Top 15 Places to Stop on the Road To Hana

Local ExpertLast updated: October 18, 2018

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Road to HanaIn our experience, researching what stops to make along the Road to Hana can be more exhausting than actually driving it. With so much mixed information from seasoned locals, one-time visitors and experienced tour guides, it can be challenging to decide what stops are the most enjoyable for your particular interests. In order to make the process less overwhelming, we have chosen the Best Places to Stop on the Road to Hana based on the great experiences they offer as well as easy accessibility and acceptance from Maui locals.

Road to Hana Best Places to Stop

 

#1 Ho’okipa Beach Park

Surfer girl poised to jump in the water.

Ho’okipa Beach Park is located roughly around mile 9 of the historic Hana Highway. While headed East on the Road to Hana, Ho’okipa (translates to hospitality in the Hawaiian language) is nestled in between the Town of Paia and Haiku Town Center. After passing through the Ku’au neighborhood, you’ll drive by the legendary Mama’s Fish House Restaurant and Ho’okipa Beach Park will reveal itself a few moments later.

Without a doubt, Ho’okipa is one of the most legendary beaches in Hawaii. It is recognized around the world because it’s one of the most popular beaches on the planet for watersports—surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, paddling and more.

Here, you’ll find a beach cove with many surf breaks and places to chill out under Maui’s glorious sunshine. The beach park offers more than just beauty and cool aloha vibes. It’s also outfitted with BBQ’s, three pavilions, public restrooms, showers, and two lifeguard towers.

Surfer at Ho'okipa Beach Park riding a wave on a Longboard.

Ho’okipa is like the backyard for many local Maui families. A few tips that would benefit visitors of Ho’okipa would be to drive slowly through the parking lot, greet locals with respect and smiles, and pay special care of your carbon footprint. Like any beach in Hawaii!

As of late, Ho’okipa has gained in popularity due to the migration of the Green Hawaiian Sea Turtles. On any day, the turtles rest in abundance, and when we say rest, that’s what we mean. If you visit Ho’okipa Beach to see Maui’s turtles, keep at least 10 feet distance, absolutely do not touch, harass or bother these amazing marine creatures.

Ho'okipa Beach with the West Maui Mountains in the Background.

Ho’okipa Beach has a beautiful community of families, water sports athletes and more. It is worth a visit at any time of the day.

For more information about Ho’okipa Beach Park, please visit
https://www.mauicounty.gov/facilities/Facility/Details/169

#2 Twin Falls

Twin Falls

A family owned and operated bio-diverse farm since 1997, Twin Falls is home to the first accessible waterfalls along the Road to Hana. Stop and grab some freshly squeezed sugarcane juice, coconut candy, and locally grown fruit at the Twin Falls Farm Stand before heading to the Lower Falls, an easy, short walk from the parking lot, or the Upper Falls, a one-mile roundtrip hike through a slippery but beautiful trail. Take a refreshing dip in the waterfall(s) of your choice and get ready for many more to come! If you’d like to make this a longer stop, daily tours of Wailele Farm are also available.

twin falls

Twin Falls is located at Mile Marker #2 along the Road to Hana. You will see the Twin Falls Farm Stand on your right, and parking is available in the large dirt parking lot or the second lot just over the bridge.
 

#3 Huelo Lookout

Huelo Lookout Fruit Stand

The Huelo Lookout is located in between mile marker 4 and five on the Road to Hana. Here is where you’ll find a quaint rest stop with panoramic East Maui island views. When looking for the Huelo Lookout, look for the farm stand that marks the destination. From the farm stand, some steps take you to a viewing point.

The Huelo Lookout Fruit Stand is a charming as you could imagine. Guests can take a breather and try delicious fruit smoothies, acai bowls or fresh coconut. All smoothies are made with freshly squeezed sugar cane juice and tropical fruits grown on Maui. Our favorite smoothies are the Sugar Mama (papaya, pineapple, and coconut), and the Sweet Dream (banana and chocolate. The Hana Highway Potion (papaya and ginger) and the Cure Smoothie (coconut water and fruit, papaya, honey, and ginger) and two great options for those that may feel a bit of motion sickness from Hana highway’s many curves.

They also offer a rotating selection of fresh fruit, Maui snacks and our favorite coconut candy.

For more information about Huelo Lookout and the farm stand, please visit
http://huelolookout.coconutprotectors.com
 

#4 Maui Garden of Eden

A beauttiful to sit for a while in the peaceful garden.

The Maui Garden of Eden is situated at mile marker ten on the Road to Hana. If you’re only choosing a few places to stop en route to Hana Town, the Garden of Eden should be at the top of your list.

The Garden of Eden is a beautiful arboretum that was created by Alan Bradbury, Maui’s first ISA certified arborist. The grounds are impeccably maintained and have even been recognized by the State of Hawaii for proper land use management and conservation practices.

Exquisite Pond and Jungle Overlook of the Ocean and Palms.

The grounds feature over 700 labeled herbaceous species, and some were even donated by George Harrison of the Beatles. There are 2.5 miles of walking trails decorated by rich tropical varieties—flowers, plants, trees and more.

Walking trail through Bamboo forest.

The Maui Garden of Eden property also offers rare waterfall views from a distance, a Garden Cafe and a fantastic art gallery full of locally made gifts and Maui souvenirs. There is a fee to enter the Maui Garden of Eden.

For more information about the Maui Garden of Eden, please visit
https://mauigardenofeden.com
 

#5 Keanae Peninsula

The Keanae Peninsula is located just past the Keanae Arboretum, approximately mile marker 16. This area has a lot of history, gorgeous coastline views and an opportunity to catch a glimpse of ‘Old Hawaii.’

Ke'anae Church

The Keanae Arboretum is another fantastic location to explore before heading to the Peninsula. It’s a great place to relax and stretch your legs, then peruse the botanical gardens. There’s a paved walkway with about a half-mile walk through over 150 varieties of tropical plants; hibiscus, papaya, taro, ginger varieties, native and non-native Hawaiian trees, and more.

To access the Keanae Peninsula, there is a road on the makai (left/ocean) side of the road just past mile marker 16. Keanae is a traditional Hawaiian Village that’s known for its taro fields. While driving down the road, you will see a historic stone church that was built in 1856.

Visitors will have an opportunity to purchase smoothies, Maui snacks and tasty coconut candy at a stand near the Keanae Congregational Church.

Please note: there is no swimming at this location.

For more information about Keanae, please visit
https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/recreation/files/2013/12/MauiNAHmap16.pdf
 

#6 Wailua Valley State Wayside

Wailua Overlook from the Road to Hana.

While most visitors breeze right by this scenic stop, Wailua Valley State Wayside offers some of the best mauka (toward the mountains) and Mauna (toward the ocean) views along the Road to Hana, including high elevation views of Ke’anae Valley, sprawling taro fields of Wailua Village and, on clear days, waterfalls. Climb up the stairs on your right for an unforgettable photo opportunity. Whether you come to enjoy views of the seemingly endless ocean or rolling clouds over the valleys of Haleakala Volcano, the Wailua Valley State Wayside is a can’t miss.

Wailua Jungle and Mountain View.

Wailua Valley State Wayside is located a little over half a mile past Mile Marker #18 along the Road to Hana. Parking is available in the small dirt lot to your right.
 

#7 Pua’a Ka’a Falls

Tourists enjoying the waterfall.

Pua’a Ka’a Falls and State Park is a rest stop located at mile marker 22 on the Road to Hana. This is a great location to put on your Road to Hana list of to-do’s because it offers an area to relax, public restrooms, and a walking trail to a waterfall and freshwater pool.

To access the waterfall and swimming hole, follow the trail that is across the street from the public restrooms.

Pua’a Ka’a Falls in itself is perhaps a 15-20 foot waterfall. This is a great and quick waterfall hike to choose for those that may be traveling in a large group or with kids. The hike is short, but with great rewards. Here is a great place to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch. It’s a peaceful spot, and definitely alludes the tranquility of Hawaii.

The lush jungle waterfall.

Besides being a popular area for locals and visitors, look forward to seeing many feral cats here! As any other waterfall, avoid swimming if it looks murky and muddy, and consider bringing some non-toxic mosquito spray if you’re prone to bites from the little buggahs.

For more information about Pua’a Ka’a Falls and State Park, please visit
https://www.hawaii-guide.com/maui/sights/puaa_kaa_state_wayside_park
 

#8 Hanawi Falls

Jungle waterfalls on the Road to Hana.

Hanawi Falls is located right after mile marker 24 on the Road to Hana. Sustained by the Hanawi Stream, here you’ll find that the lower waterfall cascades 200 feet into a freshwater pool.

One of the best places to view Hanawai Falls is from the Hanawai Falls Bridge. The bridge was completed in 1926 and is one of the 80 Hana Highway bridges that were built between 1908 and 1940. There are two narrow pull-offs on each side of the bridge, so be careful to safely and fully pull out from the Hana Highway roadway. This is a great spot to capture some souvenir photography and capture a beautiful Maui waterfall memory.

The waterfall is always refreshing on a tropical Maui day.

Pending conditions and the time of the year, thrill seekers can hike down into the pool for a quick and refreshing swim.

Historically, this area is very rich in Hawaiian agriculture history. In 1905, the Nahiku Rubber Company planted over 25,000 Rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) in this area. Although the Nahiku Rubber Company is no longer in business, this is a unique point of interest in the Hanawi locale.

Hanawi Falls extends all the way to the Nahiku area, marked by the Nahiku Marketplace.

For more information about Hanawi Falls, please visit
https://www.to-hawaii.com/maui/waterfalls/hanawifalls.php
 

#9 Nahiku Marketplace

Food at the Nahiku Marketplace.

The Nahiku Marketplace can be found at mile marker 29 on the Road to Hana. This is definitely a must-stop when traveling through East Maui areas. You cannot miss this little village perched on the makai (ocean) side of the Hana Highway; it’s marked by a cluster of gift shops, art galleries, and roadside food vendors.

The Nahiku Marketplace is a great place to stop for lunch when traveling to Hana. Here, you can pick up some Maui made souvenirs, find ice cold coconuts, coffee drinks, smoothies, yummy coconut candy, Thai food, coconut shrimp, tacos, refreshing sorbets, shave ice and more.

Art Gallery at Nahiku.

FYI. There aren’t public restrooms here, but there are a few porta potties.

Many Maui travel guides may suggest that you drive down Nahiku Road, but it is something we discourage to respect the residents in this area. The drive down is windy and quite time consuming, so it’s best to continue on the Road to Hana towards your next destination. Hana Town is only 6 miles past the Nahiku Marketplace.

For more information about the Nahiku Marketplace, please visit
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nahiku-Marketplace/371935519598801

#10 Wai’anapanapa State Park

Wai'anapanapa State Park

As far as Maui scenery goes, this is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Meaning “glistening water,” Wai’anapanapa offers a little something for everyone, including a picture-perfect black sand beach, sea arches, a blowhole, freshwater caves, hiking and walking trails, lava tubes, cliff jumping, and stunning panoramic views of the rugged East Maui coastline. The turquoise water against the black sand and bright green plant life is truly gorgeous, and while most visitors only stop to snap a few photos and move on, we highly recommend taking a little longer to explore this park fully. Take a dip in the refreshing freshwater cave, stand inside of the lava tube and watch the locals cliff dive from jagged islets. Park entrance is free for visitors, and camp sites and cabins are available with advance notice for visitors who wish to stay longer with friends and family.

Waianapapa
Wai’anapanapa State Park is located at Mile Marker #32 along the Road to Hana. Turn left onto Wai’anapanapa Road and public parking is available in the lot.

#11 Hana Town

Hana Bay

Without a doubt, Hana Town is one of the best small towns in all of Hawaii. It’s full of Hawaiian history, friendly residents, natural wonders, organic farms, and gorgeous beaches. The town in itself is quite sleepy and rural, famously regarded as ‘Heavenly Hana.’

There are many things to explore in and around the Hana area including Waianapanapa State Park and Black Sand Beach, Hana Bay, Travaasa Hana Hotel, Hana Coast Gallery, the Hana Cultural Museum, Hana Ranch and more.

Hana Museum

The Hasegawa Store is a traditional Hawaii-style General Store and a great place to grab snacks, souvenirs, and supply items if you are planning on camping in Hana. The Hana Ranch Store is Hawaii famous for their Chili Rice Bowls, and we highly suggest eating at Thai Food by Pranee and Braddah Huts BBQ.

If you are driving past Hana Town, we suggest that you visit Koki Beach and Hamoa Beach. In between these two Hana beaches, you’ll find a roadside Huli Huli Chicken vendor that is amazing. Don’t forget to pick up some of their banana bread to-go!

For more information about Hana Town, please visit http://www.hanamaui.com

#12 Hamoa Beach

Hamoa Beach

Consistently named one of “Maui’s Best Beaches” and included in the list of “America’s Best Beaches” in 2012, Hamoa Beach is only a short drive past Hana and well worth the drive. Lined with sea cliffs and beautifully surrounded by lush vegetation, this 100 foot wide and over 1,000 foot long crescent-shaped beach offers a quiet, relaxing, truly Hawaiian escape with a view. Since this beach is exposed to open ocean, waves and currents can be strong, making it perfect for bodysurfing, boogie boarding and surfing enthusiasts. Lounge in the shade or on the salt-and-pepper sand and let your worries melt away. While this spot can get crowded, you still have plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the day.

Homoa Beach is located 2.5 miles south of Hana. Turn left onto Haneoo Loop Rd. and drive past Koki Beach, where you’ll find parking in a small dirt lot. Take the stairs down to the shore.

#13 Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls is an 80-foot cascading waterfall and plunge pool located directly off the side of the road before you reach ‘Ohe’o Gulch. Considered the most photographed and one of the most beautiful waterfalls on Maui, you won’t have to look too hard to find this amazing spot. Wear sturdy shoes and take the short but slippery hike down to the base for a truly rewarding experience and view. While the falls are usually best in the morning when the sun is shining, it’s definitely worth a stop and a short hike to stand in waterfall mist and marvel in nature. Keep in mind that these falls lie on Honolewa Stream, not to be confused with Wailua Valley or Wailua Stream, two separate attractions.

Wailua Falls is located at Mile Marker #45 past the town of Hana. There is a parking lot adjacent to the bridge, where vendors are usually set up to sell souvenirs.

#14 ‘Ohe’o Gulch aka “Seven Sacred Pools”

Oheo Gulch

Located in the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park, ‘Ohe’o Gulch is a must-see on the Road to Hana. Cascading freshwater pools stream down directly into the ocean, making this a perfect swimming spot when weather conditions are right. Since heavy rains up on the mountain can cause dangerous flash floods without warning, swimmers are strongly cautioned to be on the lookout for rising water levels. Entrance to the National Park is $10 per vehicle, but the ticket is good for up to 3 days, including a trip through Upcountry Maui to the summit of Haleakala Volcano. Drive-up camping is offered, and if time allows, make sure to explore the adjacent Pipiwai Trail, a 4-mile round trip hike which leads visitors to giant banyan trees, through a thick bamboo forest and ends at Waimoku Falls, a gorgeous 400-foot cascading waterfall. Great place to stretch your legs and take a swim! Full restroom facilities and picnic tables available.

Oheo Gulch

‘Ohe’o Gulch is located 12 miles past the town of Hana at Mile Marker #42. Public parking is available past the entrance.

#15 Back Side of Haleakala

Backside Haleakala

If you’re a fan of remote beauty, you’ll fall in love with this part of the drive. While most visitors on the Road to Hana turn around and drive straight back once they reach Hana Town, we recommend exploring further and driving the back road all the way around from Kipahulu into Kula. While the road on the back side is partially unpaved, narrow and, at times, steep, thousands of people have done it successfully and it’s totally worth the drive! As green and lush as the Road to Hana has been up until now is exactly how deserted and different it becomes on the back side, offering stunning views of deep valleys and long stretches of undeveloped land. Along this drive you will pass the grave of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, the beautiful Alelele Falls, empty black sand and rock beaches, Kaupo Store, St. Joseph’s Church, Kaupo Gap, Pu’u Maneoneo petroglyphs and village ruins, and finally, Tedeschi Winery and the Ulupalakua Ranch Store, serving up local Maui wine and delicious elk burgers.

Backside of Haleakala

The back side of Haleakala begins after ‘Ohe’o Gulch and stretches until Ulupalakua, leading you through beautiful Upcountry Maui. If you wish to stop and take photos, make sure you pull over in an area entirely off the road so you don’t block traffic.

We hope this guide is helpful for your Road to Hana adventure, and remember, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey!

Written By  Local Expert

We are local Maui guide experts and Hawaii enthusiasts who love to share the Aloha spirit and our favorite things to do on Maui.