Where We Be
|Be sure to stop and smell the roses (or coconuts) along the way -- that's the whole point of doing the drive
The fabled Road to Hana is one of those must-
do's when you visit Maui. I don’t think I’ve ever
driven a curvier road with more twists and
turns, one-lane bridges off sharp S-curves, and
bends where the yellow line simply disappears
from the middle of the road because there isn’t
enough room for two cars to fit side by side. It
takes 3 hours one-way from Lahaina to Hana
and another 3 hours back – and that’s without
stopping. All told it took us 8 hours, so it was a
long but rewardingly beautiful day of travel.
The road winds for 50 miles from Paia to Hana.
Much of the journey is a wondrous blur of sharp
curves and tropical scenery: rhododendron
trees in full bloom, enormous fern groves that
make you feel like you've stepped back in time,
purple swathes of color that don't seem real
they're so bright, and cliff faces covered with
nearly fluorescent green moss. Every once in
awhile the drive is punctuated with an overlook
like the one shown at left offering a stunning
view down to the ocean and green headlands
and white (or sometimes black) sand beaches.
With Hana it really is more about the journey
than the destination: the town itself is a bit of a
letdown unless you can afford to stay the night.
We passed the Hotel Hana twice without even
realizing it – it looked more like a house than a
hotel to us – but perhaps that's part of its charm.
|What a gorgeous spot! Waves crash into the rugged sea cliffs, sending up spumes of water.
|Here's a closer look at the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park
|We particularly liked Waianapanapa State Park on the outskirts of Hana. The black-sand beach in the distance is surrounded by green jungle foliage.
|Speaking of surfers, here's one catching a good wave at Hookipa Beach
|An early highlight of the drive is Hookipa Beach. This spectacular stretch of beach with crashing waves and surfers galore is like a surfer's vision of paradise.
|Begin your journey as early in the morning as you can to beat some of the traffic. Otherwise it can be hard to find places to park for views like this.
|The aptly named Halfway to Hana roadside stand offers hot dogs and munchies to keep your energy levels up
|Nothing like a road trip on a sunny day to put a smile on your face!
|Just one of several killer views along the heavenly Road to Hana