Hana was BY FAR my favorite part of our whole honeymoon! Hana is a side of the island that makes it seem like it is the “real” Maui. There are no fancy hotels, no fancy restaurants, not touristy (only the Road to Hana tends to be at certain waterfalls during certain times of day), and all the greenery and vegetation on that side of the island is so natural. But I have to say, the major key to experiencing all of Hana– STAY OVERNIGHT!
Before going to Hana, I didn’t really tell Kyle much about it. I said that Hana is a quaint little town on the other side of the island, not many things are open past 8pm, and you take the Road to Hana to get there. I explained it was a winding road past a ton of waterfalls and a lot of greenery. He was very excited, until he started seeing t-shirts at local shops that said “I survived the road to Hana”.
So- the Road to Hana is 52 miles with 617 curves and 56 bridges, so buckle up! A word of advice- just to be safe- take non-drowsy Dramamine (it is made with green tea). It will make sure you don’t get car sick from the winding roads!
I HIGHLY recommend downloading an app for the drive called Shaka Maui. A couple Uber drivers in Lahaina told us about this and I am so glad! Just spend the couple bucks to download the Hana tour and it tracks your location on the drive (without using your cell data- turn off your cell service when you are taking this drive) and gives you all the information, pitstops, and waterfalls to see along the way. It tells you what to definitely stop at and what to pass on if you don’t have a lot of time.
There are a couple of rules of the road. First– let locals and fast drivers pass you. The roads are all one lane each direction and a lot of one lane bridges. If someone wants to pass, just pull over somewhere. There are a lot of places to pull off to the side to let people pass. Second– pay attention to yield signs. The start of one lane bridges tell you to yield and you really have to pay attention to oncoming traffic. Third– don’t leave all your stuff in your car when you park and hike or go see a waterfall. They warn about people breaking into cars, and even though I never felt unsafe, I am glad we at least took our backpacks with our wallets, iPads, and emergency things with us whenever we left the car, just to be safe.
Another aspect that made it even more fun, driving in the Jeep! It was raining on and off, so we couldn’t take off the top, but I loved it! Made it seem like I was off roading (which I wasn’t) and it took the turns pretty well. Thanks Enterprise!
AIRBNB– RUDI’S RANCH IN HANA– We stayed at the cutest Airbnb. It was a detached guest house on 5 aches of beautiful land with horses, chickens, and the nicest host. It is in a safe, secluded neighborhood and was the perfect place to stay the night! It has a full kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom. It was so charming and enjoyable, I definitely recommend staying here!
*Also because there is only one resort in Hana and it is very expensive and not worth it when you can stay in charming places.
There are so many things to do in on the way to Hana, in Hana, and past Hana- but here were my favorite ACTIVITIES—
WATERFALLS ALONG THE ROAD TO HANA– The Shaka Maui app with direct you to exactly where to go and what waterfalls to stop at. Since I dont remember all the names of the waterfalls (there were so many!), here are a couple that we stopped at along the drive.
BLACK SAND BEACH- WAIANAPANAPA STATE PARK– You have to see the black sand beach. It is really a cool sight to see and there is a lava tube for you to explore through. Don’t take a rock though.. apparently it is bad luck. We didn’t go to this beach until the next morning after staying the night, and it was raining, so we didn’t get to fully enjoy the beach, but it was still amazing to see the black rock against the blue ocean and lush greenery.
SEVEN SACRED POOLS AT OHE’O- PIPIWAI TRAIL- HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK, KIPAHULU AREA– This is a MUST!! It is an easy 4 mile round trip hike that takes you past waterfalls, a banyan tree, through a bamboo forest, and ends with a 400 foot waterfall! This was my ultimate FAVORITE thing to do in Hana (and even all of Maui!) It was even raining when we went and it made it that much more enjoyable and breathtaking! There is a lot of parking at the Kipahulu Visitor Center, and it does cost to get into the park, but its worth it! You HAVE to go! This will take up a chunk of your day though, and that is why I suggest staying over night. It isn’t too fun to drive the Road to Hana and then hide for miles and then get back on the road again.
I should also mention one thing about getting to the sacred pools. It is like a 30min drive past Hana and the roads… well… they get way more narrow. This is basically 1 little lane where cars drive both directions. You really have to pull over close to the mountain or cliff to let on coming traffic through. I was SHOCKED that even tour buses were taking this road because a tour bus barely fits, especially with traffic in the other direction!
So here are a ton of pictures from the hike. It was so hard to pick my favorites! You just have to go to see it for yourself!
And here are some GREAT places to EAT—
HULI HULI CHICKEN– This roadside food stand is definitely the place to eat! When we went, it was pouring rain so we didn’t get to experience the whole thing (like the stand being right near the beach) but the chicken and ribs were so good and then you go sit in a wooden hut where they were playing live music! You also have to try the chili water on top of some of your food. It is in an unlabelled bottle up when you order. It definitely has a kick to it, but I am now obsessed with it. Huli Huli Chicken
HANA FARMS– A great place to grab some jams, coffee, bananas, and great local finds. Such a cute place to stop and hangout too. This is right before you get into town. Hana Farms
THE PRESERVE KITCHEN + BAR AT TRAVASA– It is in the center of town and is one of the only nice restaurants in Hana. It is attached to the only hotel in town too. It is expensive to stay there and apparently the locals hate this resort- but the food was really good. We went there at night, after the sun had set, so there was no view. The Preserve Kitchen + Bar
HASEGAWA GENERAL STORE– A great place to grab snacks, drinks, beer, and any supplies. It is just right off the road.
There is also only 1 gas station in Hana, so fill up when you see it! It is near the Hasegawa general store.
And truthfully, after going to Hana and being around all the beauty, greenery, and more secluded part of the island, it jaded me for the rest of the trip. I love Hana so much.
What Kyle thinks: “