Maui Travel Series: Road to Hana, South Shores, and Upcountry

As promised, the second Maui travel series segment featuring Road to Hana, South Shores, Upcountry, and surprise- our hotel!

Upcountry Maui- Haleakala National Park

Haleakala is the place to make the journey if you want to see a gorgeous sunrise or sunset. Most people wake up during ungodly hours to make the 3.5 hour trek up to Haleakala, but we opted to see the sunset instead. We were met with the most vivid colors around 5:50 pm, which turned into pastel, pink skies after sundown. So worth the trek, even though the drive down is a bit scary. You might be able to catch a glimpse of nenes (state bird) and cows!

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Alii Kula Lavender Farm 

A bit overhyped, but the farm (with mountain air and lavender scents) was a good break from the resorts and beaches. I enjoyed how peaceful it was to sip some lavender coffee while enjoying what the views had to offer.img_2977

Road to Hana

Koki Beachimg_3754Waianapanapa img_3728

img_3703img_3662Keanae Arboretum

Road to Hana is prided as one of the world’s best drive. With its lush greenery and hidden natural gems along the way, it’s easy to see what it is lauded as such. As people have noted before, the road is very twisted and windy, but very doable if you go at a slow pace (10-15 mph).

I usually don’t pay for apps, but this one for $4.99 (Road to Hana Gypsy App) was very needed. You can turn the app on before you hit the town of Paia, and the narrator points out notable landmarks & provides historical information along the way. We saved so much time because we didn’t stop every time we saw cars parked.

My favorite stops include: Waianapanapa State Park and its black sand beach, Keanae Arboretum and its rainbow eucalyptus trees, and Koki Beach (red sand beach). Don’t forget to stop by local stalls to buy fresh Hawaiian products such as smoothies and macadamia banana bread. We got ours from Hana Farms.

Overall, the drive is super scenic which makes the 10-12 hours round trip worth it. It rained in the morning that day, so while it was hard to see certain vantage points, we were able to witness multiple small waterfalls along the drive (caused by rain runoff).

Town of Paiaimg_3891

South Shores 

Ulua Beachimg_2864img_2768

South Shores of Maui has some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. I’d loved driving along the coast and making pitstops all the way from Kihei to Waimea. Some of the beaches were so small that there was no indication of the beach name. We stopped a couple times in Kihei and loved Ulua Beach in Makena. We ended our southern trek at Ahihi – Kinau Natural Area Reserve, which was perfect for snorkeling.

Wanted to include my hotel experience in this post as well. I had a blast lounging by the pools and looking at wildlife during my stay. Yes, I say wildlife because there were sooo many animals (parrots, flamingoes, swans, koi fish)… img_2338

If you haven’t watched my Maui video yet, which was shown in a previous post, check it out below:

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for my next Maui travel segment featuring Kapalua and Honolua.

-Amanda

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