Best Hawaiian Road Trips

March 24, 2021

Hawaii’s archipelago is a variety of majestic natural wonders that no one should miss. There is so much to see on Hawaii’s 8 main islands and even the smaller islets around it. Hawaii’s exciting landscape has an equally interesting history, having been formed by a series of underwater volcanoes for centuries. Today, Hawaii’s visitors, and even the locals, can plan fun road trips to see the beauty forged from fiery underwater volcanoes.  

Before planning a road trip, make sure you get a car either via rental or getting a Hawaii car transport to ship your car from US Mainland. This will give you the freedom to explore the routes and even save on the hassle of commuting with friends or family. Here are the best Hawaiian road trips you can share with friends to make your visit to Hawaii memorable:

Route 1: Culture And Fantastic Views In Hamakua Coast 

Taking this route via the Mamalahoa Highway will give you a view of the Hamakua Coast’s cliffs overlooking the sea, valleys, and even a view of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain. This trip is about 88 kilometers from start to end. 

Trip Start: Start early at Hilo by seeing the Waianuenue Falls, also known as the Rainbow Falls. Do not worry since the trail going there is good for all skill levels and good for walking and nature trips every time of the year. Head to Hilo Farmers Market to taste local produce. 

Trip End: Finish strong at Waipio Valley to experience the fantastic view. It stands 2,000 feet above sea level and one of the largest valleys bordering the Kohala mountain.

Route 2: Scenic Hana Highway 

Hana Highway is a 103.6 km highway that consists of Routes 36 and Route 360. It is a popular tourist destination in Maui for its scenic views, waterfalls, and attractions found along the way.

Trip Start: The trendy surf town of Paia is the best way to kick off this road trip. Paia was once a plantation that transformed into one of the hottest surf spots. It has an eclectic mix of restaurants, art galleries, and surf shops peppered in the town. Visit Ho’okipa Beach and Bay to see the Windsurfing Capital of the World.  

Trip End: End the trip by trekking crater trails of Haleakalā National Park’s dormant volcano. If you walk the downslope up to the sea-level, you can take a hike to the Pools of Oheo while going through a bamboo forest and ending up in Waimoku Falls.

Route 3: Big Island Route 

Explore the biggest island’s topmost part and come across various cultures that end on the island’s best beach. 

Trip Start: Start your trip in the city of Waimea, a town with a paniolo culture. Paniolo is Hawaiian for cowboy and learns the Hawaiian version of Western ranching. Take Kohala Mountain Road for amazing views of Mauna Kea, Waimea, and Kona.

Trip End: After taking in the culture and the view, it is time to lounge at the white sand beach of Hapuna Beach Recreation Park. Aside from swimming, you can do body surfing and bodyboarding as well. The small-waves are perfect for laying out on the beach for some sunbathing and reading a book. 

Route 4: Across The Maui Loop

Get the best of Maui in a short period by visiting its highlands and exploring the lowlands. 

Trip Start: Visit the company famed for saving Hawaii’s famous export, Maui Gold Pineapple, the Haliimaile Pineapple Co. Take a field tour and see the fruits this island is known for. If you are visiting from March to July, watch out for the Jacaranda trees and see them bloom on the roadside. On a clear day, you can also have a clear view of the Haleakala summit.

Trip End: End the trip on the ranch town of Makawao. You will see an eclectic mix of rustic and modern-day feel in the town. You can also visit the Makawao Forest Reserve for a bit of trekking to see indigenous plants, shrubs, and trees.

Choosing Your Transportation

Having a vehicle is a must for your road trip. Having a vehicle will be convenient in carrying your things, whatever your route adventure is. 

  • Rental

You can rent different types of vehicles such as SUV, premium, convertible, or compact. Depending on what you’ll get, you can rent a car from $34/ day to $63/day. Remember to book in advance to avoid longer processing and go online to get special rates. 

  • Car Shipping 

Car shipping will ensure that you will be comfortable since it is your car. If you are staying long-term and plan to visit an island frequently, this will be the most sensible choice. There are also services that can ship car from Hawaii as well. 

Open transport is the cheapest way to have your car shipped from the US to Hawaii and vice-versa. Plan ahead since shipping can take a maximum of 20 days, depending on what city you are from. 

Final Words

Planning a road trip to Hawaii’s different islands can take you out of the usual tourist hub and bring you how locals see this archipelago. If you are planning to take your car with you since there is an option to ship car from Hawaii. As you have read, Hawaii offers so many more amazing views that you can find if you step out and start your drive. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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