Plan your journey with these must-see spots and travel tips
Find adventure on the Hāna Highway
The legendary Hāna Highway spans Maui’s entire northeastern coastline, connecting the bustling airport city of Kahului to the remote mountain beach town of Hāna. Along its 52 miles, around its 600 turns, and over its 59 bridges, the scenic thoroughfare rewards sojourners with lush opportunities for adventure. Considered a vivid metaphor for life itself, the Road to Hāna teaches travelers to enjoy the journey. And no two journeys are ever the same.
Tip: Start your adventure early
For the best experience, set off well before the sun and you’ll stay ahead of the rush all day. Depending on where you stay, you could encounter traffic on the Hāna Highway (as Route 36), which begins in Kahului.
Stop 1: Gather provisions in Pā‘ia
First, prepare for your day-long adventure. As the last town you’ll see until Hāna, small Pā‘ia (PAH-ee-ah) is a convenient place to top off your gas tank and fill up your picnic basket. The charming Hāna Picnic Lunch Company offers popular boxed lunches and other essentials to-go.
Stop 2: Snacks and Views at Twin Falls
Just past mile marker 2 (on Route 360), stretch your legs and see your first waterfall of the day. The Twin Rivers Farm Stand, an easy-to-park-at site in the Ho‘olawa Valley, offers Hawaiian smoothies, banana breads, and other exotic nibbles for later. Wailele Farm, the business behind the stand, officially opened the private trails in recent years for tourists to respectfully explore the nearby lower falls, as well as the less populated upper falls and plunge pools, about a mile round-trip.
Tip: Keep your eyes on the road
Starting around mile marker 16, you’ll find an especially tricky stretch of blind turns and hundred-year-old, one-lane bridges that can intimidate even the best drivers. It’s always a good idea to have one of the passengers track mile markers while the driver is watching the road along the Hāna Highway, as the numbers start over from 0 when Route 36 becomes Route 360.
Stop 3: Flowers at the Garden of Eden
About halfway between Kahului and Hāna, at mile marker 10 ½, you can enter the Garden of Eden. Meander through idyllic acres of soothing native flora, fauna, and waterscapes to see how the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens practices and inspires malama‘aina, or caring for the land.
The Road to Hāna offers both a spiritual journey through lush landscapes and a culinary exploration of local favorites. Lace up your shoes and prepare for an unforgettable adventure on Maui.
Garden of Eden
Stop 4: Walk black-sand beaches at Wai‘ānapanapa
A must-see destination just before Hāna is the 120-acre Wai‘ānapanapa State Park at mile marker 32, where powerful waves ofglistening water (the English translation for Wai‘ānapanapa) crash against the ebony volcanic rock of Honokalani Black Sand Beach in Pa‘iloa Bay. Take in the park’s striking natural formations: stone arches and sea stacks along the rugged coast, and inland an array of ancient freshwater caves, blowholes, and anchialine pools. Wai‘ānapanapa is also home to several seabird species and the largest heiau (temple) in Hawai‘i.
Tip: Pull over to your personal paradise
The Road to Hāna encourages spontaneity. With a picturesque waterfall, an enticing trail or a scenic landscape around every turn, it’s up to you to decide which sites you feel like exploring. One great option is Upper Waikani Falls at mile marker 19½, called Three Bears for its distinctive side-by-side trio of water.
Final Stop: Mix with locals in Hāna
You’ve arrived. After the drive, the isolated town of Hāna appears like a welcome tiny oasis of civilization. While you’re there, browse the Hasegawa General Store, known for its eclectic Hāna-specific merchandise since 1910. Then take a brief walk through Hawaiian history, viewing rare artifacts and art at the Hāna Cultural Center & Museum.
On the way home, don’t miss …
Near the end of your westward return trip, just before Pā‘ia, you can catch the afternoon whirling of sails at Ho‘okipa Beach, the windsurfing capital of the world. Once you’ve returned to Pā‘ia with a medley of indelible experiences, cap your adventures with a relaxing dinner Mama’s Fish House Restaurant. Mahalo for the memories!
For more information, get insider tips on the Road to Hāna from the Concierge at The Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas, offering studio, 1-, and 2-bedroom villas with the key amenities of home and signature Westin® touches. The resort is situated on Kā‘anapali Beach, where you can enjoy paddleboarding, scuba diving, snorkeling, and more — all just steps from your home-away-from-home.
Contact Your Westin Concierge To Plan Your Vacation
Our experienced on-site Concierge team is ready to assist you. Email us to make your Maui activity reservations today, or call 1-888-641-8210.
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