Ways to make your island getaway to
Due to the worldwide pandemic, please check for destination travel restrictions prior to visiting/booking
This island has a little bit of everything - a volcano, a rain forest, a fruit plantation, a long strip of arid beach and plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment.
The Road to Hana. This is a "must do" for visiting Maui. Whether you drive it yourself, take a tour, or hire a driver, find a way to see these sights. We drove it ourselves and our best tip is to start early. We had researched the stops we wanted to take ahead of time but you can follow along on a CD or a book if you choose. The multiple bridges are one lane only. After a few of these encounters you will become a pro at watching for where to stop and where traffic is coming from. Keep in mind that the locals seem to take the right of way.
Red Sand Beach. Hana, Maui. This is a reportedly difficult hike and the location is not advertised in town due to rough/slippery cliff edges and drop offs. Luckily, we did not have any problems on this hike with our family. We did find the rocks on this beach to be very painful - small enough that they get inside sandals and big enough that they are quite uncomfortable to walk on. This would be best to visit in the morning for better lighting.
The beaches at Napili Bay and Kapalua Bay, North of Kaanapali. The best boogie boarding that we found was in Napili Bay. The beach was amazing for swimming (we even swam with a large sea turtle!) with only a few big waves that cleared the entire beach of people and their towels so keep your things at the top of the sand. The best snorkeling was Kapalua Bay. There was free parking by these beaches if you get there early, otherwise try to find some street parking nearby. There is also a Boss Frog's rental place just before you get to Napili Bay.After snorkeling at Kapalua Bay, put on your shoes and take a nice hike along the Kapalua Coastal Trail.
Nakalele Blowhole 3.6 mi RT hike off Hwy 30. This was an unmarked hike on rough and loose ground so although we had no trouble it should be hiked with care in good shoes. Other than that, we found this to be one of our favorite hikes that we did on this trip. We heeded all warnings and did not get too close to the blowhole but were close enough to get wet. Don't miss the heart in the rock behind you after you see the blowhole!
Helicopter Tour. West Maui and Molokai. We thought it would be too windy to go on a helicopter ride, but the wind was never an issue for our expert pilot who narrated some of the most beautiful sites in West Maui and Molokai. We saw rainbows over the ocean, waterfalls cascading down from towering cliffs, the famous Iao valley and the the world's highest, most spectacular sea cliffs, Hawaii's tallest waterfall, remote valleys and the Kalaupapa peninsula.
Go to a Luau. We went luau just down the boardwalk from our hotel based on the ability to walk and not have to worry about parking. One of the oldest on the islands is the Old Lahaina Luau and was recommended by the snorkel shop.
Submarine Tour. Lahaina. Totally cheesey but worth it. All of us enjoyed seeing the sunken ship, schools of fish and other marine wildlife and even a shark! There were signs on the wall to help us identify fish and everyone had a window so visibility was not a problem.
Get a 3 Day Park Pass and visit:
Pools of 'Ohe'o (aka Seven Sacred Pools). This is one of the most popular attractions near Hana, so there may be crowds. we did the Waimoku Falls and Pipiwai Trail, a 3.6 mi RT hike. The hike was easy and starts slightly uphill past the beautiful 200 foot Makahiku Falls before crossing a bridge and heading into a bamboo forest. The trail is primarily flat and boardwalk at this point. At the base of the spectacular Waimoku Falls is a swift and cold river that we waded through but on our way back noticed the view was just fine without crossing.
Haleakala Crater. Central Maui. We did not choose to do the sunrise option because of our itinerary, but we hear it is a breathtaking view and worth it if you are able. Bring warm clothes and a blanket and plan in advance for the drive up and need to find parking. There is hiking at the top if you are up for it.
Tips for Visiting
There is enough to do in and around Hana that it is worth finding a place to stay for a night or two if you head that direction. This will save you from driving the road to back from Hana at night after a long day of sightseeing.
These are the Road to Hana stops we found during our research:
MM#9 (after 16 the MM resets to 0) Ho'okipa lookout where we saw giant waves, a few surfers and a lot of mud.
MM#2 Twin Falls - 1/2 to 2 mile hike, we chose not to do this hike
MM #4.5 Huelo Lookout - can get smoothies here, we chose not to stop
MM#9.5 Waikamoi Falls - 30 minute hike through eucalyptus trees, we chose not to stop
MM# 12 Kaumahina State Wayside Park - View of the north coast, we stopped to use the bathrooms
MM#14.1 Honomanu Bay - Can see the bay from the road
MM #16.7 Ke’anae Arboretum - Beautiful views according to reviews, we chose not to stop
MM #16.8 Keane Peninsula and Village, don’t miss it on the ocean side of the curve, turn off ½ mile past MM16, on left, just past YMCA camp -Nice Views, most recent lava flow on the island. Don't misss Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread
MM# 17 Halfway to Hana Stand - Stop here if you missed the banana bread at Aunt Sandy's (or want more)
MM# 18 Wailua Valley - this parking lot only has room for 3-4 cars, there is a short hike to a great overlook with waterfalls in the distance
MM# 19.6 Upper Bears waterfall
MM #22.5 Pua-a Kaa State Wayside Park - more waterfall views
MM #23 lava tube - bring a flash light for this one, it is just past the MM#23 on the right. We found it with another couple who had likely read the same tour book as us.
MM #24 Hanawai Falls
MM #31 Kahanu Garden -we chose not to stop, but to it is off Ula’ino Road, on the right see National Tropical Botanical Gardens, only view of Pi’ilanihale Heiau, largest temple in Hawaii
MM #32.2 Wainapanapa State Park - Black sand beach. There's a great hike on a trail leading from the left side of the black sand beach that winds along spectacular sea cliffs