Road to Hana
64.4 miles long, 600 curves, 54 bridges and a tropical paradise. Welcome to the Road to Hana, Maui’s numero uno attraction. In 2000, President Bill Clinton designated the Hana Highway as the Hana Millennium Legacy Trail. The route was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
If you are looking to enjoy the Maui coastline, hit Hawaii Routes 36 and 360. Start from the town of Paia. But be prepared for traffic. Everyone and anyone who visits Maui, always come for the Road to Hana.
Haleakala National Park
One of Maui’s most popular attractions, Haleakala National Park is a geological beauty. It is home to the dormant Haleakalā Volcano, Maui’s endangered Hawaiian geese Nene, as well as the rare Ahinahina plant. There are two entrances to the park:
Kipahulu Entrance: Pipiwai Trail & ‘Ohe’o Gulch
Summit Entrance: Sunset at Haleakala
Kanaapali Beach and Town
Situated north of Lahaina, Kanaapali has evolved into one of Maui’s most high end affluent towns. Amenities include the open air shopping complex Whaler’s Village, sprawling championship golf greens, and upscale resorts that include Westin, Hyatt Regency and Sheraton.
The daily sunset diving ceremony from the Puu Kekaa (Black Rock) is a re-enactment of Maui’s King Kahekili. This is popular with visitors to the Kaanapali Beach, which also ranked as America’s Best Beach for its white sands and crystal clear water.
Town of Lahaina
Also known as Lele, meaning “relentless sun”, Lahaina was once the capital of the Hawaiin kingdom. In the mid 1800s, this Maui town became a whaling village where up to 1,500 sailors took leave. This included Herman Melville, who later immortalized this whaling boom in his novel Moby Dick. Today, whale watching tours during the winter months are especially popular and have to be reserved in advance.
As one walks down Front Street, one can explore Historic Lahaina. Prominent landmarks include the Pioneer Inn, The Baldwin Home Museum, Wo Hing Chinese Museum, and the largest banyan tree in the US (a gift from missionaries in India).
Lahaina has become a hot spot in Maui for its galleries, shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs. I stopped at the Pi Artisan Pizzeria where the food is always fast, fresh and local. I had the Forest Mushroom pizza which included assorted mushrooms, gorgonzola cheese, roasted garlic, red onions, grated pecorino romano, truffle oil, fresh oregano and arugula with a pi blanca sauce.
And nothing complements great tasting food, then heavenly dessert. I grabbed a Coconut Macadamia Nut Fudge from one of the cute little cafes along Front Street.