Black sand beach is one of the best stops on Road to Hana and a must in any Road to Hana Itinerary

21 Best Road to Hana Stops from our visit! (2024)

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Planning the Road to Hana drive can be daunting as there are so many stops to explore, plus the logistics of the distance from West and South Maui and the time needed for the drive make it extremely challenging to see it all in a day trip.

I thoroughly researched the Road to Hana stops before my 7-day family trip to Maui and decided to dedicate two full days to the famed Road to Hana drive. This gave me enough time to explore most of the stops in my Road to Hana itinerary.

The Road to Hana was more than just a drive for me; it was a journey through beautiful rainforests, waterfalls, beaches, small towns, delicious food trucks, and fruit stands. Of course, the drive was narrow and extremely windy with one-lane bridges, but it was definitely worth it!

After seeing most of the stops, I found out the ones that were must-see and which stops could really be skipped.

This guide is crafted from my personal experience and designed to help you discover the best stops for your visit. So, let’s get to it!

Road to Hana: My Favorite Stops

Below are my absolute favorite stops on the Road to Hana and a must-see, in my opinion:

  • Wainapanapa Black Sand Beach – The most popular stop on the Road to Hana, a breathtaking beach known for its unique black sand. I loved the contrast of the black sand against the stunning backdrop of the blue ocean and lush greenery. There is a cool little cave here, too. This is in Hana. Online reservations are needed to visit this beach.
  • Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park – I think this is one of the best hikes in Maui, leading through a dense bamboo forest to the spectacular Waimoku Falls. This is at the end of Road to Hana. There is an awesome Banyan tree here as well, but I believe the Bamboo Forest is the star of the show here!
  • Keanae Peninsula – This stop is around Halfway to Hana, and we, like most folks, went here for the famous banana bread. But we were in awe of the dramatic coastline, the huge waves crashing against lava rocks. There is also a very old church here, made of black lava rock, which looks great against the backdrop of Haleakala Mountain.

Now, let’s dive into the details about the Road to Hana stops. The stops are listed in the order of driving North to South, as the most common Road to Hana route is from Paia to Hana and returning the same way.

Although there is a way to do the full loop drive, which involves driving the backside of Haleakala via the Piilani Highway 31, the back road is not recommended for tourists by locals due to sections of narrow dirt roads.

21 Best Stops on Road to Hana

The Road to Hana starts at Mile Marker (MM) 0 on Highway 360 and ends just before the start of the Piilani Highway 31. Most travelers turn back after Oheo Gulch, and we did that, too.

It is recommended to turn back after Oheo Gulch for the normal out-and-back route.

Below is a list of the Road to Hana stops that are legal to stop at. I will not be mentioning the stops that are on private property and involve trespassing, as we should respect the locals living in Hana and not be trespassing on private lands.

1. Paia Town

Paia is a small surfer town with a somewhat “hippie” vibe on the way to Hana. It is not actually a part of the road to Hana but is a great place to stop and get some essentials for the long and windy Road to Hana drive.

Surfboard wall in Paia town
Surfboard wall in Paia town

Most visitors pass Paia town either very early morning on late in the evening on their Road to Hana journey. There are several restaurants and marketplaces here to grab some to-go breakfast, lunch, or dinner on the way back.

This is also the last place to fill up gas before Hana. It might be a good idea to ensure you have some cash for street vendors in Hana and some motion sickness medication and gum; if not, get it in Paia.

I do not recommend spending a lot of time in Paia in the morning. You can always come back to Paia on some other day or stop in the evening for dinner if doing a day trip to Hana.

You can also skip this if you have all the essentials you need for the drive. We didn’t stop here but came back another day to explore the town.

2. Ho’okipa Lookout and Ho’opika Beach

  • Type of Stop – Ocean views and seeing surfers in action, beach, turtles
  • Parking – Yes, free parking
  • Highlights: Lookout, Best surfing beach, potential sea turtle sightings.

A little further down Paia town, you will see the turnout to go to the Ho’okipa beach and Ho’opika Lookout.

Ho’okipa Beach is one of the best surfing beaches in Maui, as it picks up the ocean swell from the North, especially in winter. Surfing is one of the popular things to do in Hawaii in winter due to the big waves.

We spotted a lot of kite surfers and windsurfers here.

View from Hookipa Beach Lookout
View from Hookipa Beach Lookout

Ho’okipa Beach is also a popular place to find sea turtles later in the afternoon. As you will probably pass this beach early in the morning, there is less chance of spotting the sea turtles as they usually come in the afternoon to rest on the rock beach. We did not see any turtles in the morning.

If you find parking, you can spend 5-10 minutes at Hookipa Beach Lookout watching the surfers at the beach riding the ocean waves. The ocean and beach views from the Lookout were great.

After this stop, we will be driving inland and away from the ocean for a while.

3. Twin Falls

  • Type of Stop – Waterfalls, swimming. Optional Stop
  • Parking – Yes, with a parking fee
  • Highlights: Accessible waterfalls and short hike options.

Just shortly before Twin Falls, you will pass a small Mile Marker 0 sign, which is the official starting point of Route 360 Road to Hana.

Twin Falls is a waterfall and hiking area on private property, which you can use with a parking fee. We stopped here and paid for parking with a credit card.

Twin Falls on Road to Hana
Twin Falls on Road to Hana

There is a parking space for about 30 cars here. There is a small waterfall area just a short walk from the parking lot. There are more waterfalls that can be accessed by a one-mile hike.

To be honest, Twin Falls is an optional stop and can be skipped, as there will be several more free waterfalls on the Road to Hana. But if you are only doing Halfway to Hana, you will have time to stop here.

4. Garden of Eden

  • Type of Stop – garden, trails, picnic area, waterfalls. Optional Stop
  • Parking – Yes, there is an entrance fee per person
  • Highlights: Beautiful landscape, duck pond, lookout for Puohokamoa Falls.

By now, with the curves and turns on the road, you will have gotten a feel of how it is to drive on the Road to Hana.

Next up, the Garden of Eden is a beautiful garden with an impressive collection of flowers, trees, and even birds. There is an entrance fee per person for visiting the Garden of Eden.

Garden of Eden stop on Road to Hana Itinerary
Garden of Eden on Road to Hana

Great stop to take some photos in beautiful surroundings. There is a duck pond and bird feeding area. This is a great place for families with younger kids to spend a few hours.

There are a total of 26 acres of beautifully landscaped trails here. There is also a lookout area for Puohokamoa Falls.

I recommend the Garden of Eden stop for visitors going only Halfway to Hana. For visitors going to Hana and Oheo Gulch, there won’t be enough time to explore this paid stop on a day trip.

5. Kaumahina State Wayside Park (Scenic Overlook and Restrooms)

  • Type of Stop – Scenic Overlook, Restrooms
  • Parking – Yes, free
  • Highlights: Views of Ke’anae Peninsula

We are now back near the ocean with ocean views along the Road to Hana!

Kaumahina State Park has an overlook for excellent views and a sneak peek of the Ke’anae Pennisula.

View of Kaenae Peninsula from Kaumahina Park Overlook
View of Kaenae Peninsula from Kaumahina Park Overlook

Kaumahina Park is a good place for a quick restroom break with free parking. Make sure to carry toilet paper and hand soap as there wasn’t any in the restrooms when we stopped.

6. Ke’anae Arboretum

  • Type of Stop – Garden stroll to see unique trees like Rainbow Eucalyptus
  • Parking – Yes
  • Highlights: Rainbow Eucalyptus trees and other unique trees

Ke’anae Arboretum is a nice garden with some unique species of trees and plants that are free to explore. The arboretum had a flat paved path and it was very peaceful and serene.

Also, this is where we saw the famous Rainbow Eucalyptus trees up close and they were amazing.

Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees at Keanae Arboretum
Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees at Keanae Arboretum

There were many other spectacular varieties of trees here, like Bamboo, Narra, Breadfruit, Torch Ginger, Ti Leaf, Taro Papaya, Hibiscus, and many others.

There is a free parking space for 7-8 cars on the side of the road outside the Ke’anae Arboretum. I recommend you stop here on the way back if you have time.

7. Ke’anae Peninsula

  • Type of Stop – Ocean views, lava rocks, historic church
  • Parking – Yes, side of the road
  • Highlights: Taro farming, lava rock church, dramatic waves

Immediately after the Ke’anae Arboretum, you will reach the turn to go to the town of Ke’anae.

The uniquely flat Ke’anae Peninsula is a must-see stop on the Road to Hana.

Church at Kaenae Peninsula
Church at Kaenae Peninsula

The town of Ke’anae is known for taro farming, a historic 150+ years old Ke’anae Congregational Church, and amazing views of ocean waves crashing against volcanic lava rocks.

The Church is made of lava rocks and looks really serene against the Haleakala mountain backdrop!

Ocean waves crashing against lava rocks at Kaenae Peninsula
Ocean waves crashing against lava rocks at Kaenae Peninsula

If you keep going to the end of the road on Ke’anae, you can park on the side of the road and watch the huge ocean waves crashing on the volcanic rocks.

We stayed here for some time, watching the waves crash and explode. It was a breathtaking sight of the power of nature.

8. Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread

  • Type of Stop – Food stop
  • Parking – Yes
  • Highlights: Famous banana bread stop
Aunt Sandy's Banana Bread
Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread

The most famous banana bread in Maui, Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread, is located on the Ke’anae Pennisula.

The bread is baked fresh daily, and they close once it’s over. Pick up a loaf or two and snack on it on the Road to Hana! It’s delicious!

9. Halfway to Hana

  • Type of Stop – Optional food stop
  • Parking – Yes
  • Highlights: Snacks like banana bread, shaved ice

Halfway to Hana is more like a milestone than a stop. Conveniently at this milestone, there is a Halfway to Hana rest stop and food stand where you can buy banana bread, shaved ice, and other snacks.

Halfway to Hana sign board in front of a food stand
Halfway to Hana food stand

Visitors who are doing only the Halfway to Hana route can turn back at this point. Visitors going to Hana and beyond can keep going. We did not stop here.

10. Upper Waikani Falls (3 Bears Falls)

  • Type of Stop – Waterfalls, Optional Stop
  • Parking – No
  • Highlights: Three distinct waterfalls

Upper Waikani Falls is a popular waterfall on the Road to Hana, also called the Three Bears Falls.

When the water flow is moderate, you can see three distinct waterfalls of varying heights – tall, shorter, and shortest. Thus getting its nickname. We saw people swimming below the waterfalls, although locals advise not to swim here.

Upper Waikani Falls or Three Bear Falls on Road to Hana
Upper Waikani Falls or Three Bears Falls on Road to Hana

You can slow down on the bridge and take a good look at the falls. There is no real parking here to safely stop. Many folks park at the side of the bridge, but that is not a good idea out of consideration of traffic.

If you really want to stop, there is a small clearing for a few cars a little further down the road, and you can walk back to the bridge. We just saw it from the car while driving.

11. Pua’a Kaa State Park and Puaakaa Falls

  • Type of Stop – Restrooms, waterfall, swimming hole. Optional stop
  • Parking – Yes
  • Highlights: Local swimming hole, short trail.

This is an optional stop if you need a quick photo or a restroom break. As the Road to Hana has fewer restroom stops, it’s a good idea to use the restrooms as you approach them.

A short trail from the car parking leads to the waterfalls and a swimming hole. This is a popular swimming hole for the locals of Hana.

12. Hanawi Falls

  • Type of Stop – Waterfalls, Optional Stop
  • Parking – Yes, side of the road
  • Highlights: Small waterfall and pool
Hanawi Falls on Road to Hana
Hanawi Falls on Road to Hana

Hanawi Falls is a small waterfall and pool on the way to Hana. There is a small parking space for about 4-5 cars.

You can make a stop to see the falls if there is parking available. Otherwise, you can take in the scenery while driving over the bridge like we did. Swimming is not allowed here.

13. Nahiku Marketplace

  • Type of Stop – Optional food stop, shopping
  • Parking – Yes, side of the road
  • Highlights: Food vendors like Nahiku Cafe

Just 6 miles before Hana, Nahiku Marketplace is located at Mile Marker 29. There are several food vendors here, like Nahiku Cafe, Island Style Tacos, etc. There are portable restrooms here. Stop her if you are getting hungry and cannot wait till Hana.

Avoid driving down Nahiku Road as there is nothing much different there than the main Road to Hana route, and the locals living there discourage the tourist traffic.

14. Hana Lava Tube / Lava Cave

  • Type of Stop – Lava Tube, Optional Stop.
  • Parking – Yes, per person entrance fee
  • Highlights: Self-guided tours of the lava tube

Hana Lava Tube or cave is located on Ulaino Road off Hana Hwy just before reaching Hana and past Mile Marker 31. They are also known as Ka’eleku Caverns.

If you have never seen an underground lava tube before, this is a good stop to make on your Road to Hana journey if you have time. There is a cave room here that looks like molten, dripping chocolate!

There are self-guided tours of the lava tube that you can take. The tour cost includes flashlights to use while in the cave.

The Hana Lava tube is open seven days a week from 10:30 AM to 4 PM. Expect to spend around 30-45 minutes here if you make a stop.

15. Waianapanapa State Park / Black Sand Beach

  • Type of Stop – Black Sand Beach, coastal trail, caves
  • Parking – Yes, Advance paid reservations are required to enter
  • Highlights: Stunning black sand beach, lava cave

Waianapanapa State Park is the most popular stop on the Road to Hana and a must-see. The beautiful black sand beach and the black lava rocks are a stunning contrast against the blue ocean waters and the surrounding lush greenery.

Black sand beach at Wainapanapa State Park is one of the best Road to Hana stops
Black sand beach at Wainapanapa State Park on Road to Hana

Important: Advance reservations are required at Waianapanapa State Park, and same-day reservations are not allowed. You can make the reservations online at State Park’s official website. The reservations are available in 3-hour time slots. If you are unsure about when you will reach the black sand beach, you can book multiple slots for the same day to be safe.

We booked the last slot of the day as we were unsure how long it would take with all the stops to reach there, and it worked out perfectly. We were planning to stay overnight in Hana, so didn’t have to worry about it getting dark.

If you are doing a day trip, then I recommend driving here first and doing the other earlier stops on the way back.

The beach is really small and can get very crowded. We reached here towards closing time, and so had the entire beach to ourselves! The black sand is actually disintegrated lava rocks after hundreds of years of erosion by the ocean waters.

There is a small lava cave here to the right of the beach, which opens to the ocean. We had fun exploring this cave and taking pictures.

There is a spectacular rocky coastal trail to the left of the beach with great views of the ocean and lava cliffs.

Cave at Black Sand Beach
Small Lava Rock Cave at Black Sand Beach

There are picnic tables here and restrooms. There is also a campground at Waianapanapa State Park with campsites and a few cabins.

Reservations for the campground are booked months in advance! Believe me, I kept checking daily for months but could not get my hands on a cabin reservation!

16. Hana Town

  • Type of Stop – Food, Gas, Essentials
  • Parking – Yes, in front of shops, restaurants
  • Highlights – Food, gas, lodging, great place to stay overnight

Once you reach Hana, you will quickly realize that the Road to Hana is really about the journey to Hana, as there is nothing much to do in Hana.

It’s a small town with food stands, a couple of grocery stores, gas stations, and small hotels.

Sunrise on Road to Hana
Magical Sunrise in Hana

Hana Farms is a great place to stop for some delicious pizza that is so welcome after the long journey. Try arugula salad and pesto add-on toppings on the pizza! Delicious!

Hana Farms Sign listing the food offerings outside the food stand
Hana Farms in Maui – great pizza restaurant here

Thai food by Pranee is another great place to find some hot food. There is also a small food truck area further down the road on the Hana Hwy.

Hasegawa General Store is a local supermarket where you can pick up some essentials for the road trip back. There is a gas station on the right to fill up gas and check tire pressure if needed.

Hasegawa General Store in Hana
Hasegawa General Store in Hana

Hana Maui Resort is a luxury hotel here with sweeping ocean views.

Hana Kai Resort is another awesome hotel with ocean views and access to a black sand beach.

We stayed at Hana Kai Resort and loved it!! We saw an amazing sunrise from the black sand beach behind our hotel.

Seeing the sunrise from East Maui was one of the main reasons we stayed overnight in Hana, and of course, also to be able to do the Pipiwai hike to see the bamboo forest.

The stops from here onward are past the town of Hana. We stayed overnight in Hana, and so did these on the next day. If you are doing a day trip, continue past only if you have enough daylight hours left.

To give you an idea, it takes around 45 minutes to drive from Hana to the Pipiwai trailhead. And another 2 hours to do the Pipiwai hike.

17. Koki Beach

  • Type of Stop – Red Sand Beach
  • Parking – Yes
  • Highlights: Dramatic red rock cliff, red sand

You can reach Koki Beach by taking a detour to Haneoo Rd off the Hana Hwy, past the town of Hana.

Koki Beach is a good alternative to see a red sand beach on the Road to Hana, as the other red sand beach at Kaihalulu Beach is very dangerous to reach due to part of the trail being lost to a landslide.

Koki beach is a red sand beach stop on Road to Hana
Koki Beach is a red sand beach on Road to Hana

At the very end of Koki Beach, you can see the dramatic red rock cliff and the red sand, which looks amazing against the blue waters.

I found the sand to not be red but more of a reddish brown, though from far away, it looked like red sand, probably due to the red cliff backdrop.

Parking can be tough to find here. If you do not find parking, continue on to Hamoa Beach, which is also on the Haneoo Rd loop.

Koki Beach is not suitable for swimming due to the ocean currents. Hamoa Beach a little further down this road is a better beach for swimming.

Huli Huli Chicken is a very popular food stand next to Koki Beach.

18. Hamoa Beach

  • Type of Stop – White sand beach, swimming
  • Parking – Yes
  • Highlights: Best beach in East Maui for swimming.

Continuing further down Haneoo Rd, you will reach the beautiful Hamoa Beach with pristine white sand!

Hamoa Beach on Road to Hana
Hamoa Beach is one of the best beaches on Road to Hana

This is a great beach for swimming, snorkeling, or just a picnic in the sand. Parking can be a challenge to find here as this is the nicest beach on the eastern side of Maui.

19. Wailua Falls

  • Type of Stop – Waterfall, Must-see
  • Parking – Yes
  • Highlights: 80-foot-high falls

The road past Hana and towards Oheo Gulch gets narrower and is a single lane at most places.

It was very lush, green, and dense, with canopy trees and hanging vines. This part of the drive truly seemed like driving in a rainforest!

Wailua Falls is a beautiful waterfall located near Mile Marker 45 on Honolewa Stream. Even though you might have seen many waterfalls on your Road to Hana journey, this one is the most recommended.

Wailua Falls on Road to Hana
Wailua Falls on Road to Hana

Wailua Falls is around 80 feet high, surrounded by lush forest greenery.

There is a parking space for a few cars right after crossing the bridge. We parked and walked back to the bridge to admire the falls. Again, swimming is not allowed here, although we saw people doing it.

20. Oheo Gulch / Pools of Oheo / Seven Sacred Pools

  • Type of Stop – Waterfalls, pools, ocean views, Must-see
  • Parking – Yes, entrance fee to Haleakala National Park
  • Highlights: Several waterfalls cascading into pools, Kuloa Point Trail, Kahakai trail

Oheo Gulch or Pools of Oheo are a series of cascading waterfalls plunging into pools. This is probably the most photographed section of Road to Hana, with the bridge on the top and the cascading waterfalls below it.

My picture here does not do justice to the actual place, as there were shadows of the surrounding cliffs on the pools during the afternoon I visited. It’s really beautiful in person, with the pools merging with the ocean at the end.

Pools of Oheo
Pools of Oheo

Pools of Oheo are inside the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park, and you will need to purchase an entrance permit at the gate for around $35 to access it.

The good news is that the entrance fee is valid for three days, and you can visit the Haleakala Summit for sunrise or sunset views within the next three days with this same permit. Save the entrance permit!

After the parking lot, the trail to the right of the fork goes to the Oheo Gulch.

The Kuloa Point Trail is a 0.5-mile easy loop with fenced viewpoints for the Pools of Oheo. There is another 0.3-mile Kahakai trail here with excellent coastal views.

The Kipahulu visitor center is great for information about the park and learning about the current park conditions. The parking lot is quite large, and there are restrooms and benches here.

After visiting the Oheo Gulch and the Pipiwai trail, I recommend turning around and heading back to Hana if you are staying overnight in Hana or all the way to your starting point in West or South Maui.

21. Pipiwai Trail

  • Type of Stop – Hiking, Bamboo Forest, Waterfalls, Must-do
  • Parking – Yes, entrance fee to Haleakala National Park
  • Highlights – Banyan tree, bamboo forest, Waimoku Falls.

Pipiwai trail is the most unique and one of the best hikes in Maui. This is a moderate 4-mile out-and-back hike with quite a bit of a climb, around 650 feet elevation.

Pipiwai Trail is inside the Haleakala National Park, and the parking is the same as that for Pools of Oheo. After the parking lot, the trail to the left of the fork goes to the Pipiwai trail.

Pipiwai Bamboo Forest Trail
Pipiwai Bamboo Forest Trail

The trail surface was varied and had steps, rocky paths, wooden planks, and dirt paths.

At the beginning of the trail, we encountered a stunning and huge Banyan tree.

The Bamboo forest is halfway into the hike, and was the most amazing part of this hike. This was the first bamboo forest I had ever seen, and I was incredibly fascinated by it. The wind made the bamboo plants whistle, and it was magical!

The last part of the hike took us to stunning Waimoku Falls, which drops from 400 feet against a forest backdrop. The path to the base of the falls is a restricted area now, but that did not prevent other hikers from going past the sign.

If it rained recently, the trail can get quite muddy and slippery. Luckily, the trail was really dry when we went.

I recommend sturdy hiking shoes for this hike; flip-flops are a bad idea due to the rocky terrain.

Waimoku falls at Pipiwai hike
Waimoku falls at Pipiwai hike

Do you have time for the Pipiwai hike? – If you are on a day trip, you need to make sure you have 2 hours of daylight left to complete this trail, plus two hours of daylight to drive back to Paia. If it’s already past 2 PM, it might be wise to skip this and turn back so that you do not have to drive the Hana Hwy in the dark.

Tip: If the Pipwai trail is a must-do hike on your list, plan to skip all of the optional stops before Hana and only do the must-do stops so you have enough time to finish the hike. Another alternative is to drive straight to Pipiwai trail first for the hike and do the other stops on the way back as time permits.

Road to Hana Food Stops

There are several snack and food stands on the Road to Hana. We tried several on the way to Hana and on the way back. But one thing we found on almost every stand was banana bread! We ate so much banana bread on the Road to Hana!

Banana bread loaf and a banana bread slice stacked on top of each other
Banana bread from Hana Farms – they had vegan ones, too

Note: Food trucks and stands can close early or remain closed for the day. Make sure to carry some snacks and drinks with you before you start, just in case you find them closed.

Twin Falls Farm Stand – This stand had fresh fruit, fruit smoothies, ice cream, and snacks like banana bread.

Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread: The most famous spot for banana bread, located at Ke’anae Peninsula, just before Halfway to Hana.

Halfway to Hana Food Stand: Great for quick snacks like banana bread and shaved ice. Their iced coffee is really good!

Coconut Glen’s – Ice cream stand with unique flavors. We liked the coconut and chocolate. All of their ice cream is vegan but delicious.

Nahiku Marketplace: Just 6 miles before Hana at Mile Marker 29, this marketplace features various vendors like Nahiku Cafe and Island Style Tacos, ideal for a coffee or snack stop. They have a van photo op here too!

Hana Farms: Our top pick in Hana! They serve delicious pizza with lots of topping choices, perfect for the whole family. The pizza tasted incredible after a long day of driving. They also have a marketplace for banana bread and gifts, including vegan options. We grabbed more banana bread from here. I think it’s something about the Road to Hana that makes you want to buy banana bread everywhere!

Thai Food by Pranee: This Hana food truck with seating offers tasty Thai food with fresh veggies and big portions, including vegetarian dishes like spring rolls and veggie stir fry. As a family, we love Thai food, so this was perfect for lunch the next day.

Huli Huli Chicken at Koki Beach: A must-try when you visit Koki Beach, it is very popular for good reason.

Road to Hana Tours

Thinking of booking a Road to Hana tour and leaving the daunting driving to someone else?

Well, you are not alone; a lot of tourists choose to do a tour on their first visit to Hana as the windy, narrow road can be difficult to navigate.

Plus finding parking at many of these stops can be a challenge as there are only spots for a few cars.

Below are my top tour recommendations –

✅ This highly-rated Small-Group Road to Hana Adventure Tour does a full loop via the backside of Hana. Best value!

✅ Do Road to Hana in style with this excellent quality Small-Group Luxury Limo Tour with Helicopter Flight Reverse. Includes helicopter flight above Haleakala crater and gourmet lunch! Best Luxury tour!

If you are planning to drive the Road to Hana yourself, you will need a rental car. I recommend Discover Cars as they check top car rental brands and provide the best rates.

I highly recommend a self-guided audio tour if driving yourself. We liked Gypsy’s Road to Hana tour the best – great and accurate information about upcoming stops, and the narrator’s voice is quite soothing.

➡ Book this Gypsy Guide audio tour that includes the entire Maui island. Drive anywhere in Maui, including Road to Hana, Haleakala, and West and South Maui, and the tour will narrate the upcoming stops. Best value!

Tips for Road to Hana Drive

Here are some essential tips for driving on the Road to Hana from my own experience:

  • Safety First: The driver must focus on the road at all times. The Road to Hana demands your full attention as it’s very narrow, with hairpin turns and single-lane bridges.
  • Be Selective on Day Trips: Don’t try to stop at every garden, waterfall, or overlook. Prioritize main attractions like the Black Sand Beach, Pipiwai Trail, and Oheo Pools. You can always make stops on the return trip if time allows.
  • Daylight Driving: Aim to be back in Paia before dark. The road’s twists and turns are challenging to navigate at night.
  • Courtesy to Local Drivers: If cars are piling up behind you, find a safe spot to let them pass. Locals often know the road well and might be in a hurry.
  • Single Lane Bridge Etiquette: The first to arrive has the right of way, and it’s not just one car at a time. If there’s a line waiting, let them all pass.
  • Adhere to Speed Limits: Drive slowly, especially on blind turns or wet roads.
  • Safe Parking: Fully pull off the road when stopping and respect no parking signs.
  • Respect Private Property: Don’t trespass to access waterfalls, beaches, or other sites.
  • Secure Your Belongings: To avoid theft, a sedan with a closed trunk is preferable over Jeeps, convertibles, or SUVs. Keep all items, not just valuables, out of sight. We chose a closed-trunk sedan over a stylish jeep to avoid dealing with car break-ins.

More things to do in Maui

After your Road to Hana journey, check out these other popular things to do in Maui:

Whale Watching Excursion in Maui (December-April): Winter in Maui is prime time for whale watching. Hop on a 2-hour whale-watching cruise from Ma’alaea Harbor and watch majestic humpback whales.

Experience Maui on a Helicopter Tour: See Maui and Molokai from above on a thrilling 60-minute Doors-OFF West Maui and Molokai Helicopter Tour.

Surfing Lessons in Kihei: Catch the waves in Kihei, a top surfing destination in Maui. Choose from private or group surfing lessons in Kihei to learn or improve your surfing skills. Surfing is a popular thing to do in Kihei.

Luau Experience: Immerse yourself in Hawaiian traditions at a luau. Check out my review of Old Lahaina Luau in West Maui or Te Au Moana at Wailea Beach Resort in South Maui for an unforgettable evening.

Breakfast in Maui: Kickstart your day with delicious breakfast options at Kihei Caffe or Nalu’s South Shore Grill, some of the best breakfast places in South Maui.

Final Takeaways: Road to Hana Stops

In conclusion, the Road to Hana is much more than just a drive; it’s a journey through the heart of Maui’s breathtaking natural beauty, and all of its stops are unique and impressive.

From the unique black sand of Wainapanapa Beach to the lush trails of the Pipiwai Trail and the serene vistas of the Keanae Peninsula, each stop offers its own unique slice of paradise.

So buckle up, drive slow with respect for the natural and cultural surroundings, and you’re sure to have a journey that will resonate with you long after you’ve left the winding roads of Hana behind.

Up next, check out my itinerary options for Road to Hana to help you plan your trip.

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