Thursday, August 11, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About The Road to Hana

Y'all, I've never been more excited about a blog post as I am this one. It might be is my favorite post of all time because it involves one of my favorite days to date - a day spent exploring The Road to Hana with my man in Maui, Hawaii. The Road to Hana is a scenic drive to the small village of Hana - along the way you'll see waterfalls, bamboo forests, lava rock formations, blank sand beaches, spectacular ocean views, and much more. Needless to say, it's quite the adventure!

Making the trip to Hana is one of our favorite things to do while on the island - so much so that we've made the drive three times (once on our first trip a few years ago and twice on our most recent trip)! There is so much to see and do that we can't just get enough of it. I took so many pictures of our adventure over the two trips we made, and today I want to share some of those with you and fill you in on everything you need to know about the Road to Hana!

Island Dress (under $20!) // Hat // Sunglasses // Bag, sold out (another favorite here)

What you need to know:

Rent a car. Don't experience this adventure on a tour bus. Trust me, you'll want to be in charge of your own time and stops. We took a Jeep Wrangler all three times - with the top and windows down of course!

Fill up the gas tank. Paia is last town you will come to before making the drive up to Hana. Stop here and fill up your gas tank. It's a long drive and you won't see another gas station on the way.

Pack snacks and drinks. There should be plenty of food stops along the way, but sometimes they are closed - so pack food just to be safe, especially if you are going to stop and hike some of the trails.

Use the app. To get the full experience, download this app. The guide points out the must stops and gives you the history of Hawaii along the way. We really enjoyed it!

Bring cash. Many of the food stops only take cash. You'll definitely want cash to buy banana bread, Hawaiian shaved ice, fresh fruit smoothies, and more!

Bring a change of clothes. If you plan on doing any swimming or hiking, bring extra clothes! I wore a swimsuit under my dress, but also brought a change of clothes to hike in. 

Bring towels. Even if you don't plan on doing much hiking, you'll definitely want to swim in some of the pools and waterfalls - so don't forget towels!

Our Favorite Stops and Must Do's:

Painted Bark Eucalyptus Trees- take pictures of the these beautiful, rainbow like trees.

Kaumahina State Wayside Park- stop for restrooms and stunning views of the rugged coastline.

Ke'anae Village and Peninsula- stop here to admire this small community built by lava flows - the coastline here is spectacular and you'll see a church that dates back to the 1860's.

Halfway to Hana Store - a food must stop; try their delicious homemade banana bread and cool down with a shaved ice.

Coconut Glens - if this little shack is open.. STOP - his ice cream is to die for.

Nahiku Marketplace - a great place to stop for food (try the fish tacos..they're the best I've ever had!), to stretch your legs, and shop.

Upper Waikani Falls (The Three Bears) - a triple waterfall and plunge pool that's great for swimming!

Wailua Falls - an 80 ft. cascading waterfall surrounded by lush vegetation; it's so pretty and you can jump in - one of the best moments of our day, for sure.

Seven Sacred Pools - these pools are located in Haleakala State park (must pay to enter) and are some of the most stunning falls on Maui. 

Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls - a 4 mile (round trip) hike to a jaw dropping 400 ft. waterfall, and along the way you'll travel through a magical bamboo forest. This hike was our favorite!

Have you ever driven the Road to Hana? If so, I'd love to hear about it! It truly is a once in a lifetime experience. If you've stumbled across this post because you're planning to make the trip to Hana soon, please don't hesitate to ask me any questions - I'd love to help! 

PS. I shared another tip about the drive back from Hana here (hint: keep going past Hana!).