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Road to Hana

A portion of Hana Highway surrounded by trees and plants.

The 64.4-mile-long Hana Highway runs along the edge of the island of Maui and leads to the town of Hana. Its twists and turns offer great stops and sites including magnificent waterfalls, handmade jewelry, fresh pineapple and banana bread, and a black sand beach.

Now you may be thinking, “I can do 64.4 miles in a couple of hours tops,” but you do NOT want to speed through the Road to Hana. My family and I spent the entire day driving the road and stopping at the beautiful sites. Not only will you want to stop frequently, but the road itself can be dangerous, with 617 hairpin curves, 59 one-lane bridges, and a number of blind spots along the way. The speed limit never exceeds 25 mph, and for good reason.

Before you go, you’ll want to plan out your stops, but don’t be afraid to stop at places not on your itinerary. You might spot a beautiful waterfall from the road or smell some delicious food cooking. Part of the fun of this road is discovering unexpected things.

Pua’a Ka’a Falls and State Park is at mile-marker 22. This is a great rest stop because it offers public restrooms, an area to relax, and a walking trail to a waterfall and freshwater pool. To go to the waterfall and swimming hole, follow the trail across the street from the public restrooms. Or stop at mile 24 to see Hanawi Falls, which cascades majestically into a fresh water pool.

At mile marker 29, the Nahiku Marketplace is a great stop for shopping and for lunch. This little village has gift shops, art galleries, and food vendors.

One of the best places to see Maui’s gorgeous scenery is at Wai’anapanapa State Park, mile marker 32. The state park is 122 acres of paradise a with a black sand beach, sea arches, a blowhole, freshwater caves, hiking and walking trails, lava tubes, cliff jumping, and views of the coastline.

Finish off your adventure in the town of Hana. Here you can swim at Hana Beach Park, visit Hana Cultural Center & Museum, restock snacks and drinks at the Hasegawa General Store, get chili rice bowls at the Hana Ranch Store, or eat dinner at Ka'uiki Restaurant. Hana is the perfect place to recharge for your journey back along Hana Highway.