The Best Road Trips to Take in Hawaii
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Amazing Hawaii road trip you need to know!
Before you start laughing at the idea of coming across an island, hear us out. A road trip to Hawaii means taking your time to experience the beauty that surrounds you, whether it's jumping out of your car to explore a rainy waterfall trail, finding a hidden banana bread stand, or feeling the breeze from a scenic lookout over the Pacific Ocean. . Thanks to the incomparable charm of these island road trips, you won't be disappointed.
1. Road to Hana, Maui
The granddaddy of all road trips in Hawaii, the famous Road to Hana is deceptively long. The route has 620 famous curves, 54 bridges, and follows the rugged and underdeveloped Hana Highway through some of the most beautiful terrain Hawaii has to offer. It may only be 52 miles long, but the twists, turns, and lights will take three to five hours to complete in each direction.
Begin in the laid-back surf town of Paia, a destination unique in itself. Have breakfast at one of the many trendy restaurants in the city, such as Paia Bay Coffee Bpmar or the Kuau health food store for snacks. You can always keep an eye out for local banana bread stands during the trip if you run out of snacks; Some of the best can be found at the Twin Falls and Halfway to Hana booth.
The road to Hana is famous for its waterfalls and there are many of them. Be sure to make stops at Twin Falls, Upper Waikani Falls, Hanawi Falls, and Wailua Falls, most of which are just off the road. However, this trip is not just about the falls. Be sure to stop and spend time on the Ke'anae Peninsula for incredible views of Maui's volcanic coastline, the Garden of Eden botanical gardens, Wai'ānapanapa State Park to see the black sand beaches and the lava tube in Ka'eleku cave. End your trip at Hamoa White Sand Beach or hike the Pipiwai Trail in the Kīpahulu district of Haleakala National Park. Make sure you have plenty of time to get back before dark, or choose to spend a night in Hana town to split the trip in half.
2. Windward Oahu to North Shore Oahu
The North Shore of Oahu is a true highlight for many visitors, though most choose to save time by taking the easy route through the center of the island. Instead, we challenge you to get out of town and sail 60 miles through Windward Oahu via the Kalanianaʻole and Kamehameha Highways.
Start looking for the Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve. It is one of the most popular snorkeling destinations on the island, but you don't have to get in the water to enjoy the place. About 2 miles down the road, you will find the Halona Blowhole lookout overlooking Cockroach Cove, also known as "From Here to the Beach of Eternity." If you're in the mood for nature, spend time at the Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden, a 400-acre garden in a rainforest at the base of the Koʻolau Range. Stop to ring the peace bell and pay your respects at the Byodo-In Temple in Kaneohe before learning about the history of the Polynesian islands at the Polynesian Laie Cultural Center.
Ahead on the Kamehameha Highway, stop at Kualoa Ranch for a horseback ride or cinematic tour at Kualoa Ranch or stop to see Chinaman's Hat (Mokoli'i Island) across the street. Try one of the shrimp trucks at Kahuku, like Romy's, Fumi, or Giovanni's for lunch. Or, grab a plate and a slice of cake at Ted's Bakery closest to Haleiwa town. Some other great options once you get to the north side of the island include the Turtle Bay Resort, Waimea Valley, and Haleiwa's main drag lined with local restaurants and shops.
3. Upcountry Maui
This 20-mile drive through the interior of Maui will take you away from the famous Maui coastline and into rural areas on the slopes of Haleakala.
Start in the cowboy town of Paniolo di Makawao, where rustic and modern aesthetics meet in the many boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries. Head south on Highway 37, stopping in Kula, where you can take a tour of the local Ocean Vodka organic distillery, identify Hawaiian plants and flowers at the Kula Botanical Gardens, take in views of the mountains on a tour through Ali's Lavender Gardens and Kula Lavender, or milk a goat at Surfing Goat Dairy Farm.
End the day with wine tasting or simply enjoying the picturesque Maui wine vineyards at Ulupalakua, where you can sample pineapple wine produced at 2,000 feet above sea level.
4. Hamakua Coast, Hawaii Island
The island of Hawaii is known for driving. Being the largest island in the state, bigger than all the other islands put together, you will definitely need a set of wheels to get from point A to point B. With its distinctive mix of rugged and rocky terrain to green and green. the 50-mile drive along the Hamakua coastline in the northeast of the island of Hawaii will take your breath away.
Start at Rainbow Falls in Hilo for a super accessible view of the 80-foot waterfall known for its powerful sprays, which form rainbows when the sunlight hits the right. From there, head down the Hawaii Belt Road (Highway 19) stopping at Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, Akaka Falls State Park, and Laupahoehoe Point, again with the profile of the majestic Mauna Kea volcano on your left. End your journey in the historic Waipiʻo Valley, the spectacular curving valley that a young Kamehema King called home when he was a child. Find one of the best places to experience the valley along Kukuihaele Road, where the Waipiʻo Valley Lookout offers panoramic views of the 5-mile-deep ravine and 2,000-foot-high cliffs.
5. North Shore Kauai
Take advantage of this 16-mile North Shore Kauai road trip, which packs a punch with many highlights despite its short duration. This side of Kauai is known for its lush flora and rainy weather, which really means something considering Kauai is the wettest island in the state.
Start at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge and Lighthouse to spot some rare Hawaiian seabirds or spinner dolphins off shore and see the 100-year-old lighthouse. As you cross the green golf courses of Princeville to the popular town of Hanalei on Route 56 (Kuhio Highway), you can stop at one of the small beaches or walk to the ocean tide pools at Queen's Bath. Stop in Hanalei to relax on the beach near Hanalei Pier, shop or have lunch before continuing to Hāʻena State Park. On the way to Hanalei, be sure to keep an eye out for the elusive Nene goose, the state bird, as you drive through the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge.
Finish your trip at the entrance to the Nā Pali Coast State Park to hike part of the stunning Kalalau trail or snorkel at Ke'e Beach. Returning in the evening, head to Bar Acuda in Hanalei for island-inspired tapas for dinner.
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Source: TIM and FIN
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