My husband and I have been itchin’ to go on a vacay and I can’t stop thinking about our trip to Maui this past summer. We took a family trip with my husband’s fam, and my sister and her bf, and it was the perfect amount of sun, sand and surf! For me and my husband, it was only our second time back since we moved away in 2009. I was scared that it would be more developed and that everything would look different but thankfully, while new shops and restaurants have popped up for the most part, it’s my same old Maui and I loved every minute.
Our trip entailed quite a few activities so I’m going to break down what we did into a couple posts. I hope you don’t mind! 😉
My husband, my sister Marie, her bf Koji and I decided that the first adventure we would go on was the Road to Hana. This is a MUST and is a great way to see the north side of the island. Plan for this trip to take a full day. If you get carsick, like me, then make sure you take some Dramamine because the road is winding and you don’t want to be the one to slow down your group. Just sayin’.
The Hana Highway is a two-lane highway that covers 64 miles of road. Don’t worry, you won’t be driving through all 64 miles but you will be covering a good amount as you make your way through the Maui coast and jungles. There are many different stops on the Road to Hana. We downloaded the Shaka Maui app and followed the Road to Hana tour. The app follows your GPS navigation so you’ll know exactly where to go. It made our drive more enjoyable too. 🙂
We got on the road as the sun was rising to the east. We wanted to get an early start to beat the crowds and give ourselves plenty of time to make stops. We grabbed a coffee and an acai bowl in Paia and hit the road.
Here we go…
Our first stop was Waikamoi Nature Trail. Located just past mile marker 9, this quick one mile loop was the perfect first stop to stretch our legs and get a peak into the north shore. The path is covered in lush foliage and leads to a few lookouts. We really enjoyed this stop!
Next, we made our way over to Ke’anea Peninsula. I wasn’t familiar with this area but I’m so glad we made a stop here. We spent about 30 minutes climbing over the rocks, admiring the view and checking out the church which was built in 1856 and was the sole building to survive the tsunami of 1946!
We continued our drive and made our way to the Wailua Iki Falls. These falls are a bit off the beaten path. The rain began to subside as we began our hike (love those tropical rains!). It’s about 1.5 miles roundtrip. You’re technically trespassing as this land is leased to a private irrigation company so I’ll leave it up to your discretion whether you decide to venture in or not.
After the falls we headed to Wai’napanapa State Park which is located near mile marker 32. This park is definitely a real gem in my book! Most folks refer to this place as the Black Sand Beach because the sand is made out of tiny lava particles. We stopped here and went for a refreshing dip. My pictures just don’t do this place justice!
Our last stop of the day was Kaihalulu Beach. Also known as the Red Sand Beach, this spot was one of my faves during our Road to Hana adventure. Parking can be somewhat difficult here. Make sure you read all the signs posted as there was a police officer waiting to give people parking tickets! It’s a little hike to the beach (could be slippery so be careful!) but you get an amazing view looking down. The cove was the perfect place to hang out for a bit, swim and relax. Definitely make it here!
After hanging out at the Red Sand Beach we knew we had to get back to Kihei. We decided to take the back side of Hana back to town. We all LOVED this way back!! Seriously, so incredible. The road is more rugged but it’s peaceful and beautiful and the perfect way to end the day. We took our time soaking in all the beauty around us.
I really hope you make your way to Hana next time you’re in Maui. Even though we didn’t get to as many stops as we wanted (Hamoa Beach and Seven Sacred Pools) it was still an amazing adventure! If you don’t like nature, or hiking or crystal clear waters then maybe Hana (or Maui) is not for you. 😉 Make sure you make unexpected stops too (like Coconut Glen’s Ice Cream Shop – vegan and delicious!) to add to the fun and spontaneity of the trip.
My next post will be about our trek up to Haleakala!
XO, Jenneke Rose