We’ve all seen it: An image of a smiling couple cruising in Hawaii with the the top down and the wind in their hair. For many, it’s the ultimate image of freedom.
Why settle for just the top down, however, when you could also ditch the windshield, the doors, and keep enough gas money in your pocket for a shave ice or local Hawaiian beer? As gas and car rental prices both creep ever higher, many visitors to the islands are ditching the jeeps and convertibles and simply end up riding a scooter in Hawaii. Depending on what sort of activities you have planned this might not be the best bet for the entire vacation (you wouldn’t want to two-wheel it to Mauna Kea, for example), but if you’re just cruising the beach towns of Maui for a couple of days a scooter is really all that you’ll need. What’s also nice about riding a scooter in Hawaii is that in a town like Lahaina, finding a parking spot won’t be nearly as difficult and you can bypass the pesky traffic backups.
Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Hawaii tours and things to do and Hawaii recommendations, or book a private guide in Hawaii for a customized tour!
Travelers who are planning on riding a scooter in Hawaii need to understand, however, that not all islands are going to be the same. If you’re island hopping during your stay in Hawaii, you will be able to ride a scooter out towards the Na Pali Coast trailhead on Kauai or around the town of Kona on the Big Island, but since scooters aren’t allowed on the freeways of Oahu trying to go somewhere like Pearl Harbor would be a lot more difficult. Also, despite it being one of the most scenic roads in America, riding a scooter on Maui’s famous road to Hana might not be a great idea due to the fact that it rains along the highway at some point every day (all those waterfalls have to come from somewhere!)
Should you want to tool around the beach towns and shorelines, however, there are a number of scooter rental companies on each island that offer affordable rates for getting you out on two wheels, although you will have to initially use either public transportation or take a cab since none of them are located at the airports.