travel : road to hana, maui

road to hana, maui | madeline made

i have been sharing about our trip to maui, hawaii this week, i shared about paia town already and today – the road to hana! before we left paia, we downloaded an app called gypsy guide, that came highly recommended to us. i wish this app existed for every city; it is a gps guided tour that tells you when to stop and prioritizes sites for you while driving. the road to hana is a famously treacherous, 42 mile drive along the northeastern coast with 600 hairpin turns. have i sold you? this drive took us about six hours because we took our time and stopped every chance we could. this is truly about the journey, not the destination.

we stopped first at the ho’okipa lookout to see the windsurfers and surfers. the next stop was the rainbow eucalyptus trees off the road in a grove – their bark looks like watercolor. love at first sight. next was the garden of eden arboretum, a small nature preserve with peacocks and local flora where parts of jurassic park were filmed. next was the black sand beach at waianapanapa state park; there are beautiful sea caves and you can go for a swim at the beach. there are many waterfalls (upper waikani, wailua) along the way, we stopped in at a few and swam in the icy water. we drove along the keanae peninsula and stopped at a stand for warm banana bread and shaved ice.

along the route, we stopped at the nakihu mile marker for the most amazing fish tacos and famous ‘coconut candy.’ the last stop was in our little town in hana at hamoa beach where we would stay for a few days. the beach at hamoa is beautiful (one of maui’s best) and there are a few restaurants for dinner if you plan to head back. we saved the south coast for the drive back to wailea.

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{the first stop – ho’okipa lookout and windsurfers}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{our jeep for the week}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{rainbow eucalyptus grove – my favorite stop of the whole trip}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{rainbow eucalyptus grove}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{rainbow eucalyptus grove}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{winding roads and lookouts on road to hana}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{‘garden of eden’ arboretum black rock from jurassic park}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{banana bread on keanae peninsula}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{waianapanapa state park – black sand beach}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{waianapanapa state park – black sand beach}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{perfect black sand beach at waianapanapa state park}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{sea caves at waianapanapa state park}

tips:

  • download guide before you leave when you have wifi
  • take snacks and water with you, not stops till later in the drive
  • plan for this to take a full day (early morning) if going there and back (or stay in hana)
  • rent your own car if you can so you can stop at your own pace (and fill up your tank)
  • convertibles and jeeps are most fun for this drive, be prepared to close to top for passing showers
  • bring hiking shoes, towels, and swimming clothes!
  • leave enough time to return and don’t drive back in the dark (we rented a place and stayed a few days)

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{white plumeria everywhere in hawaii}

road to hana, maui | madeline made

{last stop at hamoa beach in hana town, pastoral, and beautiful}

xoxo

madeline

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travel : guide to paia, maui, hawaii

paia, maui, hi| madeline made

this week i want to share some of my travel photos from our trip to hawaii in november. with the ice and snow around the country, we are all needing to mentally be somewhere else today, somewhere warm! to celebrate finishing my husband’s architectural exams and our third wedding anniversary, we booked a trip to maui in november. november is considered ‘off season’ on the islands; prices are lower, but the weather is perfect year round. we did a lot of research before leaving on where to stay on the island, the best beaches, and what to see. i would love to share.

paia, maui, hi| madeline made

upon landing, we could see the cloud shrouded peak of maui’s volcano, haleakala. we planned to take our entire second day to travel the road to hana, a scenic road trip along the east coast of maui, popular for it’s winding hairpin roads. we decided to stay in paia town, a small bohemian village near the maui airport (north coast) so we could start the next day bright and early for hana. we did not spend very much time in paia, but it charmed us with it’s quaint character and friendly locals. i loved chatting with a girl on the beach who fell in love paia and bought a one way ticket; she moved there and never looked back! i only wish we could have had more time to explore.

paia, maui, hi| madeline made

STAY:

paia inn – we stayed here, and this boutique hotel won our hearts. paia town is a small, walkable downtown and this inn is right in the center. it was comfortable, small, and beautiful.

airbnb – there are great options for vacations rentals on the island. it is addicting to browse the homes for rent.

DO:

paia bay – this beach was right outside of the paia inn and we spent the morning watching the turtles and surfers. the turtles wash up on shore and they are bigger than i could have ever imagined!

car rental – we rented a jeep wrangler and it was the best decision we made! we chose a location close to the airport for easy pickup before hana.

SHOP:

mana foods – there are no large grocery stores once you get to the east coast, and there are also not many dining options in hana. it is a great idea to stop in to mana foods to get groceries if you plan to stay on the eastern side of the island. so glad we knew to do this. it is like the nicest whole foods you’ve ever been in; we bought hawaiian coffee, fresh local fruit and produce.

boutiques + art galleries – paia is full of artists and handmade crafts, which makes it a great place to walk around at night and window shop.

EAT+DRINK: 

charley’s – we stopped in for breakfast to prepare for the long road trip to hana. there was an incredible bloody mary bar and we had to order the famous macadamia nut pancakes with coconut milk syrup. amazing!

mama’s fish house – this restaurant is a must while you are there. although very popular and touristy, the service, dinner and drinks were perfect. it is a beautiful setting on the beach and we sipped mai tais and ate local ono fish while feeling jetlagged.

paia, maui, hi| madeline made

{surfers on paia bay}

paia, maui, hi| madeline made

{ginger plant flower}

paia, maui, hi| madeline made

{passionfruit etching}

paia, maui, hi| madeline made

{exploring at paia inn}

paia, maui, hi| madeline made

{colorful outdoor dining at paia inn}

paia, maui, hi| madeline made

{macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup at charley’s}

paia, maui, hi| madeline made

{exotic fruits at mana foods grocery, rambutan?!}

paia, maui, hi| madeline made

{mai tais at mama’s fish house}

i will be posting guides on hana and wailea this week. i hope you enjoyed the paia guide, and please post any questions you may have about your travels!

xoxo

madeline

travel : hawaii planning

travel : hawaii planning | madeline made

i am so excited….we finally planned our much-needed vacation this year and our destination is…HAWAII!  we plan to go to maui and spend most of our time there. we want to experience both the western ‘desert’ side in wailea and eastern ‘tropical’ side of the island in hana.  my parents often tell me about how they visited maui when my mom was pregnant with me and now i will be returning again. it is hard for me not to plan a lot of things to do and see, but i know we both need time to recharge; so i will do my best not to type out an itinerary….

 

do you have any hawaii recommendations? i would love to hear what islands you recommend, where you stayed, beaches to visit, or any other tips you might have!

 

travel : hawaii planning | madeline made

travel : hawaii planning | madeline made

images kauai 1 / lanai 2 / maui 3

 

MADELINE