Road to Hana / What to Do

18 Best Road to Hana Stops For An Unforgettable Vacation | Insider Tips, Map & Photos [2022]

Lava tube cave leading to the ocean at Waianapanapa State Park on Maui, Hawaii

For many Maui visitors, one day is all the time they have to explore the delights of the Road to Hana. But you’d never get through every single stop along the Hana Highway in one day. So which Road to Hana stops you should prioritize, and which ones can you skip without a severe case of FOMO? 

We curated this list of the best stops along the famous Hana Highway for that very reason. Keep scrolling for our top picks to start your epic Maui adventure. 

Table of Contents


About the Road to Hana

Taking on what is arguably Hawaii’s most famous drive — the Road to Hana — isn’t an attempt for the faint-hearted. Committing to the journey means hours in a car. You’ll not only traverse through narrow one-way bridges, but you’ll also navigate a road that, with its hairpin turns, feels as twisted as a pretzel. 

Don’t get me wrong. The Road to Hana tops every guidebook’s “must do” list on Maui for a reason. 

On the Hana Highway, adventurous travelers discover an immersive experience into the essence of Maui — from waterfall hikes and taro root fields to sandy black beaches and local island food.

Can you drive the Road to Hana in one day?

Yes, you can drive the Road to Hana in one day. But you’ll need to prioritize which stops to make. There simply isn’t enough time to stop and enjoy every spot along Hana Highway. And if you take on too much, you’ll end up driving back in the pitch dark. Hana Highway doesn’t have streetlights, so staying too late on the road will make it a white knuckle journey back to your hotel.

Before you go

While the Road to Hana may be just a single day road trip, a little planning won’t go amiss. I recommend you do a few things before you start your journey:

  • Fill up on fuel. After you pass Paia, the next gas station is in Hana — nearly 45 miles and two hours away. 
  • Withdraw cash from the ATM. We’ve found that many businesses along the Hana Highway accept cash only. 
  • Pick up snacks and drinks. While there are plenty of spots to stop and grab a bite, you never know when a small business on the Road to Hana may be closed for the day. And don’t forget to stay hydrated, especially if you plan to hike a trail or two. 
  • Download an offline Google map. Cell reception is next to nothing on this drive, so don’t count on Google Maps unless you’re using a pre-downloaded offline map of the island. You’ll be able to use the map using your phone’s GPS, but not through your data plan.

Bonus tip: Even better than an offline Google map is a GPS-enabled driving tour app. We use the GyPSy guide, but others swear by the Shaka guide. The app uses your mobile GPS to call out upcoming stops, give historical insight and background along the road, offer advice about where to park, and more. 

Map of the best places to stop along the Road to Hana

We plotted every Road to Hana stop on our list to this Google map. Click on the pinpoint for the stop name and additional information.

For a stop you’d like to save: Click “View in Google Maps” to see the map in greater detail. Log into your Google Maps account and click “Save” to save the location to a list on Your Places.

Our list of the best Road to Hana stops

1. Ho’okipa Beach Park and Lookout


A green sea turtle rests near the water on Hookipa beach, Maui.

Why you should stop:
From the lookout point, watch surfers ride the waves at this stunning north shore vista. During a late May visit at the lookout, we spied an endangered monk seal napping on the rocks below.


If you drive or walk farther down to the beach park, take the steps to the sand and turn right. You’re bound to get a good look at a bale of sea turtles basking in the sun. 

Insider tip:
The Hookipa lookout and beach parking lot is just off of Hana Highway, and parking can get crowded. If you’re anxious to get ahead of the Road to Hana crowds, save this stop for another day, when you’re touring the nearby beach town of Paia or before having dinner at Mama’s Fish House down the road.

2. Twin Falls


Why you should stop:
The Twin Falls hike is popular among island visitors for a number of reasons. First, it’s one of the earliest stops along the Road to Hana, making it easy to get to. The hike is also relatively short and mostly flat, with gradual inclines in some parts of the trail. 

And the best reason, of course: waterfalls.

Insider tip:
You cross private land to access the falls. There’s a parking charge of $10 per car. Just don’t try to park on the road — No Parking signs are fully enforced. 

And get there early. By 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday (during our last visit), the parking area was nearly half full.

3. Eucalyptus Rainbow Trees (drive by)


Why you should slow down for a look:
While they aren’t native to Hawaii, rainbow eucalyptus trees, or Eucalyptus deglupta, thrive in the tropical climate on Maui. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the rainbow eucalyptus’s smooth trunk peels in the summer to reveal the distinctive pale streaks of color for which the tree is named — green, red, orange, gray, and purplish brown. 

Along the Road to Hana, you’ll drive by a grove of the colorful shade trees not long after mile marker 65. 

Slow down a bit to view the trees, but don’t plan on stopping. These rainbow eucalyptus sit on private land, and you’d be trespassing if you get out of the car and walk up to them. There’s also not a good place to park. 

Insider tip:
Instead of trespassing on private land, keep driving to (the free!) Keanae Arboretum and stretch your legs on a short walk to see rainbow eucalyptus trees up close.

4. Garden of Eden Botanical Garden and Arboretum


Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tommy Lundberg

Why you should stop:
This dazzling 26-acre arboretum is best known for its Keopuka Rock Overlook, playfully nicknamed Jurassic Park Rock for its role in the opening scene of the eponymous film. 

But the Garden of Eden offers much more than a Hollywood photo op. 

The carefully constructed and painstakingly maintained botanical garden features more than 700 labeled plant species. In addition, the Garden of Eden also offers walking trails, picnic grounds, scenic overlooks, an art gallery, and one of the largest collections of Ti plans on Maui.

Insider tip:
For the ultimate adventurer, come back for a full day tour with Rappel Maui. The tour company operates on the Garden of Eden grounds and offers access to Puohokamoa Waterfall. 

5. Ke’anae Arboretum


Why you should stop:
The budget-friendly Keanae Arboretum (entrance is free) is a must stop if you want to get a close look at the popular rainbow eucalyptus trees — along with other stunning Hawaii flora that grow in the arboretum. 

Insider tip:
The trail starts off as a paved road, then turns into a dirt and rock trail. Park on the opposite side of the road (if you’re driving toward Hana). Use caution when pulling in and out of the parking area. The parking spots are located along a bend in the road, making it difficult to see oncoming traffic when pulling your car in or out.

6. Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread


Why you should stop:
On an offshoot road to the Keanae peninsula, a bright yellow road sign announces your arrival at Aunty Sandy’s famous banana bread. And its fame is renowned, as Aunty Sandy’s has been featured on “Best of” lists and the likes of Chef Gordon Ramsey’s Unchartered series with National Geographic. 

I still recall my first time at Aunty Sandy’s: I inhaled a slice (or five) of Aunty Sandy’s freshly baked banana bread years ago during my very first Road to Hana drive. The famous bread is soft, warm, and not overly sweet. I recommend picking up a few loaves to snack on during your Hana Highway day trip.

Insider tip:
Aunty Sandy’s banana bread will set you back $8 per loaf as of May 2022. And unlike many other stops along the Road to Hana, the bakery accepts credit cards. 

Check their social media account for opening hours and weather-related closures. We discovered that they’re closed on Sundays, which prompted us to move our Road to Hana plans to Saturday instead.

7. Ke’anae Peninsula and Lookout


Why you should stop:
The Keanae peninsula juts out from the Hana Highway, a short turnoff from the main road. Formed from lava flow from the Haleakala volcano that looms over Maui, the rugged landscape and powerful surf showcase the sheer beauty of Maui. 

Along the peninsula drive, you may spy taro fields — a crop that upholds both cultural and historical significance on the Hawaiian islands.

And on the right side as you drive in, the Keanae Congregational Church stands as an historical exhibit of the Keanae community. The church, established in 1860, was the only building in the community to survive a massive tsunami that hit the Hawaiian islands in 1946. 

Insider tip:
If the landscape or history don’t impress you, stop at the Keanae lookout for a practical reason: the public restrooms. Turn around after the lookout point and drive back to Hana Highway on the same road you drove in. 

8. Waiʻānapanapa State Park (Black Sand Beach)


Maui’s famous black sand beach.

From the black sand beach, a lava tube cave leads to the water. Photo credit: Daniel Crevier.

Why you should stop:
The beach of black sand and smooth black pebbles. A lava cave that terminates at the ocean. A scenic trail along the rugged coastline. 

Waianapanapa State Park lands at the top of most Road to Hana visitor lists. But overwhelming popularity has its drawbacks. In 2021, the state of Hawaii implemented a reservation system at the park in 2021 due to overcrowding. 

Insider tip:
The beach isn’t ideal for swimming because of the rough surf, but makes for a fun beach break with a view. And if you’re up for a hike, the trail isn’t particularly difficult for the casual hiker. However, the rocks can get slippery — especially if you’re clad in flip flops. 

9. Honesty box roadside stand


Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority/Tor Johnson

Why you should stop:
Support the local community and score fresh fruit such as bananas, avocados, and mangoes. For a refreshing treat, stop at an ocean bluff while munching on fresh, locally grown produce you pick up from one of the local honesty box stands.

Insider tip:
You’ll find honesty boxes along the Hana Highway in and around Hana. We spotted several stands along Honokalani Road, the turnoff to Waianapanapa State Park. Be sure to bring cash in small bills.

10. Hasegawa General Store


Why you should stop:
It’s practically an institution. Established in 1910, the Hasegawa General Store is reported to be the oldest family run business in Hawaii. 

True to its name, Hasegawa General Store stocks an eclectic mix of goods, from local produce to quilting squares. Pick up Road to Hana souvenirs such as t-shirts and postcards that proclaim your survival on the winding road.

Insider tip:
There’s an ATM onsite if you need cash for any of the cash-only businesses along the Hana Highway.

11. Hana Tropicals


Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Daeja Fallas

Why you should stop:
All the orchids. Take a brief tour of the small farm and admire the luscious blooms. If you’re so inclined, order a souvenir for shipment to your home — Hana Tropicals ships throughout the U.S.

Insider tip:
The farm closes at 4 p.m., so day trippers can find timing tricky by the time you make it to this part of the Hana Highway. By the time you get to this point, it will be in the afternoon. If you also intend to hike the Pipiwai trail, keep an eye on closing times for both stops. 

12. Koki Beach


Why you should stop:
Not only is Koki Beach a gorgeous stop along Hana Highway’s coast, but at this stop you can experience a red sand beach WITHOUT a precarious cliffside hike that trespasses on private land (as you would with the “other” red sand beach that other guides promote). 

Insider tip:
The surf is too rough for swimming, so enjoy the ocean swells from the shoreline. Better yet, head down to the Huli Huli chicken stall along Koki Beach and grab a plate lunch.

13. Huli Huli chicken stand


Why you should stop:
Huli Huli chicken along Koki Beach — a tender and flavorful meal that hits the spot during a long drive — is a mainstay for many Road to Hana trekkers. Like Aunty Sandy’s, this Huli Huli chicken stand has its own claim to fame: Gordon Ramsay gave a nod of approval to the local dish during his “Uncharted” episode on Hana. 

Pick up either a chicken or a combo plate (which has both ribs and chicken) and head to the picnic benches that overlook the ocean. Enjoy lunch with the spray of saltwater on the wind and the sun reflecting off the blue water. 

Insider tip:
Cash only. In May 2022, the combo plate (a filling meal with rice and mac salad) cost a somewhat eye-watering $25. For chicken only (with rice and salad greens), we paid $18.

14. Wailua Falls


Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority/Tor Johnson

Why you should stop:
You won’t be able to resist stopping at this 80-foot waterfall (not to be confused with the Wailua Falls of Kauai) which sits just off Hana Highway a few miles before the Pipiwai Trail. Not only can you access the falls without a long hike or paying an entrance fee, Wailua Falls has something most of the other falls along the Road to Hana lack — free parking. 

Insider tip:
You’ll find a trail on the right side of the falls that will lead you down to the falls. But watch out if there’s been recent rain. Constant foot traffic and wet conditions make it incredibly slippery. 

During our last outing to Wailua Falls, several people told me that they’d taken a fall while making their way down. Others had to turn around after finding it too slippery. More adventurous and experienced nature lovers made it down to the fall’s base for a dip in the water. 

As always, use caution and understand your limitations when exploring Maui’s natural splendor.

15. Pīpīwai trail


Why you should stop:
A towering banyan tree. The bamboo forest. A 400-foot waterfall. All along a moderately strenuous 3.5-mile hiking trail on the coastal side of Haleakala State Park.

Insider tip:
The first mile or so of the hike sees a moderate elevation gain. Prepare for tree roots along the trail and steps — lots of rocky steps to climb. Signage prohibits getting too close to the waterfall at the end of the Pipiwai trail hike, so don’t plan on a waterfall swim here.

16. ʻOheʻo Gulch / Seven Sacred Pools


Why you should stop:
If you’ve already paid for entrance to the state park for the Pipiwai trail hike, you may as well venture out on the shorter [half-mile] loop trail nearby and experience the stunning scene where the Oheo Pools meet the ocean.

Insider tip:
The Oheo Pools have long been closed to swimmers, so you’ll have to be satisfied with marveling at its beauty from above. 

17. Charles Lindbergh’s gravesite


Why you should stop:
While it may feel morbid for a gravesite to be a tourist stop, Charles Lindbergh’s final resting place also marks the unofficial turnaround for the Road to Hana.

The aviator’s relatively unadorned grave sits upon a bluff along the stunning Maui coastline. The solitary site makes it a quiet spot for reflection, whether or not you’re an aviation buff or historian. 

Insider tip:
Make a left at the street using the map coordinates 20°39’10.6″N 156°03’25.8″W, just past mile marker 41. Follow the signs to Palapala Ho‘omau Congregational Church. Where the road forks, keep to the left and park in the lot at the end of the drive. Lindbergh’s gravesite sits in the yard behind the church. 

18. Bonus stop: Artisan Ice Cream in Paia


Why you should stop:
Traversing the Road to Hana in one day is a feat unto itself. Treat yourself (and your driver!) on the way back to your resort with a stop at Paia’s Artisan Ice Cream. This family run shop serves the best ice cream on the island, hands down. 

Paia’s Artisan Ice Cream serves small batch ice cream using organic ingredients. They also offer soy-free vegan scoops. 

Insider tip:
My favorite flavor is the sea salted peanut butter chocolate chip. Try their waffle cone, too, which has a hint of cinnamon.

About Author

Hi, I’m Gina — managing editor, Maui enthusiast, and human behind the keyboard here at Maui Trip Guide. When I’m not on the island at my Kihei condo, you can find me planning my next travel adventure from my home in the Pacific Northwest.

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