“I just can’t imagine a long road trip at this point,” the groom said.
“I had every intention of driving to Hana and seeing all of that scenery. I’m sure it’s beautiful, and worth going. But I just can’t imagine getting up the energy to go, after a week of relaxing like this. The last thing we want to do is sit in a car for eight hours.”
His lovely bride agreed, but also worried they had “wasted” their chance to see the Road.
James and I were talking to this charming couple on the fifth day of their eight-day vacation, on the beautiful Wailea Beach. They were completely content, slightly sunburned, and still glowing from their nuptials. They live in Chicago, and Maui has been their dream vacation: they have saved for two years. They both agreed they probably wouldn’t be back in a long, long time.
And they weren’t going to Hana, Maui. Because they were just too relaxed.
Hearing this made both James and I want to shake them and shout: “WAKE UP!!! The Road to Hana is not just any road trip!!”
But we didn’t. Because we’re more polite than that. And because we really understand the spot they were in: Maui had undone their willpower and their drive, just like it does to millions of people who visit each year.
When people from the mainland US arrive on Maui, they often have ambitious plans. The time difference doesn’t help: for the first couple of days they wake up very, very early in the morning. But after adjusting to the time zone, and having a few mai tais and snorkels, they usually start to slow down. Maui is a place that oozes relaxing vibes: they seep into your very bones. And the longer you stay, the more relaxed you get. So by the end of one week, your motivation may be completely zapped. It’s so rare these days that we land in a place where no one expects you to do more than sit and read in the gorgeous sunlight: the relaxation is intoxicating.
That’s why James and I recommend driving the Road to Hana during the first full day of your trip to Maui! Here’s why:
- You’re still on mainland time, which means you can start out early enough to beat most of the traffic.
- You’re excited about — and energized about — being on Maui, so your motivation to drive 600+ hairpin turns is high.
- You’ll see so much drop-dead gorgeous, nowhere-else-on-earth scenery that you’ll feel perfectly justified in “wasting” the rest of your stay at the beach or pool, if that’s what you choose to do.
Maui is not just any vacation destination. While we love the resorts, and understand the temptation to just stay “on property,” we would be remiss if we didn’t advise you to drive The Road. It’s that special, and that spectacular.
If you are driving yourself, you should also get the Road to Hana CD Guide from our friends (and sponsors) at theR2H.com. The music and narration is A+, and they have a beautiful map that will help you decide when and where to stop and get out to enjoy all the Road offers. It’s one of the best guides to Maui, hands-down. Here’s their video, which perfectly illustrates why blushing brides and comely grooms should buck up and drive the Road:
Of all the Top Maui Tips I include in our Maui dining guide, Top Maui Restaurants, this one generates the most thank you emails from readers. Plan to drive the Road to Hana early in your trip, and get the CD tour guide now, before you arrive, so you can remember your plan and store up motivation before Maui’s magical vibes zap you. Totally worth it.
Listen to a sample of the Road to Hana CD Guide on their website.