Friday, July 31, 2015

"The Road To Hana.
" It's a four-word phrase that, for many people, elicits four-letter
responses. Driving this serpentine, rainforest road is one of the world's
best drives—but for those who rush, or fail to prepare, it can be a
frustrating journey. With a few simple precautions, and an idea of what
you're getting into, driving to Hana can be a journey where your cares melt
faster than vegan ice cream at roadside Coconut Glen's. It's a place
where cell phones cease to work and you actually cease to care. To begin,
clear your other plans. Don't schedule a luau for later that night or make
dinner reservations, and devote the entire day—or trip—to experiencing
Hana's beauty. Be sure to pack boardshorts, a swimsuit, and a change of
clothes, so you can stop and swim at waterfalls as a way to break up the
drive, or take a dip at Hamoa Beach. If possible, plan to spend the night
in Hana so you can go at a leisurely pace and enjoy the winding drive, giving
you the chance to make it to spots like the Pools of Ohe'o before other
visitors arrive. If you can only spare one day, set out early and stop every
couple of miles so you can enjoy the island drive. Start in funky Paia
with crepes from Café des Amis, or a coffee from Anthony's Coffee Co. ,
where Laird Hamilton is known to hang out. Follow breakfast with a
barefoot stroll down dune-lined Baldwin Beach, and then venture out on the
winding journey that's lined with waterfalls and trails. While the 54
bridges and 600 turns might sound like a recipe for nausea, frequently
stopping not only helps reduce the chance you'll get car sick, but also
maximizes the number of sights you'll see along the way. Though Hana is
the alleged destination and perceived end point of the road, thousands of
visitors are befuddled each year when they pull into it and realize it's
simply a village of churches and homes. Many visitors rush the journey here,
reach the sands of Hana Bay and decide there's nothing to see. If you're
staying overnight, book at room at Travaasa Hana or a country bed and
breakfast, and watch the sunrise from the black sand beach at Wai'anpanapa
State Park. During the day, stop and grab lunch at Braddah Hutt's food
truck or drinks from Hasegawa Store, and put together an impromptu picnic you
can enjoy at Hamoa Beach, a utopian, white sand cove tucked away three miles
past the town. Continue the winding road to Kipahulu, where the Pools of
Ohe'o, or "Seven Sacred Pools," spill their way down to the sea. If you
arrive before 3 p. m. and you're still seeking adventure, make the 1.
5-mile trek to the 400 feet of Waimoku Falls. Accessible via the Pipiwai
Trail that weaves through groves of bamboo, the waterfall is arguably one of
Maui's most mystical, magical spots.   Finally, though the rental
car contract often states that the back road on this trip is 4WD, the truth is
it's well-graded dirt with bumpy, single lane zones. If the weather is nice
and the road is dry—and there are still two hours of sunlight—keep the
Hana adventure going by lapping around the mountain. Kyle Ellison is on
the Hawaii beat for Travel + Leisure. He divides his time between Hawaii and
Asheville, N. C. More good reads from T+L:
• World's Top 50 Hotels
• New Photo Series: Gorgeous Windows Around The World
• Best Places to Travel in 2015 Did you enjoy this
article? Share it. With some planning and
preparation, this winding drive in Maui can be one of the best travel
experiences on the island.

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