15 Stops You Can't Miss On Maui's Road To Hana
We absolutely love the Island of Maui and Hana is just one of the many things we love about the island. The lush greenery and raw natural beauty of the Island is best found when driving on the Road To Hana. It is a must when visiting this gorgeous island! On our third visit to Maui, we decided to stay in Hana for 2 nights and 3 days at an Airbnb... more on that down below. From the moment you get on the Road To Hana there is so much to see and do. From magical Rainbow Trees, Waianapanapa State Park, and local places to eat! I want to share with you 15 stops you can’t miss on the Road To Hana. I’ve included markers and tons of tips!
1. Bamboo Maze - 6.5 mile marker
We kept seeing people park along the road and suddenly disappear into an opening between some bamboo, so we decided to investigate. It's very narrow at first but eventually the area opens and takes you into a bamboo forest. It was rainy and muddy so we decided to just loop around the bamboo trail. Instead of going down towards the steep trail area we looped around and come out through another opening on the same side of the road we entered through. You could hear the river roaring so we did not want to continue on to the hike that is said to lead you to some waterfalls. Apparently it is very unsafe to go down towards the waterfalls and it is not recommended to do specially on a rainy day. Stay safe and if it's raining or there are flash flood warnings do not continue on to the trail, just loop around like we did.
2. Rainbow Eucalyptus Grove - between mile marker 6.5 - 7
We have drove up the Road To Hana several times and we didn't spot these beautiful rainbow trees until we were actually actively searching for them. There isn't an actual hike to get to them but you can park and see them on the side of the road. When driving up the Road To Hana you will see them on your left hand side but you are unable to get too close to them to take a picture since they are on private property. However, if you keep driving up the road you will see them again on the left side of the road. There is a turnout on the right side of the road where you can park. From there, cross the street to take a picture right next to them. You can also see them inside the Garden Of Eden which I will talk about next.
3. Garden of Eden - right after mile marker 10.5
This is a beautiful garden you can park and walk all the way to the top or drive through the park at your own pace. It has some beautiful easy to do trails that take you through beautiful gardens where you can enjoy 26 acres of brilliant colors, unique flowers, rare trees all in an island setting. Besides being able to admire all the gardens you will also be able to admire beautiful views of hidden waterfalls, Keopuka rock which made an appearance in Jurassic Park's opening scene and beautiful views of the pacific. We drove all the way up, parked, and explored some of the upper areas. You can also find the famous Rainbow Eucalyptus tress here! They are open 8am-4pm daily. Admission fees $15 for adults, ages 5-16 $5, and 5 and under are free. Definitely worth a stop!
4. Upper Waikani Falls - between mile marker 19-20.
During our visit, the waterfall was at its best since it had just rained. This is one of my favorite falls you can see right from the road. There is no parking right in front of it but if you drive about 1 minute up the mountain you will see some parking where you can park you car and walk back down on the highway towards the waterfall. You will be walking on the side of the road so stay to the side and be careful. Definitely worth a quick stop for a picture.
5. Coconut Glen's- Mile Marker 27 1/2 on your right hand side
This has got to be thee best ice cream we've had and it's organic vegan ice cream! It's made with coconuts from the jungle of Maui! Make sure you have cash because that's all they accept. In addition to their normal flavors they have mystery flavors that vary depending when you visit. They were all so yummy and creamy!
6. Hana Lava Tubes - near mile marker 31
This was such a unique experience! No reservations needed ahead of time. We just showed up and paid $12.50 per person...kids under 5 are free! This fee got us an entrance to the cave, a flash light, and access to their beautiful garden maze. During this natural wonder visit, we learned all about the cave and its formations and had some very awesome picture opportunities. I suggest you wear comfortable tennis shoes, show up as soon as they open which is 10:30 am (7 days per week) to avoid crowds. The whole tour took us about 45 minutes. Cave is free of mosquitos and bats.
7. Hana Farms Restaurant- 2910 Hana Highway
HANA, HI 96713
This is a great stop when visiting Hana. They have a little market with lots of great local snacks and even some coffee. When in Hana, Banana bread is a must! The Bamboo Hale is a restaurant that has delicious food with lots of outdoor seating surrounded by beautiful greenery. The restaurant is only open during the weekend but it's a must. I had thee best fish tacos here and Alexia loved their pizza. We definitely recommend it. You can't miss it when entering Hana. You will see this sign down below and it's a very beautiful vibrant area. If you can, visit on a Friday evening. They have a local duo playing the ukulele that is only there on Fridays.
8.Hana Cultural Farmstand- passing marker 32 to your right hand side driving up to the Road To Hana
Doesn't get more local than this! This little shop on the side of the road has thee best Kona coffee ice cream I have ever had. The owner is a local who is very nice and chatty. He has markers available with which you can leave a note or sign your name on the walls of their shop. They also have some amazing smoothies and delicious bread. Perfect snack stop!
9. Waianapanapa State Park- Black Sand Beach- right after marker 32
This beautiful and stunning beach is inside the Waianapanapa State Park just past marker 32. This whole area is very clean and well maintained and there's so much to see just in this area. As of recently entry and parking reservations are REQUIRED to be purchased in advance for all non-residents. For reservations go to www.gowaianapanapa.com .They have cabins up for rent as well as picnic tables and restrooms. The beach itself is not very big and the beach is part black sand part black rocks, so water shoes can be a nice extra, although we did just fine without them. There are some wonderful caves around the area but it is not recommended you go inside but definitely cool to look at from the outside. There's also a blow hole around the area that was not active during our visit and a great hiking trail that starts right out of the black sand beach area. Read more on that hiking trail down below.
10. Black Sand Beach Trail AKA Ke Ala Loa O Maui/Piilani Trails- right after marker 32 inside Waianapanapa State Park
This is another awesome hike for the adventurous type. The entrance is literally at the left side of the black sand beach area. You have to climb up some rock and the trail is half dirt, half volcanic rock. The views are absolutely stunning! The mix of the blue water, black volcanic rock and greenery makes for a stunning visual. The complete trail is 1.5 mile and definitely requires good hiking shoes/tennis shoes. As of recently, entry and parking reservations are REQUIRED to be purchased in advance for all non-residents. For reservations go to www.gowaianapanapa.com
11. Kilos Kitchen - passing marker 34 on the fork stay to the left
This food truck was recommended by some locals from Hana and it did not disappoint. They are a locally owned food trailer in Hana, Maui that serves local Hawaiian Food, & Daily Specials. Portions are big and it's very affordable for the amount of food you get. We got to sit outside in one of their tables where we enjoyed the food and the beautiful warm weather.
12. Pipiwai Trail- marker 42 at visitors center
You can find this trail inside the Kipahulu Visitor Center. It is one of the most beautiful hikes we've done with several outstanding waterfalls and a beautiful bamboo forest. The whole hike up to the most beautiful waterfall we have seen is 2 miles up and 2 miles back. It took us a total of 3 hours to finish the whole thing with several stops for pictures and to enjoy the scenery. When you come to the last waterfall there are some warning signs to not go any further due to some accidents that have occurred in the past due to falling rocks. We saw the beautiful waterfall and decided to respect the warnings and started heading back. The whole trail is stunning and it is partially shaded, specially when going through the bamboo forest. The trail can get muddy and slippery, specially toward the end so definitely wear some good hiking shoes/sneakers and expect to get dirty. I would say the trail is moderate in difficulty but doable even for my 8 year old. It's a popular trail so expect to share it with others, specially later in the day. Parking and restrooms are available at this National Park but there is a $30 entrance fee. You can find this trail at mile marker 42. You can't miss it, just keep driving up and you will see the parking area to your left hand side.
13. Hamoa Beach- before marker 49 to your left hand side on on Hamoa street
This beach was found by accident but we are so happy we found it. It's a little beach you find in a small street with clear waters, some shade, and showers. There's limited parking on the side of the road but we got lucky and didn't have to wait long. There's a paved walkway right down to the beach side. It's not very big but it's absolutely gorgeous, surrounded by cliffs and greenery. It was perfect to cool down after our hike since the natural pools by the hike (The Pools at Ohe'o), were closed during our visit. The waves were not too big during our visit but because there's no lifeguard on duty, always respect the ocean and approach it with caution as water conditions change by the minute. This beach was located by marker 50 on Hamoa street.
14. Fagan’s cross- in front of the Hana Maui resort. You can park in their parking lot which is where the trail starts
This is such an underrated hike. You wont find much information on it but trust me when I tell you the views once at the top are so beautiful. You will be parking at the Hana Maui resort parking which is free and that is exactly where the trail starts. I would consider it a moderate hike not because of the lenght but simply because it is mostly all uphill. It took us 32 minutes to reach the top of the trail which is the most wonderful part. In the beginning the trail takes you up a mountain where it is said cows are present at times but we did not encounter any. You will be sorounded by lots of fruit trees and tons of greenery. Once up the cross is beautiful made of lava rock and the views breathtaking. On one side you see the city of Hana and the ocean and to the other side you see some beautiful green mountains. Recommend you take some snack to enjoy while you take in the beautiful view of Hana.
15. Hana Ranch Restaurant - Toward the end of the city of Hana. 5031 Hana Hwy, Hana HI 96713
This restaurant has delicious food and a great outdoor seating area to admire the town and gorgeous views. It's a nice sit down restaurant right in the heart of Hana. They have good local Hawaiian food options as well as traditional burgers and sandwiches.
If you are interested in staying in Hana here is a perfectly located home we rented through airbnb. We loved it!
As you can see there is so much to see and enjoy on the road to Hana. I would recommend staying at least a day or 2 to really experience the aloha way. It was such an amazing experience being able to enjoy all the beauty Hana has to offer without having to rush down the mountain. If it’s only a day you are visiting for, then pick and choose your favorite things on the list and start your day early. It's a 2 hour drive from Kihei To Hana but definitely want to give yourself enough time to enjoy some of the amazing views and destinations. You definitely won’t be able to finish the list on one day but now you have an excuse to come back! As if you need an excuse to want to come back to paradise right?!? hehe.
Whether you are driving up for the day or staying up in Hana, here are a few tips and things to know for your visit.
If it starts raining, don’t worry. Most likely it won’t be raining the whole way through but cloudiness and some rain is VERY common specially halfway up the mountain so be prepared.
Start early! There's so much to see and do.
You will be driving through a winding road and you gain a good amount of altitude, so if you or any passengers suffer from motion sickness be prepared. FYI, my daughter got sick the very first time going up the mountain. Later we read traveling up or down on a full belly helps and she has not gotten sick again! Give it a try!
The road is narrow and at some points the road does turn into a single lane road so take your time and be safe. The road is well taken care of and I did not feel unsafe at any point.
Be sure to have a full tank of gas
Bring comfortable shoes that can be used for both hiking and water
Bring bug repellant
Bring cash as many vendors along the way only take cash
Take your time
Hope you find this post helpful! If you are planning to visit, make sure you pin this post for later. Also make sure to give it a like, share it with a friend, or let me know what else I should add to the list in the comments!
Talk to you later!