Hookipa Beach#9 in Best Things To Do in Maui
The wintertime waves at Hookipa Beach are so white and frothy that hardcore surfers and windsurfers can't stay away. The water is definitely too rough for swimming, but if you're even remotely curious about surfing, you should pause at Mile 9 along the Road to Hana to take in the action at this stretch coastline near Paia in Upcountry Maui. Even if you're not one for water sports, travelers say that the photo opportunities alone are worth stopping for. What's more, the beach is also known to attract sunbathing sea turtles (especially in the afternoon).
There aren't many changing rooms around Hookipa, and there are no restaurants to speak of. But there are a few lookout points and picnic benches set up, so pack a snack to enjoy with the scenery. (Some recent visitors mentioned that a few snack stands also set up shop here.) Surfers typically hit the waves in the morning, while the windsurfers take to the water in the afternoon. To learn more about Hookipa Beach, visit the County of Maui's website.
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#1 Road to Hana
To find excellent views of Maui's beautiful coastline, all you need to do is drive. The Road to Hana is a scenic highway (Highway 360) that twists through the lush rainforest and past the cascading waterfalls that line the island's eastern shore. Most people start their trip in Kahului (home to Maui's main airport) with the intention of motoring 55 miles to Hana. The trip isn't always easy: The route often surprises unfamiliar drivers with hairpin turns. But those who decide to step on the gas aren't sorry they did. Despite all the hype and mental preparation, travelers are regularly surprised by the drive's beauty.
The Road to Hana might seem short, but traveling it will most likely take all day given the number of scenic lookouts and other places to stop. Those who have driven the Road to Hana highly recommend taking your time and stopping as often as possible. Reviewers also recommend starting your drive early in the morning, as the road grows congested as the day progresses. If you'd rather let someone else do the driving, there are several tour companies that offer tours in luxury vans, including Valley Isle Excursions and Temptation Tours. Though pricier than driving yourself, taking a tour allows you to focus on the incredible scenery while someone else focuses on navigating the winding curves.
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