On our second to last day in Maui, it was pretty gloomy in the morning and it was starting to sprinkle a little bit. Since the beach was out of the question, we decided to do the famous drive, Road to Hana. Without much research other than putting directions to Hana in our GPS, we headed out.
The drive from Lahaina to Hana is approximately 3 hours without traffic. However, on the day we went it started raining…HARD. So it took us a little longer than 3 hours.
It was still a beautiful drive, despite the rain. In fact, I think the rain added to the already beautiful scenery and created a lusher environment. We made a few stops along the way to take pictures by waterfalls while the kids slept in the car. My husband and I both got soaked but it was so much fun! We felt like kids again!
Be aware that the drive to Hana is not for the faint of heart! We didn’t know this prior but the road is really curvy. Actually, that is an understatement. It is an extremely winding road and its like that for a good couple of hours. Just be prepared to feel car sick on the way there and back. I didn’t know this and was SO nauseous, especially since I was sitting in the back with the two kids.
The road to Hana is one lane in each direction. Drive as slow as you can with the windows open to avoid the nauseous feeling. Many times the road turns into one lane, shared with both directions of traffic. Look out for the signs and keep an eye out for oncoming traffic. If there’s a long line of cars behind you, find the next turn out and allow them to pass. Some of the drivers may be locals.
Thankfully, the kids didn’t feel sick at all. The baby slept the entire time and my toddler was enjoying the scenery while he dozed off and on.
Luckily, we found a little coffee shop, Nahiku Roadside, on the side of the road. At this time, the rain subsided so we decided to stop for a little breather. I’m so glad we stopped at this exact coffee shop because I had the best banana bread I’ve ever had at this place! It was so moist and yummy and helped get rid of my nausea. It’s owned by the nicest lady who we chatted with for a bit before we headed out again. From her food stand, she said we only had about a 20-minute drive left.
At the end of the long and winding road, you will be rewarded with open, straight roads that will lead to beaches and places to eat. There were several food stands, food trucks and restaurants that we passed that looked delicious but we decided to go to Huli Huli Chicken which is a food stand right on the beach. Unfortunately, they ran out of chicken by the time we got there but it was still a great place to hit up nonetheless.
As we ate lunch and relaxed a bit, we looked up the directions to go back to Lahaina. We wanted to make sure to leave before it got dark because as I mentioned the roads are very narrow and winding. I can’t even imagine anyone driving through there at night. The other option was to keep going straight, away from Lahaina but through a road that if we drove there with our rental car, we wouldn’t be insured. So we decided to just brave the drive back the same way we came.
My husband was driving and said he felt a bit nauseous on the way back. I slept half the time so leaving Hana wasn’t as bad for me as going there.
Looking back, even though the road is quite dangerous (I can’t believe we did that with our kids!) and it was raining and we felt car sick, I’m so glad we did it. It’s one of those things that you have to experience at least once!
The views were amazing in the rain so I can only imagine what it would be like on a clear and sunny day.
I’m glad we checked that off our bucket list!
Beach Haven at Seabright says
We go to Maui every year since we have a timeshare there — it’s one of our favorite places on earth, next to Santa Cruz and our vacation rental home at Seabright Beach http://www.beachhavenatseabright.com. We’ll have to check out that roadside coffee shop next time we go to Hana and try that banana bread! Where do you stay in Maui?