Road Trip Car: Mazda MX-5 Miata
There are fantastic roads to explore all over the continental U.S., but for a taste of something truly exotic — yet passport-free — I'm starting on the island of Maui and taking a famous road that winds along its northern coast to a small plantation-era town called Hana.
The original Hana "highway" was a one-lane gravel road completed in 1926. Today it's a 52-mile stretch of (mostly) two-lane, (mostly) paved, and very curvy road, brimming with sandy coves, Insta-worthy waterfalls, local eats and rich Hawaiian history.
With over 600 scenic corners ahead, my perfect car is something airy, agile and effortless to wield: the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Its lightweight soft top allows me to go from shade to sun, and back, in 5 seconds flat. And it's perfectly sized to fit only the essentials, such as towels, sunscreen, bug repellent, rubba slippahs, and a companion who's hopefully bendy-road friendly.
Road Trip Tip: The road to Hana is estimated to take 2.5 hours each way without stops, so don't make too many other plans. For lunch, I'd hold out for the Huli Huli Chicken plate next to Koki Beach, but I'd be sure to grab a couple Spam or hot-dog musubis from the local 7-Eleven to keep me fueled on the way in.
Kickoff Song: "Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai," Hapa
— Jonathan Elfalan, road test manager
2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview and Pricing
Read Edmunds' long-term test of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Exploring the Southern Oregon Coast