Best places to
stop on the
Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is well known the world over for being one of the go-to destinations on Maui. It’s such a long and beautiful drive that features incredible sights and stops. The Road to Hana is a 52-mile stretch of highway with winding and narrow one-lane sections. As such it requires your full attention to navigate safely, so plan to take your time and make an entire day of it.
Ho’okipa Beach Park is located right around Mile Marker 9 of the historic Hana Highway. While headed east on the Road to Hana, you will find Ho’okipa, which translates to “hospitality” in the Hawaiian language. It is nestled in between the Town of Paia and Haiku Town Center. After passing through the Ku’au neighborhood, you’ll drive right by the legendary Mama’s Fish House Restaurant. Ho’okipa Beach Park will reveal itself a few moments later.
A bio-diverse farm that has been family owned and operated since 1997, Twin Falls is home to the first waterfalls to be accessed along the Road to Hana. Stop by and grab some freshly squeezed sugarcane juice, coconut candy, and locally grown fruit at the Twin Falls Farm Stand before heading down either path. You can hike to the Lower Falls, which is an easy, short walk from the parking lot, or to the Upper Falls, which is a one-mile roundtrip hike through a slippery but beautiful trail. Take a refreshing dip in the falls of your choice (or both) and get ready for many more to come!
The Huelo Lookout is seated between Mile Markers 4 and 5 on the Road to Hana. Here you will find a quaint rest stop with panoramic views of East Maui. When you are looking for the Huelo Lookout, look for the farm stand that marks this destination. From the farm stand, some steps will take you up to a viewing point. The Huelo Lookout Fruit Stand is as charming as you could imagine.
The Maui Garden of Eden is located at Mile Marker 10 on the Road to Hana. If you can only choose a few places to stop en route to Hana Town, the Garden of Eden should be at the top of your list. This place is a beautiful arboretum that was created by Alan Bradbury, Maui’s first ISA certified arborist.
The Ke’anae Peninsula is just past the Ke’anae Arboretum, at about Mile Marker 16. This area has a lot of history, gorgeous coastline views, and gives guests the chance to catch a glimpse of “Old Hawaii.” The Ke’anae Arboretum is another fantastic place to explore before heading out to the Peninsula. It’s a great spot to relax, stretch your legs, and then peruse the botanical gardens.
Keep your eyes peeled, since 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. Take in the high elevation views of Ke’anae Valley, the sprawling taro fields of Wailua Village and, on clear days, the nearby waterfalls. Climb up the stairs on your right for an unforgettable photo opportunity.
Pua’a Ka’a Falls and State Park is a rest stop that sits at Mile Marker 22 on the Road to Hana. This is a great place to put on your Road to Hana list of to-do’s since it offers an area where you can relax, some public restrooms, and a walking trail to a falls and a freshwater pool. To access the waterfall and swimming hole, follow the trail that is across the street from the public restrooms.
The Pipiwai Trail (Mile Marker 42) offers a captivating adventure with its bamboo forests, waterfalls, and unique natural wonders. This approximately four-mile round trip hike in Haleakalā National Park features a bamboo forest, Makahiku Falls, ancient Banyan and Giant Banyan trees, and the breathtaking Waimoku Falls. Along the way, you’ll encounter diverse Hawaiian flora and fauna. Remember to bring proper hiking gear and arrive early to beat the crowds, ensuring an unforgettable Maui experience on this remarkable trail.
The next spot is right at the entrance of Hana Town, at Mile Marker 31. Don’t miss Hana Farms’ Roadside Stand, a local marketplace where you can shop for exotic and locally made products. Grab some local hot sauce, or some spreads such as banana butter and lilikoi jam. They also have branch-to-bar chocolate made in Hana, coffee, baked goods, and even skincare products.
As far as Maui scenery goes, this is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Wai’anapanapa is Hawaiian for “glistening water,” and it has a little something for everyone. There is a picture-perfect black sand beach, some sea arches, a blowhole, a few hiking and walking trails, lava tubes, and stunning panoramic views of the rugged East Maui coast.
Consistently named one of “Maui’s Best Beaches,” Hamoa Beach was a favorite of author Ernest Hemingway. This beach is only a short drive past Hana and it is well worth the drive. Lined with sea cliffs and surrounded by lush vegetation, this long crescent-shaped beach is 100 feet wide and over 1,000 feet long. It offers a calm, quiet, truly Hawaiian escape with quite a view.
Considered to be the most photographed and one of the most beautiful waterfalls on Maui, here is Wailua Falls. It is an 80-foot cascading waterfall with a plunge pool, found just off the side of the road before you reach ‘Ohe’o Gulch. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes, and take the short but slippery hike down to the base for a truly rewarding experience and view.
Most commonly known as the Seven Sacred Pools, Ohe’o Gulch is found inside the Kipahulu District region of Haleakala National Park. It is just 10 miles past Hana Town, and you won’t find a more breathtaking setting in all of Maui. It is easy to see why this is one of the most popular stops on the road to Hana. Visitors here will be amazed by the gorgeous cascading waterfalls and beautiful freshwater pools that stream to one another, reaching all the way down to the crashing waves of the ocean. In recent years, access to the pools has been closed off for safety reasons, but it is still a must-see!
If you’re a fan of remote beauty, you’ll fall in love with this part of the drive. Most of those who drive the Road to Hana turn around and head straight back once they reach Hana Town. We suggest that you explore further and drive the back road all the way around from Kipahulu into Kula.