Road To Hana Questions Answered!
We recently got a bunch of great questions from a new friend visiting Maui. Johnny had all kinds of questions about the Valley Isle, so we’ve answered them in detail below.
1. I will be in Hawaii in November, 1st week, and I have read mixed reviews on whether to take the South route around the Road to Hana. I will be renting a Mustang and hence wanted to know which route to take and why?
Both ways are good. You go a bit against the regular flow of traffic if you go the south route first, but you also won’t be getting stuck behind as many people. Either way is fine, but it all depends on what you want to see earlier vs. later. Traveling through Upcountry first will change your breakfast options too.
2. Is there heavy traffic if we follow the North route to Hana? Any tips on how early to leave? We will be staying in Kihei.
Yes, there’s pretty steady traffic. It usually doesn’t stop unless people are trying to park in inappropriate spots. Time to leave? earlier the better! Without a doubt, the best way to do the Road to Hana is on a guided tour in a large tour van. You don’t have to drive, so you get to enjoy the views throughout. Also, your driver is experienced, knows where to stop, and can share the history and cultural significance of different areas, and you cut down on the traffic along the way. Check out these Hana adventures locally owned and operated by Road to Hana Tours.
3. I plan on stopping at Hookipa along the Road to Hana. What is a good time to see turtles on Hoʻopika Beach?
Turtles come onshore at Hoʻokipa Beach Park throughout the day. The best time is during sunset. Just make sure to keep your distance, and stay behind the rock wall. The best way to see Maui sea turtles is while snorkeling, which is best in South Maui and safest with a snorkel tour.
4. If I decide to check out the Road to Hana from the air instead, what are my options? Which are the top 3 rated Helicopter companies?
Tough to say which are the top 3 rated. The best Maui helicopter tour reviews I’ve heard come from Blue Hawaiian, Air Maui, and Sunshine Helicopters. They’re all good though.
5. Do you have a list of local Hawaiian food restaurants? Where should I stop along the Road to Hana?
These are some of our favorite local restaurants: Star Noodle in Lahaina which serves pacific rim cuisine with local ingredients. Along the road to Hana, check out Hana Farms for great pizza and tacos. If you’re Upcountry and want good food, check out Restaurant Marlow or the Upcountry Sausage Company at Mahalo Aleworks.
6. I have also read that I should avoid the road north of Kaanapali. We plan to visit the Waihee Ridge Trail & Nakalele Blowhole on our way to Kaanapali Beach. I will be renting a car and want to know which route to take and why?
I agree it should be avoided. The northern route around the top of Maui from West Maui to Wailuku is very slow and dangerous (often one-lane roads, no railing, and steep cliffs). You get the same lush driving experience by driving the Road to Hana, so I would avoid that route above and around the island to get back to the Lahaina area.