I know it’s not even officially summer yet, but I’m really looking forward to fall. Fall is just so much more relaxing than summer. I’m especially looking forward to October this year, because Ryan and I are traveling back to Maui with his parents. I’ve got exactly four months, thirteen days, and thirteen hours until I am Aloha bound. Who’s counting? I thought I’d share some photos and highlights from previous trips to Maui. We are between projects at home, which means I don’t have anything picture ready at the house. The perfect excuse to talk about my favorite place!
Ryan and I have really familiarized ourselves with Maui over the years. Maui, in my opinion, is the perfect combination of convenience and natural beauty. It’s not a particularly difficult island to navigate…although we haven’t explored West Maui’s rugged North Shore. We’ve been told it’s more challenging than Hana Highway.
The Road to Hana is 52 miles of curves, one-lane bridges, and several blind spots; however, it’s one of the most mesmerizing drives in the world. Oh, and the speed limit is 25 mph or less. With very few stops and little traffic, the drive averages between 2.5 and 3 hours. Most people, including myself, would recommend taking it easy and making a day of it your first time. There’s no need to rush through 617 curves. Plus you’ll miss out on the beautiful scenery!
Before you get going to Hana, we recommend stopping in Paia at the Hana Picnic Lunch Company for a smoothie. It’s the perfect breakfast, and you can also pick up lunch for later in the day. We do recommend packing snacks and drinks. There aren’t many stops for food along the way, and I would use the restroom facilities when you see them.
Before cruising to Hana, I recommend that you do some research regarding sites and stops. I’m going to hit on a few of my favorites below, but you may have entirely different interests than me.
Maui Garden of Eden Arboretum & Botanical Garden
Be sure to stop at mile marker 10.5 to learn about Hawai’i’s native and indigenous plant species. There are trails for those of you that like to walk and or hike. Be sure to watch out for peacocks! ($15 pp)
Visit a National Historic Landmark in Hana and learn about cultural significance of the land, plants, and sea. Be sure to bring some cash, it’s $10 per person.
This is great spot for grabbing some banana nut bread and taking in the view. This is one of Ryan’s favorite spots to stop, and it’s about halfway to Hana (start looking for it after mile marker 16).
Wai’anapanapa State Park
If you’re looking for black sand beaches, this is your spot! You can also see a blow hole. It does get crowded, so be mindful of that if you’re looking to spend part of your day here. Get going early!
This beach is actually located a couple of miles past Hana. It is one of my favorite beaches. Obviously, the view is stunning!
Don’t stop there! We highly recommend venturing past Hana, which is a bit more challenging in spots. You’ll want a smaller vehicle if you intend on completing this portion of the journey. By continuing onward, you’ll travel the backside of Haleakala, experience breathtaking views of the ocean, and finish in Upcountry Maui. Upcountry is one of my favorite places, and I highly recommend having a glass of MauiWine.
Before I go, here are some tips and rules to follow.
- Respect the residents, and pull over so that they can pass you.
- Show some Aloha and wave if someone gives you the right of way.
- Don’t assume you park anywhere, be mindful.
- Do not stop on the bridges!
- Choose your vehicle wisely. Don’t drive something you aren’t comfortable driving. If you don’t like driving, we recommend taking a tour bus.
- Bring a raincoat for occasional showers.
- Begin your journey early in the morning.
- Bring sneakers if you plan on hiking. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and bug spray.
- As I noted above, bring extra water and snacks for the trip.
- Be sure to check the weather forecast, and be mindful that flash flooding can occur in spots.
- Fold in your vehicles mirrors on the road past Hana.