Hawaii is a beautiful, tropical paradise known for its balmy weather, warm waters, and breathtaking scenery. A scenic drive in Hawaii is the perfect way to experience all that the islands have to offer.
Along the drive, you will get to see gorgeous beaches with crystal-clear waters, lush green hillsides and mountain peaks, waterfalls cascading down rocky ravines, and rainforests filled with exotic flora and fauna.
Even more memorable than the sights of nature are the vibrant colours that can be seen throughout the islands, vivid purples and oranges of sunsets quickly replaced by the twinkling stars of nighttime skies.
A winding road will take you past quaint seaside villages brimming with local culture and unique histories waiting to be discovered.
Overview Scenic Drive In Hawaii
Hawaii is a dream destination for many, and one of its biggest attractions is the stunning views from its scenic drives. Driving along the famous stretch of Highway 11 on the Big Island will give you an unforgettable experience.
The lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls and volcanic craters make up the beautiful landscape that surrounds you.
As you explore this incredible route, there are plenty of stops to make, such as at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Pahoa to visit ancient villages and observe lava flows.
Popular List Of Scenic Drive In Hawaii
A scenic drive in Hawaii is a must-do for any traveller to the islands. To sample the beauty of this tropical paradise, a road trip across the archipelago’s most spectacular landscapes is one of the best ways to go.
The popular list of scenic drives in Hawaii includes everything from winding coastal roads to lush rainforest routes.
Perhaps most iconic are the sweeping views of the Pacific Coastline, with bright blue waters glittering in the sun and pristine white sand beaches dotting the shoreline.
Along the way, you can take in incredible sights such as towering waterfalls, majestic mountains, and rich green volcanic crater lakes.
Many routes will also offer glimpses into local culture, with roadside fruit stands and picturesque rural towns hosting farmers’ markets and art festivals throughout the year.
Road To Hana, Maui
The trip offers some of the most breathtaking views you’ll ever see. It’s full of twisty turns, steep cliffs and countless waterfalls.
With nearly 600 curves and 50 bridges, your eyes will stay entertained for miles along this winding road to Hana. Alongside jaw-dropping beauty spots across this winding coastal road depict an essence of serenity as you take in mesmerizing sights of sea cliffs apart from beautiful beaches and streams along its edges.
On your way back stop at Kea’s Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to native birds like ducks, coots, and brants that flock here in search of food or just to rest on its peaceful waters every now and then.
Waimea Canyon Drive, Kauai
Located in the beautiful state of Hawaii, Waimea Canyon Drive on Kauai is a stunning tour of nature’s artwork. The panoramic views that span as far as the eye can see are nothing short of breathtaking.
As you drive along the rugged terrain, you will be surrounded by lush greens, vibrant oranges and deep purples that blend together to create truly unique landscapes.
Along your journey, there are plenty of stops to snap some photos, explore trails and even catch a glimpse of some local wildlife.
The journey culminates at the observation point at the summit where you can enjoy an uninterrupted view up to 3,300 feet above sea level.
Saddle Road, Hawaii Island
Saddle Road on Hawaii Island, also known as State Route 200, is an amazing scenic drive for those seeking a picturesque view of the region.
Spanning nearly 54 miles from Hilo to Kailua-Kona and reaching altitudes close to 6400 ft up the Saddle Road mountain peak, this road takes you along lush jungles and strikingly deep canyons.
This is not a road for the faint of heart, as several spots are prone to strong winds, but anyone with a sense of adventure will surely appreciate it.
If you wish to explore more than just the journey itself look out for historic monuments while driving such as former military camps or even ancient petroglyphs.
Kamehameha Highway, Oahu
Enjoy a peaceful journey through the heart of Hawaii on the Kamehameha Highway. Beginning in Honolulu and running up the east coast of Oahu, this drive offers captivating views of sweeping coasts and lush mountainsides.
The highway passes by inspiring beaches and memorable landmarks such as Hanauma Bay, one of Hawaii’s popular natural attractions.
Wherever you find yourself on this drive, you are sure to be greeted with a limitless array of shades of blue from both land and sea.
From its sparkling blue waters to vibrant forest vegetation and rocky coastlines – take your time to appreciate each breathtaking sight along the Kamehameha Highway.
Keep an eye out for several hidden coves where visitors can soak up the sun while they relax or explore some of Oahu’s most scenic spots.
Hana Highway, Maui
One of the most beautiful sights in Hawaii can be found along the Hana Highway on Maui.
Winding through the island’s lush green rainforest and commanding coastal bluffs, it’s a journey that is as enjoyable to take part in as the views themselves.
Whether you choose to uncover the mythological stories embedded within its villages, ancient bridges and waterfalls or simply bask in its dizzying beauty, Hana Highway is sure to provide an experience of a lifetime.
Keep an eye out for volcanic craters and majestic black sand beaches too, this scenic drive has plenty up its sleeve for everyone.
Kahekili Highway, Maui
Kahekili Highway is undeniably one of the most breathtaking and picturesque drives you will ever encounter in Hawaii.
Beginning in the island’s coconut-laden valleys, travellers have the opportunity to take a winding journey through captivating terrains of scenic coastline, lush forests, and jaw-droppingly beautiful vistas.
This historic road has been traversing Maui for centuries, offering beckoning views of the vibrant blues and greens that spill onto the white sand beaches below.
And with Honolua Bay, Kapalua Bay, Maui’s Windy Cave, and Nakalele Blowhole to explore, it’s no wonder why so many adventurers want to experience this iconic drive!
Mauna Kea Summit Road, Hawaii Island
Located on Hawaii Island, the Mauna Kea Summit Road is the perfect place for a scenic drive.
The route starts from Saddle Road and takes you up to the observatories at the summit of Mauna Kea, one of Hawaii’s tallest mountains at an elevation of almost 14,000 feet. If you take your time and make frequent stops along the way, you can take in some truly breathtaking views.
At each stop, you’ll be able to observe native plant life and wildlife, as well as distant snowcapped volcanos that can be seen in all directions.
During sunset or sunrise, low-lying clouds will often roll over the ridge lines, transforming this already special place into something truly magical.
Honoapiilani Highway, Maui
Located along Maui’s northwest coast, the Honoapiilani Highway offers a spectacular and visually awe-inspiring scenic drive.
This highway passes right through the heart of Maui, giving travellers the unique ability to witness breathtaking sights such as lush green valleys, black-sand beaches, bustling downtowns and world-famous resorts.
Visitors can also take advantage of gorgeous views while driving along this majestic coastal drive. If they choose to stop, they can explore famous landmarks like Hookipa Beach Park or encounter helicopter tours taking off from Kaunakakai Harbor.
Along their journey, vacationers can spot sea turtles swimming off Ka’anapali Beach or look out for whales spouting around La Perouse Bay.
Kaloko Drive, Hawaii Island
A scenic drive along Kaloko Drive, on Hawaii Island, is truly a breath of fresh air. With its lush forests, rugged coastline, and shimmering blue waters, it’s no wonder why it draws sightseers from all corners of the world.
Starting on the island’s northernmost point at Kona Airport, this 14-mile winding road takes you past some of the island’s most stunning attractions.
Beguiling waterfalls cascade into cascades of tumbling pools amidst shrubs and tropical flowers that create a captivating landscape.
Further down the drive lies the Captain Cook Monument, which provides breathtaking views of the bay against a rocky backdrop.
For those hoping to explore a bit more, there are plenty of hiking trails accessible off the same road, giving tourists a chance to go off the beaten path.
Tips For Enjoying The Drive
Here are a few tips for enjoying your drive in Hawaii. First, be sure to start early and plan ahead. This will ensure that you have plenty of time to take in all the sights and sounds of this beautiful island paradise.
Second, give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the scenery; don’t just rush from point A to point B without stopping, because you’ll miss some great views!
Third, be aware of the roads and drive with caution. While driving, it’s important to keep your eyes open for animals or other obstacles on the road and look out for signs pointing out popular spots or activities you can take part. Fourth, be sure to pack snacks and drinks so that you won’t risk going hungry during your journey.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Hawaii is any time you are able to take the opportunity.
The ideal time of year to do so is either during the fall or spring months. On your journey, you will be treated to lush mountains and valleys, ancient volcanoes, vast fields of wildflowers and stunning vistas of all types of vegetation.
Preparing For The Drive
When planning a scenic drive in Hawaii, be sure to have the right automotive gear. Before hitting the open road, make sure you have a reliable GPS system and an up-to-date map book, as cell phone reception is not always available.
Additionally, bring plenty of snacks and water for everyone in the car. Sunblock, sunglasses, hats and other sun protection items should also be packed for those who want to enjoy some relaxation at beachside parks or pullouts along the way.
There is no better way to take in the beauty of Hawaii than to take a long drive along its scenic roads.
Whether you are on the mountainous highlands of Maui, the spectacular rainforests of Kauai, or the black sand beaches of Kona, driving allows you to enjoy all that Hawaii has to offer from its culture to its gorgeous views.
It’s important to make sure you have all the necessary supplies before embarking on your road trip. Make sure your car is equipped with a full tank of gas and a spare tire.
Bring some food, drinks and snacks for a mid-trip break. A few beach towels come in handy if there are swimming opportunities along your route.
Most importantly, don’t forget your camera so you can capture all the beautiful moments. While keeping these essential supplies in mind will surely make your experience smoother and more enjoyable, it’ll also remind you that there’s nothing quite like the sights and sounds of scenic Hawaii.
Taking a scenic drive in Hawaii is the perfect way to appreciate all of the natural beauty this tropical paradise has to offer. Despite the fact some may think road conditions can be poor, typically they are quite good.
In and around major cities, roads are very well maintained, with plenty of signs to indicate which direction and what kind of driving is permitted.
In conclusion, Hawaii has a bounty of breathtaking scenic drives one can discover. With winding roads turning and leading out to breathtaking aerial views, travellers can explore the majesty of this island paradise with ease.
Enjoying a drive while seeing the beauty of Hawaii is something that those fortunate enough should take advantage of when exploring this fascinating place and its diverse ecosystems, culture, and wildlife.
Make sure you don’t miss out on what Hawaii has to offer, as it is a great opportunity to marvel at this paradise in all its glory.