Drive The Road to Hana and you’ll cruise past some of the most stunning scenery in Hawaii.
From spectacular seascapes and taro patches to botanical gardens, this 70 mile/110km stretch has a reputation for being one of the top drives in the world. So here are six must-follow tips for driving the Road To Hana that will help you get the most out of the experience.
Start Early For A Smoother Ride
Depending on when you’re travelling, the Road To Hana can be pretty congested. So why get stuck behind some slow-poke for the entire trip?
Even worse, many stopping areas along the way have room for only one or two cars – It’d be a shame to miss out on something just because you wanted to sneak in a few extra ZZZZs.
So hit the road by leaving West or South Maui resorts by at least 6 a.m. You’ll beat the traffic and might even be able to squeeze in a few more sights.
Load Up On Supplies
Until you actually arrive in Hana, there are few spots to grab a drink or bite to eat along the way. So don’t let hunger ruin this brilliant road trip. Stock up on ample snacks and beverages.
But if you’re the forgetful type, there’s a fruit stand at the first waterfall along the Road To Hana and a couple other stands offering fruit breads after that.
Pick Your Spots Carefully
Yes, the Road To Hana is absolutely stunning – but you probably won’t have time to see every waterfall or viewpoint up close. If you try to stop everywhere, you’ll end up getting stressed out as you try to jam all these attractions in.
So instead, prioritize what you want to see. A few of our must-see stops include: Wai’anapanapa State Park, Wailua Falls, Oheo Gulch, Hamoa Beach.
So try to stick to your plan. Or even better, follow a set tour itinerary designed by a professional guide to ensure you hit all the highlights and maybe even a few little-known spots (you know, for bragging rights).
Be Respectful Of Locals On The Road
Remember: this is a busy route used by locals every day. So respect those who aren’t travelling at a visitor’s speed.
If there’s someone behind you that looks as if they’re driving rather than sightseeing, pull over to the side of the road whenever it’s safe to do so. And as they pass, give them the ‘shaka’ wave – it’s a great way to make a few friends with the locals.
Respect Kapu (stay off private property)
There are a few ultra-popular guide books out there that ‘reveal’ hidden spots that are well-known to locals. The trouble is many of these areas are on private property.
So be sure to never trespass. Many Hawaiians are pretty serious about protecting their land, and going somewhere you’re not supposed to can land you in hot water.
Plus, it’s just bad karma. So respect Kapu – which is translated as forbidden or scared – and keep to the public areas. With the right information, you might be surprised about how many little-known spots you can stumble upon that are perfectly legal to explore.
Can’t Fit It All In? Consider Spending The Night
Cruising the Road To Hana can be one long road trip if you tackle it in a single day. So if you’re the type to linger, spend the night in some quality accommodations instead.
Considering that Hana has a population of only about 1200 people, this isn’t a place bursting with hotels. But there are a few stunning spots to rest your head. You could try Travaasa Hana, which was voted the number one Hawaiian resort in 2011 by readers of Condé Nast Traveler. Or check out the pristine ambience at Hana Kai Maui. Both are swanky options for R&R.
Ready to Hit the Road?
Take your time and enjoy the stops along the Road to Hana. A truly enjoyable road trip isn’t about getting from point A to B, it’s about the relaxed pace, the freedom of the open road and the adventures along the way.
It provides a guided audio tour, so you can learn even more about the area as you drive. Don’t miss a thing on your drive, visit the must see waterfalls, best beaches and listen to stories about Hawaii’s culture and history. All commentary plays automatically and the apps work offline, so no data or cellular signal is required after download.