Aloha! If you read my blog, than you’re probably a travel addict with a travel bucket list a mile long. The Road to Hana needs to be at the top of that list if you haven’t already checked it off. What is the Road to Hana? It’s basically Hawaii’s answer to the scenic Highway 1 along the California Coast. Are you ready for this…quite possibly sacrilege coming from a California girl…but I think the Road to Hana surpasses Highway 1, making this Maui drive one of the most scenic drives in the world.
Flight Attendant Tip: You’re going to need to get a rental car to get around the island and I highly recommend an SUV. Don’t forget, if you’re flight crew, check for discounts. I got an insane deal for five days and the guy at the counter was stunned. I call that a win. Anyways, make sure you get an SUV because on the Road to Hana, not all roads are paved. 🙂 You’ll see in one of my pictures below. It got quite rough and I’ve very glad we weren’t in a tiny convertible.
Anywhere you want to stop along the Road to Hana, you can explore and hike back to a waterfall, you might have it to yourself if you want to swim around. Just be sure to bring bug spray. I recommend this one. The beauty of Hana is to stop along the way. That’s why I say at least a full day but up to three days depending on how many hikes you want to do.
My absolute must-do hike on the road to Hana is the Bamboo hike. That’s what I call it, but there so many waterfalls on this hike I guess it should be called the Waterfall hike. 😉 The hike begins at the Seven Sacred Pools, several waterfalls that flow into each other and during certain seasons you can swim in. Keep on trekking up the path though and eventually you’ll get to a bamboo forest. It’s absolutely magical, like being in another world. Check out my pics if you need a little inspiration 😉 I wish I could fill this entire post with the bazillions of pictures I took.
The great thing about the Bamboo hike on the way up from The Seven Sacred Pools is that it’s a very easy hike. As you can see in the pictures, much of it is flat trekking. The incline (when there is one) is quite gradual. If you want to get close to the falls or swim in the pools (which is seasonal), make sure you wear a swimsuit or bring waterproof clothes. When I was there, no one was allowed to swim in the pools, so no cute bikini waterfall pics this time. Just a cheesy one of me with my jacket wrapped around my hips. 😉 I’m such a cool kid…I’ve even been known to travel with a fanny pack from time to time.
The bamboo hike is just one of hundreds of possible stops along the road to Hana where you can hike, gaze, or simply fill your Instagram waterfall quota. If you’re an aviation nerd like me (or if you’re a flight crew on a layover) consider putting a visit to Charles Lindbergh’s grave on your Road To Hana pit stop list. The aviation legend (first solo flight across the Atlantic) loved Maui and wanted to be buried on the island. It took us forever to find the church (because it’s so small and there’s no signs), and once we did, we were astounded at how low key it was. I guess I thought there’d be a gigantic airplane sculpture or something. Instead, it was an incredibly non-descript grave. Lindbergh’s still got an amazing view though, and the tiny church and cemetery overlook the ocean.
Flight Attendant Travel Tip: Start from Paia and drive toward Hana. Paia has an assortment of restaurants and a grocery store if you want to purchase picnic items or road trip food. I recommend that you not arrive too hungry to Hana as it is quite a sleepy town and I was not successful in finding good food there. No one wants a hangry road tripper. Since I had wanted to get an early start to the Road to Hana, we stayed a couple nights in an airbnb. *If you haven’t signed up yet, you can get $35 towards your next stay* Not familiar with Airbnb? No worries, check out my latest Airbnb post here about my wonderful stay in Paris, The Coolest Airbnb in Paris.
Tip #2. Start early and don’t even think about doing this drive after the sun goes down. Sight-seeing all the glorious flora on both sides of the road is what makes the trip so magical. Not only that, but some of the roads so get quite bumpy and treacherous. Not dangerous, but you definitely want 100% of your faculties. Diminished eyesight on unpaved roads isn’t something anyone wants to deal with on a vacation road trip.
Another tip: I mentioned this in my other Maui post, but when I’m on the island, I would be lost without this book. Especially if you’re doing the Road to Hana, bring a great book with you that will detail many of the waterfalls and beaches you are seeing on the drive and it will tell you exactly what mile markers to look for if you want to hike or pull over for a selfie. 🙂
The winding road, lush jungle scenery, cascading waterfalls and turquoise ocean water make this drive incredibly unique. Throw in a rainbow every few miles and you’re experience the ultimate Hawaii vacation. The Road to Hana is the best of Maui. Stop wherever you like, hidden beaches, waterfall hikes, bamboo forests…the possibilities are endless on Maui. So get on a plane to OGG, rent a car and set out on the most amazing drive you’ll ever take, Maui’s Road to Hana.
So, have you done the Road to Hana? What were the highlights for you?
Haven’t been to Maui and done the Road to Hana yet? Put it on your travel bucket list and pin this image for later 🙂