Favorite Road Trips
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The winding road: Hana Highway, Maui
Why: Trade Maui's touristpalooza for a natural world of deserted bays and rain forest.
What to expect: The 52-mile road meanders along the green-carpeted eastern coast, affording extensive views of the sparkling sea. You'll need at least a full day for this excursion, but it's more restful to stay overnight. Avoid doing the trip after a rainfall—the roads can be slick, and it's a long way down over the cliffs to the ocean.
Start your engines: Route 3 begins in the town of Kahului, passes through Paia, and soon turns into Route 360. But forget the signs: There's no mistaking the point where you leave civilization behind. A canopy of rain forest often blocks out the sun, and winding curves will slow you way down. And while 360 ends in the endearing village of Hana, it is usually possible to continue on Highway 31 and make a full loop of the island, stopping by the Seven Sacred Pools, a gorgeous series of waterfalls and swimming holes. An important bridge is out, however, so for now you'll have to drive back the way you came.
Road secrets: At the beginning of the drive, at mile marker 14, take a secondary road down to Hoomanu Bay and its stellar swimming (you'll probably be the only person around). And once in Hana, head to the very south end of the Bay—farther than most tired tourists make it—to find the red-sand Kaihalulu beach.
Shack up: This is the most unspoiled part of the island, so spend a few days lazing around, using the Hotel Hana-Maui as a base. Suites are spread among the A-frame bungalows, and most have their own patios overlooking Hana Bay. Anoint yourself the King of Hawaii.
Hotel Hana-Maui and Honua Spa
Tel: 808 248 8211
Doubles from $475 a night