Top 20 Places to Stop on the Road To Hana
The legendary Road to Hana is a 64.4-mile long stretch of highways, bridges, and hairpin turns that unfurls like a black ribbon through Maui’s lush eastern coastline. Each bend and dip offers travelers a kaleidoscope of scenic delights, and while it’s tempting to speed through, the true charm of this journey lies in the stops along the way. Here are the top 20 must-visit spots on the Road to Hana.
Twin Falls: The first major attraction on the Hana Highway, Twin Falls is the perfect spot to stretch your legs. The accessible trail leads to a dual waterfall, a fantastic backdrop for photos, and a cool pool where you can take a refreshing dip.
Ho’okipa Lookout: Renowned for its world-class windsurfing conditions, the panoramic views here are unmatched. You may also spot green sea turtles sunbathing on the sandy beach below.
Huelo Lookout: This charming roadside stop offers fresh tropical fruits, refreshing smoothies, and sweeping views of the Pacific and surrounding farmland.
Waikamoi Ridge Trail: About 11 miles into your drive, you’ll find a loop trail that takes you into a forest dripping with greenery, offering spectacular views of the coast and valley.
Garden of Eden Arboretum: This well-maintained garden is home to diverse flora and fauna. Follow the winding trails to uncover beautiful flowers, majestic trees, and lookouts over waterfalls and the ocean.
Ke’anae Peninsula: A detour that’s worth the extra time. It offers a glimpse of old Hawaii with its taro fields, a quaint church, and a rugged coastline that’s a striking contrast to the surrounding azure ocean.
Ching’s Pond: Hidden under the bridge before Ke’anae, this sparkling blue pool is a favorite among locals for cliff jumping. Be cautious though, the jump and the water currents can be dangerous.
Wailua Valley State Wayside: Take the short climb up the steps for a panoramic view of the Wailua Village, verdant taro fields, and the sparkling sea beyond.
Upper Waikani Falls (Three Bears Falls): One of the most photogenic waterfalls along the journey. As its name suggests, the waterfall splits into three streams, creating a stunning natural spectacle.
Pua’a Ka’a State Park: This park offers a rest area with picnic tables, a waterfall, and a short trail through a rainforest teeming with life.
Hanawi Falls: Visible from the road, this spectacular waterfall cascades down a sheer cliff into a vibrant green pool below.
Makapipi Falls: This is a unique waterfall to witness as it pours into a stream that runs under the road. It’s most impressive after heavy rain.
Nahiku Marketplace: A small collection of stalls offering local crafts, jewelry, and food. The banana bread here is a must-try!
Wai’anapanapa State Park: Known for its black sand beach, blowhole, sea arch, and freshwater caves, this park is an adventurer’s dream.
Hana Town: This small, quiet town is a great place to rest and refuel. Don’t miss Hasegawa General Store for a taste of Hana’s history and charm.
Hamoa Beach: Frequently listed among the most beautiful beaches in the world, Hamoa is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or picnicking.
Koki Beach: This is a less crowded beach with red sands, a rare sight. You can also buy Huli Huli chicken from a roadside vendor nearby, a local favorite that’s grilled to perfection.
Wailua Falls: Just south of Hana, you’ll encounter this spectacular waterfall right beside the road. Often adorned by a rainbow, it cascades 80 feet down into a clear pool.
Seven Sacred Pools at ‘Ohe’o (Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park): This series of cascading waterfalls and pools is set amidst lush greenery. It’s an idyllic spot to cool down and enjoy the beauty of Maui’s natural landscape.
Pipiwai Trail: Ending our list on a high note, this trail is located in the Kipahulu area. It’s a 4-mile round trip that winds through bamboo forests and culminates at the grand Waimoku Falls. The Pipiwai Trail showcases Maui’s rainforest at its most enchanting, a worthy grand finale to the Road to Hana journey.
Remember, it’s not just the destinations but also the journey that counts on the Road to Hana. As you traverse through this road of abundant beauty, the tropical breezes, aromatic flowers, and the ceaseless murmur of the ocean will offer an immersive experience that makes the Road to Hana a journey of a lifetime.