Road Trip to Hana

Road to Hana road trip

It’s mid-April and we still still have snow in New Hampshire. Let’s just say mother nature is playing some serious mind games on us this year!

To pull myself out of the funk and avoid a full-on pout session ;) I started looking back through our Hawaii trip pictures and it inspired me to share some of the hidden gems we found with you!

We visited Maui in March and it was a dream! No, really I’ve been to some beautiful places these last few years (from Lake Tahoe to Bali) and Hana jumped to the top of the list quick!

It even won over my fiance who isn’t big on travel <yet>. He talks about going back just about every other day and we’ll most definitely have a retirement property there in the future.

I cannot recommend it enough!

Road tripping from Lahaina is a must when you are there. Here are some of the gems to make your planning easier :)

Road to Hana from Lahaina

Rental cars will tell you not to do the whole loop around but we did and it was amazing. Continuing all the way around after Hana was actually one of my favorites parts of our trip because it’s more quiet, peaceful, and you see gorgeous views of the volcano.

There is only one part that's a little scary and the rest is absolutely beautiful. Plus continuing all the way around means you won't have to drive back along the outer edge (on the cliffs) in the dark if you were to return the way you came.

As you drive around these are our favorite hidden gems and highlights along the way in order. Everything is marked by mile markers. There are no signs, but the mile markers are very accurate. Take it slow and enjoy it!

Also, I cannot say enough about having a convertible, we decided last minute to upgrade and were so glad we did. It made the trip.!

Hidden gems along Road to Hana Road trip

Road to Hana must see stops

Soak up all the nature, and give yourself time to enjoy the scenery. Even if you don’t stop along the way, the drive itself is gorgeous. At the minimum you can check out some of the adorable fruit stands along the way.

  1. Sunrise at Haleakalā - cannot say enough about going up for sunrise! It’s early but SO SO worth it. We drove ourselves so we could explore after. You have to book a reservation in advance with the National park service - they do sell out and check tickets so plan ahead!

  2. La Provence in Kula after sunrise for some coffee and breakfast

  3. Explore towns of Kula and Makawao while near the volcano

  4. Baldwin Beach - absolutely gorgeous perfect place for a late-morning nap after the sunrise!

  5. Paia - cute hippie town with restaurants. It’s also the last place for gas til Hana

  6. Haiku - aka Jaws beach, If there are waves you’ll see some crazy surfers!

  7. Bamboo Forest -  waterfalls/easy hike/swimming (there is also one on Pipiwai trail listed below)

  8. Rainbow eucalyptus trees - you’ll pass them along the road

  9. Garden of Eden - botanical garden, great tacos at the food truck!

  10. Wainapanapa state park - incredible - black sand beach

  11. Red Sand Beach - in Hana - MY FAVORITE part of the trip. This place is a spiritual experience. You do have to hike to it but the hike is not as treacherous as they make it out to be. I could've spent my whole trip here!

  12. Huli Huli Chicken - might be the best food truck ever

  13. Venus Pools - after Hana

  14. Oheo Gulch at Kipuhulu - 7 sacred pools

  15. Pipiwai Trail Hike to Waimoko Falls - one of my all-time favorite hikes! It’s about an hour hike and not too rigorous but SOO worth it. There is a sign saying you cannot get close to the waterfall but we hopped it and went right to the base. There is a trail so many people do this.

If you’re not planning to stay out in Hana it would be tough to make all of these stops and continue the drive around. But could be possible if you leave very very early. Which is SO SO worth it. This was my favorite part of being in Maui. We stayed 2 nights to make the most of it - 1 at a cute B&B in Haiku, then a night in Hana. If we go back I’ll plan 3-4 nights so we can actually spend more time at the beaches.

I hope you enjoy these treasures as much as we did!

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