The Ultimate "Road to Hana Maui" Guide

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Curated By

Serene Gunnison

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  • Maui

  • Hawai'i

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Active Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Entertainment

  • Sightseeing

Halfway Hana food stop
Curator’s statement

Stretching over 60 miles from Kahului to remote Kipahulu, the Road to Hana is Maui's ultimate road trip. The route is littered with countless gems, like black sand beaches, spilling waterfalls, epic hikes and some of the best banana bread stands on the island. This area of Maui has very limited cell service, so ample research is required before you begin your Road to Hana journey. Luckily, as a born and raised Maui resident, I'm here to give you insider tips and recommendations!

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Where to stay in Hana, Maui

Hana-Maui Resort

Laid-back resort set on over 60 lush acres along the famed Road to Hana.

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Hana Kai

A serene oceanfront retreat in Hana, offering comfortable accommodations with stunning views of the Pacific and easy access to Hana's natural beauty and attractions.

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Things to do in Hana, Maui

Green trees

Twin Falls - Waterfalls, Hiking

Twin Falls is one of the most popular first stops on the Road to Hana, home to a string of waterfalls and a riot of tropical foliage. Visitors can hike one mile up a gravel road to the tallest (and most Instagram-worthy) waterfall, or visit one of the many falls and swimming holes along the way. Twin Falls is located on a privately owned farm that graciously allows public access. Keep in mind that parking fills up quickly due to Twin Falls' popularity, so try to arrive right when they open (7am; $10 per car). Be sure to ask about any closures before paying for parking, as sometimes the largest waterfall is closed due to flash flooding conditions.

Garden of Eden - Hiking, Sightseeing

Located near mile marker 10.5, the Garden of Eden is a dazzling 26-acre arboretum. You can explore over 2.5 miles of walking trails that wind through lush expanses of native and introduced tropical foliage. However, the garden's two overlooks are a definitive highlight. One overlook offers views of a picture-perfect waterfall in the valley below, while the other looks out on Keopuka Rock, best known for being featured in the opening scene of Jurassic Park. The garden is open 8am to 4pm daily. Entry is $20 per person.

Keanae Peninsula - Banana Bread, Sightseeing

The Keanae Peninsula marks the halfway point to Hana. Home to a small village, the Keanae community is rooted in Hawaiian traditions and values, shown in acres of taro patches. Stops on both the west and east ends of the peninsula reveal sweeping views of the rugged East Maui coastline. (Pssst, no swimming here please. The ocean in Keanae is not user friendly.) What's more, Keanae is home to Aunty Sandy's Banana Bread — one of the best banana bread stands on the island. Gordon Ramsey even visited Aunty Sandy's once! Aunty Sandy's is closed on Sundays.

Hana Lava Tube - Sightseeing, Cave

The Hana Lava Tube is one of the most overlooked yet unique stops on the Road to Hana. Formed nearly 1,000 years ago by underground rivers of lava, the Hana Lava Tube is the largest known accessible lava tube on Maui. Entrance is $15 and comes with a high powered flashlight for self-guided tours. You can explore about 0.3 miles of the cave, where you'll see various types of stalactites and lava formations, as well as a Cold War-era fallout shelter. Not interested in going underground? The Hana Lava Tube also has a ti maze (think corn maze, but with ti plants), which is great for kids.

Waianapanapa State Park - Beaches

Waianapanapa is hands-down the most popular stop on the Road to Hana. In fact, it's so popular that out-of-state visitors are required to make reservations for entry. (You can do so at gowaianapanapa.com). Waianapanapa is a sacred place, and the mystic energy is tangible. For visitors, Waianapanapa's biggest appeal is its black sand beach, Paiola Beach. However, those who explore beyond the beach will find various hiking trails, sacred fresh water caves and petroglyph sites.

Koki Beach - Beaches

Did you know that Maui has red sand beaches? The best place to see red sand is at Koki Beach, just a few miles beyond Hana Town. Koki Beach is nestled against a large cinder cone, which deposits iron-rich cinders and gives the sand its unique color. Swimming here is not advised due to strong currents, but the beach is great for photo ops.

Hamoa Beach - Beaches

Just beyond Koki Beach you'll find Hamoa, one of the most glorious beaches in Hawaii. Hamoa Beach is a picture-perfect sandy cove nestled amid a tangle of greenery. When it's calm, the water resembles a swimming pool and is great for swimming. However, the shorebreak can be rough here, so it's important to know your limits. You can also get great views of the Big Island on clear mornings. Hamoa can get very busy and street parking is limited, so be sure to park wisely (as in, don't block the driveways of residents and leave enough room for other drivers to get by).

Pipiwai Trail - Hiking

The most epic hiking trail in East Maui is located at the very end of the Road to Hana, in Haleakala National Park's Kipahulu District. The three-mile out-and-back trail leads to Waimoku Falls, which towers at 400 feet. Along the way, you'll hike past enormous banyan trees, more plunging waterfalls, and a dense bamboo forest. Due to the humidity, lots of water and mosquito spray are MUSTS! Also, going beyond the signage to the base of Waimoku Falls is strongly discouraged, as rock fall in the area is very, very common and has taken several lives. Admire from afar! Entry is $30 per car, and you can use your receipt to gain access to Haleakala National Park Summit District for up to three days.

A Safety Note

While the Road to Hana is one of Maui's most popular attractions, the road is also a lifeline for East Maui residents to get to work, school, and medical care. If you drive the Road to Hana yourself, please utilize pull outs to let faster moving traffic by, and never let a line of cars pile up behind you. Please only park safely off the road in designated parking spots and avoid trespassing on private property. Also, be sure to check weather forecasts before your drive, as flash flooding can create deadly conditions near streams, waterfalls, and low lying areas. Mahalo!

Places to eat & drink in Hana, Maui

tasty food

Aunty Sandy's Banana Bread - Stop here for great banana bread and other bites like kalua pork sandwiches, smoothies, and coconut candy. Banana bread here sells out quick, but they usually have more loaves in the oven.

Halfway To Hana - Just around the corner from Aunty Sandy's, Halfway to Hana also boasts excellent banana bread. You can also opt for shave ice or lunch items like hamburgers and hot dogs.

Thai Food by Pranee - My mouth waters just thinking about Pranee's. Thai Food by Pranee is located across the street from Hana Ball Park near Hana Bay. It can get very, very busy and the kitchen gets backed up easily, so either arrive when they open (11am) or be prepared to wait a while for your food. It's worth it though! If it's available, get the crispy opaka with green mango salad. To die for.

Hana Ranch Restaurant - Hana Ranch Restaurant is the only upscale eatery in Hana. It's part of the Hana Maui Resort, but non-guests can dine here as well. The restaurant prioritizes locally sourced ingredients, and the menu features favorites like burgers and wings as well as local favorites like saimin and loco moco.

My Tita's Cafe - If you need a caffeine boost during your adventures, be sure to stop at My Tita's Cafe, located in the food truck lot just past the gas station in Hana Town. You can expect great coffee and the sweetest service.

Da Fish Shack - Da Fish Shack has "all-kine" fish plates, from fish tacos to seared fish and fish and chips. It's hard to beat fresh, local fish! Also keep an eye out for their specials.

Braddah Hutt's BBQ Grill - Nowhere does Hawaiian BBQ like Braddah Hutt's. This no-frills food truck is parked in someone's yard just past Hana Town. There is a variety of plates on offer, but you can't go wrong with one of Braddah Hutt's BBQ plates. (Psssst, get the pork ribs.)

Koki Beach Huli Huli Chicken - The most legendary huli huli chicken plate on Maui can be found here. Seriously, this stuff is the real deal! (For those who don't know, huli huli chicken is like a Hawaiian-style rotisserie/BBQ chicken.) Kalua pork and combo plates are also available.

Need to Know

Looking for more Maui travel inspo? Check out Fora Travel Advisor Kat Saval's guide, Maui Travel Guide: Explore the Best of Hawai'i's Paradise.

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Travel Advisor

Serene Gunnison

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Hawai'i.