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The Road to Hana: 22 Must-See Stops

It is no secret that the Road to Hana is one of Maui’s top attractions.

One visit to the Hana Highway, and you will quickly understand why!

This 64-mile stretch of highway has incredible scenery, including breathtaking waterfalls, scenic overlooks, hairpin turns, one-lane bridges, and wonderful natural beauty.

Adding the Road to Hana to your itinerary is a must as one of the top things to do in Maui.

Driving the Hana Highway can be stressful, with over 600 turns and dozens of one-lane bridges.

Of course, this terrain also means that people subject to motion sickness should probably beware.

If you aren’t up for the drive, consider taking one of the many guided tours available in Maui.

If you decide to tackle the Road to Hana yourself, pack your patience, drive carefully, be wary of the one-lane bridges, and only stop at public places.

The Road to Hana was truly a highlight during our visit to Maui. It had been on our couple’s bucket list for so long; it definitely lived up to the hype.

With that in mind, let’s check out all the awesome Hana Highway stops!

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    Must-See Attractions on the Road to Hana

    Paia Town

    The charming town of Paia is the last city before your journey on the Road to Hana begins.

    This cute little surfing community is the perfect place to grab breakfast and fill up with gas before heading out on the Hana Highway.

    Paia’s Main Street has great restaurants, cute boutique shops, and art galleries.

    We recommend starting your Road to Hana journey early in the morning, so you might want to wait and explore Paia Town another day.

    When you have more time, return to Paia and grab a bite to eat at Paia Fish Market or enjoy a delicious pizza at Flatbread Company. We enjoyed both restaurants during our time in Maui, which was great!

    Ho’okipa Beach Park and Lookout

    Ho’okipa Beach Park was one of our favorite places to hang out during our Maui vacation.

    This fun beach park is perfect for a picnic lunch as you watch the surfers and windsurfers catch a wave.

    Ho’okipa Beach Park is located on the left side of Highway 36, just outside of Paia town, heading toward Hana.

    The large outlook of Ho’okipa Beach Park offers incredible views of the surfers and the beach park below.

    Ho’okipa Beach Park is also famous for the wildlife that loves this beach.

    Green sea turtles come ashore every afternoon to enjoy resting in the Hawaiian sun.

    We were fortunate to see tons of sea turtles and catch a monk seal resting on the beach!

    After leaving Ho’okipa Beach Park and driving for a few miles, the road becomes Hana Highway. Be sure to reset your odometer to zero here to find the stops on our Road to Hana list using the mile markers.

    Twin Falls (Mile Marker 2)

    The Road to Hana is full of waterfalls! So, I love that the drive is immediately kicked off with a pretty waterfall.

    Twin Falls is a small but lovely waterfall on a family-owned Hana Highway farm.

    If you want to stop and get a closer look at Twin Falls, be sure that you park only in the designated areas. (Follow this advice on the entire Road to Hana journey!)

    Once safely parked, you can take the trail to the Upper Falls to see the top of the falls or the trail to the Lower Falls to be at the base of the falls.

    I would recommend taking the Upper Falls Trail for the best vantage point of the waterfall. The trail is about one-mile out and back.

    While here, grab some locally grown fruit or banana bread from the farm stand to support the local farm. These will make great snacks for your Road to Hana adventure.

    Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees (Mile Marker 7)

    As you approach mile marker 7 on the Road to Hana, keep an eye on the left-hand side of the road (if heading near Hana town).

    Here you will see a fabulous forest of beautiful rainbow Eucalyptus trees.

    These unique trees originate from an island in the Philippines. Although they may look subdued from the road, they are gorgeous up close.

    The rainbow colors are exposed as the tree bark peels away slowly over time.

    Please don’t leave your car to see these trees, as they are on private property. You can see rainbow Eucalyptus trees up close by visiting the Garden of Eden Arboretum mentioned below.

    Ka Haku Smoke Shack (Mile Marker 10.2)

    If you start to get hungry, stop at the little smoke shake on the side of the road known for its grilled chicken plates, Ka Haku Smoke Shack.

    The shack wasn’t open when we passed through, but if you get to try it, let us know how it is!

    We heard such great things about it that we had to include it on our Road to Hana list.

    Maui Garden of Eden Arboretum (Mile Marker 10.5)

    The Maui Garden of Eden Arboretum has 26 acres of gorgeous tropical landscape and is worth including on your Road to Hana itinerary.

    The Maui Garden of Eden Arboretum owners take so much pride in their landscape, which is apparent when you visit.

    Containing over 700 species of tropical plants, picturesque waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and a forest of Rainbow Eucalyptus trees, it is no wonder that people love this Hana Highway attraction.

    One of the highlights during our visit was seeing the Keopuka Rock, which was featured in the movie Jurassic Park.  

    During your time at the Maui Garden of Eden Arboretum, keep an eye peeled for the free-roaming peacocks that call this piece of paradise home. They often put on quite a show.

    After paying your entry fee, grab a map of the gardens so you don’t miss anything.

    Honomanu Bay (Mile Marker 14)

    While driving the Road to Hana, one of the best stops to see the Hana Highway snake down the hillside is Honomanu Bay.

    Just past mile marker 14, you will notice a large pullout that is the perfect spot to catch this view. This is a quick stop on your journey, so it is up to you if you stop.

    As always, be safe and never put yourself at risk to see an attraction, especially on the Road to Hana.

    Ke’anae Arboretum (Mile Marker 16)

    If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the beautiful Rainbow Eucalyptus trees on your Road to Hana journey, then you have to stop at Ke’anae Arboretum.

    These beautiful botanical gardens on the Road to Hana boast about 150 tropical plants, including the Rainbow Eucalyptus, and the best part is it is free to enter!

    A paved walkway through the arboretum takes you past the gorgeous tropical vegetation. The path is a half-mile walk and is easy to navigate.

    I would advise bringing bug spray during your visit just to be safe.

    Ka’Anae Peninsula (Mile Marker 16.8)

    Keep your eyes peeled as you leave the Ke’anae Arboretum because just down the Road to Hana is the turn-off for the gorgeous Ka’Anae Peninsula.

    This stop on the way to Hana town attracts photographers worldwide thanks to its incredible North Shore waves that visit this part of the island.

    These waves are known to get over 20 feet tall. Combine that with the jagged rocks and the strong uncurrent, and this definitely isn’t where you want to go swimming!

    On the way down to the peninsula, notice the historic church. This church is the last remaining structure from a devastating tsunami that hit this area.

    Grab some homemade banana bread or a tropical fruits smoothie from the famous Aunt Sandy’s, and enjoy watching the waves roll in before getting back out on the Road to Hana.

    I still dream about the fresh fruit sold at these roadside stands. If you hire a local guide, ask them to stop for you as you tour the Hana road. A trip on the Road to Hana isn’t complete without trying the delicious fruits and homemade banana bread.

    Halfway to Hana Stand (Mile Marker 17)

    If you didn’t grab banana bread at Aunt Sandy’s or want to try all the homemade banana bread on the Road to Hana, then you must add Halfway to Hana Stand to your itinerary.

    The name of this farm stand can be misleading because you are about two-thirds of the way to Hana town by the time you reach this stop.

    Regardless, the Halfway to Hana Stand is definitely a food stand worth stopping at.

    In addition to their delicious homemade banana bread, they serve tasty fresh coconut candy, burgers, sandwiches, ice cream, and shaved ice. You can’t be that while on your Road to Hana adventure!

    Wailua Valley State Wayside (Mile Marker 18.8)

    If you have a bit of motion sickness or want another stop to stretch your legs, you can pull off just past mile 18.

    Here you will find a few parking spots and some stairs that lead you to the top of a lookout area. This is a great view of Wailua and the taro fields.

    Upper Waikani Falls (Miles 19-20)

    Our next stop on the Road to Hana is a photographer’s dream!

    Upper Waikani Falls, also called Three Bears Falls, is about half a mile after mile marker 19, so be on the lookout, as you don’t want to miss one of Hana Highway’s beautiful waterfalls.

    You will find parking just past the falls. Ensure you always park in designated parking while touring the Hana area.

    You can easily snap a photo of the falls from the side of the road; just be sure you watch for cars on this scenic highway. Remember that local drivers use this road to get to and from work and home, so always be respectful.

    Most visitors want to get up close and personal with the falls. You can hike down to the falls from the road; just be sure you have a good pair of hiking shoes, as the trail can be quite slippery.

    This area of East Maui is known for flash floods, so if it has rained recently, I wouldn’t advise getting too close to the falls on your Hana Road adventure.

    Pu’a Ka’a Wayside State Park (Miles 22-23)

    For an easy hike that houses more of the many waterfalls found on the Road to Hana, you can stop at Pu’a Ka’a Wayside State Park.

    The trail is just under half a mile, leading to a small waterfall.

    This is also a great place to stop for a restroom break!

    Hana Lava Tube (Mile Marker 31)

    Of all the sights on your Hana adventure, the Hana Lava Tube might be one of the most unique things to see on your Hana tour.

    The Hana Lava Tube is a cool geological feature that allows visitors to go inside the mesmerizing lava tube formed from molten lava that flowed and cooled thousands of years ago.

    During the self-guided tour, visitors will see stalactites and stalagmites inside the lava tube.

    As you pass mile 31, be on the lookout for ‘Ul’ino Road and turn left.

    Black Sand Beach at Wai’anapanapa State Park (Mile Marker 32)

    Another fabulous stop on the heavenly Hana Highway is Wai’anapanapa State Park.

    The beautiful black sand beach draws most visitors to this state park, but there is a lot to see at this fabulous park.

    Wai’anapanapa is also home to natural sea arches, ocean caves, and a cool blowhole.

    After parking in the parking area, follow the paved trail to the Wai’anapanapa Beach overlook. Here you can get a great view of the incredible black sand beach and the sea arch.

    To access the beach, go down the stairs on the left-hand side of the overlook.

    The beach is truly breathtaking. I loved sitting on a rock on the beach, watching the waves roll in.

    During our visit to the park, several people were also swimming in this area.

    Take time to explore the other trails that lead to the blowhole and the sea cave, or enjoy a picnic or some banana bread at the picnic tables in the park.

    If you hike this area, wear sturdy shoes, as the black rocks are very jagged and rough.

    Also, spending about three hours exploring this area is easy, so take note of your time if you are trying to see several stops on the Road to Hana on the same day.

    Wai’anapanapa State Park was one of my favorite stops on the Road to Hana. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the black sand beach was.

    It is important to note that you need a reservation to visit Wai’anapanapa State Park. Make this as far in advance as possible so you don’t miss it on your Road to Hana experience.

    Hana Town

    You cannot drive the Road to Hana and miss the crown jewel, the town of Hana.

    Exploring the town of Hana is a great way to explore the Hawaiian culture and the beauty of this area.

    This charming seaside town has remained relatively unchanged for years.

    Learn more about this area when you visit the Hana Cultural Center Museum before grabbing a bite at a local restaurant or food truck.

    If you want to make your experience more than a day trip, why not spend a night or two in Hana? This will allow you to explore the area more slowly and get a feel for upcountry Maui.

    Note that the mile markers change after Hana; they jump to 51. This makes sense if you are doing the Road to Hana in reverse.

    Kaihlulu Red Sand Beach

    Kaihlulu Red Sand Beach is located in the town of Hana.

    We skipped this on our Hana tour as we read that it was a dangerous hike and should only be attempted by hikers skilled in navigating cliff edges and slipper footings. That definitely isn’t us!

    If you are interested in this, check it out on your Hana map and then do your research to determine if you should add this to your Road to Hana itinerary.

    Hamoa Beach (Mile 51)

    Half a mile after mile 51 on the Road to Hana, be on the lookout for Haneo’o Road. Turn here to find one of the most beautiful beaches in Maui, Hamoa Beach.

    You will find parking on the street above the beach and have to walk down a steep hill to access it, but it is worth it.

    When you arrive at Hamoa Beach, you will be surrounded by lush vegetation, beautiful sea cliffs, and an endless ocean.

    This is the perfect place in upcountry Maui to enjoy a nice swim in the ocean; just be sure that the surf isn’t too high.

    Koki Beach Park (Mile Marker 51)

    Koki Beach Park is located in Hana Bay, just past Hana, and is a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch or stretch your legs for a bit.

    Be sure and obey the warning signs and don’t swim at the park; instead, enjoy the peaceful serenity of this stop on the Road to Hana.

    Wailua Falls (Mile Marker 45)

    Another of the many waterfalls on the Road to Hana, Wailua Falls, is located on the right-hand side of the Hana Highway and is easily accessible.

    Drive across the one-lane bridge to the little parking area on the shoulder of the road.

    Once you have parked, you can easily walk over to view the gorgeous Wailua Falls.

    Wailua Falls cascades down over 80 feet and is truly a breathtaking waterfall. I loved standing on the road listening to the water pouring down the cliffside. This was one of my favorite sites on the Road to Hana.

    If you want to get closer to the falls, a steep trail leads you down to the pool of the falls.

    Remember that even though you are past Hana town, the Road to Hana is still usable, so always respect the cars and don’t block the road.

    Ohe’o Gulch and Seven Sacred Pools (Marker 42)

    Visitors will find Ohe’o Gulch inside Haleakala National Park, commonly called the Seven Sacred Pools.

    Just ten miles past Hana town, this attraction should definitely be on your Hana tour list.

    An easy walk to the lookout point rewards you with one of the most beautiful scenes on the Road to Hana and, possibly, all of Maui.

    The Seven Sacred Pools amazes visitors with its gorgeous cascading waterfalls that empty into beautiful freshwater pools going from stream to stream until they connect with the ocean below.

    Pipiwai Trail (Mile Marker 42)

    Another must-see site in Haleakala National Park is Pipiwai Trail.

    This incredible hike is four miles out and back and increases elevation by about 650 feet.

    The 2.5-hour hike leads visitors along a meandering stream, passing freshwater pools and waterfalls and hiking through a bamboo forest.

    The trail leads you to the gorgeous Waimoku Falls. Waimoku Falls will take your breath away; it is so pretty.

    This 400-foot tall waterfall cascades down the side over a rock wall surrounded by lush tropical rainforest.

    This is truly a highlight of the Road to Hana and should not be missed.

    Haleakala National Park has an entry fee, but seeing these incredible sights during your Hana Highway adventure is well worth it.

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    Michelle Snell-Founder That Texas Couple

    About the Author

    Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through creative content creation and her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel and accompanying social media accounts.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.