When driving the road to Hana, you might think there wasn’t much more to do then stop here and there to look at waterfalls or do a hike (to a waterfall). That’s not the case, though — there’s much more to the road to Hana than epic waterfalls.
Here are a few of our favourite things to do on the jungle side of Maui:
1. Travaasa Hana
Whether you can afford to stay here or not, it’s worth a stop to walk the grounds and enjoy the perfectly manicured landscape. For some jaw dropping views of Hana, head across the street and walk up to Fagan’s cross (erected in memory of Paul Fagan who started ranching in Hana) up on Lyon’s Hill. It’s about a thirty minute walk each way. Don’t forget to bring your camera.
2. Prahnee’s Thai Food
Next to the school, behind the baseball diamond in Hana town, you will find an outdoor restaurant serving some of the best Thai food on Maui. Delicious and affordable, don’t be discouraged if there’s a line, Prahnee’s cooking is worth the wait.
3. Koki Beach
One of our favourite beaches on Maui, more popular with locals than tourists and never crowded. It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy the sun and sights and take a break from the winding road. Heed the warning sign and be careful. The waters here can be dangerous at times. Troy’s BBQ is only a few feet away if you get hungry.
4. Venus Pool
Park at mile marker 48, just before the bridge, follow the path and turn right towards the stream. This spot is beautiful after it’s rained a bit otherwise you might just see a pool of stagnant water. The earlier you can make it here the better chance you have at beating the crowds. Although not marked, this spot is becoming more popular with tourists. You can blame the folks at Maui Revealed.
5. Laulima Farm
If you’ve made it all the way to Laulima Farm, reward yourself with a drink and a bite to eat while you decide whether to continue driving the back way to Kaupo and Upcountry or turn around. While you’re there, walk the trail behind the shop, you will learn about native plants growing here as they are all well marked with plaques.
6. Café Attitude
If you’re staying in the area and you want a real Kipahulu experience, head over to Café Attitude. Every Sunday this pop-up offers a vegetarian or vegan meal, with produce grown and harvested from the land, to whoever shows up. For a donation of $15 per person, you are treated to some very inventive and tasty food and an open stage show that rivals any New York after hours club. For directions and to see the weekly menu, check the Laulima Farm bulletin board.
If you plan on driving the road to Hana and making all the stops suggested, you might want to stay overnight. One of our favourite places to stay is Anya’s House in Kipahulu, a secluded cottage surrounded by fruit trees, with magnificent views of the ocean, sunrise and sunset. Spring, summer, winter or fall, Maui is always a good idea.
Have you ever driven the Road to Hana?