Hawaii December 28, 2017
Here Are The 9 Coolest Small Towns In Hawaii You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
As America’s youngest state, the Hawaiian Islands are full of history, charm, and Aloha, and nowhere is that more evident than in our spectacular small towns. While we love Hawaii’s most charming towns as much as the next person (because really, who could NOT fall in love with Haleiwa, Lahaina, and Hanalei?), there are some insanely cool small towns that remain off the beaten path and are often overlooked for their more popular neighbors. From rural inland communities to hip coastal towns, these nine cities, while certainly quite different from one another, are some of the coolest towns Hawaii has to offer.
1. Na'alehu, Hawaii Island
Home to less than 1,000 residents, Na'alehu is the southernmost town in the United States (with a post office, that is). Highlights include visits to the Punalu'u Bake Shop and Hana Hou restaurant — and of course a lazy morning spent at the nearby Punalu'u Black Sand Beach.
2. Koloa, Kauai
Home to Hawaii’s first ever commercially successful sugarcane plantation, Koloa is a relic of days gone by. Home to less than 2,200 residents and shops that now occupy the plantation-style buildings, Koloa is located along Kauai’s southern shores.
3. Waialua, Oahu
Located on Oahu’s north shore, past Haleiwa is the small community of Waialua. With a population of 3,800, this rural community has little more to offer than gorgeous beaches, charming farms and the always delightful Waialua Sugar Mill.
4. Makawao, Maui
Located in upcountry Maui on the rural northwest slopes of Mount Haleakala is a charming little town worthy of a visit — and a little recognition. With a population of approximately 7,100, Makawao is one of Hawaii’s biggest little towns. The town is famous for its Hawaiian cowboy, or paniolo, history, and is a haven for artists of all kinds.
5. Honoka'a, Hawaii Island
Located on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island at nearly 1,000 feet above sea level, Honoka'a was once the third largest town in Hawaii, but is no home to less than 2,300 residents. Don't forget to visit Tex Drive-In while you're in town!
6. Hanapepe, Kauai
With the greatest concentration of artists on the island, Hanapepe is known as "Kauai’s Biggest Little Town." Its historic, plantation-style buildings are now home to charming shops, eateries and a surprising amount of art galleries — and it’s a beautiful place for a weekend retreat.
7. Laie, Oahu
This small town on the northeast shore of Oahu is home to two major institutions: the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Brigham Young University’s Hawaii campus. Other than that, you’ll find basic necessities, beautiful beaches, and a retreat from the bustling capital city of Honolulu — even though it’s just an hour’s drive away.
8. Wailuku, Maui
While Wailuku is to popular local shops, restaurants and bakeries that have been around for generations, the town also features emerging boutiques and laid-back cafes and coffee shops. Conveniently located just 10 minutes from Kahului, Wailuku also serves as the gateway to the lush Iao Valley.
9. Waimea, Hawaii Island
The first European settlers to reach Hawaii landed in Waimea in 1778, and I’m sure they were absolutely blown away by the stunning coastline. The historic town is home to approximately 1,700 residents, and is full of charm.
Be sure to add these awesome small towns to your 2018 Hawaii bucket list! Want to learn more about our absolute favorite charming small towns?