ALOHA, let's talk about Hawaii :)
I had the most amazing vacation where I spent 16 days in Maui with my parents and my sister. I've been home for a little over two weeks now and let me tell ya, I'm definitely missing Maui's stunning views. This trip was so rejuvenating and it left me feeling extremely inspired. There is something about traveling that wakes up my soul and my mind. I find it incredibly refreshing to visit a new place because each time I do, I recognize just how much there is to see and do in our world.
Now even though I'm seriously missing Hawaii's stunning sunsets, I am happy to be home and back in the swing of things. Since being home, I've really been able to focus on work, creating and writing. This post will be the first of many on Hawaii because I have SO MUCH content to share from this trip.
I want to discuss everything, from where I ate and shopped, all the way to biking down a volcano and scuba diving. But first, I'll start with the Road to Hãna.
For those of you who don't know, the Road to Hana is also known as Hãna Highway and is the only road that will get you to the other side of Maui.
Hãna Highway has over 500 sharp twists and turns. It runs through mountains and cliffs, where it often narrows down to only one lane ( I was thankful that our car was in the lane of traffic that was on the mountain side and not on the cliff side HA ).
The journey was long, exhilarating, stressful, fun and overall, incredibly unique.
It was an extremely remote drive. It completely felt like we were in the middle of no where, passing through jungle, black rock fields and even beautiful countryside. It was super insane to see all the different scenery that Maui has to offer.
Hãna is only about 60 miles from where we were staying in Wailea; however, with the condition of the road, Google maps said it would take at least 2.5 hours ( it took much longer ).
We took plenty of time outside of the car to stop, swim, eat and check out the island. We also had a 45 minute road block while workers removed rocks that had fallen onto the road from the mountain. In total, the journey to Hãna and back took about 12 hours.
Typically, people will take Hãna Highway from Paia to Hãna and then turn around and drive back the way they came in. Which is exactly what we were planning on doing, mostly because it was said that continuing on Hãna Highway any further past Hãna was dangerous and rumor had it that the road could even be closed due to rock slides.
It wasn't until we arrived in Hãna that we spoke to a local who told us that going out the "back way" would be totally doable. Turns out the road was closed, but every day it would reopen at 3:30pm. Honestly, the idea of driving past what we had already seen did not sound appealing, so we decided to trust the local and go full circle around the island. We took the unknown and potentially dangerous route back.
BUT I am so glad we did, because it ended up being one of the best parts of the day.
The map above will give you a quick snap shot of how we navigated the road, starting in Wailea then continuing from points A through H and then going through the "back way", returning to Wailea. I'll go through all the points so you can see exactly where I went and what I did along the way.
A. Paia Bowls
When beginning the Road to Hãna, it passes through an adorable town called Paia. Naturally, I made sure to stop at the cutest little açaí, smoothie and coffee shop. If you were following along on my Insta stories you know I'm obsessed with açaí, so of course I thought this place was amazing. I would 10/10 recommend. Plus, the seating area was super dreamy.
B. Twin Falls
Not too far into the drive we came across Twin Falls. This stop was convenient because it was pretty easy to park alongside the road. The scenery was fantastic because of the giant bamboo, Harry Potteresque trees, and waterfalls.
I mean, who doesn't love a good waterfall??
Okay, so this isn't one of the stops on the map but these trees are sprinkled randomly throughout the jungle and they. are. amazing.
On the drive between Twin Falls and Honomanu Bay, we spotted Eucalyptus trees, so of course I got out of the car to look at them. They were huge, extremely colorful and unlike any tree I've ever seen. It was definitely worth pulling off the road for.
C. Honomanu Bay
We didn't stop here for very long, but it was extremely beautiful. I had a little black stone bay all to myself and it was perfect.
D. Hãna Harvest Café
Imagine this: you're driving in the middle of dense jungle and then suddenly this little places pops up out of no where. It was adorable and shockingly, very modern ( and by that I mean they had WIFI, which was huge because cell service was not a thing ).
This little café made for the cutest rest stop to grab a smoothie or a cold brew ( I opted for a smoothie ) and check texts before continuing on the journey.
E. Waianapanapa State Park
I heard a local say the name of this park and it actually rolled off his tongue but I won't even bother to attempt it. This park had a bathroom which was huge ( they are very hard to come by on the road ) and the most amazing black sand beach.
Not only was the sand black, but the water was bright blue. So incredible. We changed into our suits and swam in the waves for a while. A sea turtle even popped its head up just a few feet away from where we were swimming.
This stop was something myself and my entire family loved.
F. Huli Huli Chicken
The same local that told us that the back way to Hana Highway was open also told us about a great local food place that was known for its chicken. It was literally just a tent on the side of the road, but let me tell ya, the chicken was fresh and delicious.
G. Hamoa Beach
This beach was beautiful with clear blue water and tons of adorable little sand crabs. Such a great oasis just off the road. I decided to stop and swim again before beginning the journey back to Wailea.
H. "Back Way" to the Road to Hãna
We pulled off at a tiny farmer's market that had the neatest seating area, it was enclosed in bamboo. You can see me standing, surrounded by bamboo and holding a banana purchased from the market. This place was a gem.
As for the drive back, the road definitely had some sketchy parts... enough to get my heart pumping.
BUT I was thankful there were way less twists and turns during the drive back.
We ended up going up a mountain next to the ocean and I even felt as if our car was gliding right along the clouds. We left the jungle and enjoyed a stunning countryside so beautiful that a picture couldn't quite capture it.
If you want a unique drive that will keep you thrilled throughout the Road to Hãna, then you should definitely continue through the back way.
Even though the whole journey took 12 hours to complete, it was well worth the experience. Something I loved, but will probably never want to do again. HA
I know there is so much more to do and see. Have you ever taken the Road to Hãna? What was your favorite part? Let me know in the comments! More posts are coming soon with where I stayed, what I wore, where I went, and other excursions taken.
Look for those soon! :)
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