The Road to Hana is one of the most popular things to do in Maui and was personally one of my most anticipated activities on the island!

The Road to Hana is a scenic 64-mile drive on Maui’s East Coast with 640 turns and 59 one-lane bridges. Though the drive is challenging, the views are worth it. Tourists who embark on the Road to Hana will be rewarded with stunning beaches, impressive waterfalls, scenic hikes, roadside stands, and more. The Road to Hana offers some of the most breathtaking views and landscapes on the entire island.

However, spending one day on the Road to Hana requires a lot of coordination for the best experience possible. Though it’s possible to “do” the Road to Hana in one day, it’s impossible to “do everything” in one day, which is why it’s important to choose your stops wisely. In this post, I’ll outline all the best stops for a (feasible!) one-day Road to Hana itinerary and include helpful tips for making this drive especially memorable. 

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Map of This Road to Hana One-Day Itinerary

How to Do the Road to Hana in One Day 

Before embarking on the Road to Hana, you’ll need to make your way to Paia — the unofficial “start” to the Road to Hana. Most tourists stay in West Maui. If you’re staying in Ka’anapali, plan to spend at least an hour on the road to Paia, and if you’re staying in Wailea, it should take about 40 minutes to arrive in Paia. Plan to arrive in Paia no later than 7:15 AM. 

Stop #1: Paia 

  • Location: 120 Hana Hwy, Paia, HI 96779 
  • Cost: $50 – $75 (for a tank of gas and coffee) 
  • Time Spent: 30 minutes 

Paia is technically not a stop on the Road to Hana, but it’s a great spot to start and end your day. Paia is about a 20-minute drive to Mile Marker Zero (the official start to the Road to Hana), so I recommend stopping here to get coffee and a light breakfast, and to fill up on gas — you’ll want a full tank. 

When you arrive in Paia, stop at the Shell on the edge of town to fill the gas tank, and then grab a parking spot in front of Paia Bay Coffee & Bar. This adorable coffee shop is one of the best places to eat in Maui, and it has a walk-up window, which is perfect to grab a coffee and pastry to enjoy on the go while heading to the Road to Hana. This coffee shop opens at 7:30 AM, so you should be able to be the first customer in line if you arrive in Paia by 7:15 AM

After stopping for gas and coffee, you should be ready to hit the road again at about 7:45 AM! 

An iced coffee in front of a sign that reads Paia Bay Coffee & Bar

Stop #2: Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread 

  • Location: 210 Keanae Rd, Ke’Anae, HI 96708 (Mile Marker 16) 
  • Cost: $8.75 per loaf 
  • Hours: 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM 
  • Time Spent: 30 minutes 

The first official stop on this one-day itinerary of the Road to Hana is Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread on the Ke’Anae Peninsula — the best banana bread you’ll ever have! 

If you are following this itinerary, you should arrive at Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread between 8:45 – 9 AM, which is just after the fruit stand opens at 8:30 AM. This is a good thing since Aunt Sandy’s often runs out of banana bread before noon, and you don’t want to miss out on it! You will pass some popular stopping points on the Road to Hana on the way (like Twin Falls and the Garden of Eden Arboretum), but don’t worry — the places we stop at later are cooler, I promise! 

When you arrive at Aunt Sandy’s, you’ll probably have to wait in line. However, the wait is 100% worth it. Each freshly baked “mini” loaf costs $8.75 as of January 2024. Cash and card are accepted, but credit card transactions require a purchase of $10 or more (I recommend getting two loaves anyway — one for now and one for later!). 

A yellow and green sign that says "Aunt Sandy's Famous Banana Bread. The Bread You've Been Driving For. Always Served Fresh. Ke'Anae Peninsula, Maui, Hawaii"
A loaf of banana bread in plastic wrap being held in front of an ocean overlook on the Road to Hana

Stop #3: Ke’Anae Lookout 

After the banana bread is secured, spend some time enjoying it at the Ke’Anae Lookout, which is right next to Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread. I wouldn’t spend too much time here — just enough to finish your loaf of bread and snap a picture — but it’s a beautiful viewpoint! 

A woman standing in a black tank top and straw hat in front of the black rocky overlook at the Ke'Anae Lookout, one of the best stops on a Road to Hana itinerary

Stop #4: Pipiwai Trailhead 

  • Location: Hana, HI 96713 (Mile Marker 41) 
  • Cost: $30 per vehicle 
  • Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM 
  • Time Spent: 2.5 – 3 hours 

Did you know that the Road to Hana doesn’t stop at Hana? Several visitors miss out on the best attractions on the Road to Hana — like the Pipiwai Trailhead — because they end their journey in Hana and turn back. This is a big mistake! 

For this Road to Hana one-day itinerary (aside from our pit stop at Aunt Sandy’s for banana bread), we drive all the way to the end of the Road to Hana and work our way back. This is a great way to do the Road to Hana because you avoid heavy traffic and have smaller crowds at popular attractions. It really is a win-win situation! 

Next, drive all the way to the Kipahulu Visitor Center (in Haleakalā National Park) from Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread, which will take about an hour and a half. You should pass several points of interest (including Hana) on the way. Don’t worry — like I mentioned earlier, we are going to backtrack to hit several of these popular attractions later. 

You should arrive at the Pipiwai Trail between 10:30 – 11 AM. Admission to Haleakalā National Park is $30 per vehicle but lasts for three days, so if you have already visited the Volcano Summit District of Haleakalā National Park (or plan to!) — you’ll only have to pay one time. 

I have an entire hiking guide for the Pipiwai Trail — so definitely check that out before tackling this amazing hike. However, in summary, the Pipiwai Trail is a four-mile hike that leads hikers past multiple waterfalls, including the impressive Waimoku Falls, through a bamboo forest, to a giant Banyan tree and other gorgeous sights. This is one of the best hikes in Maui and truly a can’t-miss attraction on the Road to Hana — especially if you love hiking! 

If you are a moderate or advanced hiker, the Pipiwai Trail should take around three hours to complete (stopping for pictures), so you should be back on the road around 1:30 PM. 

A woman in a black tank top and hiking boots and a straw hat standing in a bamboo forest on the Pipiwai Trailhead in Maui, Hawaii
A woman in a black tank top and hiking boots and a straw hat walking across a bridge on the Pipiwai Trail on the Road to Hana

Stop #5: Waimoku Falls 

Waimoku Falls is technically located at the end of the Pipiwai Trail, but it is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Hawaii, so it deserves its own “stop” on the list! 

Though Waimoku Falls is not the tallest waterfall on Maui at 400 feet, it is the tallest waterfall that is reachable by foot. Honokohau Falls (towering at 1,100 feet) is the tallest waterfall on Maui but can only be seen from a helicopter. Snap a picture of this incredible waterfall at the end of the Pipiwai Trail, and marvel at the water cascading down the rocky cliff! 

A tall waterfall cascading down a tropical rainforest in Maui, Hawaii

Stop #6: Wailua Falls 

  • Location: Hana Hwy, Hana, HI 96713 (Mile Marker 45) 
  • Cost: Free 
  • Time Spent: 15 minutes 

Now, it should be around 1:30 PM, and you’ll begin heading back towards Hana (so, the way you came from!). About 15 minutes into the drive should be Wailua Falls — an 80-foot waterfall and another one of the most impressive waterfalls on Maui. And fortunately, this one can be viewed from the road, making it a quick and easy pit stop. 

Wailua Falls can be viewed from the road (there is a small parking lot), which is what we recommend for this itinerary. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, there is a small, short hike down to the swimming hole at the base of the falls. If you do want to take a dip, just be careful — the hike down can be steep and slippery. You should plan to leave Wailua Falls no later than 2 PM for this itinerary. 

A waterfall cascading down into a pool in the green rainforest

Stop #7: Huli Huli Chicken 

  • Location: 175 Haneoo Rd, Hana, HI 96713 (Mile Marker 50) 
  • Cost: $15 – $25 per person 
  • Hours: 11 AM – 6 PM 
  • Time Spent: 30 minutes 

At this point, you’re probably feeling pretty hungry, which is good, because it’s time to stop for lunch at Huli Huli Chicken! Huli Huli Chicken is a roadside stand located at Koki Beach Park. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Wailua Falls, so you should arrive around 2:20 PM.  

Huli Huli Chicken is a Hawaiian grilled chicken dish that is prepared by barbecuing chicken over mesquite wood and turning it several times (“huli” means “turn” in Hawaiian!). It’s coated in “huli huli sauce, which is like a sweet, fruity teriyaki sauce. 

For $18 at Huli Huli Chicken, you can get a giant plate of huli huli chicken that comes with rice and a green salad or a pork loin combo for $25. However, I recommend the huli huli chicken — it is delicious! If you’re hungry, definitely get a plate all to yourself or split one for a smaller bite. Enjoy your chicken right on the beach, and then head to the next stop by 2:50 PM! 

Note: Huli Huli Chicken only accepts cash, and as you can imagine — there are no ATMs nearby. Be sure to bring cash

A cardboard takeout box filled with chicken, ride, and a salad on a red sand beach in Maui
A cardboard takeout box filled with chicken, ride, and a salad on a red sand beach in Maui

Stop #8: Koki Beach Park 

Koki Beach Park is technically where you’ll enjoy your huli huli chicken, so this kind of counts as a “two for one.” However, it is worth mentioning that Koki Beach Park is the perfect alternative to Kaihalulu Beach (Red Sand Beach) since we won’t have time to stop there on this itinerary. 

There are tons of red rocks around Koki Beach Park, which gives the sand a “reddish” hue. It’s truly a gorgeous spot! Additionally, Koki Beach is one of the two most famous surf breaks in Hana. Though you shouldn’t attempt to swim or surf here (there are no lifeguards, and the rip currents are strong and dangerous), it can be fun to watch the local surfers if they are out! 

A red sand beach in Maui with black rocks and the blue ocean in the background
A red sand beach in Maui with black rocks and two feet with sandals standing on the beach

Stop #9: Waiʻānapanapa State Park 

  • Location: Hana, HI 96713 (Mile Marker 32) 
  • Cost: $10 per vehicle + $5 per person 
  • Hours: 7 AM – 6 PM 
  • Time Spent: 1.5 – 2 hours 

After a 15-minute drive, you should arrive at Waiʻānapanapa State Park right around 3 PM. Waiʻānapanapa State Park, also known as the Black Sand Beach, is one of the most popular spots on the Road to Hana and an absolute must on any Road to Hana itinerary! 

Waiʻānapanapa State Park is so popular that you need reservations to enter the park. One month before your trip, visit Go Hawai’i State Parks to make reservations. For this Road to Hana one-day itinerary, choose the 3 PM – 6 PM timeslot for park entry. Parking is $10 per vehicle, and each person (above three years old) costs $5. You will pay in advance on the website. You have to arrive within 30 minutes of your timed entry (so by 3:30 PM), so it’s really important to stick strictly to this one-day itinerary for the Road to Hana, so you don’t miss out! 

Though the highlight at Waiʻānapanapa State Park is the black sand beach — formed from eroded volcanic material — there are several other things to see and do here, including hikes, blowholes, tidepools, lava tubes, and more. Personally, I loved hiking up on the left side of the beach to a blowhole and overlooking the beach from a different point of view! 

A black sand beach in Hawaii with turquoise waters and lush greenery surrounding the beach

Stop #10: Hana Farms Roadside Stand 

  • Location: 2910 Hana, HI 96713 (Mile Marker 31) 
  • Cost: $10 – $20 per person 
  • Hours: 8 AM – 6 PM 
  • Time Spent: 15 – 30 minutes 

After leaving Waiʻānapanapa State Park, it should be around 5 PM — which means it’s about time to begin the journey home. The trip from Mile Marker Zero from Waiʻānapanapa State Park is about an hour and a half, so if you start driving right now, you’ll finish the road to Hana around 6:30 PM. We were in Maui in May, so the sunset was right about 7 PM. This was perfect timing! 

However, before heading back, I recommend stopping by Hana Farms to grab a quick snack before your trip home. The stand right off the road sells coffee, drinks, fresh fruit, and other baked goods, like banana bread and cookies. There is also a farm and restaurant that serves flatbread pizzas and salads, but for this itinerary, I recommend skipping the restaurant to make it back before it gets dark. 

A roadside stand on the Road to Hana selling clothes, bottled goods, coffee, pastries, and more.

Stop #11: Paia 

If you’ve followed this itinerary, you should arrive back in Paia around 7 PM, which is the perfect time to grab some dinner before heading back to your hotel and calling it a night. Here are some great options for a quick dinner in Paia: 

  • Paia Fish Market Paia Fish Market serves fresh-caught fish, and I had the best blackened mahi mahi that I have ever had here. Totally recommend! 
  • Flatbread Company Flatbread Company serves delicious flatbread pizzas and salads made with local, seasonal ingredients, as well as beers, wines, and drinks. This is where we personally stopped after the Road to Hana, and the giant pizza was delicious and much needed after a long day of exploring the Road to Hana. 
  • Paia Bay Coffee & Bar — Remember where you grabbed coffee this morning? They also serve dinner and drinks until 10 PM, as well as all-day breakfast (yum!). 

After finishing dinner around 8 PM, you can head back to your hotel. Depending on where you are staying, you should get back around 8:30 – 9 PM — a great time to take a shower, hop in bed, and dream about a fun, adventurous day on the Road to Hana! 

Two plates with fish filets, rice, and coleslaw sitting on a wooden table.
A flatbread pizza sitting on a wooden table in a restaurant

Helpful Tips for Driving the Road to Hana 

I have an entire blog post dedicated to tips for driving the Road to Hana, so be sure to check it out before hitting the road! However, here are a few basic tips to consider: 

  • Pack accordingly — Bring plenty of water, snacks, a portable charger, a swimsuit, a change of clothes, beach towels, and hiking shoes. 
  • Carry cash — Many stops on the Road to Hana are cash only, so bring at least $30–$50 per person. 
  • Start early — Get an early start so you can avoid the crowds, pack as much into your day as possible, and arrive back in Paia by sunset. 
  • Drive safety — Be a courteous driver, keep your eyes on the road, and consider other tips — like renting a smaller and more agile car, avoiding the Road to Hana on super rainy days, and returning to Paia before it gets dark — to simplify safe driving. 
The Road to Hana, a one-way road winding through lush green foliage in Maui, Hawaii

Best Road to Hana Tours 

I do recommend driving the Road to Hana yourself, so you have the freedom to stop wherever you want and can go at your own pace. However, if you don’t want to worry about the hassle of driving or are a nervous driver — booking a tour might be the best choice. 

The Road to Hana can be nerve-wracking at times, and it’s not worth being stressed all day about driving. That said, here are some Road to Hana tours that will leave the driving to the professionals so you can just enjoy the sights and sounds of the Road to Hana! 

  • Road to Hana Adventure with Breakfast & Lunch — This epic tour of the Road to Hana has 300+ reviews and 4.7 stars. It includes breakfast, lunch, admission to Wai’anapanapa State Park, and stops at Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread, Pua’a Ka’a State Park, and views of gorgeous waterfalls and beaches along the way. 
  • Small-Group Road to Hana Sightseeing Tour — This small group tour of the Road to Hana has 4.7 stars and 400+ reviews. It includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, admission to Wai’anapanapa State Park, and glimpses or stops at popular attractions, such as Wailua Falls and Koki Red Sand Beach. 
  • Road to Hana Helicopter & Waterfall Tour with Landing — If you’re short on time or looking for an adventure, this helicopter tour is a unique way to see the scenery of the Road to Hana from a different point of view. On this tour, you will fly over the Road to Hana after departing from Kahului and see the towns of Paia, Hookipa, and Haiku. You will land in a former taro plantation in the Wailua Valley, where you can explore the lush vegetation for about an hour before heading back to Kahului. 

Overall, I would say the tours are a good value. Most tours range from $199 – $250 per person, and if you did the Road to Hana yourself, you would probably end up spending about $150 per person. So, you might spend a little more money on a tour, but you won’t have to worry about the logistics and driving either. It depends on your preferences and personality! 

Bonus Stops to Add to Your Road to Hana Itinerary

This Road to Hana itinerary for one day includes what I believe to be the best and most unique stops on the Road to Hana — a black sand beach, a red sand beach, several waterfalls, a bamboo forest, and delicious treats like banana bread and huli huli chicken! 

However, there are tons of other fabulous stops on the Road to Hana, too. If you spend more than one day on the Road to Hana, or if you’d like to swap out any of the attractions in this itinerary with something different (for example, you’re not a hiker, so you’d rather opt out of the Pipiwai Trail and check out another waterfall instead) — here are some other remarkable stops on the Road to Hana (in order, from the start of the road to the end). 

Twin Falls

Twin Falls is one of the first stops on the Road to Hana at Mile Marker 2. This 1.8-mile trail leads to two waterfalls and takes about an hour to complete. Parking is $10 per vehicle, and the falls are open from 7 AM – 5 PM. You can always stop another day to do this hike to make more time on your Road to Hana one-day itinerary since it’s at the very beginning of the road and less than a 30-minute drive from Paia. 

Garden of Eden Arboretum

Located at Mile Marker 10.5 is the Garden of Eden, a lush botanical garden filled with scenic ocean, valley, and waterfall views over a sprawling 26 acres. Admission is $20 per person, and the hours are 8 AM – 4 PM. 

Upper Waikani Falls

Located just after Mile Marker 19 is Upper Waikani Falls, also known as Three Bears Falls. You can see these falls from your car, though there is a short hike if you’re able to snag a parking spot in the small lot. 

Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Park

This park, located at Mile Marker 22.5, is a great “halfway” stop on the Road to Hana with a restroom, picnic area, and more. This is also the location of Pua’a Ka’a Falls and a swimming hole, which can be reached on an easy 0.3-mile out-and-back hike that usually takes around 15 minutes to complete. 

Coconut Glen’s

Coconut Glen’s is an ice cream truck at Mile Marker 27.5 that sells vegan coconut milk ice cream in dozens of delicious flavors. It is only open from 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM daily, but it’s a delicious stop for a refreshing treat! I wanted to stop here, but they were sadly not open both times that we passed by. 

Hana Bowls

Right next to Wai’anapanapa State Park is Hana Bowls, a stand serving acai bowls and smoothies. This would be a great place to stop for a refreshing treat if you need to kill some time before your timed entry to the black sand beach! I didn’t know about this stop. Otherwise, I would have added it to our one-day Road to Hana itinerary. 

Kaihalulu Beach

Kaihalulu Beach is the red sand beach I mentioned earlier. Although Koki Beach Park will fulfill the “red sand beach itch,” if you want to see another one, be sure to stop here! It’s located in Hana (the town) on the coast. 

Hamoa Beach

Hamoa Beach, in addition to Koki Beach, is known as the other surf break on the Road to Hana. It’s also a gorgeous beach for laying out on a sunny day and is known for its sparkling, clear water. Hamoa Beach is just past Koki Beach Park and Huli Huli Chicken on the way to the Kipahulu Visitor’s Center. 

Waioka Pond (Venus Pool)

Waioka Pond is a natural tide pool separated from the ocean by a beach that is deep enough for swimming. It’s also a popular place to go cliff jumping. If you’re not used to rock climbing and scrambling, though, I would probably skip this stop for safety reasons. It’s located a few minutes south of Hamoa Beach. 

‘Ohe‘o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools)

At the Kipahulu Visitor’s Center, you’ll have the option of hiking two trails, either the Pipiwai Trail or the Kuloa Point Trail. The Kuloa Point Trail is a 0.5-mile loop that will take you to the Pools of ‘Ohe‘o, also known as the Seven Sacred Pools. If you’ve already paid for admission into the park and have time after Pipiwai Trail, check out this trail that leads to stunning waterfalls and plunge pools! 

A sign directing tourists to either the Pipiwai Trail and Kuloa Point Trail on the Road to Hana.

Should I Stay Overnight on the Road to Hana? 

You do not need to stay overnight on the Road to Hana if you follow the Road to Hana itinerary for one day listed at the beginning of the post. However, if you’d like to visit more attractions on the Road to Hana than you can possibly fit into one day, I recommend spending one or two nights in Hana to see and do as much as possible. 

I also would only recommend staying overnight on the Road to Hana if you’re staying in Maui for more than five days. Otherwise, you won’t have enough time to see the rest of the island! You can split your time in Maui between a hotel on the west coast (in Ka’anapali or Wailea) and one in Hana. You can check out my post about the best luxury hotels in Maui for inspiration, but one of the best places to stay in Hana is the Hana-Maui Resort – A Destination by Hyatt Residence

FAQs: Road to Hana in One Day Itinerary 

Is it possible to do the Road to Hana in one day?

Yes, it is possible to do the Road to Hana in one day, though it is impossible to stop at all the points of interest and attractions along the way. Choosing three or four points of interest or “stops” along the Road to Hana and getting an early start are the best ways to conquer as much of the Road to Hana as possible in a day trip from the west side of the island!

How long do you need for the Road to Hana?

You should plan to spend the entire day on the Road to Hana. Plan to leave your hotel no later than 6:30 – 7 AM to start the Road to Hana early enough to wrap up by sunset around 7 PM. In short, the Road to Hana is about a 12-hour experience — so an entire day!

Is it better to drive the Road to Hana yourself or take a tour?

It depends. If you want to have the freedom and flexibility to stop at the fruit stands, waterfalls, and other points of interest along the way while moving at your own speed, it is best to drive the Road to Hana yourself. However, if you are a nervous driver and don’t want to worry about the hairpin turns or the logistics of coordinating admission times to popular attractions (like Wai’anapanapa State Park) — it’s best to book a tour of the Road to Hana. 

Can you drive a rental car on the Road to Hana?

Yes, you are allowed to drive a rental car on the Road to Hana. However, it’s important to note that many rental car companies do not allow you to drive past the Kipahulu Visitor’s Center since the road conditions are poor and unpredictable. However, there isn’t much to see past this point, so it’s smart to turn around and come back the way you came from anyway.

Spend an Adventurous Day on the Road to Hana with This One-Day Road to Hana Itinerary 

There is a ton of information to digest before planning a day trip on the Road to Hana, so hopefully, this post has helped make planning your Road to Hana itinerary a little easier. If you do it right, the Road to Hana will be your favorite experience on Maui — guaranteed! 

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Brit! I'm a writer from Phoenix, AZ who loves coffee, golden retriever puppies, and obviously, travel! I help ordinary women (like me!) dream, plan, and do extraordinary travel experiences.