Tough to navigate and breathtaking to behold, the road from Kahului to Hana on Maui’s eastern coastline annually makes the list of the best drives in the nation. With more twists and hidden beaches than most drivers can discover in one go, this winding road is not for the easily carsick. Why should you bother driving past gorgeous vantage points, pretty beaches and startling scenery? If you’re still looking for a reason to go down the road to Hana, think of the 600+ curves and over 50 bridges waiting for you to navigate!
ROAD TO HANA
Now that you’re convinced, read these helpful tidbits to keep you sane on the long drive.
The radio reception is pretty much nil for much of the journey. If you want music, put it on CD or bring an MP3 player in the car. Plan ahead. Do not rely on your cell phone nor your smart phone’s internet service. Because there are so many stops, eateries, waterfalls and sights, if you don’t plan ahead, you’ll just have to wing it.
Come prepared for all terrains. Bring water shoes, flip flops and sneakers for the different stops you’ll be making along the journey. Wear a swimsuit under your clothes and bring towels, sun protection, insect repellent and something long-sleeved in case it gets chilly. You may be taking hikes, traversing black-sand beaches, exploring caves, dining from food trucks and more.
Leave early. Much like life, the Road to Hana is about the journey and not the destination. Leaving time for plenty of pit stops can only enhance your experience.
Depart Hana by 3:30 p.m. This will leave plenty of daylight to prevent navigating the treacherous curves in the dark.
Do not speed. Many sections of the road are only wide enough for one car. To avoid a head-on collision with cars traveling in the other direction, stay alert and yield when necessary.
Drive a reasonable vehicle. The road can get pretty bumpy, muddy and difficult in some of the more back-country areas.
If no one in your party relishes the thought of driving through over 600 curves, consider taking one of several tour buses on the road to Hana. They make scheduled stops and take some of the adventure out of the experience, but make it easier on the tourists of driving and navigating age.
Address: Kahului to Hana on Maui