Driving the infamous Road to Hana is one of the top attractions in Maui. This 64-mile stretch of road twists and turns along the northeast coastline delighting visitors with numerous natural attractions. Loaded with waterfalls, scenic overlooks, fresh fruit stands, and hairpin turns, the Road to Hana is truly a fantastic experience.
There are so many stops on the Road to Hana that you could easily spend days or weeks exploring the area. If, like most of us, your vacation time is more limited, let this be your guide to the Road to Hana!
1. Paia Town
Paia is the last town before you begin making your journey clockwise to Hana, and it is probably the cutest little surfing town I have ever seen! This is the perfect spot to grab coffee, breakfast, and gas before hitting the Road to Hana. Paia’s Main Street is lined with boutique shops and great restaurants. I highly recommend eating at Paia Fish Market and the Flatbread Company during your visit to Paia; they are delicious! If you arrive before everything is open, make a note to come back and explore Paia Town.
Pro Tip: One of the tips for driving the Road to Hana is to gas up in Paia. There are no other gas stations along the route.
2. Ho’okipa Beach Park And Lookout
Ho’okipa Beach Park and Ho’okipa Lookout are located just outside Paia on the left side of Highway 36. Ho’okipa Beach is famous for its surfing conditions, especially in the winter. When the conditions are right, you will find numerous surfers and windsurfers trying to catch a wave at Ho’okipa Beach. The lookout area offers a great view of the surfers and the beautiful beach below.
Ho’okipa Beach Park and Lookout is also a great place to spot wildlife. The area is known for the green sea turtles that come ashore here to rest in the afternoon hours. If you time your visit right, you can also see the monk seals or humpback whales found in the waters around Maui. I recommend spending 10-15 minutes at this stop. This should give you time to take in the views and watch a few surfers.
Pro Tip: After leaving Ho’okipa Beach Park and driving for a few miles, you will notice that the road turns into Highway 360, the Hana Highway. Reset your odometer to zero here to quickly find the rest of the stops using the mile markers.
3. Twin Falls
Mile Marker 2
One of my favorite things about the Road to Hana is the waterfalls. Twin Falls is a small but lovely waterfall located on a family-owned farm. You can park in the designated parking area and then take the Upper or Lower Falls Trail down to see the falls. While you are here, you can also support the farm by purchasing from the Twin Falls Fruit Stand.
Pro Tip: The Upper Falls Trail has the best vantage point to see the waterfall. The trail is 1 mile out and back over natural terrain.
4. Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees
Mile Marker 7
As you continue on the Hana Highway, keep your eyes peeled to the left side of the road as you approach Mile Marker 7. Look carefully, and you will spot a forest of rainbow eucalyptus trees. The trees, which display beautiful rainbow colors on their bark, are a sight to see. It is important to note that there is only a tiny space on the shoulder to park and view the trees, so be cautious.
Pro Tip: If the parking lot is busy and you plan to go to The Garden of Eden, you can skip this stop. The Garden of Eden has several of these trees also.
5. Garden Of Eden Arboretum
Mile Marker 10
The Garden of Eden Arboretum is a 26-acre tropical paradise. While there is an entrance fee per person, it is worth it if you love tropical landscapes. Here you will find over 700 species of tropical plants, a forest of rainbow eucalyptus trees, beautiful scenic overlooks, waterfalls, and free-roaming peacocks! The garden even overlooks Keopuka Rock, which was featured in the movie Jurassic Park.
Please visit the Garden of Eden website for more information.
Pro Tip: The Garden of Eden is an expansive space with miles of trails. Be sure to grab a map at the garden’s entrance to help plan what you want to see. There are a couple of miles of paved trails, but there are also numerous nature trails. Some stairs are also involved to see all of the attractions.
6. Halfway To Hana Stand
Mile Marker 17
At Mile Marker 17, you will notice a fun fruit stand named “Halfway to Hana.” This is the perfect spot to stretch your legs and try some of the island’s famous banana bread. In addition to banana bread, the Halfway to Hana stand also serves up shave ice, sandwiches, burgers, and ice cream.
7. Upper Waikani Falls
Mile Marker 19.5
Just past Mile Marker 19, you will find Upper Waikani Falls. Drive past the “no parking” signs to find parking, then walk back to the falls. You can get a great view of the falls from the road, or if you are feeling adventurous, you can take a short hike down to the pool of the falls. Just be warned, the beginning of the trail can be pretty slippery!
Pro Tip: Avoid walking down the trail if the falls flow heavily; it is unsafe.
8. Hana Lava Tube
Mile Marker 31
The Hana Lava Tube is one of the unique attractions on the Road to Hana. When you get close to Mile Marker 31, be on the lookout for ‘Ula’ino Road and turn left. The Hana Lava Tube offers a self-guided tour that allows visitors to explore this unique geological feature. Formed by molten lava that flowed and cooled thousands of years ago, the lava tube contains stalactites and stalagmites. There is also a nicely manicured garden on site for visitors to enjoy.
9. Wai’anapanapa State Park
Mile Marker 32
The beautiful black sand beach of Wai’anapanapa State Park is the main attraction, but that is not the only reason to visit. The park also contains clean restrooms, a natural sea arch, a blow hole, and ocean caves. You can also camp at Wai’anapanapa State Park if you choose to do so!
After parking your vehicle, follow the paved trail to the Wai’anapanapa Beach overlook area for a great view of the black sand beach and the sea arch. For a closer look at the beach, go down the stairs on the left-hand side of the overlook.
Wai’anapanapa State Park was one of my favorite stops on the Road to Hana, so I highly recommend you stop here.
Pro Tip: You must make reservations in advance as they do not accept same-day reservations or drive-up visitors. Please visit the park’s website for more information.
Of course, you can’t drive the Road to Hana and not stop in Hana town. This charming little seaside town is a place of deep roots and important historical significance for Maui. The town has remained relatively unchanged for years, despite the area’s influx of tourists. During your time here, you can learn more about the town’s history by visiting the Hana Cultural Center and Museum before grabbing food at one of the restaurants or food trucks.
Pro Tip: If you genuinely want to visit this area of Maui, consider booking a stay in Hana town. This will allow you more than one day to explore all that the Road to Hana has to offer.
11. Hamoa Beach
Mile Marker 51
About half a mile after Mile Marker 51, be on the lookout for Haneo’o Road. This road will lead you to one of the most beautiful beaches in Maui: Hamoa Beach. After parking on the street above the beach, you have to walk down a steep hill to access the beach, but trust me when I tell you that it is worth it.
The beautiful golden sand of Hamoa Beach is surrounded by sea cliffs and lush vegetation, making it the perfect spot to relax after the white knuckle drive you endured on Hana Highway. If the surf is not too high, this is also a great place to enjoy some time in the ocean.
If you stay the night in Hana, consider the Hana-Maui Resort. This beautiful resort will even shuttle you to Hamoa Beach.
Pro Tip: Notice how the mile markers changed after Hana town? They jump to 51 and go count backward. This makes sense if you are doing the Road to Hana in reverse.
12. Wailua Falls
Mile Marker 45
Wailua Falls is one of the best waterfalls on the Road to Hana. Located right on the side of the Hana Highway, it is also one of the most accessible. Cross over the one-lane bridge in front of the falls to find parking on the shoulder of the road.
Once you have parked, you can walk over to the falls; just remember to always be respectful of cars trying to cross the bridge. Wailua Falls cascades 80 feet down into the pool below. While the falls are easily viewed from the road, you can follow the steep trail down to the pool if you want to get closer.