• Photo: Marisa Estivill / Shutterstock

Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is a 55-mile journey into the unspoiled heart of Maui. Tracing a centuries-old path, the road begins as a well-paved highway in Kahului and ends in the tiny, rustic town of Hana on the island’s rain-gouged windward side, spilling into a backcountry rarely visited by humans. Many travelers venture beyond Hana to Oheo Gulch, where one can cool off in basalt-lined pools and waterfalls.

This drive is a Hawaii pilgrimage for those eager to experience what glossy magazines consider the "real" Hawaii. To most, the lure of Hana is its timelessness, and paired with the spectacular drive (which brings to life the old adage: the journey is the destination), this is one of Hawaii’s best experiences. The Road to Hana is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful drives on the planet.

The challenging part of the road takes only an hour and a half, but the drive begs to be taken at a leisurely pace. You’ll want to slow the passage of time to take in foliage-hugged ribbons of road and roadside banana bread stands, to swim beneath a waterfall, and to inhale the lush Maui tropics in all its glory. You’ll also want to stop often and let the driver enjoy the view, too.

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