Best places to
stop on the
Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is world-renowned for being a long, beautiful drive that features incredible sights and stops that make it one of the go-to destinations on Maui. It’s a 52-mile highway stretch with winding and narrow one-lane roads, so it requires full attention to navigate safely, so plan to make an entire afternoon of it.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.’ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most commonly known as the Seven Sacred Pools, Ohe’o Gulch is located inside the Kipahulu District region of Haleakala National Park. Just 10 miles past Hana Town, you won’t find a more breathtaking setting on Maui. It is easy to see why this is one of the most popular stops on the road to Hana. Visitors will be amazed by the gorgeous cascading waterfalls and beautiful freshwater pools that stream one to another, reaching all the way down to the crashing waves of the ocean. It is delightful swimming!
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.
The Kings Gardens Waterfall Hike is a truly unique and a fun Maui activity where only 24 persons are allowed a day due to the rare and sensitive nature of this sacred Hawaiian heritage site. Be one of the lucky ones who get to walk in the footsteps of the King on his ancient walking trails, where you see the world’s largest prehistoric dinosaur ferns! At this beautiful & wild tropical estate, you can see the ancient cave & water tunnel of Mo’o Kana, the mythological Hawaiian lizard god and get the chance to walk into an epic ancient Hawaiian rainforest with trees towering over 100 feet overhead!