If you ask me what’s the best place in Hawaii, I must say it’s the road to Hana!! It is not a single place, but a 64-mile scenic drive with waterfalls, hikes, viewpoints, beaches, and Lava Tubes. People either complete the Road to Hana Loop or return midway as you can’t visit all the places in a day. I believe anyone who has been to Hana would agree that the Road to Hana requires at least 2 days of exploration. Even with around 2 days to explore Road to Hana, we could not visit all the places. You must also plan before hitting Road to Hana since Lava Tubes close at four P.M., and reservations are needed for Waianapanapa State Park. Sadly, we missed both of them as we were not aware of this.
Our stop list on Road to Hana was so ambitious we could visit only around half of them. Here is a list of all places we stopped by on Road to Hana on Day 1:
It is the first stop on the Road to Hana that a lot of people take. You can swim in a water waterfall after hiking three miles. It is actually a private property owned by a family that runs a food truck at the entrance. From here, we bought the famous Hawaiian Coconut Candy.
Apparently, Lookout is no more than a food stall serving smoothies. We took a mango smoothie and spent some time on their stand. Anumeha even found her first love here 😛
An random waterfall on the way
There are tons of waterfalls on the way to the road to Hana and many of them can be seen from the road. We took a stop at one such waterfall. There is no indication of its name, but it is a fabulous stop.
Waikamoi Nature Waterfall
It was my favourite stop along the way to Hana. We saw people swinging with a rope and jumping into the water as we approached the water. I thought it looked so fun. It was a perfect spot for dipping, and I tried the swing several times.
The Keanae Lookout is technically not on the Road to Hana, but it is only a 5-minute detour from the road. You can see the waves crashing against the lava rocks from this location! When you turn left, there is also Aunty Sandy’s shop which is famous for its Banana Bread, but we found it closed.
Halfway to Hana
Halfway to Hana is the name of a food stall. The banana bread we found here was freshly baked.
Wailua Valley Lookout
It is a panoramic viewpoint, where we stopped for just 5 minutes. There is a 360-degree view of the Wailua Valley on one side and the ocean on another.
By the time we reached Nahiku Marketplace, there was only one store open.
Red Sand Beach
The red sand beach is within Hana. From the parking area, there is a short but steep trail to Red Sand Beach. With lava walls separating the cove from the ocean, Red Sand Beach is one of a kind. A trip to Red Sand Beach is another must-do on the Road to Hana.
We ended our day with dinner at Hana Food Trucks. Food trucks are usually closed by 7 p.m., so we got here just in time. I loved my Panini Sandwich.
Thankfully we had planned two days for Road to Hana, it would have been impossible to cover all these places in a day and go back. We planned to visit Pipiwai train on next day of Road to Hana.