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Along the way to Hana, Maui
 


    

Maui's North Coast. One of the most beautiful & rewarding adventures in Hawaii is touring the Hana Highway (Route 36 - 360). Starting at the heart of industrialized Kahului, the trek ends in a tiny Hawaiian village set along beautiful coastlines, pasture land and lush tropical rainforest.

If it's your first time traveling to Hana, you'll want to set aside an entire day for the trip (plan for a 3-4 hour drive). The most important thing to remember is to take the time to enjoy the drive. You will be traveling roughly 51+ miles from Kahului going over 54 bridges, passing through quaint towns, villages and the most gorgeous terrain anywhere in the world. You'll see slopes and valleys brimming with ferns, trees, and flowers of all colors, waterfalls and freshwater pools that are excellent for taking a break, and going for a swim.

Driving East out of Kahului on the highway, the first town you'll pass through is the old sugar plantation town of Paia. Paia is now known for being "The Windsurfing Capitol of the World" as well as a mecca for artists of all mediums. The two streets of the little town are lined with false front buildings that house shops, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.

Three miles past Paia is Hookipa Beach. The worlds best wind surfers can be seen here either in competition or polishing up their skills in the great surf & strong tradewinds that have made Hookipa synonymous with the sport.

As you continue East, Route 36 transforms into 360, there are small mileage marker signs along the road side to aid in navigation. When you pass the intersection of Ulumalu Rd. and the highway you'll see the "Maui Grown Market". If you are in need of any last minute supplies, make this stop, as it is one of the last stops before the Keanae - Hana area. Just beyond this stop the roadway narrows and a series of twists & turns begins your journey deep into the Hana Highway.

Huelo is the next populated area you'll pass by, then the small village of Kailua (which is the last pay phone until Keanae).

Puohokamoa Falls is a nice area to stop to take a break and swim. Watch for the 11 mile marker, it's located just past it.

Honomanu Bay at the 14 mile marker is truly a sight to behold. (A few valleys away is where the helicopter scene in Jurassic Park was shot)

Keanae is a Hawaiian village dating back to ancient times. Kalo (taro) is still cultivated there as well as many other species of native flora. In the recent years that Maui has undergone such drastic development, Keanae has gone virtually untouched (thankfully).

Home to a strong Native Hawaiian population, to look into life in Keanae is to look into the Heart of Hawaii itself.

To get to the Keanae Peninsula take the left at the 17 mile marker.

Wailua is also another farming and fishing community, like Keanae, it to is dotted with gardens and charming rustic homes. As the road extends it's snake like path eastward, Naihiku is located near the 25 mile marker. If you have the time, turn left off the main road. The road is slow going, but the views you'll be presented with are unforgettable.

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East Maui - Sites To See:


 
Mantokuji Buddhist Temple - Found at the outskirts of Paia.
Kaulanapueo Church - In Huelo, follow the signs to coral church built in 1853.
Kaumahina State Wayside Park - A lush forested area overlooking Honomanu Bay, and Keanae.
Keanae Arboretum - Located near the 16 mile marker, offers trails through beautiful gardens.
Puaakaa State Park - Awesome freshwater pools & streams, rest rooms.
Waianapanapa - This is one of best stops along the way to Hana! Black sand beaches,
underground pools and lava tubes all steeped in Hawaiian History and Mythology.

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