A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Besides Haleakala National Park, perhaps the most known attraction on the island of Maui is The Road To Hana. Known for extremely narrow roads and hairpin turns that are often blind, the treacherous roads lead to beauty that you can only begin to imagine, which is why when we visited Maui on our big anniversary trip we knew that we needed to spend a day doing The Road To Hana.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

One of the biggest questions that we asked ourselves when we were planning this portion of our trip to Maui was whether or not we wanted to drive The Road To Hana ourselves or whether or not we should book a guided tour. After doing our research, we decided that booking a tour made the most sense for us, and I thought that I’d lay out the reasons why you should book a guided tour as well.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Why You Should Book A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

You Won’t Have To Rent A Car

When we put together our itinerary for Hawaii, I only gave us two full days in Maui. Day 1 was devoted to Biking Down Haleakala while Day 2 was going to be our Road To Hana day. Because we had booked a tour of Haleakala, the only day that we would really need a car would be our second day for The Road To Hana.

After doing some research about the island, I found out that it would be pretty easy to navigate around the island without a car since taxis are readily available. Which meant that if we didn’t have a car we wouldn’t be stuck at our resort the whole time. That’s not really the case when it comes to some of the other Hawaiian islands like Kauai. Now obviously, renting a car would be cheaper than booking a tour, but see the second point below for another reason why we wanted to book a tour.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

You Don’t Have To Worry About Driving Those Treacherous Roads

Like I said, The Road To Hana is filled with not only blind turns, but several of those are on one way roads that might unpassable if there has been bad weather. To say that it can be stressful on a driver would be a huge understatement. Let’s not forget that the main reason that you’re in Hawaii in the first place, to relax and be on vacation, so you might as well not stress yourself out with trying to drive yourself on The Road To Hana, which leads me to my next point.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

You Can Focus On The Beautiful Scenery

The reason that everybody loves The Road To Hana is because it’s filled with breathtaking views that you don’t get at home. If you’re driving, chances are you’re not taking in the amazing views, and I’m pretty sure that Chris will 100% vouch for me after our trip to Big Sur a few years ago. He was so focused on driving that I don’t think that he fully got to appreciate the beautiful California coast.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Which Tour Group Should You Choose?

Now that I’ve laid out all the reasons that you should choose a guided tour of The Road To Hana, I should mention which tour group that we ended up choosing: Valley Isle Excursions. The reasons that we ended up choosing Valley Isle Excursions was because they provided transportation to and from our hotel, they took us to the highlights on The Road To Hana, breakfast and lunch were provided, and the tour groups were limited to 12 passengers which meant that you didn’t feel overly crowded on your tour.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

With a price of $151.99/person ($141.99/person if you book online), it can seem a little pricey, but when you consider the fact that it’s an all day tour and everything else that I just listed, I think that it’s a pretty good deal. The vans that Valley Isle Excursion used were extremely comfortable, not only were they air conditioned, but we weren’t all over the other passengers on the tour either. I also felt that our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and he told us all about the history of the sites that we were seeing and gave us more than enough time at all of our stops. We couldn’t have had a better tour experience!

What You Can Expect To See

Now obviously on your trip to The Road To Hana you’ll want to make sure you see the highlights and Valley Isle Excursions has done just that. They have a map of the different stops that they make around the Road To Hana, weather permitting of course, so here is what you can expect to see!

The Clubhouse At Maui Lani

The Maui Lani Golf Club is where you’ll begin your day with the Valley Isle Excursions, with a continental breakfast served up along some beautiful views! The day started off looking a little gloomy, but thankfully the sun came out and we still got some pretty cool pictures too!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Eucalyptus Grove

Trees that look like somebody literally just took a paintbrush to them, the rainbow Eucalyptus Grove is stunningly beautiful! While these trees aren’t native to Hawaii, they do grow like crazy and make for some beautiful pictures!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Waianapanapa State Park

One of the things that I had to see during our Road To Hana trip was a black sand beach. Caused by when the hot lava meets the cold Pacific Ocean, the black sand beaches are beyond beautiful and make for some great photo ops, even if it’s an overcast day!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Oheo Gulch In Haleakala National Park

A beautiful part of Haleakala National Park, these fresh water pools are perfect for swimming as well as offering a beautiful view of the rocky Hawaiian coast and the Pacific Ocean. If swimming isn’t your thing, there’s also lots of hiking in the area as well with even more waterfalls to see!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Palapala Ho’omau

Probably my favorite shot of the whole trip was taken here at the church of Palatal Ho’omau. The resting place of Charles Lindberg brings a ton of people to this spot every year, but even if your’e not an aviation fanatic, the beauty of this space is enough to bring you back to this spot time and time again!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Maui Backside

It’s still amazing to me how different the landscapes of an island as small as Maui can be. The last part of your trek will take you around the backside of Haleakala and the barren back of the volcano is a huge contrast to the luscious rainforests filled with waterfalls that you just saw on your trip to Hana. Even though it’s not filled with greenery, this side of the island is beautiful in its own way!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

What To Bring On Your Trip On The Road To Hana

A Camera/Extra Batteries

This is obviously the most important thing to remember on your trip on The Road To Hana. Without a doubt you will take numerous pictures of the beautiful landscapes, and the last thing you would want to forget is your camera or extra batteries.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Cash

There are numerous stops along the Road To Hana at little roadside stands. Because of the nature of The Road To Hana making everything so remote, I would suggest bringing cash to buy some coconut squares or some locally made banana bread or jerky. You won’t be disappointed!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Bathing Suit/Towels/Change of Clothes

One of the most famous stops along the Road To Hana is the Pools at Oheo Gulch. You will make quite a long stop at this location, and one of the most fun things to do during your time there is take a dip in the Pools. Not only are they refreshing, but you also get a great view out to the ocean as well. Just make sure to pack a bathing suit and towels and potential change of clothes. There are restrooms available for you to change.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

And there you have it, anything and everything that you need to know for your own trip on The Road To Hana, especially if you wanted to book a guided tour. If you’re in the market for a guided tour of The Road To Hana, I can’t recommend Valley Isle Excursions enough. We loved our time with them and we felt like we really got to see the highlights without having the stress of driving it ourselves! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women from some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!

Have you traveled The Road To Hana? Have I convinced you to take a guided tour?

Other Hawaii Posts

My First Trip To Hawaii- Maui
My First Trip To Hawaii- The Big Island
10 Things I Learned While Visiting Hawaii
Hawaii In Instagram Photos
Which Hawaiian Islands Should You Visit?
How To Spend 9 Days Exploring Maui and Kauai
What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala

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Why you should go on a guided tour of The Road To Hana in Maui, along with what you can expect to see and what you should bring with you!

The Last Weekend In February

It’s so crazy to think that in two days, February will be over. With everything that’s been going on with Dart, I honestly thought that this month would have been pretty slow, but surprisingly it’s gone by so fast, and I’m pretty sure that has a lot to do with how much we’ve been out of town. The weekend before Valentine’s Day we visited Chris’s parents in the country, last weekend we were in Dallas for our nephew’s birthday, and then this past weekend we made another trip to the country to my parents’ place near Garner State Park. Just like every other weekend, it was perfect and Dart had such a blast, so of course I need to recap it with the always amazing Biana!

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

Friday

Without fail, when you’re trying to head out of town for the weekend, all the requests from people at work start to come in right when you want to head out the door. Thankfully, all the requests from work didn’t take that long to complete and then I was out the door and headed home so we could get on the road. The only bad thing about my parents’ place in the country is that it’s 5 hours away. But we made good time and we arrived in just enough time to have a glass of wine or two with my parents and talk before finally heading to bed around 1:00AM.

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

Saturday

Because we stayed up so late the night before, we all slept in really late Saturday morning, so much so that instead of having breakfast we had breakfast tacos for brunch. Despite the sun being out all day, Saturday was a little bit chillier than normal, but it was still a beautiful day!

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

We spent basically the whole day going on walks with the dogs, sitting outside and relaxing and reading, and just enjoying being out in the country. We brought our cameras with us this weekend, and Chris and I had fun getting some pictures of Dart in one of his favorite places.

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

Before we knew it, it was time for dinner and while the guys handled the grilling of the steaks out on the grill, my mom and I hung out inside getting all of the sides ready to go. It was a great dinner that was followed up with some Girl Scout Cookies for dessert and Bad Moms for some entertainment. I think that we were all still tired from the night before, so we all went to bed pretty quickly after that.

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

The Wandering Weekenders- The Last Weekend In February

Sunday

We all woke up earlier than Saturday morning and pretty quickly ate breakfast and started cleaning and packing up so we could hit the road to get back to Houston. I will say that we got pretty lucky with the weather this time around because while Saturday was beautiful, Sunday was hazy and overcast and didn’t make for great picture taking weather.

After our drive home, we spent the rest of the day doing our normal Sunday errands which included laundry and dishes, and just getting ready for the week ahead. And then our Sunday ended just like any other Sunday, with some Pho and The Walking Dead. We are definitely pretty predictable, aren’t we?

How was your weekend? Did you enjoy some beautiful weekend weather?

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The last weekend in February was spent relaxing in the country with my family and it was amazing!

Beyond Words- A Man Called Ove

Happy last Friday of February everybody! I swear this year is literally flying by so quickly, and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. I’m very excited to not only be linking up with Carolann and Christy to talk about The Beyond Words: A Blogger’s Book Club book for the month, but also to be linking up with Olya and Mattie for their second annual Galentine’s Day Blogger Exchange.

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words A Blogger's Book Club

I know that I probably sound like a broken record, but one of my favorite things about blogging has been getting to connect with other people that have similar interests. It’s so much fun to talk about books and see what other people think, and also to send and receive snail mail from some girls that you feel like you know, just because you read their blog. Anyways, let’s get onto A Man Called Ove and my goodies from the Galentine’s Day Blogger Exchange!

The Wandering Weekenders- Galentines Blogger Exchange

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove

So I guess that I have to say that first thing’s first, I actually didn’t vote for this book when Christy and Carolann put up the poll on Goodreads, not because I didn’t want to read it, but because I selfishly had a copy of one of the other books and wanted to read that one instead. Well, thanks to everybody that voted in the polls for A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman because this book is easily one of my favorite that I’ve read in a long time.

Last year when I first started joining in the Show Us Your Books linkup with Steph and Jana (next one is on March 14th by the way), it seemed like A Man Called Ove was all anybody could talk about. I read the review and added it to my Goodreads, but for some reason I didn’t ever pick it up. Now I see why everybody couldn’t stop raving about it, and I’m kind of kicking myself for not picking it up earlier.

Ove is an older gentleman that is very used to the same routine. He wakes up at the same time every morning, has his cup of coffee, walks the streets in his neighborhood for his usual inspection, and then works on things around the house. Ove has very strong principals and is very strict about following the rules, and when the rules are broken Ove makes sure to inform those who broke the rules and then tries to fix them. Ove’s world is literally turned upside down when some neighbors move in next door, and they start showing him that everything isn’t as black and white as he’d like it.

When I first started reading this book, it reminded me a lot of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, but as the book progressed, I saw that the only real similarity was the fact that both Ove and Arthur were widowers. While Curious Charms was about Alfred trying to understand and find out more about his wife, A Man Called Ove was about opening up a man to the world around him.

While Ove’s character didn’t really change much during the book, he still had that rough and prickly exterior throughout the entire book, I love that his outlook changed, and one of the biggest ways that you saw that was the way that he addressed people. After a few short exchanges with Parvaneh, Ove stopped referring to her as “The Pregnant One” and started referring to her by her name. The same thing happened with her husband, Ove started thinking of him as Patrick instead of “The Lanky One”.

Another thing that I loved about the book was the way that the author managed to almost seamlessly transition from the past to the present. Sometimes it can get really confusing when you almost time travel back and forth in books (He’s Gone that I finished up in this month was like that), but it was perfect in A Man Called Ove. Plus, I felt that the time travel really helped to show the character development of Ove and why he did some of the things that he did.

I could literally go on and on about why I loved A Man Called Ove, but I think that you get the point, it’s a fantastic book, and you should go pick it up immediately! I gave it a 5/5 stars on Goodreads, and I’m very much looking forward to reading more books by Fredrik Backman.

Galentines Blogger Exchange

I think that I’ve mentioned it before, but Valentine’s Day isn’t that important of a holiday to me. Yes, I love getting to say an extra “I love you” to Chris, but we don’t really like doing anything too over the top on those days. We prefer to just have a nice meal together.

Galentine’s Day on the other hand, is something that I’m in full support of. Any excuse to get together with your girlfriends or give them presents, is alright in my book! So of course, I was really excited when Olya and Mattie announced that they would be hosting their Galentine’s Day gift exchange again and signed up immediately.

This year I got to buy Mattie her gift, and I kind of had a hard time deciding what I wanted to get her. When I remembered that she had commented that she hadn’t read a Sophie Kinsella book, I figured that a cute RomCom book would be the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day so I sent her Can You Keep A Secret, which happens to be my favorite Sophie Kinsella book. I also knew that she was loving reading all of the Harry Potter books at the moment, so I thought that a fun coffee mug would be a fun gift for her too. I hope that you love them Mattie!

I was super excited when I received my Galentine’s Day gift and found out that it came from a fellow Texan that I love, Erin from Tex Erin in Sydneyland! The Amazon boxes arrived right after we had ended our No Spend January, so I had to make sure that I told Chris that I didn’t order my gifts for myself, especially since they were so perfect!

Erin not only sent me a really pretty Essie nail polish in Chinchilly, but also some wine glasses and wine stopper that are absolutely perfect for Galentine’s Day! I basically squealed with delight when I opened up my packages!

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words A Man Called Ove

The wine glasses are stemless, which I love and covered in conversation hearts, and you’d better believe that I had my glass of wine in one of those cute glasses on Valentine’s Day while I watched The Bachelor! It was perfect, minus Nick being a dummy on The Bachelor, but I feel like nothing’s going to solve that problem. Anyways, Erin thank you so much for my perfect Galentine’s Day gift, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll be drinking wine out of them until my birthday because they’re just too cute!

Have you ever read A Man Called Ove? Did you exchange gifts with your Gals for Galentine’s Day?

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Beyond Words: A Blogger's Book Club- A review of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. A beautiful story about how people can change.

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