It’s easy to see why 1.4 million people love calling Hawaii home. For some, it may be the lure of volcanic sand beaches or the desire to catch a big wave. For others, it may mean big opportunities with Hawaii’s booming real estate business or successful tourist industry. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: the Aloha State simply has the jaw-dropping beauty, hospitality, and opportunity that other states seem to lack. If you’re thinking about living in Hawaii, one of these top places might be the perfect spot.
Hawaii is located in the North Pacific Ocean and is the only US state to also be an island. Hawaii shares no borders with any other state. There are eight major islands, seven of which are inhabited, and 129 other, smaller islands and inlets. The capital, Honolulu, located on the ‘Big Island’ of Hawaii, is also Hawaii’s most populated city; Hawaii ranks as one of the smallest and least-populated US states.
Hawaii is filled with diverse geography, flora, and fauna. Hawaii has two national parks, three national historical parks, and a marine monument, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Because Hawaii is an island state, many of the beautiful flowers and animals witnessed here are endemic to the state. From the dramatic peak of Mauna Kea on the Big Island, to Lanikai Beach on Oahu, Hawaii is dominated by volcanoes, beautiful beaches, and lush tropical forests. The climate here is typical for the tropics; summer - and winter - highs reach the upper 80s. However, the near-constant trade winds blowing in from the east temper the humidity.
There’s a reason why Hawaii is considered “The Paradise of the Pacific.” Hawaii is famous for its welcoming nature and laid-back approach to life. Hawaiian cuisine is a unique fusion of the foods that immigrants have brought to the islands throughout its history. There’s also a long list of relaxed beaches and cool hideaways that warrant a long visit. While the island’s temperate climate is a draw, the cost of living in Hawaii is very high, so be prepared. Because the Hawaiian Islands are in close proximity to each other, if you base yourself in Honolulu on the Big Island or Kahului on Maui, Hawaii’s many beaches, national parks, and other attractions are easily accessible within a short flight or drive. It’s this mix of nature and easygoing culture that make Hawaii such a draw: some of the trendiest places in Hawaii are also the friendliest and quietest.
With a plethora of great cities and more intimate neighborhoods to choose from, finding the best places to live in Hawaii isn’t easy. We'll give you a head start as these cities are our picks for the best places in Hawaii. To further customize your list of the best places to live in Hawaii, you can also specify your search radius, population size, home or rent budget, and what metrics could be the biggest deciding factor for you, from employment to crime to education.