
The Maui Tropical Plantation is a perfect last stop before making your way back to South or West Maui. There is a pond and wonderful restaurant – you’ll be hungry!
Now you’re a Road to Hana expert – you just have to make the trip and then purchase a Road to Hana Survivor t-shirt! Please let us know all about your experience.