During my recent travels in Hawaii, I had the opportunity to make a trip down The Road to Hana Town. This incredible scenic drive is a 64.4-mile-long stretch of Hawaiian highway connecting Kahului to Hana, a small town in east Maui. However, the term “highway” is a little misleading.
Traveling the Alaloa
This journey took us over a series of 54 narrow bridges, most of which were only one lane! An uninterrupted car-trip would take about 2.5 hours to drive, but between waiting turns at some of the bridges and stopping to take in the beautiful green scenery, it can take much longer.
You may be thinking – narrow bridges? Traffic? How is that any fun? Trust me. The Road to Hana Town has a new slice of lush Hawaiian landscape around every corner. I was snapping pictures every chance I got, and none of them do the real thing justice. The scenery on this drive was just incredible, and learning the history behind this road was very interesting too.
After conquering East Maui in the 16th century, King Pi’ilani built the Alaloa, or the “long road,” stretching across Maui. Prior to the Alaloa, this route was very dangerous. Travelers would jump across or swim through streams just to get across. Later, Piilani’s son, Kihapiilani, extended the road into Hana. What we now know as The Road to Hana Town was originally paved with hand-fitted lava rocks! It wasn’t until the 1870s that modern road construction reached this scenic route, but I’m sure glad they did. It’s amazing to think about how many people have traveled this path over centuries.
Take Time to Stop for Scenery
There are several unique stops along The Road to Hana Town. See Hawaii’s trademark royal blue waters at Wai’anapanapa State Park or Hana Bay, or stop at the Farmer’s Market or Hana Cultural Center & Museum. There’s so much to do and see on this drive that you can really customize your experience. We stopped to snap some photos at one of the waterfalls along the way!
We had an incredible day exploring so many beautiful spots along The Road to Hana Town. I highly recommend this experience to anyone traveling to Hawaii. Take your time, enjoy the scenery, and respect the locals!
Click here to read my post about Red Sand Beach, the breathtaking spot we ended up at after our journey down The Road to Hana Town.
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Big Guy Big World is a travel blog, following Mark Jacoby’s journey as a big guy on a bigger journey, exploring the world during a global pandemic. Follow along as we experience some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places.