There are a lot of interesting cities in Hawaii that you can look to visit when planning your trip, and while most are relatively small, they manage to boast quite a lot of attractions between them. Even though many Hawaii visitors don't come looking to enjoy a ton of urban exposure, dropping in on a few cities to explore the dining and shopping scenes is always recommended. The Hawaiian cities are not only good places to find restaurants and shops, but hotels as well. Even if you don't want to stay in a city on your Hawaii trip, keeping them in mind when looking for things to do is always a good idea.
Cities in Oahu
Of all the cities in Hawaii, none is larger than the city of Honolulu, which can be found on the southeastern coast of Oahu. Honolulu is the state capital, and it's quite the vibrant destination should you be looking for some urban action. In Honolulu, neighborhoods like Waikiki and Chinatown figure among the top hangouts, and when the sun is out, you can expect to see lots of people sunning on Waikiki Beach. Shopping, dining, and sunbathing are among the preferred things to do in Honolulu, and if you're looking for a good place to enjoy some city views in during your visit, then a trip to the summit of Diamond Head Crater will be in order. While Honolulu definitely begs a visit when on the island of Oahu, you might also look to spend a little time in Kailua, Kaneohe, or Haleiwa, all of which are much more laid back. All of the cities in Hawaii are more laid back than Honolulu, which takes the cake for being the state's most thriving metropolis.
Cities in Maui
Some of the top Hawaiian destinations can be found on the island of Maui, and they include the cities of Hana and Kahului. Hana makes for an ideal base if you plan on visiting the Haleakala Crater or enjoying a scenic drive on the Hana Highway. As for Kahului, it is the largest of the Maui cities. It is here where you will find the island's main airport, and if you plan on exploring the beautiful Iao Valley, it makes for an excellent travel base. While Hana and Kahului can be good places to base yourself on a Maui getaway, you might prefer the small, seaside community of Lahaina instead, which is considered to be the main portal to the renowned Kapalua and Kaanapali resorts.
Cities in Kauai
When it comes to the Hawaiian cities that can be found on the island of Kauai, Hanalei and Lihue are among the largest, though that doesn't mean that they are exactly large. Hanalei, for example, is a relatively small town, and you'll find it resting on Hanalei Bay on the island's north shore. Thanks to the nearby resort community of Princeville, golfing is one of the top things to do on a Hanalei visit, but don't forget to save some time for Hanalei Beach and some of the other north coast beaches.
Lihue is one of the top Hawaiian destinations that can be found on the island of Kauai, partly because of the fact that this city boasts the main Kauai airport. Many cruise ships arrive at Lihue as well, and for those who are looking for things to do upon arrival, check out the Kauai Museum to learn more about the island. Even if you plan on moving on to other Kauai destinations once you arrive in Lihue, it's a good place to stock up on groceries and other things, not to mention a good place to get camping and hiking permits.
Cities on the Big Island
As for the cities on the Big Island, none is bigger than Hilo, which is actually the largest of the cities in Hawaii after Honolulu. One of the wettest cities on the planet, Hilo definitely gets its fair share of rain. On gloomier days, a warm cup of Big Island coffee and a trip to one of the city's museums might be in order. When the weather is nice take a trip to the nearby Akaka Falls. Hilo is a popular base for those who plan on visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, thanks to its relative proximity.
While Hilo is a fun place to hang out on the Big Island, many visitors choose to stay in Kona instead. Some of the best Big Island hotels and resorts can be found in and around Kona, as well as on the Kohala Coast to the north. Between these two areas, you will also find some of the best Big Island beaches. When fun in the sun is what you have in mind, Kona is one of the top overall destinations. Be sure to check out Alii Drive when visiting Kona, and you might also look to visit a coffee plantation while you're at it.
Cities in Lanai
The small island of Lanai isn't home to any Hawaiian cities of great significance, so it's not exactly a keen destination for those who are looking for urban exposure. Lanai City is really the only town that you'll find on Hawaii's sixth-largest island, and only some 3,000 people call it home. One of the more interesting things about Lanai City is the fact that it boasts Hawaii's only intact plantation town. This historic district is a treat to explore before you head off to explore neat Hawaiian destinations like the Garden of the Gods and the Munro Trail.
Cities in Molokai
The island of Molokai, much like Lanai, is not a good place to look if you want to visit some of the larger cities in Hawaii. That doesn't mean that it isn't an excellent destination, however. The largest of the Molokai cities is Kaunakakai, which doesn't hold a lot of interest in the way of attractions. The real Molokai attractions of interest include the world's tallest sea cliffs, some of the most empty Hawaiian beaches, and a fine collection of historic fishponds.