Road to Hana Alternative on Maui

 In USA

Maui with kids

Everyone that has been to Maui will tell you to take the road to Hana; the tourism board loves it, the yearly visitors love it. Well I’m here to tell you that there is another drive that is equally as beautiful but a whole lot less crowded.

If you are staying on the west side of the island at one of the many resorts lining the beach, but dream of getting away from it all just point your car north. As you head toward Ka’anapali the road will start to curve to the east and narrow as it changes to a one lane road making you wonder if your compact car can squeeze by and praying no SUVs come tearing around the corner.

Maui with kids

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This was an incredible drive and probably the highlight of our 2010 trip to Maui when Dek was 5 months old. It was our first family vacation. Friends had recommended the island as the best place to travel with kids. It was an easy vacation, a little too easy if I’m perfectly honest. The resorts taking over the beachfront were a bit of a turn off as well as the inability to easily get away from the crowds. We were based in Lahaina and one day we decided to check out Whalers Village. We took one look and kept driving. It was not what we were looking for that day. We needed the open road and a hidden gem.

We found it.

Maui with kids

Not long into the drive you see the crowds melt away and local houses spring up. Unlisted waterfalls and beaches tempt you from the road you are winding down. Soon enough you start to see signs for Julia’s banana bread. You MUST stop when you get to her stand (last I heard it was still there). This is the best banana bread on the island, and I know banana bread. It is my favorite of the fruity breads and this stuff is handmade with love, not a machine. The bread on the road to Hana has nothing on Julia’s. Also try her passion fruit butter if it’s available. You may want to bring a knife and spoon on your drive so you can dive right in.

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Mike and Dek on our drive around Maui – February 2010

Your tour ends back at the airport. Sit back and relax as you marvel at the beauty you just saw that many miss. And next time you are someplace new why not pick a direction and start driving. You never know what you will find.

Check out more great destinations in the USA over at The Traveling Prators.

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walking on travels: keep traveling, keep moving forward;
take your kids walking on life’s path to adventure

Road to Hana Alternative on Maui written by Keryn Means

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Showing 20 comments
  • Cassie
    Reply

    I was just talking with a friend on Monday who did this drive (continuing to loop around the top of the island) recently and said it was beautiful but terrifying! I’ll have to check it out when we go there this fall!

    • © Keryn Means/ walkingon travels
      Reply

      Cassie it is a great drive if you happen to be on Maui. Not to miss!

  • Reply

    It looks beautiful and the banana bread sounds yummy. I’ll have to remember this when we go to Hawaii in 2015.

  • Julia
    Reply

    Is one of these photos with tilt-shift? The one of the cottage by the water looks like it, and it is really cool! Great photos!

    • © Keryn Means/ walkingon travels
      Reply

      Julia- not tilt shift. That one was doctored up a bit with a Photoshop plug in that does some vignetting since the quality wasn’t where I wanted it to be but I wanted to show some of the scenery from the drive.

  • Jessica
    Reply

    Ill have to remember this when we go to maui this summer! Thanks for sharing!

    Check out my new travel blog!
    http://passionfortravels.blogspot.com

  • Amy @ The Q Family
    Reply

    Ah.. Looks so gorgeous! I love to just wander sometimes when we travel. Just go without expectation and it almost always has the great result. 🙂

  • Reply

    I’d take the drive just for the banana bread! 🙂 The beautiful views are simply a bonus.

  • EverywhereAmy
    Reply

    This island is definitely the next one we’ll visit in the Hawaiian Islands. Very pretty!

  • Average Traveller
    Reply

    Thanks for tip. We didn’t make it to Hana on our last trip because I was afraid of getting stuck in an endless line of traffic – exactly what we did not go to Hawaii for! I’ll be sure to try this drive when we go back. Thanks!

  • Lisa
    Reply

    I wish I’d known about this drive before our trip to Maui. We opted to skip the road to Hana because Emma had just turned 5 and I thought it would just be too much time sitting in traffic. That photo of Dek is beyond precious!! 🙂

    • © Keryn Means/ walkingon travels
      Reply

      Lisa- we ended up doing the Road to Hana as well. It was gorgeous and we were lucky that it wasn’t too crowded but this alternate drive was shorter and a lot easier with baby Dek in the backseat.

  • Cathy Sweeney
    Reply

    I’ll have to check out this road when we get to Maui in the next couple of months. Great tip & beautiful shots.

  • Becca@ R We There Yet Mom?
    Reply

    Your pictures are stunning!! I have a friend who just did the Hana road and said it was beautiful but crowded! Thanks for showing us the alternative!

    Thanks also for linking up this week!

  • Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com
    Reply

    Wow, Hawaii is popular this week. Great shots you have, esp of that super blue ocean! Dek is so cute 🙂

  • InsideJourneys
    Reply

    Definitely a beautiful drive, definitely a must do!
    Love the greens and blues.

  • Sonja
    Reply

    Is this the drive that the rental car companies forbid you to take their cars on though? Or maybe it’s changed since we DID take our rental car on the forbidden road 20 years ago on our honeymoon, but it was on the north side of the island. It was a spectacular drive.

  • Reply

    The road to Hana is a stunner and everyone knows it, which can dampen the experience. Heading north from Lahaina is a great suggestion. We’ve done a portion of that drive and it delivers! Next time we will be sure to stop for Banana Bread.

  • Reply

    Thanks for linking up to the Best of the USA blog hop! You already know I enjoyed this post. I’m still hoping that my husband and I can travel to Hawaii one day. I’m thinking it would make a romantic anniversary trip. 🙂

  • Tiffany
    Reply

    So glad you posted this link again! We have reluctantly decided not to take the Road to Hana on our first trip to Maui. We have one son who tends to get car sick, so with our limited time we are opting to skip it.

    This drive will be the PERFECT alternative, since we’re already staying on the west side (Napili Point). And, how can we go wrong with banana bread en route! Thanks Keryn!

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