Serpentine roads. Lush foliage. Dreamy waterfalls. Jaw dropping cliffs.
52 miles of zigzagging roads taking wide-eyed vacationers on a picturesque journey with scenic treasures around every hairpin turn!
With all of the scenic stops to explore on the Road to Hana, it can take anywhere from 4-8 hours to complete. So instead of rushing to Hana and rushing back all in one day (like many travelers do), we decided to stay in Kipahulu, a town just outside of Hana, for two nights to give us more time to explore the surrounding area.
We stocked up with water, fruit and snacks and left our Napili condo at 6:30am to avoid the tour buses and throngs of people on the road.
Instead of using a guidebook or map, we opted for an audio GPS guide called GyPSy. It’s like having a local right in the car with you giving you advice on where to stop, sights to see and history of the island…and it’s fun too! We never had to worry about getting lost…the GyPSy always told us exactly where we were. For less than $5.00, it’s so worth the investment!
Here’s a handy checklist before you go on your Road to Hana journey:
- Full tank of gas
- Cooler for drinks and food
- Swim suit
- Beach towel
- Change of clothes
- Sun screen
- Mosquito repellant
- Umbrella or waterproof windbreaker
- Sturdy, waterproof shoes or sandals
- Toilet paper (just in case…)
- Seasick medication
If you forget to pack something to eat for your journey, never fear! There are dozens of stands off the side of the road with yummy treats like warm banana bread, “huli-huli” chicken, coffee, juice & fresh fruit.
And away we go…
The first waterfall on the Road to Hana at mile marker 2. A 30 minute hike takes you to a secluded waterfall surrounded by lush foliage. Bring your swimsuit for swimming fun!
Waikamoi Nature Trail
Eucalyptus trees and gorgeous views are part of this 0.8 mile nature trail at mile marker 9.
Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread & the Ke’anae Beach Park
For some of the best banana bread on the Road to Hana, take the detour to Ke’anae Landing and treat yourself to Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread! It’s warm, it’s moist…and it just melts in your mouth…yum! It’s also cash only, so be sure you come prepared!
Drive a little further until you see a lava filled coastline with large crashing waves — this is Ke’anae Beach Park!
Three Bears Falls
About 1/2 mile past mile marker 19 is the Three Bears Falls (Papa, Mama and baby!). This natural beauty is right off the side of the road with limited parking. I saw some people scramble down a questionable path to the pool. We opted to admire it from the road.
If it weren’t for our GyPSy, we wouldn’t know this place existed! Just past mile marker 25 is the steep downhill turnoff for Nahiku. I highly suggest you make the turn! For three miles, you will feel like you’re in the middle of the jungle surrounded by lush greenery and rubber trees! A gorgeous sight is waiting for you at the end of the drive. We enjoyed our lunch of huli huli chicken on a nice patch of grass overlooking this rocky lava-filled coastline. Did you know that George Harrison loved Nahiku so much that he even called it home?!
Coffee Break, Souvenir Shopping & Free Ranging Chickens
6 miles before reaching Hana, you will find a row of unique stores, eateries and coffee shops on your left. We enjoyed a coffee and cafe mocha at the “Cafe”, and we did some souvenir shopping at Nahiku Ti Gallery. Don’t forget to say hello to the free ranging roosters, hens and chicks!
Wai’anapanapa State Park
Our last stop of the day, Wai’anapanapa State Park has it all! A black sand beach, lava caves, hiking trails and a blowhole!
After a fun-filled day exploring the Road to Hana, we drove about 30 more minutes until we reached our sanctuary for the night around 4:30pm in Kipahulu…a place so magical, it takes a full post to describe it! Stay tuned…
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