One of the most popular day trips during a vacation on Maui is driving The Road to Hana! My husband and I recently drove this infamous road and survived the 620 curves - on Friday the 13th no less 😉 ! In all honestly I was the passenger, so kudos to my hubby for his driving skills!
1. Rent a Jeep or convertible
Aren't all road trips more fun in a convertible or open air Jeep?! The wind in your hair, the views are bigger and I'm sure breathing in the fresh air helps with the motion of all those turns! Also, Jeep rental = very happy husband!
2. Download the "Shaka Maui" app
On our first day in Maui we got this great travel tip from some other tourists. It was my first time using a "tour app" and I'm still surprised how much I enjoyed it! First of all it was really entertaining with the Hawaiian stories, narrator's cheesy humor and Hawaiian musical interludes. Aside from that it was super helpful with informing us what stops we could skip, how far until the next restroom and timing your day (you don't want to drive this road in the dark!). The app was easy to set up through the Jeep's touchscreen and it paused and restarted automatically with our stops. I highly recommend it and will be checking out similar apps for future trips!
3. Don't take the kids
Just don't do it. It's a long drive to be buckled in a car seat and sitting in the back seat. With so many curves there's bound to be some motion issues and numerous "are we there yet" comments. 😉 There are plenty of other options for kid friendly activities in Maui!
4. Food suggestions
A convenient stop for breakfast (loved their smoothies!) is Paia Gelato in Paia Town. They will also pack you a picnic lunch with cooler included. During your drive don't miss a taste of Maui's famous banana bread. This was our morning snack from Aunty Sandy's (on the Ke'anae Peninsula). No banana bread beats my Mom's - but this was a close second! After working up an appetite hiking around Waianapanapa State Park, we had a terrific wood fired pizza lunch at Hana Harvest Cafe.
5. Must stops
There are numerous stops you can make, but in my opinion the best 2 are the Ke'anae Peninsula and Waianapanapa State Park. Around mile marker 17 take the Keanae Road off the Hana Highway to the traditional Hawaiian village of Keanae. Be sure to check out the jagged black lava rocks, old stone church (it survived the tsunami of 1946!) and get your banana bread. Just outside Hana is Waianapanapa State Park and it's unique black sand beach! From the beach you can hike up to the blow hole and enjoy the gorgeous views! The contrasting colors are incredible - black lava rocks and bright green foliage against the vivid blue sky! Also, when at the blow hole - follow the trail a few minutes farther to another spectacular view (you'll most likely have this area to yourself, as I noticed most people don't venture past the blow hole).
Want to read more about Hawaii - click here to read the review of my stay at The Paia Inn.
Until the next adventure - bon voyage!