Snorkel Molokini Or Dive The Carthaginian Wreck
Although it can be sometimes crowded, Molokini is a great snorkel spot and a scuba location. It is unique because it is a partially submerged volcanic crater, providing things to see from the surface & beyond. If you are a scuba diver & have never done a shipwreck, it is fun to do the Carthaginian Wreck at dusk. You can witness the phenomenon of daytime sea life going to sleep as the nighttime creatures awaken. Sea adventure enthusiasts definitely need to include this in their list of things to do in Maui.
Insider tip: charter a private boat with your travel companions to customise your experience and enjoy snacks and drinks on board.
Can You Take A Bus To The Road To Hana
No, you cant really do the Road to Hana by public bus.
There is a bus that goes to some places on Maui, but it doesnt go to any truly meaningful Road to Hana sights.
Technically the bus does go along a little bit of the Hana Highway.
You can get to Paia by bus.
But going to Paia is more like a trip to Paia. Its not doing the Road to Hana.
You cant really go to Paia only and say youve done the Road to Hana.
The bus goes nowhere near the town of Hana, so this means that you cant go to Hana by bus, or by using any form of public transportation.
The furthest along the bus goes on the Hana Highway is the bus stop at the intersection of Pauwela Road and Hana Highway on the Haiku Islander bus route, which is a little past Paia.
This is as far along on the Hana Highway as you can go by bus, and Hana is around 40 miles away from the bus stop.
While there is no public bus that will allow you to truly experience the Road to Hana, there are Road to Hana tours that you can join if you will be without a car.
More below on what to see if youll be driving the Road to Hana on your own!
Upgrade With A Companion Audio Guide
Im dating myself here, but when we did The Road to Hana on our honeymoon, we bought the infamous audio Hana CD guide from the booth at the gas station that everyone said to get. It adds to the experience and gives you cool information that you would get if you were with a tour guide. Its passed to so many friends who also did The Road to Hana Stops that Im not even sure who has it now!
While we love tours, we also like to explore on our own. If youre the same, grab the Maui Road to Hana Driving Tour by Shaka Guide. Its the #1 rated Tour app in Maui and like an expert guide right in your car.
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Best Places To Eat In Paia
After conquering the Road to Hana, youll want to unwind and enjoy a relaxing dinner at the charming surf town of Paia. Here are a few of the best places to eat in Paia:
- Paia Fish Market: The place to go for fresh fish, try the blackend Mahi Mahi.
- Café Mambo: Boasts the best burgers in Paia!
- Milagros Food Co.: This Tex-mex restaurant is known for their homemade guacamole and salsa as well as their flavorful fajitas and tacos.
- Flatbread Company: This pizzeria specializes in oversized artisan pizzas cooked in a wood fire oven.
- Mamas Fish House: Perhaps the most recommended restaurant in all of Maui! Mamas Fish House is known for their decadent dishes, unique ambiance, and spectacular views. The entrees are pricey and youll need to make a reservation.
*And If youre looking for more restaurant recommendations, check out our guide to the Best Places to Eat in Maui!
Stunning Road To Hana Stops In Maui
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The Road to Hana is one of the best things to do in Maui . This road trip along the north shore of the island to the less visited eastern side takes place on a narrow winding road through lush rainforest.
Along the way you can stop at waterfalls, gardens, black, red and golden beaches, bamboo forests, and snack stands serving delicious homemade banana bread.
You can choose to be active and hike through the jungle to hidden waterfalls or stay close to your car and still see plenty.
You can drive the Road to Hana yourself in a rental car or take a private or group bus tour.
There are a huge number of potential Road to Hana stops and its impossible to see them all in one or even two or three days, so its important to plan a few priorities in advance.
The best stops are near Hana, so dont do too much in the early stages and end up exhausted when you reach the good stuff.
Most people drive the Road to Hana in one day, starting early and returning the same way they came. A few people continue past Hana and return to West Maui via the Back Road to Hana .
We did things differently and stayed in Hana for two nights, and Im so glad we had more time in this beautiful area.
In this post Ill share why I think you should stay in Hana, the best Road to Hana stops , a video of the highlights, and useful tips to make the most of the journey, whether you decide to do it in just one day or more.
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Best Road To Hana Stops
While the Road to Hana does lead to the town of Hana, there are actually more stops after Hana that you dont want to miss.
To make the most of your day, I would highly recommend driving to the end of the Road to Hana first.
This means that you will start your drive at Paia then drive straight to the last stop on the Road to Hana. After that, you can slowly make your way back to Paia while making all the stops along the way.
Most people start at Paia and make stops as they go, but by doing it in reverse you will be going the opposite way of the tourists and avoid all the crowds.
The Pipiwai Trail is the furthest stop from Paia and the first destination I would go to.
The trail closes at 3 pm so by making that your first stop youll be guaranteed a chance to visit. If you make it your last stop then chances are you wont get there in time.
This guide will highlight the best Road to Hana stops, starting at the Pipiwai Trail at the end, then working your way back to Paia. See the map below for the location of each stop listed in this guide.
Alternately, if you would like to begin at Paia and end at the Pipiwai Trail, then just follow this guide in reverse.
The best way to navigate the Road to Hana is by using the state highway mile markers. Mile marker 0 can be found about 10 miles from Paia when Hwy 36 turns into Hwy 360.
Reset your odometer when you get to this point and it will help you better locate each stop.
The Best Road To Hana Stops
Planning out your road to Hana trip is a personal experience. How you plan your road to Hana stops is up to you. I highly recommend mixing up your experience so that you can make the most of both directions along the road to Hana. But whatever way that you choose to experience your Maui road trip, these are some of the best stops on the Hana highway.
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Options For Traveling The Road To Hana
Drive to Keanae Peninsula and turn around 2. 5 hours one way. 7 to 9 hours round trip from Kahului depending on stops.
Drive to Hana and back 10 to 12 hours depending on stops and finding a place for lunch or a picnic.
Drive all the way around 10-12 hours with more stops but less time at them.
Book a Hana van tour 10-12 hours with a guide who knows where to stop and for how long. All food, gas, experienced driving and talk story is included. A guide allows you the opportunity to learn about Hanas modern and ancient history and the Hawaiian culture.
Everyone is always looking at the best way to see the road to Hana with the least amount of inconvenience and the best use of their vacation time. Below is a brief breakdown of several scenarios and what you may encounter with each. Keep in mind that this road circumnavigates the dormant Haleakal volcano at sea level which includes over half of the island. There is more than can be seen in one dayor even on multiple trips!
Things To Do For Couples In Road To Hana
On the search for some must do Road to Hana experiences as a couple? Or perhaps you feel spoilt for choice and cant decide what to plan for your first post lockdown date?
Road to Hana may not often be considered one of the most romantic places. However, with its incredible history and gorgeous architecture, its hard not to fall in love in Road to Hana and with Road to Hana . It definitely is a great spot for a romantic getaway.
With these amazing romantic things to do in Road to Hana at Night, the difficulty will be in choosing where to start. Hopefully this list has given you a great choice, and plenty of ideas to wow your other half. If you are planning on proposing, or have a special anniversary to celebrate, treat yourself with some luxury and champagne. It doesnt matter if you are 18, 80, or somewhere in between, Road to Hana has plenty of romantic activities for all.
From foodie delights to outdoor activities, luxury outings and cultural sights, couples in Road to Hana are spoilt for choice. Consider your loved ones interests when planning a date.
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Driving The Hana Highway
Many people visit Maui and wish they could live the island lifestyle. However, as with anything, its not always sand, and mai tai drinks all day. The cost of living is high. Traffic can be difficult because of narrow roads. Most people living here have 2 to 3 jobs. But everyone who lives on Maui knows that the best way to recharge and regain a substantial appreciation for why they are here is to go out to the Hana Side. In Hawaii, we call these getaways Holo Holo.
The meaning of Hana in the Hawaiian language is work. The people who live in the Hana area work very hard to make a living in this remote paradise. Whether farming taro, fishing out in the rough east shore ocean, hammering nails in the blazing heat or working cattle in the steep mountainside rainforest, it is a hot and sticky place to make a living. This road also sees over 400,000 visitors a year, most of whom have never seen or traveled a road like this before. Thats why we who live here have learned the rules of the road and how to spread the Aloha to all and respect the residents and culture of this fantastic part of Maui because living in such beauty is worth it!
I would have to say there are many ways to go Holo Holo to Hana but here are my favorites:
Hana Highway A Maui Vacation Must Do
Journey Into Old Hawaii
Twin Falls Mile Marker 2
Twin Falls is the first series of waterfalls on the road to Hana. The falls sit on private property. But the owners have allowed for visitors to enter and have laid out some hiking trails along the waterfalls and pools. The walk to the falls is an easy route along paths of bamboo and ferns. If the weather has been wet, expect that you may get a bit muddy.
There is limited parking at the entrance to Twin Falls. If the lot is full you will need to find a safe spot along the edge of the road for parking. There is also a decent food truck at the Twin Falls entrance. At the beginning of the trails, there are a series of portable toilets as well.
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Start Early For A Smoother Ride
Depending on when youre travelling, the Road To Hana can be pretty congested. So why get stuck behind some slow-poke for the entire trip?
Even worse, many stopping areas along the way have room for only one or two cars Itd be a shame to miss out on something just because you wanted to sneak in a few extra ZZZZs.
So hit the road by leaving West or South Maui resorts by at least 6 a.m. Youll beat the traffic and might even be able to squeeze in a few more sights.
Hookipa Beach Just Outside Paia
Its easy to skip our first recommended stop on the road to Hana. Hookipa Beach is a legendary surf beach just outside the town of Paia. You can wander down to the beach and watch the surfers and windsurfers catching some of the legendary waves. On the east side of the beach is the Hookipa lookout that offers a great vantage point to see the action further out in the water.
There is parking on the east side near the lookout as well as along the beach. The route is one-way from east to west. Parking for Hookipa beach fills up quickly so you may need to be patient and wait for an opening.
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Things To Do On Winter In Road To Hana
With top class museums, galleries, pubs and restaurants, Road to Hana is a city very much geared up for the colder weather. So if youre wondering what to do during winter, and indeed Christmas, in the city, heres a helpful guide to some of the best places to go. In no particular order, here are our top 50 things to do in Road to Hana in the winter
Over the years, weve pretty much made exploring the best things to do in Road to Hana during winter a fine art. From huddling around a toasty pub fire and exploring festive markets to drinks in a riverside igloo, dont miss these fabulous activities during your trip.
Road to Hana is filled with activities to do all year round however it gets totally transformed during winter and there are some activities that either isnt available at any time of the year or are dramatically different during winter. Here are some things you just have to do in Road to Hana this winter.
What Is The Road To Hana
Technically, The Road to Hana is The Hana Highway located in East Maui. Its the 65-mile long portion of Hawaii Route 36 and 360 with Kahului at one end and Hana town at another. If you continue to travel east of Kalepa Bridge, the highway continues to the town of Kipahulu as Hawaii Route 31, aka Pilani Highway. In 2000, The Road to Hana was designated the Hana Millennium Legacy Trail. In 2001, the National Register of Historic Places added The Road to Hana to their list, as many of the bridges date back to 1910, and all except one are still used today.
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Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach
This beach is the famous red sand beach of Maui. The trail to get to the beach may or may not pass through private property.
Some people also call this trail a bit dangerous. As with many hiking trails in Hawaii, theres loose gravel which can be easy to slip on. And at times the trail is narrow with a steep cliff on one side.
See more about this Road to Hana stop: Kaihalulu red sand beach hike
The Painted Forest At Mile Marker 7
As you approach mile marker 7 on the Road to Hana, you may notice trees with rainbow-colored streaks running down the trunk. It features the most well-known grove of rainbow eucalyptus trees, also known as the Painted Forest, said Elaina from Mind Over Matter Travel. The grove isnt set up as one of the Road to Hana stops, but visitors can park in a cut-out on the shoulder of the road. Tourists often overlook the grove, so its the perfect spot to avoid crowds, appreciate nature, and marvel at the colors of these unique rainbow eucalyptus trees.
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Hit: Keane Landing Fruit Stand
My Road to Hana Guide wouldnt be complete without mentioning the best banana bread on the highway.
Head down the turnoff to the Keanae Peninsula to this little roadside stand. It looks low key but it hides a big secret amazing banana bread. Theres other fruit here too, but seriously, that banana bread.
Opposite the fruit stand, youll be treated to amazing views of the winding Road to Hana. So sit back and enjoy the view . This was one of our favorite Road to Hana stops.