Top 15 Places to Stop
on the Road To Hana

In our experience, researching what stops to make along the Road to Hana can be more exhausting than driving it. With so much mixed information from seasoned locals, one-time visitors or experienced tour guides, and parking restrictions along Hana Highway, it can be challenging to decide what stops are the most enjoyable for your interests. 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 and easy accessibility and acceptance from Maui locals.

Seven Sacred Pools Best Road 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 day of it.

01

Ho’okipa Beach Park

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 worldwide because it’s one of the most popular beaches on the planet for watersports — surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, paddling, and more.

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

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 particular 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 Hawaiian green sea turtles. 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. On any day, the turtles rest in abundance, and when we say rest, that’s what we mean.

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.


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02

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!

Twin Falls is located at Mile Marker #2 along the Road to Hana. You will see the Twin Falls Farm Stand on your right. An attendant will greet you and tell you where to park. The $10 parking fee helps pay for the farm’s general expenses and infrastructure improvement so that visitors can continue to enjoy the falls for years to come. Paid parking is available but limited, and parking along Hana Highway is strictly prohibited.

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03

Huelo Lookout

The Huelo Lookout is located between mile markers 4 and 5 five on the Road to Hana. Here, 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 as 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 Virgin Pina Colada (pineapple and coconut) and the Superfood Slam (coconut, pineapple, banana, and organic spirulina). The Way High in Huelo (pineapple, coconut, turmeric, and ginger) is an excellent option for those that may feel a bit of motion sickness from Hana Highway’s many curves.

Haven’t had your coffee yet? Try a cocochino, a refreshing blend of coconut ice cream and coffee! They also offer a rotating selection of fresh fruit, hot crepes, shave ice, and locally made coconut ice cream.


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04

Maui Garden of Eden

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

The Maui Garden of Eden property also offers a rare waterfall view of Puohokamoa Falls from a distance and a fantastic art gallery full of locally made gifts and Maui souvenirs. Peacocks also love parading in front of the shop! There is a $20 fee to enter the Maui Garden of Eden.

If you’re the adventurous type, book a tour with Rappel Maui, also located on the Garden of Eden property. This unique tour takes you on an unforgettable rainforest adventure as you rope down jungle cliffs and Puohokamoa Falls. Rappel Maui is open to all levels and is the only tour of its kind on Maui.


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05

Ke’anae Peninsula

The Ke’anae Peninsula is just past the Ke’anae 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 Ke’anae Arboretum is another fantastic location to explore before heading to the Peninsula. It’s a great place to relax, stretch your legs, and 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.

There is a road on the makai (left/ocean) side of the road just past mile marker 16 to access the Ke’anae Peninsula. Ke’anae is a traditional Hawaiian Village known for its taro fields. While driving down the road, you will pass Aunty Sandy’s stand, famous for its banana bread and arguably the best one you’ll find. The stand also serves smoothies, Maui snacks, and lunch plates such as chili and rice and BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.

Further down the road, you’ll reach the Ke’anae Congregational Church, a historic church made of lava rock and coral built in 1856. Park in the gravel down the road and marvel at the rugged coastline and impressive waves crashing against the rocks.

Please note: there is no swimming at this location.


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06

Wailua Valley State Wayside

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 seemingly endless ocean or rolling clouds over the valleys of Haleakala Volcano, the Wailua Valley State Wayside is a can’t miss.

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.

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07

Pua’a Ka’a Falls

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 is perhaps a 15–20-foot waterfall. This easily accessible waterfall is an excellent option if traveling in a large group or with kids. The walk is short but has great rewards and is a perfect place to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch. It’s a peaceful spot and alludes to the tranquility of Hawaii.

Besides being a popular area for locals and visitors, you can look forward to seeing many feral cats here! As with 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.


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08

Hanawi Falls

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 Hanawi Falls is from the Hanawi 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.
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.


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09

Hana Farms Roadside Stand

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, spreads such as banana butter and lilikoi jam, branch-to-bar chocolate made in Hana, coffee, baked goods, or even skincare products.

This market is truly a charming little market that will bring a smile to your face! If you haven’t devoured several already, this is an excellent place to get some delectable banana bread (they have different varieties to choose from). And we love supporting local farmers and entrepreneurs too.

If you’re hungry for more than sweets, walk up the steps behind the stand and enjoy a wood-fired pizza or a Hawaiian-style plate lunch at the Bamboo Hale, a tropical open-air restaurant made of—you guessed it—bamboo! All the bamboo in the restaurant was sourced from the Whispering Winds Bamboo Farm in Kipahulu. The Bamboo Hale also offers live music every Friday night. Don’t miss out on the island-style acoustic melodies!

The Bamboo Hale is closed on Mondays.


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10

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, hiking and walking trails, lava tubes, and stunning panoramic views of the rugged East Maui coastline.

The turquoise water against the black sand and bright green plant life is genuinely 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. Dip your toes in the pebbly black sand, jump in the ocean (but be careful of strong currents and at times dangerous shore breaks), stand inside of the lava tube, and watch the locals cliff-dive from jagged islets.
A new reservation system is in place in Wai’anapanapa, requiring guests to select a date and time slot for their visits. An entrance and parking fee ($10 per vehicle and $5 per person) are mandatory for out-of-state visitors. You will get turned away from entering the park without a reservation, so plan ahead. Campsites and cabins are available with advance notice for visitors who wish to stay longer with friends and family.

Wai’anapanapa State Park is located at Mile Marker #32 along the Road to Hana. Stop at one of the self-service fruit or flower stands along the small road on your way out. Turn left onto Wai’anapanapa Road and follow the road down to the park entrance, where an attendant will check your reservation.


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11

Hana Town

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 is quite sleepy and rural, famously regarded as ‘Heavenly Hana.’

There are many things to explore in and around the Hana area, including Wai’anapanapa State Park and Black Sand Beach, the Hana Lava Tube, Kahanu Garden, Hana Bay, Hana-Maui Resort (formerly known as the Travaasa Hana), Hana Coast Gallery (located in the resort), Hana Ranch, and more.

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. Many food trucks in town offer many options, but we highly suggest eating at Thai Food by Pranee and Braddah Huts BBQ.

If you are driving past Hana Town, plan on stopping by 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!


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12

Hamoa Beach

Consistently named one of “Maui’s Best Beaches,” and a favorite of author Ernest Hemingway, 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 the 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.

Hamoa 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.

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13

Wailua Falls

Considered the most photographed and one of the most beautiful waterfalls on Maui, 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. 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 worth a stop and 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.

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14

‘Ohe’o Gulch aka “Seven Sacred Pools” and the Pipiwai Trail

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 down to the crashing waves of the ocean. In recent years, direct access to the pools has been closed for safety reasons, but it is still a must-see!

There is a fee to get into the park; however, the pass is good for three days and will also get you into the Haleakala Summit. So, make sure to keep your receipt! Guests will enjoy the park facilities, including a large, paved parking lot, bathrooms, campground with picnic tables, and a Ranger Station with displays with interesting information. It’s a perfect spot on the road to Hana to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch.

The spectacular Pipiwai Trail is an incredible hike that starts across the street from the park entrance. The 1.8-mile trail leads through a magical bamboo forest and passes exceptional outlooks, streams, freshwater pools, and waterfalls, ending at the stunning 400-foot Waimoku Falls. Ohe’o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools) is indeed a special place to visit and will be a highlight of your Maui vacation.

Note: There is no swimming at this location.

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15

Back Side of 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 backside is partially unpaved, narrow, and, at times, steep, thousands of people have done it successfully, and it’s worth the drive! As green and lush as the Road to Hana has been until now is exactly how deserted and different it becomes on the backside, 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, 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.

The backside 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 entirely off the road, so you don’t block traffic.

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BONUS

Kings Gardens Maui

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!

Their most popular activity is the Waterfall Hike & Gardens Tour. They also offer a combined Waterfall Hike with Chocolate Tour that also features the historical gardens estate. On their Chocolate tour, you get to learn how your favorite dessert goes from the garden to the delightful treat known the world over. What makes their Chocolate tour the Best On Maui? They only showcase gourmet all-organic chocolate with high cacao (chocolate) content, making it super fun, tasty, and healthy!

Guests should know that this tour is indeed ‘private’ as they do not post the address anywhere on the internet for security reasons to help protect the sensitive archeological sites and rare endangered species on the estate, so only once you book will you get the driving directions, but bear in mind, it is super easy to find.

Upon arrival, you will be greeted by an expert local guide who will share the fascinating stories, legends, & myths about this sacred historical Royal heritage location. The guides are some of the best in Hawaii. They will bring to life the gardens’ secrets, their habitats, nature, relics, and their vision of conservation, preservation & restoration.


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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! Please share this article with all of your friends and family!

What is your favorite place to stop on the road to Hana?