Everyone has a different wish list when it comes to where they want to live – some want small, artsy towns while others thrive in big cities with lots of amenities. In an attempt to give an accurate analysis of Hawaiian cities, we have compiled the ten best places to live in the Aloha State based on various criteria.
Highest Livability – East Honolulu
According to areavibes.com, East Honolulu has the highest livability rating in the state, and is number 29 in the nation. This is due to low crime rates, high graduation rates, lots of local amenities, and a stable housing market.
Best Beachside Town – Paia
Located on Maui’s North Shore, Paia has recently been designated as the “happiest beach town in America,” and there is no doubt as to why! This small, eccentric, artsy town is perfect for anyone who wants a true Hawaiian experience – without all the fuss of a big tourist center. And the town is heaven for artists, surfers, and wind sport enthusiasts.
Best Small Town – Haleiwa
Voted as Hawaii’s favorite small town by Hawaii Magazine, Haleiwa sits on Oahu’s north shore, as the gateway for many gorgeous beaches – and killer surfing in the winter months. The quaint town is full of shave ice stands, restaurants, souvenir shops, and surfing retailers. People come from around the world during surf season to ride the huge waves, but even in the summer, the town is the perfect getaway from the big state capitol.
Best Surfing Mecca – Hanalei
Named one of the best surf towns in the world by National Geographic, Hanalei is located in Kauai’s north shore, and is the perfect place for surfers of all skill levels. Just be careful as some of the wave action is not suitable for visitors – so please, ask the locals or lifeguards if you are unsure of an area. More than just surfing, the historic and cultural town gives transplants and visitors alike the opportunity to learn about Hawaii’s history.
Best City to Raise a Family – Mililani Town
Ranked #7 in Hawaii by areavibes.com, Mililani has a stable housing market, sunny weather, and low crime rates. However, because the town is located in central Oahu, you will have to drive to get the best beaches on Oahu.
Best Place to Retire – Kailua-Kona
This beachside town is a golf lover’s dream, with low annual rainfall, stellar views, and towering palm trees. The city also boasts a lower cost-of-living than nearby resort destinations, and a small town feel, despite the hospital, airport, and tourists.
Safest Place to Live – Makaweli
Though this town is tiny – the population is a staggering 176 residents – it has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, and is an extremely safe, and very quiet place to live.
Best City for Millennials – Honolulu
The state’s capital, Honolulu has a thriving art and cultural scene, plus excellent recreation options, and is the main city in Hawaii if you want to further your career, or start a new one.
Best City For Adventurers – Kailua
If you are looking for adventure, look no further than Oahu’s Kailua. Located near some of the island’s most beautiful beaches, the town is also close to great hiking, and has a charming, old town feel. With low crime rates and a booming housing market, Kailua is a perfect place to fuel your sense of adventure – if you can afford it, of course!
Most Underrated Town – Hilo
Hilo has never experienced huge tourist draws, which means it has stayed true to the state’s pre-World War II persona. With approximately 278 days with substantial rain each year, the Big Island’s Hilo is one of the rainiest locations in Hawaii, making it the perfect place to live if you want tropical weather, but work inside and don’t want to experience what people in Hawaii like to call “sun guilt.” Hilo is also only a 40-minute drive from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
We don’t know everything, and just because your town isn’t on this list, doesn’t mean it isn’t an absolutely glorious place to live. Tell us why you think your hometown should be on this list in the comments below!