Our Honeymoon: Maui (Road to Hana Edition)

Next stop in Maui: Kula!

Day 4 (Road to Hana) 

As promised, the best Airbnb we stayed at in Maui (and of all time) was the Kula Treat – Upcountry Maui. Our host’s name was Pamela – seriously the sweetest woman you’ll ever meet. She does occupy the top floor, but we still felt we had a lot of privacy and space with a bedroom, living area, and kitchen. The best part about her property is the amazing sunrise you can watch from her balcony (pictured below!). There is even a hot tub so you can stargaze at night and see the Milky Way! Plus, this is an excellent place to stay if you want to do the Road to Hana (only 15 minutes away). 

For our Road to Hana day, we started out early in the morning, as it took us almost the entire day to complete (about 7-8 hours, depending on how many stops you make). So, we grabbed our necessities and left around 7:30 am. These are the things we brought:

  • Food (we bought Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread at Maui Bread the day before for breakfast, more poké from Foodland, and had A LOT of snacks i.e. Quest Bars, Lightly Salted Macadamia Nuts…which taste surprisingly like cheese puffs)
  • Water (bring more than you think – you will need to say hydrated for all the hiking) 
  • Bug spray (we forgot this…let’s just say, I’m surprised we had any blood left) 
  • Towels (it will be muddy, and you could get wet)
  • Hiking shoes
  • Aux cord (this is super helpful if you want to listen to music or an audio tour guide – we used Shaka Guide…download this before the trip when you have WiFi because you’re basically going to a dead zone)
  • Car charger (the guide uses a lot of your battery)
  • Cash (there are food trucks halfway to stop for lunch!)
  • Selfie-stick (we actually didn’t bring this because I forgot, but it will save you from the embarrassment of setting up a self-timer against a random rock)

You should also make sure you have a full tank of gas. We were able to make it the entire way without filling up again, but there was a moment of panic towards the end… 

When we first started out, we passed such amazing views, even the windmills were photo worthy. Travel tip: we did the Road to Hana in reverse, which helped us be the only people at a number of our stops since it was so early. Plus, the longer hiking trail Pipiwai Trail is on this end. However, if you are not okay with being on the outside lane (steep cliffs + hardly any railings), then I suggest doing it the normal way. The drive is a bit nerve racking, but if we can do it in a Ford Mustang GT then so can you! Seriously though, I consider the Mustang an off road vehicle now.

This was our first stop! Since the whole Road to Hana is a sight to see, there are few signs telling you when there will be cool photo op. So, you have to seize the moment and pull over when you want. This one had a pretty large parking area (and by that I mean dirt area), so we choose to eat breakfast here! 

Next stop: Pipiwai Trail! This trial has many waterfalls (including Waimoku Falls) and the famous Bamboo Forest. First note: this trial is very difficult to find without a guide. We had aux cable issues, so we actually had to backtrack since we missed the instruction telling us where it was. If you pay attention to the mile markers, the entrance for the trial can be found at 6.5 mile point. Second note: The trail will likely be muddy since it rains so much in this area (that’s why it’s so green!), especially the trail in the Bamboo forest. We actually didn’t do it because it was too wet that day, but we at least caught a peak. The entire hike will take you at least 2 hours. 

Along the way, you will find little pockets of beauty. This was just off the main hiking trail. Why yes, I am wearing sneakers with a dress-like romper. Fashion 101, ladies. However, I would recommend wearing shorts instead. It was so hot and humid – I was thankful for the large slits in my outfit! 

Another awesome cove along the trail. There were plenty of people swimming here, too!

It would be while until our next stop, but luckily there were some places to eat midway. It depends on the day of which food trucks are open, so make sure you check if you have your heart set on one. We ended up going to Da Fish Shack and ordered the Coconut Shrimp. We mainly chose this over the fish tacos because we thought Coconut’s Fish Café‘s coconut shrimp were amazing. However, this one was just ok…but I know a lot of people thought the fish tacos were great here. 

It’s a little tricky to find the trail to the Red Sand Beach, so you may have to ask a local there to show you the path. It’s not a difficult hike, but you do have to climb up a hill that is pretty narrow and doesn’t have any railings or foliage to keep you from falling. While we did see one child, I would advise against bringing them here (and we’re not even sure the little girl we saw survived).

The Red Sand Beach and all it’s glory. Fun fact: it’s a nudist beach! This is the view from above, but you can scale down a rock path. It looked pretty difficult, so we decided not to do it. We also left our towels in the car, so scaling back up the cliff sounded no bueno while wet and slippery. It was just as well because from afar we saw a nude man swim into the ocean and float on his back.

This is a view from Wai’anapanapa State Park, home to the Black Sand Beach. 

So as you can see, this beach is pretty rad and definitely worth a stop. Make sure you wear shoes when you go because the beach is made up mostly of black rocks (pictured below).

The greenest valley and bluest sky I have ever seen! Wailua Valley State Wayside Park was breathtaking. When you wonder how people can live so remote from society, you just have to look at these pictures.

As all good things have to come to an end for other good things to start, thus ends our Road to Hana adventure. You can imagine at this point we were very hungry. So after praying we would make it in time to a gas station, we started looking for places to eat.

For dinner, we listened to Pamela’s restaurant recommendation, a hidden gem called Kula Bistro – Jared swears this is his favorite restaurant of all time now. We liked it so much that we ate here 3 times during our 10 day stay. The picture above are the Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms ($13.95) – large mushroom caps stuffed with crab and shrimp filling, baked to perfection & topped with a special teriyaki glaze drizzle. This is a perfect appetizer to share between two. 

I ordered one of the specials of the day – Lobster, Shrimp and Bacon Mac and Cheese. It was cheesy heaven.

Jared ordered the Loco Moco, dinner style – no eggs ($14.50). This is beef, potato salad, and steamed rice smothered in homemade brown gravy topped with sautéed mushrooms & Maui onions.

That’s it for Road to Hana Day. I’ll finish up the rest of our time in Kula in the next blog. Thanks for reading!

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