Exploring Maui Hawaii is about the journey rather than the destination. There are many things in Maui to amaze you if you are willing to keep an open mind, bend the itinerary and go where the journey leads you.
Driving through Maui is a breathtaking experience as you venture through different terrain that vary greatly in scenery. One moment you can be driving through dense tropical foliage with rolling hills in the background and the next moment, miles of beaches surrounded by barren land of volcanic lava rock while waves crash below steep cliffs at the shoreline below. Yes, Maui is exciting indeed!
My favorite drive through Maui is less talked about than the popular Road to Hana. One reason it is my favorite… I had no idea what to expect and the whole drive took me by complete surprise! It is equally breathtaking as the Road to Hana… So if you want to be surprised… skip to the end of my article …. and don’t read this! I mean it! Kind of…. Can you resist?
Driving Directions and Guided Stops
If you are visiting Maui, you are most likely staying somewhere on the west side of the island. From the west, you can head to upcountry to start your journey and continue to the south coast. The south coast is also known as the back side of Hana – a road less traveled.
I will give you some marker points to put in your GPS along the journey so you will not get lost. Please remember, this is a very loose itinerary since the point of the journey is to make it your own and explore!
Leave early to allow time to dwindle and be in amazement at any point!
Stop #1 – Ali’i Kula Lavender Farms
I suggest starting your trip by visiting the Ali’i Kula Lavender Gardens in Upcountry. Set your GPS for the gardens which is on the way to upcountry. You will have plenty of time to continue your drive afterwards.
The garden has lavender and other beautiful exotic flowers you may have never seen. Try their lavender coffee and lavender scones in their gift shop for a yummy treat. Don’t forget to add lilikoi jam on your scone, it is delicious!
I have travel videos posted at the bottom of the post if you would like a glimpse into what you might see.
Stop #2 Kula Farms – Kula Farms will be within 10 minutes after the Lavender Farms. (Up the same road). Pick up some fruit as a snack and even cute nick knacks made by local farmers.
Stop #3 – Maui Wines
Continue through upcountry to Maui Wines. On the way, you will climb elevation and feel like you are driving in a tropical forest through the clouds! The ocean can be seen below and if you look closely, the Molokini Crater can be seen off the coastline. You may want to stop to take pictures or enjoy the view at the top before you ascend back down.
Can you see Molokini Crater from here? This is a view as you drive through Upcountry
Once you arrive at Maui Wines, you can do a bit of wine tasting featuring pineapple wines… assuming there is a designated driver of course…
Even if you don’t stop for wine, mapping it on your GPS will lead you through upcountry toward the south coastal route of Maui.
Exiting Maui Wines, continue on the same road you arrived which will take you further south. Trust me, there is only one road so you can’t get lost! You can either go back the way you came or keep going!
The next few miles get very interesting and you will see a side of Maui you haven’t seen yet! Be brave and continue on at least for another hour because the views are spectacular!
Follow the rest of the road for as long as you feel comfortable. You will reach a very uneven asphalt paved road at some point and from then on, the road gets very bumpy! This may be your signal to turn around. If you have a jeep that can handle the ride… don’t let me stop you, be adventurous and continue on. Just be aware of the time and when the sunsets to allow yourself enough time to get back.
If you plan on visiting Maui and take this drive… I know you will have a great time! Enjoy and I hope you come back to comment on your experience.
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