Top tips for exploring Maui’s Road to Hana

Categorized as Maui Vacation Information

Maui is full of amazing attractions that you have to see to believe, and the Road to Hana is most definitely one of them. This dazzling stretch of coastline in East Maui has everything travelers could ever want with a stay in Maui vacation rentals. The unparalleled beauty of the Hawaiian isles – turquoise waters as far as the eye can see, rocky and dramatic cliffs, numerous waterfalls and untouched natural surroundings – can all be found along this magnificent road.

In fact, many locals often cherish and protect the Road to Hana, as much of Maui’s coastline has been developed and even destroyed over the years due to expansion. Some even call the Road to Hana as “The Land that Time Forgot.”

There are a lot of ways to explore this area, whether you are enjoying a Maui condo rental with the family, are visiting the island with friends or you’re on a romantic getaway for two.

Rent a convertible and explore on your own

Can you think of anything more romantic than a drive through the Hawaiian countryside with the top down, the Pacific breeze flowing and nothing but the scenery of Maui ahead of you? We didn’t think so. Rental cars are pretty easy to come by in Maui, but there are a few precautionary items you might need to be aware off before hitting the asphalt.

The Road to Hana might be one of the most dazzling drives in the U.S. The Road to Hana might be one of the most impressive drives in the U.S.

For one, the Road to Hana is not your standard interstate. There are a lot of twists and turns, and intermittent rain showers are common across the isles. Things can get slick, so you’ll want to drive carefully and take your time, especially in foul weather. If you feel unsure about your safety, it’s perfectly OK to pull over and wait for the rain to subside. This can be a longer drive for some, so if you’re traveling with a companion, be sure to take turns at the wheel.

Prepare for the elements

This is untouched Hawaiian countryside, so there will be bugs and the shining Hawaiian sun above you during mosts of your trip. Prepare accordingly and pack plenty of bug spray and sunscreen. In particular, mosquitoes will linger alongside quiet waters and fruit trees, so it’s best to stay away from these areas. In the same vein, protect your skin with an SPF 30 or greater, even if you don’t have fair skin. The Pacific sun is much stronger in Hawaii than in other states, and sunburns can develop easily – even for people that don’t typically burn.

There’s a good chance you’re going to want to go hiking into the rainforest while you’re driving – after all, you’ll need to stretch your legs at some point. That said, don’t forget to pack your hiking boots. The terrain here isn’t for beginners, and explorers can bet on encountering steep grades, mud and streams throughout the trail system.

Don’t miss the waterfalls

If you see a sign that indicates there is a waterfall nearby, do yourself a favor and go see it for yourself. We guarantee you will not be disappointed. Although there are too many to view personally in one day (especially if you aren’t planning on staying the night on Hana), you should find time in your itinerary to see at least one or two along the drive.

Some of the best places to check out along the way, according to National Geographic, include the Lower Puohokamoa Falls, the Wailua Falls, the ‘Ohe’o Gulch (also known as the Seven Sacred Pools), the Garden of Eden and Botanical Arboretum (parts of “Jurassic Park” were filmed here) and Waianapanapa State Park, among others.

Be sure to stop and check out the waterfalls along the way. Be sure to stop and check out the waterfalls along the way.

Take snacks with you and fill up the tank

If you’re lucky, you might run into a handful of local fruit stands along the way on the Road to Hana, but for the most part, this area is untouched to protect the natural beauty of the road. There won’t be gas stations or food stops along the way from Paia to Hana, so bring everything you need with you before the drive – and don’t forget a change of clothes while you’re at it (you never know if you might want to take a dip in the water).

Other attractions along the way

In Kuau, you’ll find one of the few places to stock up – the Kuau Mart. This general store is one of the few remaining relics of the vast sugar plantation that once thrived in the area. Mama’s Fish House is another excellent place to grab some grub if you’re hungry along the drive.

Make a day of it and drive safe

With so much to see on the drive, you likely won’t have time for much else, so make a day of this event during your stay in Maui. You’ll also want to take your time. There are 600 turns and 50 very narrow bridges that make up the Road to Hana, according to Maui Information Guide, so start out early in the morning and prepare to explore every inch of this historic thoroughfare. Although the roads are paved really well, it’s still advised to keep the speed limit down and take it easy. Trust us, you’ll want to snap at least one or two or a hundred pictures to remember this one-of-a-kind road trip.

The Road to Hana might take a full day of your Hawaiian vacation, but travelers of all stripes who have been to Maui before know it’s not about destination, but the breaktaking experiences along the way.