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Top 10 Sites on the Road to Hana

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It’s Aloha Friday! You may have heard of the Road to Hana, which is one of the top “things to do” on Maui. But most people only take the road and skip Hana entirely. But I encourage you to consider spending a night–or two!–in or around Hana instead, so you can really enjoy everything Hana has to offer. Here are my top 10 reasons to consider a trip to Hana, Maui!

10. Paia Town

Paia will be your last chance to fill up with gas and get supplies like sunscreen, bug repellent, and food before you start on the Road to Hana, and the last stop when you finish the Road! It’s a laid-back surfer town with fun shops and some great food options after a long day (or a few days) or hiking along the Road to Hana. It is definitely worth a stop to walk around like a local and enjoy the calming vibe.

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Morning rush in Paia
9. Hana Town

Speaking of laid-back towns, Hana squeaks in just above Paia! If you’re driving the Road to Hana in just a day, it’s a great stopping point for lunch. There are several food trucks to check out, as well as a couple of sit-down service restaurants if you prefer as well. Don’t forget to browse the little shops around town and support the locals while you’re there!

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We Love Hana!
8. Ke’anae Peninsula

This is an incredible stop along the Road to Hana that we almost missed! There is a restaurant here for breakfast or lunch called Aunty Sandy’s, beautiful ocean and cliff-side views, and the cutest church you ever did see. It was the sole survivor here after the tsunami of 1946. Take 30 minutes to an hour to walk around and enjoy this sleepy peninsula town.

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Ke’anae Old Stone Church
7. Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Park

Not only does this site get points for having a restroom facility, it also has two waterfalls! It’s just off the Road, and it’s hard to miss. There is a small parking lot right across from the waterfalls, a few more spaces in front of the restrooms, and people were parking along the road, too. We saw some people cliff jumping here, but we do not recommend doing that yourself!

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Waterfall 1; look how happy!
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Waterfall 2!
6. Half Way to Hana Food Stand

This is a great place! There is parking and there are port-a-potties, but most importantly, there is food! Banana bread is the thing to have on the Road to Hana, and the Half Way to Hana stand claims to have the original! You can also get coffee, smoothies, “Hana Tonic” in case you or someone in your car gets motion sick, locally made sweets, sandwiches, and the best photo op is here, too!

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Proof I was there!
5. Wailua Overlook and Coral Miracle Church

Don’t miss this signage-free overlook! Not only are the views of the ocean and the valley below stunning, the little church below is miraculous. The church was built from coral in the 1860s, but the coral was very difficult to harvest. A freak storm brought coral up on to the beach, making for easy gathering and quick building. Soon after the church was finished, another freak storm came up and took the remaining coral away! The church is still standing over 150 years later.

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Wailua Overlook
4. Three Bears Falls

How cute, right? You can easily see why this site has the name it does; there are Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear waterfalls side by side! The Hawaiian name is Waikani Falls, but you can see why I prefer Three Bears Falls! This site is visible from the road, but please don’t stop! There is parking for this falls just up the road, and it’s an easy walk back down.

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The Three Bears!
3. Red Sand Beach

The hike to this beach is touted as difficult and dangerous–but with the exception of some loose rock, it was the easiest hike of all! It’s also a scenic hike. The risk is well worth the reward; we have never seen anything quite like that red sand and that unbelievably blue water!

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Red Sand (and red cliff!) Beach
2. Waianapanapana State Park  and Coastal Trail (“Wa-i-ana-pana-pana”)

This was perhaps the biggest surprise of our whole trip! We stopped here to have a picnic lunch, and we did what everyone else was doing–walking to the black sand beach and waiting (in vain) for the blowhole to give us a show. Since we planned to spend three days exploring the Road to Hana, we decided to take the coastal trail. It was romantic, breath-taking, and awe-inspiring! We had the whole trail to ourselves! The waves were huge and powerful, the dramatic black lava rock made for stunning contrast to the water, and the sounds of our own private ocean were like nothing else. We even got to see our own private blowhole that spouted with every wave that came in!

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Our own private wave show.
1. Pipiwai Trail and Bamboo Forest

Ever wondered what it’s like to walk through a dream in real life? It’s a walk through the Bamboo Forest on the Pipiwai Trail. The whole 5-mile round-trip trail is stunning (and muddy!), and Waimoku Falls is your 400-foot reward at the end of the trail. It was an other-worldly experience that you just can’t miss, making it our #1 favorite!

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The Enchanting Bamboo Forest
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Waimoku Falls

Are you ready to explore the Road to Hana on your trip to Maui? Make sure you check out my post on What to Know Before You Drive the Road to Hana! Comment to let me know what your favorite spot is!

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3 thoughts on “Top 10 Sites on the Road to Hana

  1. Hello! I went to St. E’s with your husband 🙂 This is the exact kind of list I”ve been looking for! My question is are these sites listed in order of appearance? We’ll be driving and have been looking for some sort of map of sites on “RTH” listed in an order to make this safest to navigate without always being on the lookout for things to stop and see.

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