If you’re planning a trip to Maui and love scenic views, you’re in for a treat. As the second-largest Hawaiian island, Maui offers breathtaking landscapes that are best explored by car. With a budget-friendly rental from Rent Maui Cars, you’ll have the freedom to traverse the island at your own pace, soaking in all the beauty it has to offer.
We’ve curated a list of the top 10 scenic drives and viewing spots on the island that are guaranteed to provide a feast for your eyes. Buckle up and let’s hit the road!
1. The Road to Hana
Embark on a journey along the Road to Hana, a 64.4-mile-long stretch of picturesque highways, captivating bridges, and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Not merely a drive, it’s an experience. As you navigate its infamous 620 curves and 59 bridges, you’ll discover enchanting waterfalls, lush rainforests, and dramatic seascapes. Notable stops include Twin Falls, an easily accessible cascade perfect for a refreshing dip, and Waianapanapa State Park, where a striking black sand beach, turquoise sea, blowholes, and ancient Hawaiian sites captivate visitors.
2. Haleakala National Park
Immerse yourself in Maui’s majesty on a drive up to Haleakala’s summit. Begin your journey in the predawn darkness and watch as the park gradually reveals its beauty. Your destination: a breathtaking sunrise from the summit, over 10,000 feet above sea level. The volcanic landscapes here seem otherworldly, from the cinder cones near the summit to the starkly beautiful Kaupo Gap and Kipahulu coastal areas.
3. West Maui Circle Drive
Exploring the West Maui Circle Drive is like stepping back in time. This scenic loop takes you from the historic whaling town of Lahaina to the luxury beach resorts of Ka’anapali, through the rugged cliffs of Kahakuloa, and back to Wailuku. The drive offers unparalleled views of towering sea cliffs, lush valleys, and coastal villages. Don’t miss the Nakalele Blowhole, where the ocean surges through a hole in the rocks, creating a dramatic water display.
4. Kahekili Highway
The less-traveled Kahekili Highway, on Maui’s northern shore, is a hidden gem offering remarkable coastal and mountain views. It’s a challenging drive with its narrow, winding roads. But those who take it are rewarded with stunning vistas, secluded beaches, and historic sites like the ancient Hawaiian village of Kahakuloa and the iconic Olivine Pools, where you can spot sea turtles in clear tide pools.
5. Piilani Highway (Back Road to Hana)
For a unique driving experience, take the Piilani Highway, or the back road to Hana. You’ll traverse vast lava fields, see ancient Hawaiian ruins, pass through Maui’s largest ranch, and encounter fewer tourists. Along the way, you’ll witness how Maui’s landscapes transform from the lush rainforests of Hana to the rugged, lunar-like landscapes of the southern coast.
6. Upcountry Maui
A journey through Upcountry Maui reveals a different side of the island. Starting from the cowboy town of Makawao, you’ll pass rolling pastures, botanical gardens, and the unique Protea farms of Kula. Visit the Surfing Goat Dairy for locally made cheese and chocolate truffles, or take a tour of Maui’s Winery at Ulupalakua Ranch, where you can taste wines made from Maui-grown pineapples and grapes. End your day with a sunset view from the slopes of Haleakala.
7. Makena Road
The drive along Makena Road is a beach lover’s dream. Visit Makena State Park, which includes two of Maui’s most beautiful beaches – Big Beach and Little Beach. Continue on to discover La Perouse Bay, where you can witness Maui’s last lava flow meeting the ocean. It’s a perfect place to snorkel, relax, and watch dolphins frolicking in the water.
8. Honolua Bay Lookout
Honolua Bay is a marine conservation district teeming with aquatic life, making it a snorkeler’s paradise. From the lookout, you’ll have a panoramic view of the turquoise bay set against a backdrop of lush tropical foliage. During winter, this spot transforms into a world-class surfing destination where you can watch surfers tackle the large, powerful waves.
9. Iao Valley State Park
A drive into Iao Valley State Park offers more than just lush scenery. This location is steeped in Hawaiian history, being the site of a significant battle in 1790. Now a peaceful park, visitors can walk along the Iao Stream, visit the Ethnobotanical Garden, or gaze upon the iconic Iao Needle, a 1,200-foot-tall lava remnant covered in green vegetation.
10. Wailea Beach Path
For a slower-paced scenic drive, take the Wailea Beach Path. This luxurious coastal route winds past high-end resorts, manicured golf courses, and five of the most beautiful beaches in Maui. Each beach offers soft sand, clear waters, and opportunities for snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing. The path is perfect for a sunset drive, with the sun setting over the ocean providing the perfect end to your day.
Your unforgettable journey through Maui’s most scenic drives and stunning view spots begins with choosing the right ride. At Rent Maui Cars, we offer a range of affordable and reliable rental options tailored to your needs. Embrace the freedom of the open road, and explore the island’s beauty at your own pace. Whether it’s navigating the winding Road to Hana or witnessing a sunrise at Haleakala, we’re committed to making your adventure smooth and memorable. Visit www.RentMauiCars.com today to start your Maui journey with us. Remember, with Rent Maui Cars, you hold the key to unlocking the ultimate island exploration with our affordable rental cars!