Welcome to our road to Hana day! If you missed the previous day, check it out here!
Date: Wednesday January 4th
Itinerary: The Road to Hana! All stops are shared below!
Highlight: Um, everything? If I had to pick one, the Red Sand beach for sure!
Favorite eats: Banana bread, authentic kalua pork and rice from a food truck, and coconut ice cream
Drink of the day: Homemade mai tais
The road to Hana… a very popular Maui must! We did it on our last Maui trip, but with it being our first time, there were things I wanted to do that we missed out on. (Read about our last road to Hana experience here!) I made sure to put them on the list for this time! To be honest, my husband did not want to make this drive again. The road can be down right treacherous and stressful, but – it was my birthday trip, so he did it again for me. :)
Our morning started out with leaving the condo just after 6am. Our condo starts serving coffee at 6, so we waited to pour ourselves a cup and took it on the road with us. It was basically dark for the first bit of our drive, but I loved being on the road just as the sky was lightening up.
Stop #1: Keanae Lookout (MM 16-17)
We did this stop last year and I loved the views. I figured it’d be a great first stop for us to get out and stretch our legs. The jungle cliffs against the blue ocean plus huge crashing waves along the rocks are mesmerizing here.
Stop #2: Halfway to Hana Stand (MM 17)
My plan was to stop here and get banana bread for breakfast, but since we had started our journey so early, the stand was closed when we got there! We were 30 minutes early and I could smell all the banana bread baking inside. There was a side door that was open and we could see them all laid out on the counter, fresh from the oven! I was so sad. Then, my wonderful husband walked up to the door and asked the lady if she would be willing to sell us some early. She said she could if we had cash, which we did! Two fresh loaves of delicious banana bread for the road! YAY!
Stop #3: Pua’a Ka’a State Park (MM 22.6)
I picked this stop partially for the bathroom break, partially for the waterfall. Based on reviews I’d read, I wasn’t really expecting much for the waterfall, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was beautiful and literally right off the road, which meant we got to keep this stop short and sweet. If it wasn’t so chilly (due to it being early still) I think we totally would’ve swam here.
Stop #4: Wai’anapapa State Park (MM 32)
This is a very popular stop, and for good reason. It’s easily accessible and the views are STUNNING. We parked in a different area than we had last time which lead us down a lot of steps to a crazy water cave. Not going to lie, it gave me the creeps a little, so we only stayed around for a picture or two. Then we headed down to the black sand beach – an absolute must see. We were here early enough that there were only a couple other people there meaning I got unobstructed pictures. Score! We crawled into another cave that leads out to it’s own little beach area, which also freaked me out so I didn’t stay long. Merry did feel the need to get her feet wet right as the surf was getting high – thank goodness she has a lifeproof case because a wave totally soaked her. She always keeps life interesting :)
Stop #5: Red Sand Beach (MM 33)
Trying to find parking for this stop is tricky, but it is SO WORTH IT! After a lot of research on this spot, I read a lot of reviews that the hike down to this beach is very dangerous, and I definitely can see why. It’s a very steep cliff drop off for most of the hike. We were all in tennis shoes and I made sure that any gadgets we had were stowed away so as to not distract us and to keep our hands empty. We had no problem with the hike, but I can see why others describe it as dangerous. That being said, this was my favorite stop of the whole day. It was so unbelievably stunning. Like, I couldn’t even believe that this place existed even as I was standing right in the middle of it. It’s definitely one of the places that pictures just don’t do it justice.
Stop #6: Lunch at Braddah Hutts (MM 35)
We had lunch in Hana at Braddah Hutts right as they opened. Braddah Hutts is literally a food truck that sits on the side of the road. They have covered outdoor picnic tables and the view is gorgeous. Merry and I split a plate of the Kalua pork (husband got the same) – and it was delicious and authentic.
Stop #7: Hamoa Beach (MM 50)
This was a stop recommended by my sister in law. It’s definitely a beautiful beach! We relaxed here for a few and got our feet wet.
Stop #8: Pipiwai Trail (MM 42)
The Pipiwai Trail is located at the same place as the seven sacred pools, which we swam in the last time we were here. They were closed for swimming this time around which was fine with me – I was here for the bamboo forest. The hike wasn’t too bad, and the views were amazing. We saw multiple waterfalls, a really cool banyan tree, and BAMBOO. Plus we got to start off our vacation with a good dose of exercise ;)
After our hike, we headed back the same way we came. We had one last stop to make before arriving back to our condo.
Stop #9: Coconut Glen’s (MM 27.5)
Because who doesn’t want to stop for coconut ice cream on the side of the road? I got the salted caramel and it was really good. The perfect way to sweetly end our adventure. Plus, we got to pet Hawaiian dogs that were sleeping on the porch. (If you know me at all, you know I love dogs.)
We made it back to our condo around 6, just in time to whip up a batch of homemade mai tais (rum + POG) and drink them on the beach as the sun was setting. I just love golden hour. Then, we made simple chicken Caesar salads for dinner and played phase 10 after.
Come back soon to read about our third full day on Maui!