Maui Now : Top Sights Along the Road to Hana
The historic Road to Hana is a day-long adventure the entire family will remember for years to come. Between the breathtaking views and quirky side trips, there is a whole other world to discover along Maui’s mystical east coast. Maverick Helicopters offers a one-of-a-kind helicopter excursion deep into the Hana Rainforest that includes unparalleled views of Maui and approximately 30 minutes of ground time at a former taro plantation.
Pāʻia Street-scape. Photo courtesy Pāʻia Town Association.
A beautiful pastel town nestled on the northern coast of Maui, Paia is the typical launching point for visitors embarking on the journey toward Hana. Before you set out, enjoy some coffee and breakfast at one of the charming restaurants. There are also more than a few unique shops that sell fantastic souvenirs. You can even purchase audio guides to accompany your excursion. The eclectic, bohemian vibe is liable to keep you lingering, so start here early in order to savor your time in this funky community.
Commonly referred to as the mecca of windsurfing, Ho’okipa Beach is a great place to observe the dramatic waves Maui’s northern shore is known for. The lookout is easily accessible and overlooks the popular surfing area called the Pavilions. During the winter, the waves tower above the surface of the ocean, sometimes reaching heights of 20 feet. There is also a large population of green sea turtles that call Ho’okipa home. You can spot them bobbing along the surface just beyond the exposed reef.
With the largest assemblages of native Hawaiian plant species and breadfruit cultivars in existence, the National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Maui is a nature lover’s dream. Visitors to this plant sanctuary are also treated to views of Pi’ilanihale Heiau, the largest place of worship in Polynesia. This ancient temple made entirely of lava rock took hundreds of years to complete. You can walk the garden grounds yourself or take a guided tour that includes cultural demonstrations and a visit to a replica thatched canoe house.
Waiʻānapanapa. Photo by Wendy Osher.
Wai’anapanapa State Park
When people picture Maui, the image that appears in most heads probably looks a lot like Wai’anapanapa State Park. With more than a mile of idyllic coastline, this stunning park boasts black sand beaches, sea arches, blowholes, freshwater caves, hiking trails, lava tubes and panoramic views. Should you decide to spend the night in the area, this park features campsites and cabins available for rent. You’ll want to allot a good portion of time for exploring Wai’anapanapa. There are spectacular sights spread throughout more than 120 acres.
Truly one of the quietest areas along the Road to Hana, Kipahulu Point is home to Palapala Ho’omau Church. The tiny, bucolic church is nestled among some beautiful foliage. Built in 1857, it is famous as the final resting place of explorer Charles Lindberg. You can find the grave of both Charles and his wife under the shade of a Java plum tree on the church grounds. It is easy to miss, so turn left when you see a sign for Maui Stables. Stay to the left and you’ll see the church a little further down the road.
Waterfalls on the road to Hāna. Photo courtesy of Joe Parks.
These beautiful Hana sights are only few of the sights you get to explore on Maui. With a Maverick helicopter tour, time starved travelers and those simply eager to head to Hana can book a seat aboard Maverick Helicopter’s Hana Rainforest Experience. For more information on Maverick’s Hana Rainforest Experience, click here.