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road to hana, maui, hawaii.

Maui's breathtaking Road to Hana itinerary, exploring waterfalls, black sand beaches, and more! | Meghan Kennedy 7/9/24


maui road to hana black and white photo man bun

The trip of a lifetime to Maui, Hawaii with my high school sweetheart turned hubby. We are so grateful for every blessing God has granted us throughout our wedding season.


Visiting Maui, Hawaii for our honeymoon felt like a dream and the Road to Hana was the cherry on top! Check out our recap video here. We saw Hamoa Beach, Ho'okipa Beach, The Garden of Eden Arboretum, Ke'anae Peninsula, Koki Beach Alau Island, Ohe'o Gulch (7 Sacred Pools), Pipiwai Bamboo Trail, Twin Falls, Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach, 3 Bears Falls, and Wailua Falls.


We started the day with sunrise photos by @livealiveco at Ho'okipa Surf Beach followed by "to-die-for" lattes and farm-to-table breakfast at @paiabaycoffeeandbar. Roni, from Live Alive Co. inspired our decision to get on the road early Sunday morning along with some research I found that Sundays are a quieter, less traveled day for tourists in Hana. We spent all day Sunday driving the famous Road to Hana - using the GuideAlong app to narrate and GPS our entire journey. If you were to take the drive straight from Kahului to Hana it would take you about 3 hours.


Some folks will recommend hiring a guide to take you on this drive or joining a tour instead but we loved and cherished our time together in the car and on the road just the two of us.


We opted to take our time so we could hit every waterfall, hike, and sight! The Road to Hana includes 46 one-lane bridges and very narrow roads. Ryan did a fabulous job whipping our Nissan around those tight and twisty turns!



The Guide App maps out all the best stops along the way, and tells you where to park, what to expect for trails and hikes, as well as historical and geographical facts. 10/10 highly recommend using GuideAlong if you're planning to take this trek ($20 download). Not only does the app make the drive fun, but it also takes the pressure off of using GPS (most of the drive there is no service anyway).

newlyweds in Maui hawaii on the Road to hana

One of our favorite stops was the Garden of Eden Arboretum - where we spent several hours pretending we were in Honey I Shrunk the Kids - hugging giant 100-year-old mango trees, rainbow eucalyptus, and banana trees.


We will dream of the vegan ice cream and banana bread from Coconut Glen's as well as the fish and chips from Island Chef - must-stops for my foodie friends!

We ended day 3 jumping under the 80 ft. Wailua Waterfall - a refreshingly cool plunge!


We wined and dined at the Hana Ranch after an adventurous day and spent the next morning watching the sunrise from our @airbnb on Hana Farms. We were so grateful to support several organic farms while visiting Maui!

Staying the night in Hana allowed us to utilize the entire daylight - puttering our way up and around the island both Sunday and Monday.

maui hawaii hana farms air b and b sunrise

Monday morning we were the first ones out on the Pipiwai Trail for a 4-mile loop (which we parkoured down - literally).


Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park is the unofficial “destination” for the road to Hana complete with two stunning waterfalls (Makahiku Falls and Waimoku Falls), a gigantic banyan tree, and a bamboo forest that literally brought me to tears.



We quickly visited the Seven Sacred Pools (Ohe’o) before jetting off to Wai’ānapanapa State Park.


"Wai’ānapanapa" which means glistening waters, hosts the famous Black Sand Beach, Pailoa. We spent the afternoon hiking around the volcanic rock, finding a mini cave to shelter from the rain while we watched the black sand tumble in with the rising tide.


black sand beach maui hawaii

Wai’ānapanapa Park requires a reservation and must be booked more than 24 hours in advance. Keep this in mind when planning your drive ($22 for parking + entry for 2 to Wai’ānapanapa and $15 to park at Haleakala National Park).


Lunch was at the Juice Box and Ae's Thai Kitchen - both part of a stellar food truck park in Hana.


We ended the day back in Pa'ia for a little shopping - finding a vintage 1960s Georgie Keyloun embroidered duster at Paia Consign + Thrift and a Hawaiian bathing suit top at Love Up Consignment Boutique.



After our drive back to Lahaina we went to Kitchen 5315 for dinner - a beautiful spot for cocktails and dinner located in the Napili Shores Resort with a killer Pineapple Upside Down Cake that is not listed on the menu!

beach road to hana waves hawaii maui

Cheers, Meghan

photography + videography: @lucid.ladybug | all rights reserved.


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